Great day – found a lovely fair trade shop, had vegan lunch with Tracey Gannon and then met Asari-Sensei at Kyoto University who work in environmental education and environmental engineering respectively, both very involved in helping Kyoto be a sustainable campus, and then walked halfway up a mountain through thousands of orange torii gates at Fushimi-inari shrine. Quick breather, before dinner with my cousin tonight!! Phew!
I met with a wonderful group of people involved in bottom up environnental action in Tokyo the other day. I could have talked with them for hours! More on that soon but I do seem to be rather busy at the moment making the most of the incredible autumn colours in Tokyo and Kyoto and seeing the sights of the temples and shrines. It is a feast for the eyes! (See www.facebook.com/seekthechange for a couple of photos – I still haven’t fixed the problem of putting up photos on here unfortunately!)
Can’t believe it is over a month ago but here is the profile and some of my own reflections, an innovative new charity based in Beijing. They are tackling water issues through awareness raising, education and youth involvement – www.seekthechange.org/profiles/thirst
Goodbye Hong Kong!: http://youtu.be/x5Bi_THiyJc
There is so much going on here around taking action on environmental issues. Like the city itself, the green scene is diverse, contrasting, varied and FULL of activity and buzz. But the passion of the people I have met and the great things they are doing are happening against a backdrop of extreme wealth inequality, huge pressure on land, a very high environmental footprint and a lot of unsettled and dissatisfied groups of people within Hong Kong (note the protests going on here at the moment).
It feels like Hong Kong is a microcosm of the rest of the world – I can see so much natural beauty, cultural diversity and human achievement as well as the many issues and problems there are. It definitely describes itself well as a ‘world city’. For that reason, I think it is an important place to watch, to see where all of these fantastic efforts to sustainability go.
Will the hopes of many here to see Hong Kong become a ‘green’ society be realised? Based on the passion, knowledge, expertise and drive of the people I have met here, I would say those hopes can be made reality. They have started – here’s hoping they can make it grow to the scale that it needs to. And if Hong Kong can do it, the rest of the world can do it too.
I have just put up two profiles from my time back in Tomsk in Russia – one for the Siberian Ecological Agency and one from social entrepreneur Valeriy Koshelev. You can view them under the profiles tab or go to them here:
I slept very well last night…
Yesterday on the sightseeing front I explored streets selling fish products, antiques and ginseng, visited Man Mo temple, explored the SoHo area, went down the longest covered escalator, and visited the Hong Kong museum of history.
Besides that I had lunch with Raymond Yap of Heroes Too (see profiles section in a couple of days for more on that!) and learnt lots about their activities and upcoming plans with schools, talked student protests over a veggie wrap at Mana (an incredible veggie place near Central) and went to a talk on human trafficking and slavery which opened my eyes to a whole new issue. Matt Friedmann is an inspiring speaker – here is a TED talk of his – recommended watching!: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=iU9TeVofkDo
Hong Kong is a place like no other.
I have officially travelled overland all the way from the UK to Hong Kong – I am feeling quite a sense of achievement! I think I am going to have to work out how many miles/km etc to summarise it…
Besides that, I am also very excited to feature on the Escape The City blog – see http://bit.ly/1zDA7JB – Planting Trees & Setting Up Coffee Shops: Supporting social enterprise from a Taiwanese perspective. Please take a look and share with anyone it might be relevant to!
Just about to leave Xing Ping and its beautiful karst scenery behind, and head back to Guilin for an overnight train to Guangzhou. Excited to see a friend from school there and also meet someone from the China Youth Climate Action Network. Then Hong Kong here we come!
My latest video diary from Xing Ping is up, quickly running through the last month in China and Taiwan: http://youtu.be/HIqa2GrKL0I