Moon Festival Tips

We are getting ready for our favorite — the Mid-autumn Festival.

Since 2014, the EPD has published green tips for the festival and this year Green Power is predicting mass quantities of waste from mooncakes and glow sticks.

We see health warnings urging people pay attention to labels for mooncakes with high levels of sugar, fat or sodium. Some local products contain up to 47 grams of sugar per 100 gram serving. For those of us who love them, Sesame Kitchen and Green Common are a few local businesses offering healthy options.

Still, more than 60% of local residents don’t want to receive any mooncakes and this leads to mountains of food waste, not just in the cakes themselves but the enormous amount of packaging associated with the popular gift items. Fortunately, there are people who are happy to receive unwanted mooncakes and they are those most likely to find a new use for the packaging as well.

And then there are the lanterns … today’s plastic products sold by commercial brands are packaged in more plastic. Less about the festival and more about promoting other products, those that don’t wash away into the sea are destined for the landfill before the sun comes up.

Traditional lanterns are made from paper, lit with candles and carried on wooden sticks so care is required but the rewards are great.

Recent additions to the celebration, disposable glowsticks are perhaps the least essential and most harmful to the environment as they cannot be recycled. Designed to be disposable, they are filled with toxic chemicals and encased in plastic and used for just a few hours. The best solution is to simply avoid them entirely.

The festival is a wonderful time to gather and celebrate the abundance of harvest in one of the highlights of the Chinese festival season.

Let’s focus on family and friends and appreciate the time together without the extras … naturally.

Contact the following organizations to address food waste issues in Hong Kong.

Sai On CentreProviding street sleepers and people living in poverty with temporary free food assistance donated by benefactors > details

Feeding Hong KongRegistered charity with a mission to reduce hunger along with amount of quality food being sent to Hong Kong landfills > details

FoodlinkRegistered Hong Kong charity dedicated to addressing hunger while simultaneously reducing food wastage; founded in 2001 and registered in 2010 > details

A Drop of LifeProviding disaster relief and poverty alleviation; visiting and distributing supplies to elderly and disadvantaged in Hong Kong > details

Bo Charity Foundation LimitedConserving the environment and caring for underprivileged communities, reducing food waste, alleviating hunger and poverty in Hong Kong > details

Food GraceFood recovery organization aiming to help workers improve their situation through education and training with employment support services > details

Hong Kong Women Development Association LimitedEstablished to create self-confidence, self-esteem, self-reliance, self-reliance and advancement of women; women and children’s rights; advocacy services, promoting women’s work > details

Tuen Mun District Woman’s Association LimitedCreating employment opportunities for women; providing social services including development and support of women, elderly care, youth and child development > details

LEAP – Life Education Activity ProgrammeWorking in partnership with schools, teachers, parents, government and agencies to prevent substance abuse; providing positive health-based education programs > details

Author: heartbeat

Serving Hong Kong with weekly updates and insights since 2001 ... naturally.