Text by Eugenia Chow
The first thing we can do as consumers to facilitate a circular economy is by reducing our input; in other words, minimizing the amount of resources we extract from the earth. One way we can do this is by investing in products designed to be long-lasting as opposed to being made with disposable, single-use materials. For example, rather than paying 50 cents for a plastic bag each time we go to the supermarket, why not reduce the need for this material by bringing our own each time? Similarly, instead of buying a new plastic bottle every time we’re thirsty, it would be much better for the environment if we were to bring our own reusable water bottle around and take advantage of the free water fountains in Hong Kong.
Finding alternative solutions
Another way we can reduce our impact is by supporting companies that make use of natural materials as opposed to synthetic ones when it comes to purchasing everyday items. Natural materials pose less threat to our environment as they are likely to be cultivated with fewer hazardous chemicals and insecticides. One example is hemp, a wonderplant which is not only able to sequester large quantities of CO2 from the atmosphere, but also requires far less water to grow. By shopping better and focusing on quality rather than quantity, we minimise the risk of harming the environment while feeling less pressure to replace what we have. Moreover, if we fill our wardrobes with simple, flexible items that are easy to pair, we reduce the need to constantly buy more.
Did you know that almost 30% of your spending on pre-packed items goes to packaging? This means you are getting less value for your money, and less of the product you’re paying for! Shopping in bulk is a great way to be intentional with the amount you consume while having greater control over how much you’re spending. By bringing your own container and using a simple weighing system, you can decide how much you need without creating any needless waste!
Born and raised in Hong Kong, Eugenia is passionate about environmental justice and social responsibility. As a strong believer that individual actions carry tremendous weight, she runs a blog and Instagram page (@eugreenia), writing about how to live more consciously in Hong Kong. She also loves eating, exploring, or baking up some vegan goods!