Hong Kong gets a bad rap when it comes to conspicuous consumption. The staggering amount of coffees, takeaway containers, bottled water and plastic bags at the grocery store will make any environmentalist shudder at the thought. The waste we create and consume has become such an issue that at last count, as much as six million tonnes of waste are disposed of each year in Hong Kong. It’s quite literally, a trashy topic. To address the trash talk once and for all, green champions Lisa Christensen and Nissa Marion of Hong Kong Cleanup and Ecozine are introducing next week’s citywide awareness program, Zero Waste Week, where Hong Kongers can literally take personal responsibility for the waste they produce.
Consider this: a staggering 16,000 tons of waste are disposed of daily in Hong Kong. And this is what it looks like:
While you may not think that little cardboard carrier from Starbucks is the only culprit, consider the many little ways in which you generate waste every day, and how that adds up to a week of unnecessary rubbish. To encourage the Hong Kong community to participate in this weeklong eco-friendly initiative, Lisa Christensen likens Zero Waste Week to “a boot camp for bins – where size zero is the aim.”
So, how can responsible citizens and recovering litterbugs join in the go-green movement? Support your commitment to one week of zero waste and make a pledge to reduce your carbon footprint by refusing plastic straws and cutlery, reusing shopping bags, trying out eco-friendly nappies, and avoiding disposable drinks. At the office, help your colleagues practice zero waste mindfulness by recycling printer cartridges, sorting office rubbish into recycling bins, and using recycled paper (or not using the printer – after all, it is 2015). And the ultimate way to support Zero Waste Week? Learn how to compost and reuse food waste. Here’s a nifty tutorial on how to do so:
In addition to citywide events to encourage participation in Zero Waste Week, Hong Kong becomes the host to environmental thought leaders and international proponents of sustainable living at the Global Zero Waste Summit at Cyberport on June 11th. Check out Zero Waste Week Hong Kong events below:
8 June: Corporate Round Table & Government Meetings
11 June: Global Summit with renowned speakers from around the world. Tickets can be purchased here.
12 June: Zero Waste Youth Conference
13 – 14 June: Zero Waste Weekend Festival – free for the whole family!
Once you’ve discovered how easy it is to become a sustainable-lifestyle superhero, you’ll be well on the path of responsible green living. For more inspiration, see how this family of six has reduced their carbon footprint in the blog Zero Waste Hong Kong. Also check out one of our favourite sites, Green Queen, for tips on healthy living in Hong Kong.
Curious about where your waste ends up? Take a look at the map below from the Hong Kong Environmental Protection Department to see where HK’s landfills are located.