There are so many ways you can make Hong Kong and the world a cleaner, greener, more beautiful place. Whether or not you’ve already decided to join our global community of one million Conservation Champions, you can make small adjustments to your daily life and have a positive impact on our environment.
Go Green at Home
Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. For every bulb you replace, you can save 45 kilos of carbon over the life of the light bulb.
Eat less meat. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the livestock sector generates more greenhouse gas emissions than all the planes, trains, and automobiles on the planet. The water that goes into producing just one hamburger equals 2,400 liters — that’s 18 days’ worth of normal usage for the average person in Hong Kong.
Repurpose the packaging from your latest purchase. Decorate your empty spaghetti sauce jar and drop a tea light inside to turn it into a beautiful little lantern, or use it in your bathroom to store toiletries like ear buds, cotton balls, and make-up brushes. Used and cleaned tin cans can become little pots for herbs and other small plants in your urban herb garden.
Green your party. You’re having friends over for a bash — great! Don’t forget to send e-invitations instead of paper ones, dim the lights or use beeswax candles to create a festive atmosphere, and use real dinnerware instead of disposable plates and cups. Send leftover food home with party guests so it doesn’t go to waste — 70% of the world’s available fresh water goes into agriculture. And when you go to someone else’s party, recycle your newspaper or magazines by using them as gift wrap.
Swap clothes you no longer wear with a friend instead of buying new items. We’re all guilty of buying things we wind up only wearing a few times — 217 tonnes of textiles wind up in Hong Kong landfills every day!—so instead of buying a new t-shirt that required 1,500 liters to produce it, trade a t-shirt with a like-sized friend, or even host a clothes-swapping party! You’ll save money and look great while helping the environment.
Go Green at the Office
Teleconference instead of flying. For office meetings, if you can get your work done via phone or videoconference, you can save time, money, and carbon emissions. Airplanes produce 12% of all transportation sector emissions.
Turn off your computer when you’re not using it. For every 32 hours your computer runs, you produce one kilo of carbon.
Get a plant for your desk. Indoor plants act as filters that suck up the pollutants created by your computer equipment while also cooling the air in your office! Through transpiration, indoor plants act as natural air conditioners.
Save paper. Print on both sides of each page, use recycled paper, and make sure your used paper is recycled — not headed to the landfill. You can also set up your word processor to have narrower margins so that more text fits on each page — and fewer pages need to be printed.
Make sure computers and lights are switched off at the end of the day—around your desk, in conference rooms and even restrooms.
Click here to donate. HK$500 per month. Over two years, you could help plant 500 trees, and every tree you plant could generate enough clean air for four people.
Go Green Out and About Town
Walk or bike instead of driving in a car or taking a taxi. For every three kilometers you travel, you can save one kilo of carbon from being released into the atmosphere.
Wherever you go — home, work, a rooftop bar — take the stairs instead of the elevator. You can save carbon and get more fit at the same time.
Always carry a reusable bag with you. Whether you’re shopping for groceries, new shoes, or a fabulous bottle of wine, your purchase can fit into a reusable canvas or nylon bag. Every year, 100,000 sea turtles and other marine mammals are harmed or killed by plastic bags in our oceans.
Try to pick up a few pieces of litter every time you’re out and about, and put them in the proper recycling or trash bins. In Hong Kong, we throw away 16,000 tonnes of trash every day, including enough plastic bottles that, when laid end-to-end, are longer than all the MTR tracks in Hong Kong! Stray litter can smother plants that generate the oxygen we need to breathe; it can wrap itself around the beaks of birds, dolphins, and other wildlife so that they cannot eat; it can damage the reefs that are home to so much of the seafood we rely on for our daily meals; and it can even cause us physical harm — who hasn’t walked along a beach and nearly cut themselves on a shard of broken glass?