Grannie Green Revivial

For post before Aug 09, please read it with Traditional Chi Big 5 Code

Chp 31, Sustainable consumption – Forty years champion for the environment

Sustainable consumption

Sustainable consumption was an advocacy of the CA, but in a somewhat sporadic manner. The first organized campaign was in 1985 when CA began formulating a message against MSG (Monosodium glutamate) food. Led by then Executive Committee member Simon Chau, the “No MSG Campaign” gained momentum in 1987 and was reported by Dr Chau in a June 1988 Conference on Asian Regional Exchange for New Alternatives in Bombay.

Several years later, CA resumed its advocacy on sustainable consumption through a letter in 1996 to the Consumer Council proposing the establishment of an eco-labeling scheme to guide consumers on green products. The government was also urged to set up a regulatory system on eco-labeling for consumer products.

Then, in 2000, following a few years of solid work on tree planting in the desert fringes of Mainland China, CA began a campaign in June to call on the Hong Kong public to stop eating “fat choy”, or hairy moss, to prevent desertification in the Mainland. This was because the harvesting of fat choy in Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Qinghai and Xinzhiang Provinces entailed destruction of grassland. In the last 20 years, in Inner Mongolia alone, the harvest of fat choy has turned 2,000 km2 of grassland to desert every year (about 2 times the land area of Hong Kong). Trade in fat choy had been prohibited by the State Council but an illegal trade still flourished due to strong demand from consumers, especially those of Guangdong and Hong Kong for which “fat choi” carries an auspicious meaning.

Led by Lister Cheung, the campaign went on throughout 2000 until Chinese New Year of 2001. With sponsorship by Rotary 3450 District, it was expanded to a “No Fat Choy for good fortune 不吃髮菜齊發財” movement aimed at the government, the Legislative Council, restaurants, schools and companies. By CA’s calculation, the harvest of every Chinese tael (about 50 g) of fat choy would destroy grassland about the surface area of two standard swimming pools.

The campaign proved a difficult one: in the restaurant sector, of 50 eateries surveyed by CA, only one agreed to reduce fat choy consumption. If the campaign had been successful, CA would not have to replicate it again in 2003, then in 2006, and again in 2007. It seemed a losing batter; in 2008, fat choy has remained a common menu item in many restaurants.

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May 7, 2015 - Posted by | Dr WK Chan book

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