International Dog Day: 8 Eco-Friendly Products For Dogs

We know that our purchasing choices matter to the environment, and so do the choices we make for our pets. From their waste to their toys, pets have a huge environmental impact – just feeding them adds 64 million tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere each year! In celebration of International Dog Day on 26 August, here’s our pick of eight eco-friendly products for dogs so you can balance the environmental impact of being a pet owner with giving your pup the best life possible.


1.

organic dog food
Source: epet.hk

Organic Dog Food

While dogs could technically live on a plant-based diet, many may struggle to digest the high fibre of plant-based diets and are at risk of vitamin D and B deficiencies. For this reason, it may be a safer option to instead choose organic food, like this dry food from Organix, which is made from organic grain-free chicken, as well as a blend of superfoods like organic flaxseed, organic blueberries, organic coconut oil and omega-6 fatty acids to keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy. 

Available on epet.hk


2.

eco-friendly dog collar
Source: Etsy

Eco-Friendly Dog Collar

Check out this cute handmade dog collar made from sustainable cork and hemp. Its vegan materials are durable and naturally resistant to insects, mold and mildew, and the collar is finished with a nickel-plated buckle and ID ring. It comes in four sizes, two widths and five colours.

Available from Etsy


3.

dog waste bags
Source: Ubuy.hk

Biodegradable Dog Waste Bags

Dog waste may return to the earth, but the plastic bags they’re put in certainly don’t. These bags from Wooflinen are made from cornstarch and are both biodegradable and compostable, disappearing entirely in as little as 90 days. Even the roll core is made from recycled cardboard. Plus, for every sale, Wooflinen donates to a partner foster network or animal rescue organisation!

Available from Ubuy.hk


4.

hemp leash
Source: hiccupdog.hk

Hemp Leash

Keep control of your excited pup without hurting them or you (or the planet) with these 100% hemp leashes from Earthdog. Hemp is non-toxic, pesticide-free, recyclable and biodegradable within six months, and it’s also hypoallergenic, so it’s good for sensitive skin. Also, unlike nylon and other synthetic materials, hemp softens with wear, making these leashes extremely comfortable. 

Available at Hiccupdog.hk


5.

dog raincoat
Source: Amazon

Dog Raincoat

Keep your pup dry and warm with this Hurtta Monsoon ECO raincoat. Not only does it have a wide collar and lots of belly coverage, the jacket is made from 100% recycled polyester. Plus, it’s reflective, so if your dog gets away from you, you won’t be able to miss him!

Available from Amazon


6.

deodorising spray eco-friendly products dogs
Source: Wnp.com

Deodorising Spray

Is your dog starting to smell a bit ripe but bath time is still a while away? Use a deodorising spray to keep odours from becoming overwhelming. This one from Eco Me is made from natural, safe, food-grade and plant-based ingredients and is suitable for both long- and short-hair dogs. The bottle is made from BPA-free plastic. It also has a lovely fresh lavender smell.

Available at Wnp.com


7.

duck toy eco-friendly products dogs
Source: Hiccupdog.hk

Squeaky Duck Toy

Keep your dog occupied for hours with this cute squeaky duck toy from Honest Pet Products. The outer layer is made from 100% natural hemp canvas, while the stuffing is made from 100% natural organic wool. The squeaker inside the tail may be a bit annoying, but hey, at least your pup won’t eat your favourite shoes!

Available at Hiccupdog.hk


8.

eco-friendly products dogs
Source: Westpaw.com

Recycled Dog Bed

Give your dog a blissful and sustainable snooze with this bed from West Paw. Each bed is filled with IntelliLoft, an eco-fibre made from non-toxic, recycled plastics that diverts 28 to 78 plastic bottles from landfill per bed. The machine-washable, double-stuffed bolster design is covered in a soft knit fabric and comes in four sizes and three colours.

Available at Westpaw.com


We hope these products have inspired you to be a more eco-friendly dog owner. If you’re ready to – or already – making these sustainable switches, be sure to tag us (@8shadesofficial) in your eco-friendly cat photos on Instagram for a repost!

See also: International Cat Day: 8 Eco-Friendly Products For Cats

retykle

Giveaway: Back To School Picks from Retykle

Did you know that kids can speed through seven sizes of clothing in the first two years of their lives? This adds to the already-massive amount of waste generated by the fashion industry each year. Retykle has been tackling this problem since 2016, allowing parents to resell their gently worn children’s clothes on the platform and keep them in circulation for longer.

