How Green is Hong Kong?

Air Pollution vs Organic Products

One metropolis, yet two different worlds: Hong Kong’s western-orientated citizens pay attention to a healthy lifestyle, whilst environmental pollution levels reach an all-time high.
Image of article:  Air Pollution vs Organic Products
Photographer: Sven Christopher Wagner · Copyright: Sven Christopher Wagner

A Cosmopolitan City with Potential

Located along the southern coast of China, with a population of over 7 Million people, and total land surface of 1100 square kilometres, Hong Kong is considered one of the most cosmopolitan cities of the region. Official languages spoken in this city include Chinese and English. As a result of its ever-growing financial and economic sector, more people are locating to this area causing the population rates to experience rapid increases every year. This influx of people presents itself as both an opportunity and threat to the city. Due to the strains on infrastructure and the environment, Hong Kong has recently become an attractive site for investments into the concept of “green and sustainable” living. Of all parks and natural areas, 70% remain vacant, which aims to balance out the rest of the city, which is often densely populated. Yet since the population density is so high within the city, fine dust, waste, and water pollution are contributing to a rise in severe health problems. 

Smog Replacing Air in Hong Kong 

The name “Hong Kong”, when directly translated, stands for “fragrant harbor.” Today, however, the term turbid would be more apt in describing this city. The air particle pollution is so high that buildings disappear behind a grey veil of smog. The World Health Organization (WHO) has recorded an all-time plunge in the air quality upon the recording of the worst level of air particle pollution Hong Kong has ever seen. The measurement taken in Hong Kong has been recorded as being four times higher than the acceptable value of 20 micrograms per day. The government is thus planning to set new limits to these values in order to improve the quality of the city’s air. Another additional environmental problem that is becoming all the more worrying is the amount of annual garbage production. On average, Hong Kong produces approximately 921kg of garbage per year. In stark contrast, Japan, a neighboring country, produces only 410kg per year. The government has shared their concerns suggesting that the only way this situation can be brought under control is through awareness and recycling, as opposed to just expanding the size of the garbage dumps. 

Organic Hotspots in Hong Kong

Modern Living and Thinking

While the city is striving to conquer these environmental challenges, the citizens of Hong Kong are taking the matter of their health into their own hands. Numerous organic, natural, and health food stores and markets have come to enrich the commercial segment of Hong Kong. Whoever is planning on taking a trip into the city on the Pearl River should view our recommendations regarding Hong Kong’s green hotspots, which are marked on the following map. On our list of recommendations you will find six stores of the Green Dot Dot company, which offers you a wide variety of imported organic products that are not genetically modified. Mothers will find everything they need in Organic Ma Ma, a store that provides products such as food and clothing for infants and children. Another one worth visiting is Well Being 360, as it is the ideal store to purchase local organic products. The aforementioned stores represent a small selection of the myriads of stores that help make Hong Kong a greener and cleaner place. 


17.06.2014 · 16:22 · Author: Nancy Riegel (translated by Nicholas Gregg) · Category: Travel
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