Catherine Touzard is a Hong Kong permanent resident, who grew up in France, and lived successively in Great-Britain, Germany, Taiwan and India before settling down in Hong Kong with her family 12 years ago. Her background includes a doctorate in Economics (Paris I La Sorbonne), along with language studies in English, German and Chinese. She worked as an Asian country risk analyst for seven years (France) and an (environmental) journalist in Hong Kong for another 7 to 8 years.
Catherine has produced a green consumer guidebook “Going Green in Hong Kong ” to help encourage an eco-friendly lifestyle in Hong Kong. The book shares information in a central place, in a nice shape/format that is readable and covers all aspects of the environment.
Mother of four, Catherine has always tried to combine her environmental work with her family life. She aims at making her research and small discoveries of use for people who might be sharing the same path, work- and life-wise.
In producing the book, Catherine used information from independent sources rather than from the retailers or producers. This provided impartial advice and practical options for Hong Kong people.
Education around the different topics (E.g. waste, water, etc.) to prove to people that it can be done.
Catherine was addressing issues such as the “green lifestyle is not for us in HK syndrome”. She is helping start a trend that eco will be good for me; people really want to be “green” using health and savings benefits as incentives.
Catherine volunteered on a sustainable development project (she researched, organised and coordinated) in China and when back in Hong Kong saw that Hong Kong did not yet have a green spirit and that such projects would be difficult. She realised that informative education would be more useful locally. With a background as an environmental journalist, she realised that friends and family did not get the message about the green challenges/environmental crisis. “I had the information and wanted to share it so that people acted on it.”
The project began in March 2007 straight after Catherine finished a biogas project in China with the publishing of the 1st edition of “Going Green in Hong Kong ”. The book was so popular that in July 2007 it was reprinted, and then again two more times. The 2nd Edition was upgraded and published in two languages, English and Chinese in February 2009, with illustrations.
To keep with the environmental theme, the book was only printed in 2 colours. A local printer (FSC certified, soy ink, CTP print…) was used and recycled paper sourced locally, with delivery by public transport.
The book has been very well received by people looking for green solutions in Hong Kong. Health conscious people are interested and get to learn more about environmental issues. Shop owners are asking about what products to put in their shops. Parents have a strong interest in their children. Teachers start to use it in schools.
The book is a pure eco-citizen project. It self-financed, thus independent, and encourages people to educate others by passing it to new readers, at work or in schools.
Internationally: A person in Sao Paulo, Brazil wanted details on setting up a similar book.
Catherine says, “People question their actions to help the environment. A book is taken more seriously than words so people will trust it is worthwhile taking action. E.g. When they read that more things are recycled and recyclable then they will recycle more themselves.”
“The social implications of the book are that we are finding local solutions for communities with little environmental awareness.”
“People now have the information to look at their daily life.”
“Mass distribution can create a large green consciousness awakening in HK”.
Catherine’s hopes and vision for the future are that:
- The earth inhabitants have an understanding of what the earth brings to us.
- An unhealthy planet cannot carry healthy people.
- This gives me peace of mind for a friendlier and peaceful life/planet