Sarah Garner’s company, Retykle, is now an institution in the Hong Kong kids’ clothing scene, and we had the chance to chat with her about the inspiration behind starting the company, her top picks for back-to-school, and what’s next.

retykle founder sarah garner
Sarah Garner of Retykle (Photo: Courtesy of Retykle)

Giveaway

We’re partnering with Retykle for a back to school giveaway, where two lucky winners will each win an HK$800 voucher each to shop on retykle.com. Follow us on Instagram @8shadesofficial for more details!


How did you first come up with the idea for Retykle?

I’d worked in luxury fashion for over 10 years and had begun to feel that the relentless pace of the industry was unsustainable. At the same time that I was questioning my role within the industry, I was also becoming a mom.

Upon having my first child, I was struck with the pace at which babies outgrow their clothes and the temporary nature of everything you buy for them. Having kids, inadvertently, creates massive waste due to this temporary use cycle and I felt that I could use my experience to create a circular fashion solution that resolves to keep items in circulation for longer, extending their lifespan and keeping items out of the landfill.

We endeavour to keep solving for full circularity such that kids don’t have to impact their future earth just by being born. 


What’s one simple thing everyone can do to be more sustainable?

Consider making a portion of everything you purchase secondhand. Every little bit helps to increase the product lifespan and the simple act of a secondhand purchase can serve as a lesson to your kids about responsible consumption.

Also, try to fix something that requires mending with your kids so that they learn not to treat items as disposable when they are broken, but rather understand the importance of repairing to keep them out of the garbage. Something as simple as getting dressed can become a family philosophy about consumption.  

retykle founder sarah garner
Sarah Garner of Retykle (Photo: Courtesy of Retykle)

What are your top five picks for back to school?

1.

Reusable Silicone Sandwich Bag

silicone sandwich bag
Source: Retykle

2.

Vilebrequin Swimsuit 2T

swimsuit
Source: Retykle

3.

Vera Pelle Mary Janes 5T

girl school shoes retykle
Source: Retykle

4.

MLB Bag

pink mlb bag
Source: Retykle

5.

Polo Ralph Lauren Shorts 2T

ralph lauren shorts from retykle
Source: Retykle

See also: Retykle’s Back To School Edit and Activewear Edit

What are some exciting things you’re working on next?

We’re expanding our on-the-ground operations to Singapore in a few weeks! We can’t wait to open the sell-side to our customers in Singapore and expand our community and impact in the market. 


Be sure to follow our Instagram account at @8shadesofficial for more information on how to enter our giveaway with Retykle!

See also: 8Shades Of… Eugenia Chow AKA. @Eugreenia

vegan met gala chefs

Met Gala 2021 Goes Vegan: Meet The Chefs Behind The Menu

ICYMI, the fashion industry’s most highly regarded charity event, the Met Gala, will be serving an entirely vegan menu to its guests for the first time this year! The menu has been put together by 10 prestigious New York chefs selected by acclaimed chef, Marcus Samuelsson.

The theme for the 2021 Met Gala is “America,” and Samuelsson says that he thought it was important to use the menu to highlight how food is changing in America and how he hopes it will start a wider conversation around eating plant-based foods. 

marcus samuelsson
Marcus Samuelsson via Instagram

The 10 chefs all hail from New York and represent what the food scene in the city looks like, according to Samuellson. The lineup includes Aquavit executive chef Emma Bengtsson, Le Bernardin pastry chef Thomas Raquel, Junghyun Park of Atomix, Fabian von Hauske of Wildair, Instagram chef Sophia Roe, Fariyal Abdullahi, Nasim Alikhani, Lazarus Lynch, Erik Ramirez and Simone Tong. 

pictures of met gala vegan chefs
The chefs chosen for this year’s Met Gala. Source: Met Costume Institute via Instagram

Read on to learn a few interesting tidbits about each 2021 Met Gala chef:

Emma Bengtsson

Emma Bengtsson is a Swedish chef who holds two Michelin stars at the New York City-based restaurant Aquavit. She is the first Swedish chef to win two stars, and only the second female chef based in the US to do so.

