Issue 29 – Watching the Green Olympics – Are We Cautious Enough about Our Daily Actions?

by Jasmine Wong (ELED Year 2 student 2020-2021)

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics had a perfect ending – overcoming numerous difficulties under the pandemic, having an array of fierce competitions, and piquing everyone’s, especially Hongkongers’, passion and interest in sports and athletes. Being applauded for its thorough planning on the ceremonies and matches, Tokyo 2020 also aims to achieve sustainability. Different “green actions” were established — medals made with e-waste materials, torchbearer’s uniforms made with recycled plastic bottles, recyclable “cupboard bed”, and more policies on recycling or reusing the materials.

An international sports event has taken eco-friendliness into consideration. This prompts me to think if everyone is doing the same when the community keeps promoting the importance of eco-friendliness. Even if we are asked to bring our bottles and utensils, how many of us will do so? Even if we are taught about the waste recycling methods, how many of us will or can do it correctly? Are we careful enough about our actions? What are some easy ways that everyone can do?

Recycling/Donating the Previously Loved Treasures

Recycling waste papers, metals, and plastics aside, more and more businesses offer campaigns to support sustainability, such as #CASETiFYSUSTAINABLITY, RE.UNIQLO as well as GU SUSTAINABILITY. After collecting all used goods, the companies would give them to the needy or recycle them as materials. Some of us might be obsessed with different phone accessories and buy new clothes in all seasons. However, when we houseclean and discover a lot of old items, we tend to throw them away. Try to look for different recycling programmes to see if there are suitable ones. Let’s make our previously loved treasures to others’ currently loved treasures!

Probably not the Best Quality, but still Fine Occasionally

“Best Before is … yesterday. Okay, this instant noodle has expired.” I bet most of us, if not all, have experienced similar situations. When food passes the “best before” date, what would you do? Discard or keep it? As most of us know, the “best before” date only indicates that the quality is not optimal but the food is still good to eat. Undoubtedly, if it has already been expired for a year, you need to think twice; yet if it is just a short time, let’s consume the food as soon as possible!

It is also important to understand the methods of keeping food fresh for a longer time to reduce food waste! Putting bread in a bread box to slow down moulding speed, storing vegetables with the kitchen towel, not putting tomatoes in the fridge… It is a long journey to figure out all the food saving ways.

Prevent Unnecessary Waste Consumption?

Apart from bringing our own bottles, utensils and shopping bags, we should avoid excessive energy waste at home. It is a good practice to turn off all the lights and electronic devices when not using them (e.g. Do you turn off your laptop after finishing your term papers? Or just turning on sleep mode for a night?). Unplugging electronic devices such as televisions and microwave ovens is beneficial in power saving as well! Moreover, don’t be attracted by those limited editions or unique packages while shopping. Shop according to the degree of necessity but not the degree of package beauty.

Every small step in our daily life can make society better. Some of the abovementioned ways of living? are easy to achieve, yet it depends on whether we have the perseverance to continue. Let’s change our habits and routines bit by bit, cherish everything we have and live green!

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