In a one-day workshop held on 7th July, 2018, 60 youngsters gained deeper insight on how green living is not only a slogan in a cosmopolitan like Hong Kong.
The recent emergence of extreme weather in different parts of the world has again raised public concern on global warming. Experts ranging from geologists to environmentalists have tried to eradicate the epidemic, yet their efforts still have a long way to be paid off. Admittedly, there is no panacea for climate change, but there can be an antidote to it - if we all practise green living ourselves.
Ten years ago, Sino Group initiated the unprecedented ‘Mission Group Top’ Programme, which promotes urban farming, while supporting the less-privileged and engaging the broader community at the same time. At the workshop, the group of students trod through a rooftop garden on Skyline Tower, one of Kowloon East’s Grade A Sino Group office buildings. The garden, tended in collaboration with Hong Chi Association, produces fresh organic crops of specialty that are sold monthly at various Sino premises. The sales of produce have brought about not only more than HK$ 1million of revenue, but also self-confidence among the intellectually-challenged, as well as a chance for all parties to support each other and the good cause of promoting green living in Hong Kong.
“It is not just about living green, but connecting all the dots,” says Mr Sunny Yeung, Executive Director and Convenor of Sino Group’s Sustainability Committee. “Helping the Hong Chi teams to become more sociable is our biggest achievement,” Yeung adds.
Other than seeing how green living can be actualized in a much larger scale through careful district planning, the participants also learnt a great lesson from Yeung that “with synergy, one plus one can become three or even four”.
From 3As to 4As
Apart from the sharing by Sino Group, the group also visited a school and learnt that there are educators who spare no pain to promote green living. One of them is Mr. Wong Chi-keung, the Principal of Sing Yin Secondary School. An active conservationist, Mr. Wong believes that schools should offer more than academic knowledge, but also environmental education to nurture students and teach them to appreciate all living things in nature.
Back in his days as a university student, Wong learnt of the 3As of conservation –
Attitude, Awareness, and Action. Now, as principal, he has added one more ‘A’ to the principle –
Atmosphere. He believes that a well-supported atmosphere can change our attitude, raise more awareness, and thus leading to more actions in building a greener planet.
To create the ‘Atmosphere’ for its students, Sing Yin implements an ‘Efficient Energy System’, replacing traditional fluorescent lightbulbs with LED light tubes and solar light tubes. Besides, numerous solar panels have been installed on the School’s rooftop to provide main power supply for the campus.
Wong believes that schools should provide ample opportunities for students to become more committed to green living with incentives, and utilize all the relevant knowledge which they have acquired in primary school. In view of this, Wong offers functional responsibilities for his students such as serving as ‘Environmental Ambassadors’.
“It successfully helps students bring the ideas home, and practise waste separation, and energy saving,” he says. “Our parents and Parent-Teacher Association are very positive about our initiatives.”
Undoubtedly, our environment is directly linked to human behavior, good and bad. It is high time for us to further explore ways of environmental-friendly practice for the sake of a sustainable future.
As Yeung reminded us earlier: “If we really want to help the society, one or two people are not good enough. We shouldn’t be doing it [alone] as an island; we should be [working together like] an orchestra.”
To build a more sustainable future for Hong Kong, every member under the Pearl of the Orient - institutions, the government and business sector - must join forces to compose the new symphony of Green Living.