Thomas Raquel

Born in the US, Thomas Raquel briefly studied medicine before turning to the culinary arts. He trained in Paris, and then started his career at L20 in Chicago. Four years later, he became a pastry chef at two Michelin-starred Acadia, and he is now the pastry chef at Le Bernardin.

Junghyun Park

After earning a degree in food science in Seoul, South Korea, Junghyun Park travelled to more than 30 countries, taking a deep dive into European food culture. He has since worked in Melbourne and South Korea. In 2016, he and his wife opened Atoboy, a casual Korean restaurant and two years later, opened the second Ato concept, Atomix.

Fabian von Hauske

Mexican-born Fabian von Hauske studied at the French Culinary Institute before working in the kitchens ofFäviken (Sweden), Noma (Denmark) and Attica (Melbourne). In 2013, he moved back to the US and opened Michelin-starred Contra in New York. His two other restaurants, Wildair and Una Pizza Napoletana, have earned rave reviews in national publications. 

Sophia Roe

Hailing from Denmark, Sophia Roe is an Instagram influencer, chef, writer, and Emmy-Award nominated TV host, as well as a wellness expert whose work has appeared in Vogue, Elle Magazine and Atelier Dore, among others.

Fariyal Abdullahi

American-Ethiopian Fariyal Abdullahi is the culinary manager of R+D Kitchen in Dallas. In 2020, her work was featured in the Vilcek Foundation‘s cookbook ‘A Place at the Table: New American Recipes from the Nation’s Top Foreign-Born Chefs.’

Nasim Alikhani

Nasim founded Sofreh, a Persian restaurant in Brooklyn, at the age of 59. Studying law before moving to America, Nasim worked as a nanny and later opened a print shop. It took six years to open Sofreh, and in that time, Nasim went to culinary school and interned in the kitchens of a few chef friends, working as a line cook and a prep cook.

Lazarus Lynch

Lazarus Lynch is an entrepreneur, chef, musician, author and multi-media host. He is a two-time Chopped champion, Food Network Digital Host and author of the cookbook, Son of a Southern Chef: Cook with Soul. Born and raised in New York, he learned to cook from his father, and went on to create the culinary content platform and brand, Son of a Southern Chef.

Erik Ramirez

Erik Ramirez began working in New York developing skills in French and American culinary methods, working at Eleven Madison Park and Irving Mill. However, after taking a trip to Lima, he became passionate about Peruvian cuisine. In 2015, Erik opened the Llama Inn in Brooklyn and has since opened two more restaurants – Lama-San, a Japanese-Peruvian fusion restaurant, and Llamita, a more casual version of Llama Inn.

Simone Tong

Simone was born in Chengdu, China. In 2002, she moved to New York and enrolled at the Institute of Culinary Education. She worked at Dufresne before moving to its sister restaurant Alder. In 2016, she opened a Yunnanese noodle restaurant called Little Tong Noodle Shop in the East Village and opened a second location in 2018.


Each chef will contribute a recipe that reflects their take on American cuisine, and they’ll also work on a collaborative menu of canapés, entrées, and desserts. In the weeks leading up to the event, Vogue will be sharing Instagram Reels of the chefs creating plant-based recipes inspired by summer picnics. 

The Met Gala will take place on Monday, 13 September 2021 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, so stay tuned!

See also: 8 Vegan Restaurants in Hong Kong For a Delicious Plant-Based Meal

beyond sleep store

Beyond Sleep: Where To Find Sustainable Bedding in Hong Kong

Looking for sustainable bedding in Hong Kong that’s also eco-friendly? Look no further than Noblesse Lifestyle Group’s Beyond Sleep store in Central, an interactive and dreamy retail space that celebrates the importance of “sleeping responsibly” and is stocked with everything you need for an eco-friendly bedroom.

What Does it Mean to “Sleep Responsibly”?

Not many of us think about our bedding when it comes to sustainability, but for starters, eco-friendly bedding is made using fabrics that are generally easy to recycle. They also tend to use less water than traditional methods and don’t include pesticides, bleach or microplastics. It’s definitely worthwhile to look at your bedding; did you know that the vast majority of manufacturers put toxins in their bedsheets – around 70%, to be exact?

