Everyone loves the holidays, perhaps the warm sentimental feelings when we are with loved ones, the satisfying feeling of having a few days off our hectic schedule, or the plans you have made with friends and family to celebrate the festivities are the first things we could think of. However, we too often forget to consider mother nature – the environment we are living in. Many of the traditional festivities that we participate in may actually pose a threat to our environment’s health and well being. In this article, I will go through some of the impacts that the traditional Hong Kong festivities have on the environment and how you the readers can change that and do your part for mother nature.
It is now late January, and we are slowly approaching the Chinese new year, which is only less than a month away. Many of us are already thinking of plans during the Chinese new year holidays. However, not many think of the impact that these traditional festivities have on the environment, and how it is harming nature at an alarming rate. First, I would like to address the problems caused to the environment by the most iconic item and gift given and received during the Chinese new years – red packets. Everyone loves them. But the environment might have a different take on that. According to the NGO Greeners’ Action, more than 16300 trees are used to make 230 million red packets each year for Hong Kong alone during Chinese New year. This is only Hong Kong, not including the much larger mainland.This large amount of trees being cut down every year undoubtedly takes a great hit on the environment. Good news is , there is a good way we can help this situation. This is by reusing the red packets we receive and choosing to use them for another time, rather than throw it away. This can reduce the stress it puts on the environment, as well as the landfill, as less waste is produced.
Another well known holiday that is very often celebrated in local households is the Mid Autumn festival. When many families would choose to go on picnics and eat mooncakes. One very famous tradition done during these festivities is Wax Burning. It involves people boiling wax in a tin then pouring water into it to create a brilliant sizzling sound and steam. However, this type of activity is extremely dangerous to the environment and can directly harm it by causing forest fires if not handled with care. This activity is also strongly discouraged by the hong kong government due to safety concerns. The same case is for flying sky lanterns, which may result in the lantern falling from the sky while still burning, and cause damage to vegetation and property. Instead, we could participate in other less dangerous traditional activities such as eating mooncakes or going on a hike.
To conclude, there are many traditional festivities which may pose a threat to the environment, but they are very much avoidable. When we are enjoying our holidays and festivities, We should also consider the environment and not participate in certain activities that may endanger or harm the environment in the long run.