Summer is here and with it, comes plenty of hikes and beach days followed by dinner and drinks. In Hong Kong, we’re blessed with plenty of things to do, but we might not always be so conscious about our environmental impact when we’re having fun with friends.
Having said that, there’s no need to hermit yourself at home for the sake of reducing your carbon footprint. For our 8Shades Summer Bucket List, we’ve gathered eight fun and sustainable things to do with friends this summer that will have zero to little, or perhaps even a positive impact on the earth!
1. Try plogging
Plogging is an easy way to get in shape this summer whilst tackling pollution and waste. Originating in Sweden, plogging (which is a mashup of the words ‘plogga’ in Swedish, which means to pick up, and ‘jogging’ in English) will have you jogging and collecting as much litter as you can in a trash bag along the way. Gather some friends together for a plogging session and then go for brunch afterwards. You can even make a competition out of it: the person who collects the most litter gets their meal for free!
2. Go zero-waste camping
Camping is another zero-waste activity where you can flex your eco-friendly habits! Put food in reusable containers, bring reusable or biodegradable cutlery and bring compostable garbage bags to collect any litter that you may drop along the way. Just remember the universal campsite rule: make sure you leave the campsite in a better condition than how you found it!
3. Get your green thumbs on
Whether you’ve got green thumbs or you just like the idea of growing your own food, Hong Kong has plenty of local farms to satisfy your longing for fresh, locally grown produce. Some farms even allow you to rent your own plot of land to cultivate your own fruits and veggies. Rent out a piece of land with friends and enjoy your own foods together, perhaps coming together regularly for a “farm-to-table” style dinner with the produce you’ve grown.
4. Host a clothing swap
One person’s trash is another’s treasure, or so they say. The same is true for your clothing; just because you’re tired of that dress doesn’t mean that one of your friends won’t love it. Clothing swaps are a fun and sustainable way to update your wardrobe; just add some snacks and wine, and you’re good to go!
5. Donate your time to a charitable cause
There are plenty of charities that are working to clean up the environment or otherwise make our communities more sustainable. Why not spend the day with your squad whilst helping with a beach clean up, or working with a charity to distribute food that would otherwise go to waste.
6. Try a veggie meal
Turn Meatless Monday into a social affair by bringing your friends along to try out new meatless recipes once a week. Delicious, social and sustainable – what more could you want?
7. Go bike riding
There are some fantastic biking trails in the New Territories, particularly around Tai Po! Make a day of it by biking in the morning and ending the day with a late lunch at one of the local eateries.
8. Join a walking tour
Be a tourist in your own city by joining a local walking tour – not only does it get you out of the house, it will also reduce your energy consumption at home. There are plenty of companies in Hong Kong that offer tours around the city with unique focuses – there are food tours, street art tours, Chinese Medicine tours and even cemetery tours (yes, really!)
So there you have it – 8Shades’ Summer Bucket List of sustainable things to do with friends. Which idea will you try first?
See also: Join The 8Shades 8-Week Challenge!