Source: Unsplash.com

Examples of these toxic ingredients include formaldehydes, AZO dyes, Parathion and Alidicarb. Formaldehyde has been linked to several illnesses, including cancer, and is typically found in sheets labelled “wrinkle-free.” Meanwhile,Parathion and Alidicarb are used as insecticides and are classified as being “Extremely Hazardous” by the World Health Organisation. Considering that we spend around a third of our lives in our beds, it makes sense that the bedding you choose plays a role in your health.

The environmental impact of mattresses isn’t great, either. In 2017, the UK threw away more than seven million mattresses, the vast majority of which went straight to landfills. The US, on average, throws away more than 18 million mattresses a year. In general, only around 19% of mattresses are recycled; this is because the springs make the process difficult.

Thankfully, Beyond Sleep is providing more sustainable bedding options in Hong Kong for us to get a good (and eco) night’s sleep.

The 8,000 square foot store in Central, which has replaced the brand’s store at Happy Valley, features a “material library” – a repository of yarns and natural fibres that are featured in Beyond Sleep’s products to help you choose your preferred eco-material, such as organic cotton and wool, bamboo fibre and alpaca hair.

beyond sleep store
The Beyond Sleep store in Central, Hong Kong.

Customers can also sample the products first hand in the “Sleep Pod,” where you can test out your bedding and mattress of choice in a controlled environment where the temperature, light and music volume can be adjusted to suit your tastes. 

Some of the brands available at Beyond Sleep include Savoir, who makes handcrafted beds made from natural materials made sustainably, Vispring, who is FSC-certified for its sustainable use of forests and woodlands in its beds and uses vanadium metal in its springs, which is typically easier to recycle and is more sustainable, Panda London, who makes 100% bamboo bedding that is organically grown, Quagliotti, who makes bed linens and eco-friendly bed sheets made with sustainably-extracted cotton and Dauny, who makes sustainable duvets and pillows. The store also has 30 different styles of pillows, all stuffed with various sustainable materials. 

beyond sleep sustainable material library
The sustainable “material library” and duvet collection.

Besides bedding products, Beyond Sleep also stocks CBD oil from Kiara, antimicrobial towels made from recycled fabrics from Sora and natural soy wax candles from Maraca

It’s about time to incorporate sustainability into every aspect of your life, including your sleep. Visit Beyond Sleep to learn more about sustainable bedding in Hong Kong and how you can incorporate it into your home.

Beyond Sleep, Basement, LHT Tower, 31 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2808 4727

See also: How To… Create Your Eco-Outdoors Oasis

best vegan restaurants Hong Kong

8 Vegan Restaurants In Hong Kong For A Delicious Plant-based Meal

Consuming less meat and more plant-based foods has been steadily increasing over the past few years, and more and more vegan restaurants in Hong Kong have been opened to meet this demand. Vegan food definitely isn’t boring, as evidenced in the wide range of eateries serving flavourful, wholesome and healthy foods.

This week’s#8Shades8Weeks challenge is about cutting down on your meat consumption, so here are our picks of the best vegan restaurants in Hong Kong- there’s something for everyone!

Green Common

green common
Source: Green Common

Green Common is Green Monday’s (creator of OmniFoods) health food and eatery. Their menu offers fusion vegan foods, including noodles, soup, Omnipork dishes and sandwiches. 

Green Common, various locations across Hong Kong, +852 3855 5100, greencommon.com

Veggie SF

veggie sf burger
Source: Veggie SF

Veggie SF has been serving a meat-free menu since 2011. The 1950s inspired space serves an internationally-inspired menu, featuring everything from homemade burgers and pastas to Indonesian gado gado salad and more.

Veggie SF, 10/F, 11 Stanley Street, Hong Kong, Central, +852 3902 3902, veggiesf.com

Years

the park by years bowl
Source: The Park by Years

With two locations in Sham Shui Po, Years and the more recent The Park by Years caters to both vegans and vegetarians, with The Park by Years being completely plant-based. Some of their top sellers include the Katsu Curry Risotto and the Sichuan Dan Dan Spaghetti. Sweet-toothed diners can enjoy lemon tart and chocolate banana rum tart.

The Park by Years, 132 Yu Chau Stree, Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong, +852 5336 4000, Yearshk.com

POP Vegan

pop vegan
Source: POP Vegan

Located on Elgin Street in the Soho district, POP Vegan offers a variety of Western vegan dishes, including eggplant parmigiana and hedgehog mushroom pie. It’s also free from alliums, (a species of plant including onions, garlics and chives) making it suitable for Buddhists. 

