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David Yeung is the charismatic founder of Green Monday, a Hong Kong social enterprise that has taken the city by storm. They work tirelessly to promote the concept of eating vegetarian at least one day a week. They currently partner with over 1, 000 restaurants and dining outlets who offer vegetarian Green Monday menus. Here is his story!
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I have been a vegetarian for the past 13 years and it is not easy to be veggie in Hong Kong. More importantly, very few people know about the negative environmental impacts that the meat industry has on the sustainable future of our planet. So when the opportunity to launch Green Monday as a social enterprise came up, my co-founder Francis Ngai seized the change to effect social and cultural change in Hong Kong.
When did you first adopt a green lifestyle?
I actually started being a vegetarian 13 years ago when I was still living in New York City.
What is your greenest daily habit?
There is no question that being a full-time vegetarian is my greenest daily routine. However, being the co-founder of Green Monday adds much more depth and meaning to this routine as I have become one of the most passionate activists of green in Hong Kong and beyond. I look upon every meal as an opportunity to spread the Green Monday environmentally conscious message to more and more people.
Tell us about Green Monday and its mission.
Green Monday is a social enterprise group that promotes baby steps towards a greener lifestyle and enables green, healthy and sustainable living. Through our vegetarian promotion and food rescue initiatives, we are a platform that enables corporations, restaurants, schools, and the general public to join efforts in reducing our carbon footprint and performing our social and environmental responsibilities.
What are some of the greenest features of Green Monday?
In two short years, Green Monday has significantly raised green awareness in Hong Kong: 23% or approximately 1.6 million of the city’s inhabitants now eat a vegetarian diet at least one day per week. Over half a million students from primary & secondary schools to universities are actively participating in Green Monday too, which is really inspiring. Over a thousand restaurants have increased their vegetarian selections. Corporations such as Google, Great Eagle, Bank of China, Convoy and Miele are active partners of ours. The Hong Kong Airport Authority and the Legislative Council of HKSAR are also among our biggest supporters. Last but certainly not least, celebrities such as Leo Ku, Vivian Chow, Joey Yung, Calvin Choy, Annie Liu and Fala Chen, some of the city’s most recognized faces, are passionate ambassadors of Green Monday.
Share a green Hong Kong tip with our readers.
Go hiking! People always complain that Hong Kong lack outdoor resources and I vehemently disagree. Hong Kong is one of the very few cities in the world where you can reach a hiking trail in 45 minutes or less from anywhere you are. I love how re-charged and refreshed I feel whenever I finish a hike.
Where is your favorite place to eat green in Hong Kong?
I recently published a new book “Go Green Restaurants 88” that features my favorite restaurants, from Dandy’s Cafe to IPC Foodlab, from Qi to Seventh Son. However, it is no secret that I have been a fan of Peggy Chan and her gourmet vegan restaurant Grassroots Pantry since they opened. Its tranquil location, homey décor and wholesome yet ultra-delicious dishes make it one of my favorite places in town to enjoy a vegetarian meal.
Green Queen Heroes is a monthly series showcasing the talented and relentless individuals who are helping to make Hong Kong a greener, cleaner, kinder place to live and giving us eco-warriors more accessible options!
All images courtesy of Green Monday Hong Kong.