How to make 2023 a Green Chinese New Year for you?
Updated: Jan 17
Chinese New Year is a yearly event celebrated by the Chinese to welcome a new year with new blessings and opportunities. It is that time of the year, you get to see lion dance, dragon dance, and other Chinese New Year performances that are usually performed in public places or temples. The Chinese culture in Malaysia is welcome by all races and the festive season can be felt by everyone in Malaysia. Why did I say so?
That's because, the malls in Malaysia will be decorated with Chinese New Year decorations, and Chinese New Year songs will be played countless times until the end of Chinese New Year which is the 15th day of the Chinese New Year. This is known as "Chap Goh Meh" in Hokkien where the moon will be the brightest in the sky.
Besides that, reunion dinners with friends and family members are common in the Chinese culture, and also the giving of red packets filled with money by married couples to anyone they wish to give especially their family members and cousins.
So what are the 8 ways to make your Chinese New Year 2022 greener?
1) Wear a cloth mask instead of the disposal type if you wish to wear one.
In Malaysia, there are 6,620,300 (21.4%) Chinese ( malaysia.gov.my, 2016) . Now, let's assume, that all of them were cloth masks and Chinese New Year is 15 days long, how many disposal face masks will be created? At least 6 million.
If 1 face mask weighs 100 g, how much waste do we generate in 15 days? 900,000kg of waste will be created just from the disposal face mask. That's crazy!!!
Now, let's assume 35% of Malaysian Chinese are wearing cloth masks, 315,000kg of disposal face mask will be prevented. That's a big drop in helping to prevent more waste in the landfill. Now, will you want to make a difference by switching to a cloth mask?
2) Source your fruits from a local farm.
We all know that giving oranges during house visits is a sign of respect and also to thank them for hosting us at their house. So how can we make this greener too?
Well, as you know that most of our fruits and food in the market are sourced from other countries. This creates a longer supply chain and the longer the supply chain, the more food loss, and food waste will be created from it.
So, that's why, if you came to know any local farmers are trying to sell the orange to the public, support them because they are the ones that help us ensure that our food security is always safe and it is close to the source.
Hence, there will be lesser food loss and waste across the supply chain because you will be buying from the farm to send it over to you instead of getting it from a wet market that has its supplies fulfilled by other countries.
Check this poster out to understand more about the " Farm to Table ' concept.
3) Your Chinese New Year clothes
It is not necessarily that we need to buy new clothes every year for the Chinese New Year.
As you may have heard before the term fast fashion. It is a term that is used to describe the clothing industry and making cheap clothes with underpaid labour and also cheap materials that are harmful to the river. It is also reported that fast fashion is the second-largest polluter of clean water globally after agriculture ( bwss.org,2019)
Hence, that is why the fashion industry is always pushing out a new designs and cutting down the cost as much as they can so that the consumers are attracted to the offer to buy new clothes. This is a repeated cycle that has been done for a few decades.
So how can you do your part to stop fast fashion? What can you do so that the brand you used to buy listens to you that you care for those who make the clothes for you and you want them to use dye along with the materials to make the clothes not harmful to the environment?
One of the things you can do is to write to them to show your concern. The second thing we can do is to participate in a clothes swap so you will buy lesser but wear more pre-loved clothes. Another suggestion we have for you is to shop at your local thrift store.
This will help to sustain their business and you also do your part for the environment. Last but not least, you too can bring your clothes to H&M to recycle for their green initiative under H&M conscious.
A bag of old clothes will give you a coupon worth 15% off . How to claim it? J You will just need to bring the bag of clothes to H&M counter and mention recycling your old clothes.
Also, we will have a clothes swap event soon for you to attend and mingle with like-minded people :D So stay tuned.
4) Repurpose your Chinese New Year Decorations or upcycle them.
Have you checked if your Chinese New Year decoration from last year is still usable for this year?
If the lantern could still be used, we don't need to buy a new one to replace it. We can just give it a clean and it will look fresh as new.
Moreover, what about spending some time with your family members to do some upcycling? This will be great for family bonding and also a project to be remembered by all that participated in it.
Check out some pics that we have attached to give you some ideas on upcycling.
5) Avoid buying gifts that used single-use plastic.
Single-use plastic is something that I believe many have heard about it. It is a one-time-use plastic that cannot be reused a 2nd time. It is also a plastic that makes from petroleum and contains toxins that are harmful to marine life and humans.
Besides that, plastic has been said to take hundreds of years to disintegrate into microplastic. This often ends up in the marine life's stomach or tissues and later on to be passed on to humans as soon we consumed them.
Moreover, plastics well can chock marine life to death especially turtles because they won't be able to differentiate between plastic and jellyfish. So, let's rethink again before we buy something that often ends up as single usage.
If you need a gift that doesn't come with single-use plastic, check out our 2 merchants in the two links below to see what they have to offer for you.
The purchase you made from either of the merchants will lead them to contribute 88 cents to a food rescue movement to rescue food and redistribute it to those in need.
6) Avoid Food Waste
Food waste is an issue that we cannot deny.
However, many still want to neglect it and continue to live their daily life as if nothing has happened. Why must we waste good food when we are fortunate to have them? What about others who don't?
What about the people having to go to bed in starvation? What about the people who only eat one meal per day? If we know about it and dare to waste food, what do we call ourselves? Nuisance?
Food waste has also been said to be the largest waste around the world. Only 1/3 of the food that was ever produced ends up being eaten. The other 2/3 often ends up in the landfill.
Moreover, food waste is said to release methane gas that speeds up climate change. So if we want to slow down climate change, we must cut down on food waste globally. This can only be done with community effort.
So what can you do during Chinese New Year to avoid food waste? If you attend any reunion dinner, remind everyone to finish their food. If they can't request takeaway to eat the next day.
Another way you can do your part to avoid food waste is to channel edible surplus food to NGOs who need them. If you know anyone who is in need of a food rescue service, Whatsapp call us at 01120959770
( pics of food rescued from phone calls that we received and we channeled it to NGOs or to the street people)
SAVE OUR NUMBER to SAVE EDIBLE FOOD FROM WASTAGE.
7) Volunteer your time for charity
Take part in any social or environmental cause events that you see online or you have heard about it via worth of mouth. Well, if you do want to take part in any, please do remember to always adhere to the Covid-19 SOP to avoid getting fined by the authorities in public places.
Together, with you , let's create more Green Heroes in Malaysia for a greener tomorrow.
Also, we have a survey that we are currently open for a community event suggestion. Please do help us fill-up the form later too : https://forms.gle/KF2MLMemun9toJyKA
8) Donate to a cause
NGOs rely heavily on both private company funding and also public funds to stay operational. If you know any conservation NGOs that need money to sustain their operation, do your part to donate at least RM20 to help them with their daily expenses.
Green Hero also welcomes donations for our food rescue movements.
We also encourage you all to also donate some to TASK , The Lost Food Project and Kechara Soup Kitchen . They are also a food rescue organization that helps channel edible surplus food to the people rather than the landfill.
Together with you caring heart and contribution, let's help them grow their presence and funds to do work with a bigger impact.
📌To donate to Green Hero, click this : https://www.greenhero.net/sponsor-me