For thousands of years, the Chinese have been celebrating what they call the Spring Festival, or Chinese New Year. This year, New Year’s Day was February fifth, with billions of people across the world ringing in the Year of the Pig (4717 in the Chinese calendar). With the celebration almost over, the festival has become more eco-friendly in recent years, with more and more people becoming eco-conscious.
Let Custom Earth Promos help keep you eco-conscious.
Popular choices include: saying no to wildlife products, eating well and cherishing food, wasting less, and choosing tour packages that do not include animal cruelty. This sets new trends for the most important festival of the Chinese year.
On Chinese New Year’s Eve, usually, a family sits around a table to enjoy a large meal consisting of traditional and zodiac themed foods. Song Keming, from the rural district of Changyuan, located on the lower course of the Yellow River in the central Henan Province, chose a different activity this year: patrolling the vast wetlands until sunrise. He has been doing this every day for the past 20 years.
Song and his team of 300 do this to protect migratory birds and other wildlife from illegal poaching. When Spring Festival is approaching, poachers become reckless. They’ll do anything, including using poisoned bait, nets, and traps, for something to sell.
“I believe that every single one of us can make great contributions to the protection of the species and the biosphere by simply refusing to consume ‘bushmeat,’ wear fur, or use any product with wildlife ingredients.”Volunteer Wetlands Patrol Member Song Keming
Hui Li, director of Let Birds Fly, a non-profit volunteer group that has been collaborating with public departments to fight the poaching of migratory birds, had this to say:
“It has never been a tradition for the Chinese nation to take wildlife for food. Festival eating is all about ‘eating well.’ Back when the economy was less prosperous and per capita incomes were low, only those who could not afford meat would try capturing wild animals as a substitute. Nowadays, no one starves so badly that they have to damage wildlife, and the rare minority of people who intend to show off their wealth or privilege by eating wildlife have been condemned and despised wildly in China. Many have been arrested and such a minority is likely to be even more marginalized.”Let Birds Fly Director Hui Li
Ahead of the holiday season, posters featuring China’s endangered bird species were launched by the group. The goal was to call on the public to better know them for their ecological function and value rather than as a food source; warning the public of the sanitary risks to eating them as well as the severe legal consequences of poaching. The posters included the slogan “Don’t Eat Me!” and have gained popularity on Chinese social media.
Make your own posters with seed paper sheets and shapes.
“For more and more consumers, eating well means enjoying foods that are safe, healthy, and eco-friendly.”Xiqing Farm Farmer Wang Xin
It also means to cherish the food and not waste it, suggests a new campaign by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) . Through their new program, titled “Save 1/3,” the WWF is encouraging people to rethink the way food is produced and save the one-third usually wasted during production.
“In China, much progress has been observed. For example, extravagance in collective meals has diminished, and it is more common for consumers to finish everything on their plate or to take away the leftover. Celebrating zero-waste, treasuring food, and having an eco-friendly Spring Festival with no food waste is ‘worthwhile and very probable.'”WWF China Program Director Jin Zhonghao
Three days before the lunar new year, Huang Zhige, age 3, emptied his piggy bank. His entire fortune went to “Long Legs.” She is a female dog who was rescued by animal welfare Zhuang Autonomous Region in south China.
Knowing that he could help pay for the dog’s food, shelter, and medical bills meant a lot more to him than buying candy or toys. He received a certificate from “Nanning Adoption Day” as the sponsor of Long Legs in return.
“This is my Spring Festival present!”Three-year-old Huang Zhige
Like Huang, many families are choosing to do something meaningful to ring in the new year. In Qingdao, in the eastern Shandong Province, over 150 families living in the Zhengzhou Road Community have been learning to how to turn kitchen waste into organic fertilizer.
“It is used in the community’s gardens to reduce the amount of trash in landfills and the ocean.”You and I Creative Charity Center Director Xu Jin
You and I Creative Charity Center focuses on a platform for local social workers that promotes zero-waste, recycling, and sustainable lifestyles.
On February first, a second-hand bazaar was organized by the center. People in the coastal city exchanged, sold, or purchased used items in good condition.
Take your things home from the bazaar with a reusable bag.
“Instead of throwing out things that are no longer in use, finding another home for them to be useful again is also a positive way to reduce waste.”You and I Creative Charity Center Director Xu Jin
For many families and individuals who plan on traveling abroad, the latest trend is being the eco-conscious adventurer who says no to anything that causes animal abuse or wildlife damage. In late January, 54traveler, a Shanghai-based travel agency, became the newest member of a “Wildlife-Friendly Tourism” convention proposed by the World Animal Protection (WAP), another non-profit.
The WAP convention has 300-strong participants across the entire world. They all promise not to provide any activities or services that may be based upon animal performance, or harm wildlife or the environment.
“We who love traveling are blessed to get to know the world, and the more we know, the more we come to realize that the world is an interdependent whole.”54traveler Founder Fu Wenxian
Better Blue, a group of Chinese scuba divers, has also proposed eco-conscious principles for outbound tourists. These include not touching or feeding any creature on the seabed, not using toiletries that contain microplastics or chemicals harmful to coral and marine life, and being encouraged to take part in local efforts to clean up the waters.
Earlier this year, China’s customs and National Administration of Forestry and Grasslands campaigned with WWF and WildAid to alert tourists in neighboring countries not to buy ivory—not even as a souvenir!
A WAP survey found that 85 percent of young tourists, who have become the major driving force of tourism worldwide, oppose activities that are harmful to animals.
“Among Chinese consumers, especially the younger generations, an inspiring tendency is that more and more people—usually those with higher educational backgrounds and better income levels—are opting for eco-friendly and wildlife-friendly tourism.”China Cetaceans Protection Alliance Member Yuan Xi