Cover The future is in our hands. (Image: Getty Images)

Six ideas for a more sustainable lifestyle that can be enacted right away

Single-use masks and test kits may be non-negotiable in a pandemic, but leading an otherwise sustainable lifestyle doesn’t need to slip off the radar. Here are some ways everyone can live greener in Hong Kong.

Don’t Dump: Donate
The current exodus from the city has caused many households to dump mountains of unwanted goods without separating them by what can be recycled or donated to charity. Organisations like Refugee Union, Salvation Army and Crossroads Foundation require all kinds of items, from clothing to household appliances, while bigger pieces of furniture can be collected for donation for a small fee.

Read more: Farmacy's Raymond Mak On Why Urban Farming Is A Smarter Way To Feed Hong Kong

Cut the meat
Hong Kong has the highest meat consumption per capita in the world and, while the city has a rapidly expanding plant-based food scene, it’s clear that more could be done to curb its appetite for animals. Support restaurants that are making an effort to provide meat-free options on their menu. Start-up Pay-A-Vegan (payavegan.com) uses an app that offers rewards for every time a user eats vegan, has compiled a database on vegan dishes in Hong Kong, and has even recently launched an NFT club, giving access to future initiatives, community chats and partner NFT projects.

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Recycle
Look to recycle anything that can’t be repurposed, sold or donated. The government’s dedicated waste reduction website has information on where to take all manner of objects, from non-stick pans and broken appliances to textiles and toner cartridges. wastereduction.gov.hk

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Buy pre-loved or rent
Acquiring new clothes should be a final port of call once second-hand or renting have been considered. Buying pre-loved doesn’t have to mean digging through bins of smelly cast-offs you wouldn’t be seen dead in: companies like Vestiaire Collective have made the process sleek and stylish. Meanwhile, rental services, like Pret-A-Dress, Wardrobista and YeeChoo, are all shared wardrobe start-ups helping fashionistas look good while respecting the planet.

Reasons to be optimistic

The latest developments and changes that will positively impact Hong Kong’s standing on sustainability.

Compost
Food waste constitutes the largest proportion of rubbish sent to landfill. O Park1, the city’s first “organic resources recovery centre”, is a facility capable of handling 200 tonnes of food waste per day, which it converts into biogas. Located in north Lantau, the service is currently only available to commercial sponsors, but with further plants due to open within the next five years, services will eventually become more widespread. opark.gov.hk

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Green Bonds
In February, the government announced the launch of the first retail government green bonds to promote green finance and develop Hong Kong into a more sustainable and liveable city by improving the environment, combating climate change and transitioning to a low-carbon economy. A cash injection of HK$100 billion will be divided between eight categories, including waste management, clean transportation and green buildings.

 

EcoBricks
Hong Kong company EcoBricks, which promotes a circular economy by turning plastic waste into reusable building blocks, won a gold medal at the 2022 Special Edition of the Geneva International Exhibition of Inventions. The future is looking bright for this rapidly growing company: as Daryl Ng hints on page 30, developer Sino Group is considering incorporating the bricks into its projects.

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Green Food
Plant-based pork maker Green Food Technologies recently secured HK$12 million in investment, which will allow the Hong Kong-based company to develop more products and expand its operations into China, where potentially huge growth awaits as alternative proteins become more popular in the country thanks to government endorsement. Founder Joshua Ng told Green Queen that his goal is to become the Impossible Foods of Asia.


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