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Newsletter March 2016
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Earth Day is April 22nd - who cares?

Last month we had Earth Hour whereby people, corporations and government switched off their lights for one hour from 8.30-9.30pm on March 19th to 'do their part' for the environment. This symbolic hour was enthusiastically embraced as evidenced by the almost unilateral switch off along Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour. In April we will have Earth Day, a day where people can also demonstrate their wish for environmental protection and conservation.  However activism based on little more than one days’ commitment per year is simply not enough. Sticking with the business as usual approach is no longer an option.  

How can we really make a long term difference though? How can we make environmental issues more of a priority at a community, corporate and government level?  In Hong Kong (as in many countries worldwide), we need leaders who are willing to not just tread the easy path but to make an environmental commitment that will be significant and beneficial for everyone. For inspiration, listen to the example set by Bhutan's Prime Minister.  This small country has changed their priorities and constitution to put people and the environment first. This Earth Day and beyond, we all need to commit to pushing ourselves and our respective Government and corporate representatives to move on a real path towards sustainability and stick with it no matter how difficult it is.
Plastic Free Seas in action:

To see all events for March click here.

On land
What a month March was! With 7 school talks given and 3 workshops on community actions, microbeads and plastic pollution, it was very busy for the PFS team. Highlights included attending Exhibitions of student work from 3 schools we have worked with over the year.
On the beach
Six beaches around HK were targeted this month as PFS hosted school, corporate and community clean-ups.  150 Year 1 students from Kowloon Junior joined us on the beach at North Plaza in Discovery Bay to see first hand how they can make a difference!  Kids are never too young to learn.
Out at sea
Over 400 students were out on the PFS Sea Classroom this month with 19 school groups. The sea surface trawls varied so much due to the typical and extraordinary conditions with the massive algal blooms that covered much of HK water this month.
Make a difference and support PFS 
Plastic cutlery is one of the frequent offenders in our fight to make our oceans plastic-free. Much like plastic straws, plastic cutlery is completely avoidable and unnecessary. Carry your own cutlery and never waste another plastic fork or spoon again - it is that easy!  
The purchase of this cutlery set supports the PFS education programs. Each set contains a stainless-steel fork, spoon, straw with cleaning brush and a pair of chopsticks in a convenient carrying pouch. Click below to purchase your set now or click here to find out how to donate.
Buy Now
Little Wins Campaign:
What can one person do to make a difference?  This is the most often asked question to PFS. Our response is usually - a lot!  When you see something that annoys you - do something about it.  Find out which person or company can make a positive change to your issue and take action!

Every Easter for several years in Discovery Bay the management have held an Easter Egg Hunt where they have buried 30,000 plastic eggs on the beach.  We have campaigned against this and this year we had some success.  
Read more ...

March Eco-tip: 
Commit to making a change from this Earth Day onwards. One example, start with your current cleaning supplies. Common products are quite toxic to our Earth and our waterways but there are other options. Here are some tips to help you reduce harmful chemical use, produce less waste and save money!

  • Don't accept vague claims. Words like "biodegradable" or "nontoxic" have no legal definitions. Verify green claims with the Environmental Working Group's Healthy Cleaning Guide.
  • Avoid cleaners containing phosphates. When they get into rivers and lakes, they cause algae blooms, robbing the water of oxygen, blocking sunlight, and ultimately killing aquatic life. 
  • Use reusable cloths. Instead of throwing away one-use items like paper towels and mop pads, use old t-shirts and other rags that you can wash and use again. 
  • Minimize use of bleaches. The most common bleach is chlorine, which in wastewater can create toxic compounds. Non-chlorine bleaches are gentler to clothes and the environment, though they are less effective in colder-water temperatures, requiring more energy-intensive hot water. 
  • Try cleaning with Baking Soda and Vinegar. There are simple and effective recipes for every cleaning situation.
  • Follow instructions. When cleaning, remember to use no more than the recommended amount. 

Upcoming Events:  

Earth Day -  April 22nd
Discovery Bay Recycling Day - April 23rd
Beach Cleanup
- April 24th Discovery Bay (Sam Pak Wan) 2-4pm

In the News:

Copyright © 2016 Plastic Free Seas, All rights reserved.

www.plasticfreeseas.org

Our mailing address is:

Plastic Free Seas Ltd.
 21/f Chun Wo Commercial Centre
23-27 Wing Wo, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
                                       

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Plastic Free Seas · PO Box 290 · Tung Chung · Lantau Island · Hong Kong

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