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Environmental NGOs encouraging green actions
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Foul river water, air pollution, shrinking vegetation, endangered species, dried rivers, cities surrounded by trashes, desertification, ozone holes……, these shocking environmental disasters are eroding the increasingly weaker ecological system.

To conserve the beauty of nature is no doubt the responsibility for each of us living on the earth. Therefore, this statement generates the concept of "green consumption".

The theme of green was put forward by the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. Six years later, in 1998, 18 Chinese ministerial-leveled departments jointly launched a long-term project to boost the food safety. The project is called "Three Greens Project", namely building green channels, developing green market and promoting green consumption. In the same year, the Beijing Municipal Government launched another project with a "green" them, called "Volunteers Action for Green".

The green concept is spreading and has been infiltrated in people's daily life in terms of energy saving, environmental-friendly consuming, recycling, garbage classifying, and nature conserving. People can now consciously use energy-efficient products, buy pollutant-free vegetable, and taking buses instead of driving private cars. As is currently the case, green consumption and being a volunteer for environmental protection have been attached with a fashionable label. But ---

Would you refuse to use throwaway chopsticks and food boxes in restaurants?

Would you take cloth or paper bags with you when doing shopping and refuse to use the plastic bags offered by sellers?

Would you classify the garbage you generated and pay attention to the "recyclable" and "unrecyclable" labels on garbage cans when you discarding them?

Would you reduce the dates of driving private cars by one day a year for the sake of decreasing auto emissions?

Would you persist in moderate consumption and uphold natural, healthy and sustainable living ways?

How many "yes" have you given to the above questions? It has been eight years since the concept of green was introduced to the country. How far away is absolute green consumption from us?

The public, the ultimate force to solve China's environmental problems

Recent years, increasingly more green warriors such as Li Haiyang and Chen Kaifeng and green NGOs have emerged in China.

On Aug. 13, volunteers were organized by environmental NGOs including WWF, Friends of Nature, and Global Village of Beijing to check whether the temperature controlled by air conditioners inside public architectures such as hotels and restaurants were set at 26C, a level set by government to save energy. Meanwhile, they were advocating to the masses to economically use the air conditioners at home. Such temperature checking activities were held simultaneously in other Chinese major cities, and the results are satisfactory, said the organizers.

On Sept. 2, an inaugural ceremony was held in Beijing to mark the kick-off of this year’s selection of Green China Warriors. Jackie Chan, action movie celebrity and also vice-chairman of China Environment Culture Promotion Association, addressed in the ceremony. He urged everyone in the audience to actively participate in environmental protection, striking to be warriors for a green China.

Xiamen, coastal city in south China's Fujian Province, launched the city's second No Plastic Bag Day on Sept. 5. Echoing Xiamen, Haikou, capital city of southernmost China's Hainan Province, also saw volunteers on the streets preaching pedestrians to use less plastic bags on the same day.

Just as Pan Yue, vice minister of the State Environmental Protection Administration, has said, the ultimate force to solve China's environmental problems lies in the public, or in another word, every ordinary people. Chinese people are approaching the absolute green consumption step by step.

( by Zhang Tingting, November 5, 2007)

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