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Reflective Journal Sustainability Essay

“Sustainability” is definitely not a new term or a new concept to me but it is only related to urban development in Hong Kong. After starting this course, I discovered that my horizon needed to be boarded to global level. I can see that sustainability can be related to many things, not only urban development but also business and our life style, how we live can seriously impact how long the planet can last for, and even would affect our descendants’ life. I was impressed by the video “the story of stuff”, (creative commons, 2013) Annie Leonard pointed out that people today are living under many different kinds of propaganda, and encouraged to buy many things no matter that stuff is needed or not. Therefore, consumerism was formed. Actually, people in Hong Kong also have the same phenomenon especially for online shopping.

In recent 3-5 years, TaoBao (Taobao.com, 2015) which is a new and popular online shopping platform among Hong Kong people, the items shown on the web are with a very attractive price, some clothes can be bought by just 10 to 15 Renminbi (RMB), even add on the procurement cost is only cost about 20 Hong Kong Dollar (HKD). Honestly, I am also one of the frequent shoppers. Nevertheless, after watching this video, I would think clearly before I make up a decision to buy new clothes or accessories ever after since I do not want to burden our lovely and only planet so seriously anymore. Another data that surprised me is my ecological footprint (EPA Victoria (2012), if people live like me, 3.1 planets are needed. However, we just have one. In my opinion, I understand that maybe I eat too much meat such as beef, pork and chicken but if I want to eat such meat, it is unavoidable to transport from mainland to Hong Kong even including vegetables.

One of the element counts our footprint is where our food grown and it implied if the food is not locally grown or produced, transportation is a must. It is unfair to Hong Kong as it is not a self-sufficient city which means the food grown in Hong Kong cannot feed all people live in this city. But anyway, I need to eat less meat in order to reduce the methane emission. Apart from the above element, other living habits needed to be changed. For instance, I have to get around by foot more frequently. There is a library located not so far from my home, it take me around 15 minutes go there by foot but most of the time I take minibus. One more thing is that I change my cell phone once a year. This would absolutely need to be changed. I am quite sure about that I change my phone because of intensive advertisement. I realize that I am dragged in the consumerism.

Every time I buy a new phone is because of the new one launched but not the old one break down. I realize that if I change this bad habit I can not only save more money but also help to save planet. Developed areas are now misappropriating the third world resources but those countries are still saying that they are helping other countries to develop their economy. This is only a scam to cheat the third world. Since most of the factories move to third world countries where the labor cost are very low and the rules and regulations are loosen so that western countries do many things to deplete the natural capital in the third world such as energy consumption and using the raw materials.

Last but not least, I was shocked by a video called “the north pacific gyre”. It originally was a very beautiful island with many spices of animals but now it is now the largest landfill in the world. I just feel very ashamed that human ruin animals’ habitat but they do nothing to us. Actually, we just like killing ourselves until one day we find nowhere to dispose our trash. Changing our lifestyle is not an option but a must before it is too late.

Reference:
Creative Commons (2013). The Story of Stuff. Retrieved
8 February, 2015, from
http://www.storyofstuff.org/movies-all/story-of-stuff/

EPA Victoria (2012). Ecological Footprint Calculator. Retrieved 9 February, 2015, from
http://apps.epa.vic.gov.au/ecologicalfootprint/calculators/personal/introduction.asp

Taobao Hong Kong(2015), Taobao Hong Kong, Retrieved
9 February 2015, from
http://hk.taobao.com/

WWF(2014), Hong Kong Ecological Footprint 2014 update Retrieved 9 February 2015, from
http://awsassets.wwfhk.panda.org/downloads/wwf_hk_footprint_eng_web_141017_1.p


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