Elin Chan – Turning Fruit Waste into Fruity Clean
Creating a 100 percent natural cleaning detergent out of household waste might seem counter-intuitive, but Elin Chan decided to think outside the box with her Nature Works project. Her team, Eco-Gladiators, sought to reduce food waste and raise awareness about the negative impacts of commercial dish detergent.
Many commercial detergents contain palm oil – the product of an industry that is often linked to deforestation, greenhouse gas emissions and habitat degradation. And many households don’t think twice before throwing out fruit and vegetable scraps that contribute to waste issues in major cities like Hong Kong, where 13,800 tons of waste is disposed of at landfills every day. In response, Elin’s team developed Fruity Clean, a hand washing, dish washing and floor cleaning detergent made from fruit peels, and the team successfully sold the product at several eco-fairs including the Discovery Bay Handmade Bazaar. Beyond that, the team has gone on to teach more than 250 people how to create their own natural detergent through workshops at fairs and schools across Hong Kong.
In 2016, as one of the Nature Works Hong Kong ambassadors, Elin visited TNC’s project site in Longwu Reservoir in East China to learn about how we work with local communities to transform the traditional methods of bamboo farming to protect water sources and their livelihoods.
Check out this video below by Elin on how to make your own Fruity Clean.
Ike Park — Saving Trees with Paper
Convincing organizations to change their practices can be tough, but the then-15-year-old Ike Park did just that in 2013 as a participant in Nature Works Hong Kong. He started out co-founding a project group called Inter-school Tree Planting Alliance, aiming to educate schools about the benefits of planting trees as a way to encourage reforestation in Hong Kong. However, when it became clear that this project’s return on investment would not be as high as hoped, he switched gears and decided to instead reduce deforestation on the consumption side by promoting an alternative to cutting down more trees.
This new initiative, called Project O2, lobbied secondary schools to make the switch to recycled paper and to keep it economically viable by buying in bulk. More than 25 institutions have since pledged to invest in recycled paper supplies, saving more than 4,000 trees annually. In 2014, Ike initiated the first Hong Kong Youth Environmental Summit with several local environmental NGOs. And in 2016, Ike won the SCMP Spirit of Hong Kong Award for his impressive entrepreneurial spirit and effort.