Your insider’s guide to Hong Kong

Sea Change

Three eco champions on a life-changing moment, and what you can do to help the environment

Words: Kee Foong
Photos: Nic Gaunt

Craig Leeson

Craig Leeson
Director, A Plastic Ocean

I wasn’t aware that there was a plastic problem until producer and good friend Jo Ruxton brought it to my attention. Suddenly, I noticed plastic everywhere in the water. If someone like me who spends half of their time in the water hadn’t seen this, how could I expect others who are not as attached to the ocean to understand the problem? We decided to document the issue with science in a way that would also bring people along on the adventure. I want people to engage. I want them to understand the importance of oceans to our survival.

The extent of plastic pollution we found was beyond our worst nightmare. We discovered that plastic never goes away or breaks down, it just breaks up into tiny pieces that get absorbed into the food chain, which in turn becomes dangerous to human health. It not only destroys the ecosystem, but kills our children and grandchildren as well. Using plastic is a habit, but it’s one you can break. It’s about training. Bring reusable bags to a supermarket or ask for a cardboard box. Say no to unnecessary plastic packaging, plastic straws, and plastic bottles. Bring your own takeaway containers. It has to be a consumer-led effort to educate people to avoid single-use plastics. The end goal is zero waste.

Gyneth Tan

Gyneth Tan
Managing Director,
Clean the World Asia

When I was seven years old, I saw a friend’s t-shirt that read “Don’t Treat Mother Earth Like Dirt.” It opened my eyes to environmental issues and the effects of pollution on communities. Now I work for Clean the World, which recycles soap discarded by the hospitality industry and then distributes this to impoverished children and communities globally. This helps to tackle severe landfill issues and prevent hygiene-related deaths. Good hygiene is essential for transitioning from poverty to self-sufficiency. You can do your bit by encouraging hotels that you are staying in to recycle their soaps, if they are not already doing so.

Lulu Zhou

Lulu Zhou
Hong Kong Conservation Strategy Director,
The Nature Conservancy

One day my high-school English teacher, who grew up by the Mississippi River, took our class out for a nature walk by a local river in China and said it was the dirtiest she had ever seen. I knew then I wanted to do something to clean it up. The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is a global conservation organisation dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. A key Hong Kong project is the restoration of oyster reefs. Oysters can naturally improve water quality and stabilise shorelines. There are many easy ways to get involved in conservation, from reducing water and energy consumption to supporting programmes and volunteering with TNC and other local organisations.


This is a unique website which will require a more modern browser to work!

Please upgrade today!