POP Vegan, 1/F, 28 Elgin Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2628 6211, facebook.com/popveganhk

See also: Plant-based cuisine in Hong Kong

2084

2048 curry
Source: 2084

This Sai Kung staple is renowned for its Asian-inspired tapas, including its papaya-infused Tikiya Kebab, crispy peking taco and more. If this doesn’t strike your fancy, try one of their burgers or curries. Their happy hour deal is amazing as well – you can get two drinks for HK$55 across the restaurant’s Italian house wines and Bavarian lager. 

2084, 5 Sha Tsui Path, Sai Kung, +852 6420 8456, 2084.casa

MANA!

mana flatbread
Source: MANA!

With their zero-waste, plant-based and whole-food ethos, MANA! has been a staple for non-meat eaters in Hong Kong since 2012, serving flavourful and nutritious whole foods. They’re renowned for their Za’atar flatbread wraps, but their house-made burgers and salad bowls are also great. Wash it down with one of their house-made range of vegan coffees. 

Mana, 8 Staunton Street, Soho, Central, Hong Kong, +852 5501 7583

Mana, 8-10 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +852 5501 7591; mana.hk

See also: 8-Week Challenge: 8 Benefits OF Going Meatless

TREEHOUSE

TREEHOUSE bowl
Source: TREEHOUSE

TREEHOUSE is a great grab-and-go plant-based option when you’re out in Central. The iconic restaurant’s offerings include sourdough flatbreads to grain bowls and burgers. The in-house vegan sourdough is well worth the trip. Overall, the menu is completely unprocessed, serving only whole foods free from preservatives, refined sugars, artificial sweeteners, food dyes, trans-fats, soy-isolates and bleached flour.

TREEHOUSE (BaseHall), BaseHall, LG9 Jardine House (Basement Level), 1 Connaught Place, Central, Hong Kong, +852 3643 0865, basehall.hk

TREEHOUSE (H Code), Shop 1, G/F, H Code, 45 Pottinger Street, Central, Hong Kong. +852 3791 2277, treehouse.eco

Hemingway’s DB

hemingway's vegan restaurant
Source: Hemingway’s

Stop by Hemingway’s on your next day trip to Discovery Bay. The beach-front bar and restaurant specialises in plant-based foods. The menu has a wide variety of foods, including nachos, burgers and pizzas, ensuring something for everyone, as well as a full bar and live music on weekends. 

Hemingway’s DB, Shop G09, G/F, D’Deck, DB Plaza, Discovery Bay, Hong Kong, +852 2987 8804, hemingways.hk


Whether you’re looking to cut back on your meat consumption or just curious about plant-based food, our list of vegan restaurants in Hong Kong will help (and delight you)!

See also: 8-Week Challenge: 8 Benefits of Going Meatless

Louis Vuitton Releases its First Sustainable, Unisex Shoe

Louis Vuitton has released its latest unisex sneaker that is the luxury brand’s most sustainable yet, featuring 90% recycled and bio-sourced materials. 

Called the “Charlie” shoe, it features a white upper made from recycled polyester and Biopolioli, a corn-based plastic, as well as a sole made from 94% recycled rubber. The laces are also recycled, and the back of the shoe is made with Econyl, derived from nylon waste. Finally, the insole and lining are made from recycled polyurethane and recycled polyester. Even the box the shoe comes in is made from 100% recycled cardboard that can turn into a transportable bag. 

Source: Louis Vuitton

Even though the sneaker’s main focus is its environmental impact, that doesn’t mean the brand has overlooked its style. The Charlie features a monochrome colour palette with Louis Vuitton’s distinctive logo along the sides, so you can go about your day knowing that your sneakers look good and do good, too. Its genderless design allows the Charlie to fit seamlessly into any outfit.

The Charlie will be available in both low and high-top styles (retailing at HK$9,550 and HK$10,000 respectively) in EU sizes 34 to 42. 

Source: Louis Vuitton

This sneaker is a significant step for the luxury fashion world, as it hasn’t been as fast to adopt eco-friendly practices as the rest of the fashion sector. Hopefully, this shoe will be the first of many more eco-friendly products that will pave the way for more development in the luxury space!

