With Mid-autumn Festival just around the corner, many excited families and friends plan to get together during this joyous time to celebrate the centuries-old harvest festival with moon cakes, lanterns and dragon dances.
Unfortunately, where there is any celebration in the world, it is usually accompanied by waste. Green Power Hong Kong estimated that over a million mooncakes are wasted across Hong Kong during Mid-autumn festival, each family throws away an average of 50 glow sticks and 5 million pieces of disposable cutlery are used in barbeques.
At niin, we believe that you can share joy and love with loved ones in a more conscious way to reduce any harm done to Mother Earth, so we've put together a few tips to celebrate Mid-autumn festival in a more eco- friendly manner.
1. Say no to glow sticks and single-use cutlery!
Modified from source: https://www.fun365.orientaltrading.com/project/diy-glow-stick-bar-sign-and-tags
Glow sticks can't be reused or recycled because of the toxic chemicals encased in the plastic tubes which will be left to pollute soil and water. Essentially, after 5 hours of glow, you're left with a useless piece of plastic. And we are all too familiar with the damages that plastic can cause to our home.
2. Choose eco-friendly mooncake packaging
If you have eaten mooncakes before, you would notice that a box of mooncakes not only include a metal container but also individual plastic cases and plastic bags for each mooncake. Opt for mooncakes that offer eco-packaging, or repurpose elaborate mooncake boxes into makeup or jewellery boxes. Some retailers have already started to market towards this direction too, such as Shanghai Tang's luxury lantern mooncake set. A simple decision like this will lessen landfill waste.
3. Upcycle lanterns and packagings
Lanterns have been a key element when celebrating Mid-autumn festival, but with over 2 million plastic lanterns being tossed out annually, this contributes to the massive waste. Reuse your lanterns every year or upcycle it with your own DIY unique creations, we guarantee it will stand out in the crowd.
4. Donate unwanted mooncakes
This is actually a great way to reduce food waste. Sometimes when you are given more than you can eat, it doesn't mean it need to go to waste. We encourage you to donate leftover mooncakes to different charities and organizations to not only reduce waste but help distribute to the underprivileged.
Check out last year's mooncake donation list: https://www.foodwisehk.gov.hk/pdf/Mooncake%20Donation%20List%202018.pdf
5. Prepare celebratory meals at home
When eating in restaurants and buffets, we can't control the portions prepared and given to us. Choosing to prepare meals at home would help reduce the amount of leftover food being thrown away. If you do decide on dining out, don't forget your Tupperware!
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