As we put the finishing touches on the sophomore edition of The Conscious Festival Hong Kong, we’re thrilled to share with you all our zero-waste methods and more about our first year with an all-vegan menu.
The rumors are true, this year the Conscious Festival Hong Kong is going (almost) zero waste. We say almost because we know we’re not perfect and there is not a single brand that is 100% sustainable. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try, and after several previous iterations of The Conscious Festival both in Hong Kong and Singapore, we knew we could do better despite all the strides we’d already taken. And as an event with several thousand attendees, by doing so we hope to inspire other large-scale events to do the same (feel free to steal all our ways or better yet, reach out to us if you want help). Did we mention we’re going to vegan too? And offsetting our carbon footprint where we can?
Keep reading for a shortlist of the ways we’re doing it…
WE’RE NOT PERFECT, BUT PRETTY DAMN CLOSE
Before we start, we’ll be the first to put our hands up and say we’re not perfect. We’re also pretty sure there isn’t a brand that is 100% sustainable and leaves absolutely no footprint on our planet. But we pride ourselves in promoting conscious brands that are leaders in making changes in the environmental and social aspects of their company. By doing so, we hope to influence bigger corporations to adopt greener practices. And that’s why we promote #LittleGreenSteps and not #OneBigGreenStep because we want to make it easy for everyone.
HOW WE GOT HERE
Green Is The New Black has been running the Conscious Festival in Singapore since 2015 and our mission is to make sustainability mainstream, accessible and sexy. You may have seen that we love talking about #LittleGreenSteps, because for us, inspiration and knowledge without action doesn’t go anywhere and doesn’t change anything. We want to lead by example and have been taking our own little green steps over the years. The more we learn, the bigger our steps get.
In 2017 we became a vegetarian festival and started getting crafty with our decoration by upcycling and diverting things that were headed to a landfill and implemented on-site composting. We also became carbon neutral and massively reduced our single-use food packaging by using reusables. In 2018 we became almost zero-waste by ensuring that of all our decorations were upcycled or fully recyclable. And now in 2019, we are finally 100% vegan – you can read more about this below.
The journey for us is ongoing and also one we are deeply committed too. If you have any suggestions, constructive feedback or comments we’re all ears.
1. Reusable crockery: We definitely want to encourage everyone to BYO reusable crockery but if that isn’t possible, we don’t want you eating from your hands so we’ll have crockery onsite to rent.
2. Reusable cups: Revolv have implemented this super awesome rental system that sees containers made from stainless steel and borosilicate glass offered for rent at cafes, festivals, and events all around Asia. Now it’s our turn to test the waters.
3. Filtered water: Our buddies at Urban Spring return to this year to fill up your water bottles with free filtered water. Forget your bottle? Don’t worry, we won’t let you go thirsty – just head to Urban Spring and rent one.
4. Food waste: Leftover food scraps will go directly to Oklin who will be onsite to compost waste.
5. Beer kegs: In order to make the world a better place, we definitely need to do it with a beer in hand so we’ll have plenty on site but this time around it will be served from kegs, not glass bottles with The Artist.
6. Deco: What’s a festival without decorations? Typically, all this kind of stuff ends up in the trash but ours will be upcycled and that includes signage.
7. Printing: Only where necessary, printing will be done on recycled paper and be FSC certified.
VEGAN FESTIVAL FOOD
We have teamed up with some unique partners to create festival food that is both nutritious and delicious like and father and daughter duo who run a bakery called Mayze that follow traditional Latvian and Northern European recipes to create organic healthy and plant-based bread in Hong Kong. Craving pizza? They do that too. Biorna Quantics will also be onsite creating vegan magic with Impossible Foods. Offsite, they are a digital intelligence platform and operate a bio-personalised meal plan delivery service for a new future of health data. More vendors will be announced soon and they will all be:
• Food will be 100% free from animal products
• You also won’t find any animal products sold at the event (like leather)
• Beauty products are also cruelty-free
OUR CARBON OFFSET
As much as we’d love to all ride our bicycles everywhere we go, it’s just not possible when you need to get from Singapore to Hong Kong. So, we do what can, and in this case, it means offsetting the carbon used for the flights of our staff and speakers and the ferry rides of our guests.
OUR PLASTIC POLICY
It’s as simple as we have zero tolerance for single-use plastic and our policy forbids it.
OUR T-SHIRT INITIATIVE
The fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world due to both environmental and social impacts like waste, poor working conditions, chemicals, water usage and many more. Our limited Conscious Collected was created in partnership with GOOD KRAMA, a Cambodian clothing brand that manufactures clothes with upcycled fabrics diverted from going to landfills and empowering local women to become artisans.
For every t-shirt bought, you are contributing:
- 31 hours of energy saved
- 0.3 kms of driving emissions avoidance
- 1.7 days of drinking water saved
- 1 t-shirt diverted from a landfill
The Conscious Festival by Green Is The New Black takes place on Saturday 13th April & Sunday 14th April 2019 at the Kerry Hotel 38 號 Hung Luen Rd, Hung Hom Bay, Hong Kong.