Feeling overwhelmed and helpless when it comes to the waste problem in Hong Kong, I started my journey into zero waste and naively gave myself a year to “try out” the lifestyle. Sixteen months on and I’m still avoiding single-use plastic, bringing my own bags to the grocery store and finding new and convenient solutions. The movement has really caught on since I started, and there are many inspirational people providing new solutions to combat waste. Here are a few:
Bea Johnson of Zero Waste Home
The ultimate zero waste lifestyle expert, Bea is an outspoken French woman living in the USA who started her journey with her husband and two teenage sons in 2008. She now travels the world giving talks and inspiring people (myself included) to adopt her simple life hacks. She shares her triumphs and fails in her book Zero Waste Home with a simple guideline to the 5 Rs: refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle and rot (and only in that order).
Fanny Moritz of NO!W No Waste
A great starting point for people hoping to kick-start a zero waste lifestyle, Fanny sells reusable and compostable products on her online shop. From bamboo toothbrushes, menstrual cups and solid deodorant to reusable make-up wipes, you can find many creative solutions to replace single-use products.
Tamsin Thornburrow of Live Zero Bulk Foods
Tamsin opened the first zero waste grocery store in Hong Kong earlier this year, selling all kinds of things, from flour, pasta, rice, beans and grains to oils, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices, teas and coffee. There’s also a lifestyle section to buy household goods in bulk such as cleaning liquid, laundry detergent, shampoo and soap. Exciting stuff for Hong Kongers!
24 High Street, Sai Ying Pun, www.livezero.hk
Kevin Cheung, upcycling designer
Giving upcycling a chic image, Kevin aims to change our views on waste by creating beautiful pieces from materials that would have otherwise been sent to landfills. Phone covers made from old denim, light fixtures made from broken bicycle wheels and even a “boombottle” – a portable speaker system made from used plastic containers – every piece has been creatively transformed into useful objects. Visit his studio at the Blue House in Wanchai for the full experience and be inspired by his creative mind.
Businesses/organisations to follow
- www.plasticfreehk.com: online shop selling useful products to help us to reduce plastic waste
- www.loopunite.com: a community hub to keep informed on waste problems, with educational programmes designed to help individuals and businesses to reduce their waste
- www.plasticoceans.org: a foundation aimed at educating and engaging people to become aware of the ultimate threat of plastic waste
- www.seashepherd.org: an international non-profit marine wildlife conservation organisation
- www.trashisfortossers.com: follow young, inspiring Lauren Singer, who is living zero waste in the USA. Recently started her first zero waste shop in New York.
- www.shethinx.com: period-proof, reusable underwear brand that is committed to breaking the taboos surrounding menstruation
Follow Hannah Chung’s journey on Instagram @thezerowastechallenge
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