See also: 8 Steps To… Making Your Wardrobe PVC Plastic-Free

sustainable boat trip

How to… have a sustainable boat trip

Undoubtedly one of the best parts of summer in Hong Kong are boat parties; swimming and feasting on your favourite foods and drinks with friends and family is a perfect day out. However, boating isn’t exactly an eco-friendly activity. Boats interfere with animals’ mating patterns and even worse, chemicals from boats leech into the water, killing animals and bleaching coral reefs. To be more kind to Mother Earth this summer, here are some tips to make your next boat trip in Hong Kong a more eco-friendly and sustainable one. 


1.

Find an eco-friendly boating company

Choose a boat organiser that aims to leave the ocean in the same condition after a trip as before. Here are our favourites:

LazyDays

Touted as the “no junk junk,” LazyDays has been working to minimise waste on their fleets. They have installed water filter machines to prevent single-use plastics and they also provide reusable straws and drinkware and bamboo cutlery. 

Hong Kong Yachting

Hong Kong Yachting has eliminated single-use plastic bottles, cutlery, glasses and plates and has even managed to reduce garbage output from 8 bags per trip to 1! 


2.

Bring fresh food aboard

We get it- boating trips should be an excuse to treat yourself with sweets, chips, etc. However, these packets often end up in the ocean, endangering marine life. Bring your own fresh food, preferably food that is loose, rather than packaged. Or, move to Tip 3!


3.

Choose a zero-waste caterer

Choose catered plant-based goodies, which have a lower carbon footprint. Fruit and veggies also help keep you hydrated, a must for an all-day boating trip in the sun! Our favourites are:

MANA!

MANA!’s junk catering menu lets you choose from such treats as wholemeal wraps, salad bar options and desserts like raw truffle bites. The food is delivered in biodegradable paper packaging, so you’re not creating any unnecessary waste!

sustainable boat trip
Source: MANA

Knead HK

Knead’s fresh made-to-order sandwiches and salads are bound to be a hit on your next boating trip. Check out their junk menu for their customisable packages. 

sustainable boat trip
Source: Knead

4.

Create your own “eco kit”

Before getting on the boat, prepare an “eco kit” to make your trip as eco-friendly as possible. This could include a reusable water bottle, reusable straws, metal/ bamboo cutlery and reef-safe sunscreen. Of course, put it all in a reusable tote bag. 

Tip: To make sure your sunscreen is “reef safe,” avoid toxic ingredients like Oxybenzone, Octinoxate, Octocrylene, Homosalate, 4-methylbenzylidene camphor, Parabens, Triclosan and any form of microplastic, such as “exfoliating beads.” Check our guide for the best reef-safe sunscreens. 

Have fun on your boat trip this summer while being eco-friendly and sustainable- you’ll leave the ocean safe and clean for the next group! 

5 vegan chocolates to try on world chocolate day

It’s a universally-known fact that chocolate is the answer to just about everything. No matter the kind of day you’ve had, there’s little that chocolate can’t fix.

However, our stomachs may disagree. Shockingly, around 70% of the world’s population is lactose intolerant; in Asia, this jumps to around 90%! Many people either brave the painful effects of lactose intolerance for their favourite chocolate treats or steer clear entirely. Thankfully, as more brands start creating vegan chocolate offerings, there’s no need to choose between these two extremes. 

There are environmental benefits of vegan chocolate, too. Due to its production methods, milk has both a high carbon and water footprint, while vegan options have generally lower environmental impacts. Additionally, some chocolate companies have adopted environmentally-friendly practices like teaching more sustainable farming techniques to mitigate the risks of deforestation.

In honour of World Chocolate Day on July 7, here is our roundup of 5 vegan chocolate brands that you can get in Hong Kong. Drool at your leisure!


1.

THEO & PHILO

Sourcing its cacao beans from Davao in Mindanao in the Philippines, Theo & Philo’s yummy offerings include green mango and salt, ginger and mint and calamansi, AKA the Philippine lemon. They’re also gluten- and soy-free!

Find Theo & Philo chocolates at their website, or stockists Wine Art Studio and Green Common, where a 45g bar will cost you around $59.

2.

