'Green Monday' backed by 1.6m fans
Updated: 2014-11-25 07:00
By Selena Li in Hong Kong(HK Edition)
Fabio De Rosa, president of the Italian Chamber of Commerce (right), and "Green Monday" co-founder David Yeung launching the "green" initiative on Monday. Provided to China Daily
In the long queue in front of the ordering counter at Cafe De Coral at around one in the afternoon, an office worker in a suit and tie took his time studying the menu on the board. He then decided to go vegetarian.
At 20 of the city's outlets of Cafe De Coral - the city's popular fast-food restaurant chain for office workers - one in every four meals sold on Monday was vegetarian.
It was "Green Monday", promoted by a social enterprise group to raise the public's awareness of healthy and sustainable living.
"We are reinforcing the idea by making choices available. Hong Kong is known as a gourmet paradise, but I think on that side, we have an extra role to play in terms of why being green can be healthy and tasty at the same time," said David Yeung, co-founder of the "Green Monday" initiative at a luncheon to present the latest trend on global sustainability.
"Now, we are past the age of just eating extravagant. The products that are in fashion are considered to be sustainable, fair trade and healthy," he said.
As people are becoming more "green conscious", economic motivation to join the initiative is huge, Yeung said. "The companies that take the first move to associate with 'green' will capture the market and benefit from it," he said.
Results of a survey by market research company Ipsos showed that 1.6 million Hong Kong people, or 23 percent of the city's total population, embraced "Green Monday" this year - an increase of 18 percentage points from two years ago.
More than 800 schools with about 600,000 students from kindergarten to university in Hong Kong pledged to observe "Green Monday".
Twelve Italian restaurants belonging to Ospitalit Italiana group presented their "Green Monday" specials, characterized by a wide selection of green choices, said Fabio De Rosa, president of the Italian Chamber of Commerce, who was also appointed as "Green Monday Ambassador".
According to Yeung, Hong Kong has always played a very important role in leading the region in preservation and sustainability.
"So many corporations we are working with on the 'green' program are multi-nationals, so naturally, they have presence and influence in the region," he said.
(HK Edition 11/25/2014 page9)