February 2021

Long-term Decarbonisation Strategy

The Green Earth (“TGE”)welcomes the government’s carbon neutrality vision by 2050. However, we believe the government should focus on developing zero-carbon energy such as hydrogen, solar and wind energy without changing the proportion of nuclear power in the fuel mix. Besides, energy efficiency standards for existing buildings should be on par with that of new buildings based on an aggressive timetable.

In light of the trend of declining Hong Kong population, the government should focus on development of brownfield sites in a sustainable manner to replace the high-carbon Lantau Tomorrow Vision.

Foreign Waste

As an international trading hub for plastic waste, Hong Kong has been criticized by the Interpol and Basel Convention for illegally re-exporting plastic waste to other countries. The Basel Convention started to regulate plastic waste trade in January 2021, implying the US, who had not ratified the Convention, might keep exporting plastic waste to other places via Hong Kong.

The Environmental Protection Department and the Customs and Excise Department must step up their role as gatekeepers to prevent Hong Kong from carrying the notoriety of “a free port for plastic waste trade”.

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Updates of the investigation on Hong Kong Gun Club’s cleanup of shooting debris

Having conducted numerous site investigations, TGE discovered the area near Hong Kong Gun Club was full of shooting debris and severely contaminated with heavy toxic metals such as Lead. Eventually, the Lands Department has issued a warning letter to the Hong Kong Gun Club that turned a cold shoulder towards the issue.

The Lands Department must monitor the removal of pollutants, soil sampling tests and land decontamination by the Hong Kong Gun Club, and to establish preventive measures to avoid further polluting in the future.

Municipal Solid Waste Charging

Having been delayed for ages, it shows signs of hope for the municipal solid waste (MSW) charging bill under the “extended term” of LegCo. However, the Bills Committee has lately agreed to scrutinize the Bill right from the beginning and decided to hold informal meetings with the Environment Bureau to revise the content of the Bill.

TGE and six other environmental groups urged LegCo to –speed up the reviewing process by setting an achievable timetable and to hold additional meetings when necessary to pass this important bill before the end of the term in July.

Hong Kong Trails Day and Trail Volunteer Training

Hong Kong Trails Day

The epidemic and social distancing measures had not weakened public’s passion when TGE held the second "Hong Kong Trails Day" in Oct 2020. With more than a hundred participants in our webinar, we also co-organized an innovative action "Delivery with your helping hands" with the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (“AFCD”), to invite passers-by to help transport trail-repairing materials to designated mountains. During the 4-day actions at Needle Hill, Lion Rock and Pat Sin Leng, more than six tonnes of materials were delivered for experienced masters of AFCD to repair the nature trails by hand.

The second “Repair your own trails" Volunteer Training Hiking Trails via Bird’s Eye View

The second volunteer training was launched in last November. Instead of a large group training, online trainings and mini-group visits were organized to equip volunteers with knowledge of sustainable trails. Trail-repairing masters also shared their skills of trail repair through videos.

Hiking Trails via Bird’s Eye View

TGE visited a few popular hiking trails in the past few months, and recorded their “scars” through aerial photography. We analyzed the causes and published the "Bird-Eye View of Trails'' thematic web page aiming at drawing public interest in natural trails and countryside conservation.

Green Event Volunteer Workshop Programme

To successfully promote waste reduction via various types of events, it is vital to have support from volunteers. With the support of Jockey Club Charities Trust, TGE is now offering FREE “Green Event Volunteer Training Workshops” to local volunteer groups.

New tree-planting site in Yuen Tun

We are grateful for the support from Henderson Land Development for TGE to establish the seventh tree-planting site under the Plantation Enrichment Programme in Yuen Tun, Tai Lam Country Park. The new site is located next to an observation deck with a spectacular view over Tai Lam Chung Reservoir. With the help from volunteers, we have completed site preparation for the upcoming tree-planting activities which hopefully can be carried out in Spring. We look forward to planting local trees with you in the new woodland.

Country park cleaning with corporate volunteers

As more people visited country parks during the cool seasons, TGE led PCCW and Canon Hong Kong to participate in country park clean-up during the low-pandemic moment. In a hiking hotspot, we split into small groups to collect different types of trash including food packaging, cigarette ends, and even disposable masks. We should always: bring our litter home.

Talks and Upcycling workshops -- CLP, Hang Lung Properties and THREMOS Hong Kong

TGE organized talks and upcycling workshops for CLP, Hang Lung Properties, THERMOS (Hong Kong) and Bosch Hong Kong in the last quarter. We shared tips on green lifestyle, ways to reduce plastic pollution while fighting the virus, and some easy ways to make useful and decent handicraft from recycled materials to inspire for innovative ideas in waste reduction.

“Events Go Green” amid the pandemic

Virtual events are increasingly popular due to the pandemic. However, wastes, in particular disposables and packaging wastes, could still be generated during the process which pollutes the environment. 

Initiatiated by TGE, the “Jockey Club Events Go Green Programme” provides waste reduction advice, green education and onsite support such as collecting surplus materials and packaging materials for recycling. The programme also aims to help both organizers and participants to take environmental protection into account for event production and participation. For more details.

Eco-boat DIY Workshops, collaborating with Run For Good

In September, Wong Ho Fai (Fai Sir), an ultra-marathon runner, successfully completed the “Paddle for a Sustainable Future” challenge by using a plastic upcycling stand up board to paddle a lap around Hong Kong Island and raised fund for TGE’s “Rethink Plastic” programme.

To echo the challenge, TGE held a series of DIY upcycling workshops last November for parents and their kids to make interesting toy boats with waste plastic bottles and learn to reduce plastic waste in practical ways.

With your kind support given to The Green Earth, we could make a small difference. Your encouragement and support will certainly help us to keep moving forward on the challenging green journey.

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