3 Mins Read
Hong Kong does not top greenest city lists very often. But during the past few days, the ever-practical and respectfully ecological mindset of Hong Kong people has become inspiringly apparent. The people of Asia’s world city have captured the minds and won the hearts of millions around the world who are watching as they peacefully protest in the name of democracy, all the while making sure they make minimal mess and continue to recycle. And to think most of this drive for sustainability during a tense time is being orchestrated by students! The #UmbrellaRevolution is sure to earn top billing as the world’s greenest protests.
Individual sit-in areas are so clean there is nary an insect in sight. There are designated rubbish areas every few metres with clear signage. Posters encouraging people to be tidy are hung all over the place.
Volunteers walk around with open garbage bags, collecting trash constantly. Most of the time, the volunteers are met with a cheerful: “no thank you”. Protesters are happy to collect their own personal trash and walk it to the garbage bins themselves.
Volunteers flatten and pack cartons and paper, creating piles for later pick up.
There are special recycling stations where trash is separated into the different types of recycling: cans, cardboard/paper, plastics.
Volunteers carry recycling garbage bags, helping to collect what can be recycled. Whilst helping, we were told to request that protesters do the separation themselves as this was an opportunity for ecological education! The self-service recycling areas are another example of this effort to impart knowledge.
People for Plastics
Plastic bottle separation stands where volunteers separate plastic caps, water bottle plastic wraparound labels and flatten the bottles themselves.
From Bottles to Goggles
Ingenious students make up for the lack of protective eyewear by making goggles out of discarded plastic bottles.
Banana Peel Production
Cheerful protesters turn their sitting time into a station of sustainability, turning old banana peels into eco-friendly cleaning liquid.
Shelter & Solidarity
The whole point of sustainability is to engender interconnectedness, to inspire human beings to reconnect with their natural environment and make consumption choices that are respectful of animals, plants and resources. Unspoken in that pact is the importance of respecting other human beings. This touching image of a protester sheltering a policeman during heavy rain epitomizes the uniting powder of such respect during a time where ideas and beliefs can separate us.