CONSPIRACY CHOCOLATE

Based in Hong Kong, Conspiracy Chocolate sources its cacao beans from the Dak Lak region in Vietnam. The craft chocolate contains no soy and gluten and is made with only cacao beans and raw organic cane sugar. The brand boasts unique options like Sichuan Pepper, Chai and Kashmiri Chilli. 

Find them on their website, as well as Coffee Academics, Eric Kayser, Sweetworld and Organic Oasis. A 50g bar goes for HKD$50. 

Photo: Conspiracy Chocolate

Source: Conspiracy Chocolate

3.

SELECTED LINDT CHOCOLATES

Little-known fact; some of Lindt’s chocolates are vegan! Its Excellence range with 70%, 85%, 90% and 99% Cocoa dark chocolate bars are made sans animal products, as are the Caramel & Sea Salt 70% Cocoa and Raspberry & Hazelnut 70% Cocoa chocolates. 

You can find Lindt at most grocery stores around Hong Kong. A 100g bar goes for around $40.

4.

MOO FREE CHOCOLATE

Moo Free Chocolate makes organic, gluten and soya-free vegan chocolate with a wide array of flavours, from sea salt and lime to orange caramel crunch. The packaging is also super cute!

Find Moo Free Chocolate on their website

Moo Free Chocolate vegan chocolate Hong Kong

Source: Moo Free Chocolate

5.

PANA CHOCOLATE 

Made in Australia, Pana Chocolate offers a wide array of fun flavours, including fig and wild orange, coconut and goji and sour cherry and vanilla. Plus, Pana Chocolate bars are made without preservatives and are gluten, dairy, soy and refined sugar-free.

Find Pana Chocolate at Food For Life.

Besides being better for the environment, vegan chocolates are virtually indistinguishable from traditional dairy chocolates taste-wise.

So the next time you’re at the grocery shop, consider picking up a vegan chocolate option- it’s a small step to lowering your overall carbon footprint, but a step nonetheless! 

You don’t need to wash your clothes everyday

“Laundry day” doesn’t mean you have to throw everything in the washing machine on a daily basis; some items should be washed after each wear, while others can last longer between each wash. Besides, washing clothes is very water and energy intensive, accounting for up to 40% of the overall water consumption of a typical household!

There are actually many things we can do to ease this burden on the environment, like simply washing your clothes less. Don’t be grossed out, as a society we have become hyper-clean in the 21st century. Our great ancestors probably washed their “clothes” (if you could call them that) about once every 6 months!

Let’s set the record straight; not all items of clothing have to be washed after every single wear. Let’s look at some simple tips on how often you should wash your clothes and how to wash clothes more sustainably


JUST HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU BE WASHING THAT SHIRT?

  • Jeans – The CEO of Levi’s once famously claimed to have not washed a pair of jeans in over a year! If the thought of leaving your jeans this long without washing is too gross, experts reckon you can wash them every six weeks, or 10 wears. Be careful not to wash them in hot water though, and don’t put them in the dryer! 
  • Shirts and blouses – wash after every wear. 
  • Suits – these can typically be worn several times before cleaning (3-4 times for wool and 4-5 times for synthetics). 
  • Pajamas – wash after 3- 4 wears. 
  • Bras – wash after 2-3 wears. 
  • Leggings and tights – wash after every wear to get rid of baggy knees.
  • Bathing suits – simply rinse out after every wear.

WHAT WASH SETTINGS ARE THE MOST ECO-FRIENDLY?

  • Turn the temperature down – did you know that about 90% of the energy associated with laundry involves simply heating up the water? Switching from 40 degrees celsius to 30 degrees uses around 40% less energy! Just be sure to choose a detergent that is formulated for cold water; usually, liquid detergents work better than powders in this case. Cold water is also less damaging to your clothes and helps prevent fading. Of course, it’s not always possible to use cold water, since certain fabrics should be washed in warmer water, like spandex and nylon. 
  • Use shorter cycles – avoid the heavy-duty cycle, even if your clothes are heavily soiled. Normal clothes should clean perfectly fine without the pre-wash feature on the machine, but if you are worried about particularly dirty clothes, soak them in a basin before you wash.
  • Make sure the load is full – a single washing machine cycle uses about 60 litres of water! Reducing the number of loads you do each week will save the planet water and you money. 
  • Use eco-friendly detergents – many commercial products contain harsh chemicals, like dyes and chlorine, that are not only harmful to the environment, but can also irritate sensitive skin and damage clothes. Consider switching to a more eco-friendly product, like Tru Earth Eco-Strips Laundry Detergent, which not only cleans your clothes, but is made of compostable packaging and dissolves completely in water.

