DB Green is a local non-profit organisation, which supports and promotes public awareness and environmental education by concentrating on Discovery Bay’s environmental and local culture.
Tracey is in charge of DB Green’s Beach Clean Ups. She is working to spread education and awareness about pollution and rubbish, by organising opportunities to clean up local beaches. She encourages kids and families to become involved.
Polystyrene is a major contributor to marine and beach pollution. Medical waste washing up on beaches is also a serious issue in HK.
The cleanups are often associated with cultural and environmental events. In 2008 alongside our regular cleanups there were cleanups after typhoons, a data collection event to coincide with International Coastal Cleanup efforts in September and after the Lantern festival when there is a lot of glowstick debris and candle wax left littering the shoreline.
She started the initiative in May 2007 and especially loves the sense of bonding and community spirit it has brought to Discovery Bay.
She was motivated by being involved in Cleanup Australia, where she learnt that one person can make a difference, and of course by seeing the amount of rubbish left or washing up on beaches.
Tracey has been in communication with the government, rallying support, and getting engaged with the community. She has also learnt to blog!
The Marine department has been supportive and are always there with their boats to take away the bagged rubbish. The FEHD has also stepped up their efforts to keep the local beaches clean and provides us with the necessities (bags and gloves).
“The achievement of doing something, knowing that we are making a difference, giving support to the anti polystyrene project and seeing people think about the environment keeps me going.” There is so much that can be done to make a huge difference to the health of HK’s water, marine life and beaches.
Locally in Hong Kong
Kids come up after the event to say how much fun they had and how great it was to make a difference. Encouraging adults to reconsidering their purchasing habits around fast food (with straws, packaging and takeout containers) has had some success. Having more environmental awareness in schools and more participants in beach cleanups would help enormously.
Nationally in China
There is no progress yet, though with the Chinese medical waste there needs to be action taken.
I hope to see all restaurants stop using polystyrene. And I hope that we can get our target beaches clean from all the waste that has built up over many years.
Tracey has also started a business of eco-friendly products for kids’ parties (including tableware and gifts), organising recycling days in the Discovery Bay community and working on a campaign for a polystyrene-free Discovery Bay and Hong Kong-wide ban.