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Young Vietnamese interested in environmental protection, recycling

Young Vietnamese interested in environmental protection, recycling

Friday, November 17, 2023, 09:34 GMT+7
Young Vietnamese interested in environmental protection, recycling
In this photo, Green Living Club members are about to ‘hunt for trash’. The chairman, Nguyen Ba Hoi (right), also takes part in this campaign. Photo courtesy of Nguyen Ba Hoi

Many Vietnamese youths are taking up green living habits through various approaches as they become aware of the increasingly obvious damage caused by environmental degradation to their lives.

Green living, or sustainable living, is a lifestyle aiming to conserve and preserve the earth’s natural resources by minimizing negative environmental impacts.

There are plenty of environment-caring pages mushrooming on Facebook that attract tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of members, including Viet Nam Tai Che (Vietnam Recycling), Y Tuong Tai Che - Tai Su Dung (Cool Ideas for Recycling - Reuse), Sai Gon Xanh (Green Saigon), Nha Nhieu La (Leafy House), and more.

Accordingly, posts about turning junk into delicate handicrafts by the young gained numerous interactions, most of which also came from youngsters.

“In my observation, a great number of young people are willing to get involved in environmental engagement activities whenever possible,” said Nguyen Ba Hoi, a civil servant in the environment sector and the chairman of Thuc Hanh Song Xanh Club (Green Living Club), an organization that knits together more than 500 young environment enthusiasts who volunteer to conserve nature.

Beauty queen Nguyen Thuc Thuy Tien (in white T-shirt) and other young people are cleaning up trash in an infamously filthy canal in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo courtesy of Sai Gon Xanh (Green Saigon)

Beauty queen Nguyen Thuc Thuy Tien (in white T-shirt) and other young people clean up trash in an infamously filthy canal in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo courtesy of Sai Gon Xanh (Green Saigon)

Many do not fear hardships during environmental campaigns and volunteering projects, such as tree planting, litter picking, and renovation of pollution spots into gardens or fishing sites, Hoi said.

“The youth are very ingenious in creating environment-friendly products to replace single-use plastics,” he added.

Taking action to save the environment

Ly Tuyet Nhung, 22, a senior at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Ho Chi Minh City, follows many aforementioned online pages as she cares about the environment more than ever.

“The earth is getting warmer, and the weather is also changing erratically mainly due to human activities. Therefore, I believe the government and individuals must take responsibility for protecting the environment,” Nhung informed.

Tran Duc Anh, 24, a staff member at Procter & Gamble, said companies and plants should hold more training workshops on environmental education as eco-friendly businesses benefit from good environmental and sustainable practices.

Like Nhung, Anh has always brought along his personal bottle, cloth bag, and lunch box instead of consuming convenient single-use packaging and foodware for more than three years now.

“Our quality of life will improve significantly if everyone lends a helping hand,” Anh said. 

Meanwhile, Pham Thi Hai Duong, 28, from Phu Yen Province in south-central Vietnam, said she is a fan of recyclables as her house is full of démodé fabrics.

The project of Nha Nhieu La (Leafy House) recently received approximately three tons of clothes donated by patrons, mostly around the ages of 20 to 34. Photo courtesy of Nha Nhieu La

The project of Nha Nhieu La (Leafy House) recently received approximately three tonnes of clothes donated by patrons, mostly around the ages of 20 to 34. Photo courtesy of Nha Nhieu La

According to Duong, she follows several pages on social media that show how to customize jeans and other fabrics not only to reduce waste but also to own unique costumes.

Surprisingly, beneath Duong’s online posts and photos of recycled jeans handbags are hundreds of comments showing interest and demand to buy them.

On March 30, Miss Grand International 2021 Nguyen Thuc Thuy Tien and a group of young people waded through mud to clear three metric tons of waste within four hours at the infamously contaminated canal of Hy Vong (Hope) in Tan Binh District, Ho Chi Minh City.

Thuy Tien hoped to circulate a strong message of environmental awareness amid not only Ho Chi Minh City residents but also the general public to make Vietnam a more beautiful country.

In December 2020, the project titled Nha Nhieu La was established by a group of Ho Chi Minh City students who have a great affinity for green living and wish to save the earth through the act of collecting waste and recycling.

Recently, their campaign of collecting hand-me-downs for the homeless received nearly three metric tons of garment contributions from October 28 to 29, with most donors between 20 and 34 years old, said its Facebook page administrator.

Circular fashion aims to reduce the negative environmental impacts by extending the lifespan of apparel products. Photo courtesy of UCS

Circular fashion aims to reduce the negative environmental impacts by extending the lifespan of apparel products. Photo courtesy of UCS

Also in 2020, a noteworthy non-profit initiative called Urban Circular Space (UCS) was founded by a group of enterprising young Vietnamese individuals in Hanoi to prolong the lifespan of fashion merchandise through innovative means. 

Previously, their exceptional concept called ‘circular fashion’ was awarded first place at the Japan Business Model Competition in Niigata Prefecture in 2016, and was named among the top six at the Viet Startup Contests in 2019.

“Circular fashion is basically a closed loop of garment trading where clothes are kept in use for as long as possible," Tran Thuy Nga, the current manager of the project, said in the belief the project would raise public awareness of recycling and reuse.

“As a result, this model helps minimize the apparel industry’s negative impact on the environment and save a lot of expenditures."

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Minh Chau / Tuoi Tre News

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