We’re certainly not suggesting that you go to work in the same outfit for a week straight to save water, but adopting one or two of the habits on this list will go a long way in decreasing your carbon footprint and utility bills. You’ll also keep your clothes from degrading quicker. Win win! 

Is your cocktail eco-unfriendly?

Alcohol is generally an unsustainable industry; a 750ml bottle of liquor produces, on average, nearly 3kgs of CO2. So which alcoholic drink is the greenest? It’s tough to say, since production methods, distillation techniques and ingredients vary from bottle to bottle of even the same kinds of spirits. Instead, let’s look at each drink individually and determine how sustainable they really are.


DRINK LESS OF THESE (THEY’RE LESS SUSTAINABLE)

Source: Flor De Cana

RUM

Rum is derived from sugarcane, a notoriously unsustainable crop, associated with biodiversity loss, water and soil pollution, erosion and harmful slash-and-burn harvesting methods. Thankfully, organic rum at least takes chemical pesticides and fertilisers out of the production process but it can be tricky to find.

We like: Flor de Caña rum. It’s fair-trade-certified, running on 100% renewable energy, also with a carbon-neutral certification. 

Source: Mijenta

TEQUILA

With tequila, firstly, you’re unlikely to find a local distiller living in Hong Kong; it must trace the origins of its agave (tequila’s base ingredient) to the Tequila region in Mexico to bear the name, making transportation emissions inevitable. Secondly, agave is slow-growing and vulnerable to pests, leading to increased pesticide use. Production also releases acidic waste called vinaza; for every litre of tequila produced, about 10 litres of vinaza is released, which seeps into waterways. 

We like: Mijenta Tequila Blanco which makes its labels out of agave waste and uses eco-certified packaging.

VODKA & GIN

Most vodkas are made from a mix of grains, such as corn, rice, rye and sorghum (and sometimes potatoes, too). The same goes for gin (with added juniper berries and other botanicals). During the distillation process, which usually accounts for the largest percentage of an alcoholic beverage’s effect on the environment, vodka is distilled to nearly pure ethanol before bottling, using more energy and water than other booze. Gins are often made the same way.

We like: Reyka vodka, whose distillation process is powered by geothermal energy. Cooper King herb gin is made by a distillery that runs on 100% green energy, and produces its gin using “vacuum distillation,” the process of distilling alcohol under reduced pressure compared to typical methods in order to save energy.


DRINK MORE OF THESE (THEY’RE MORE SUSTAINABLE)

WINE

While most vineyards are monocultures that typically rely on herbicides and pesticides, industry bodies and even governments are intervening to make wine production more eco-friendly.

In France, vineyards cover about 3% of agricultural land but represent about 20% of pesticide use. The government has subsequently introduced new environmental standards that require a 50% reduction in chemical spraying by 2025. Around the world, sustainability is becoming the new normal, with many regions requiring its wine producers to be certified sustainable. 

The wine industry produces less waste than other alcohols, but a general rule when it comes to wine is… location. The distance the booze has to travel significantly impacts its carbon footprint. 

We like: Cork Culture, an online wine store devoted to low-intervention and sustainable wines in Hong Kong. 

Source: HK Beer Co

BEER

Brewing beer is a water and energy intensive process that generates a significant amount of solid waste, but brewers are increasingly investing in environmentally sustainable equipment. Shipping cans rather than bottles results in 30% fewer emissions and cans are recycled at significantly higher rates than bottles. 

We like: Hong Kong Beer Co is continuously investing in sustainable initiatives, recycling its glass bottles to reduce CO2 usage. 


At the end of the day, whatever your tipple might be, there are some things you can do to reduce the carbon footprint; look for locally made drinks, buy in bulk and be mindful of the packaging. Now don’t worry, we’re not telling you to ditch booze completely, we know how rewarding an (8Shades cocktail from Penicillin) is after a long week, but small tweaks will give you peace of mind that you’re not placing unnecessary strain on the planet’s resources.

Cheers to that!