By Gemma Dignam (University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
When I arrived at HKU, I was interested to find out if it was a sustainable campus and what I could get involved in regarding the environment. Here’s what I’ve learnt this year and what you can expect if you decide to go on exchange at HKU.
Recycling is quite a big issue in Hong Kong and I noticed it was harder to do than the UK. However, on campus I found it easier as there were many recycling bins and even a new recycling station built towards the end of the year to increase waste management.
The dining options at HKU also have recyclable take away boxes and cutlery, cutting down on plastic usage. You can also fill up your water bottle at the campus restaurants, instead of buying plastic bottles.Read more: Sustainability at HKU
Societies and Initiatives:
There aren’t as many environment focused societies in Hong Kong compared to Manchester, and since they are run mainly in Cantonese they are harder to join. There is a Greenwoods society which runs environmentally focused activities and if you live in a halls of residence, these have there own activities and societies. The hall I lived in ran a social responsibility committee and others also organise events such as beach clean ups.
There are also opportunities to study sustainability in your courses at HKU, if this is something you would like to explore. I took courses on food sustainability and urban sustainability in the Geography Department, but there are many more on offer.
I also recommend the Impact Lab course at HKU, where you can work for a social enterprise and obtain 6 credits. There are a range of companies that target issues such as recycling, education and migration that you can join, in roles such as marketing, business development and events management. I was able to work with Green Hospitality, a company helping to achieve sustainability in the hospitality sector and it was a great experience to learn more about this issue while working.