Blog Tag: Sustainability

Ark Eden internship opportunity

Posted by Peter MUIR

Ark Eden, an environmental education organization based on Lantau Island, are looking for students to act as leaders on their holiday camps. This is a great opportunity to gain experience working outdoors, working directly with children and to join a positive, supportive and fun working environment.  Student leaders will learn the skills to be a leader of activities for children aged 5-11, and is an ideal opportunity for anyone with an interest in working with children, outdoor/adventure pursuits, environmental responsibility or NGO work.

Click here for more details – do it promptly as registration time is running out!

Earth Day 2017

Posted by Peter MUIR

Did you know that, according to Reader’s Digest, the average American uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water a day?

Or that about 2.03 million tonnes of solid waste was recovered in Hong Kong in 2015; 2% was recycled locally and 98% was exported to the Mainland and other countries for recycling.

And, recently, The European Union (EU) has decided to reduce 20% of its energy consumption by 2020.

What is Earth Day?

Earth Day is an annual global event that is celebrated on 22nd April and its purpose is to demonstrate support for environmental protection. Earth Day is coming up soon and there are many different ways that you can contribute to reduce our eco-footprint.  Click here to be informed with the different activities you can be involved with.  It is a matter of getting involved and taking small steps to reduce your impact on what is currently our only home. And then, of course, continue these actions everyday!

Advocating change – stop needless plastic wrapping

Posted by Peter MUIR

Stop plastic Wellcome!

Unless you are living in a bubble, or abiding by the ‘ignorance is bliss’ philosophy, you will be ware of the issues that our over-reliance on plastic is causing. Unless we want more pieces of plastic in our ocean than fish, we drastically need to do something about this.

One very easy way to act is to sign this petition (but that alone is not enough – scroll down!) to ask a big player in our plastic waste production to stop unnecessarily wrapping produce in our Hong Kong grocery stores in some form of plastic.

Once, you have signed the petition, think about what other action you could take. Perhaps start with encouraging others to sign the petition, then move on to conducting some research on your own consumption patters, investigating ways to reduce your plastic use then developing a plan to do so. Then perhaps you could inform others about how to do this, and actively advocate them to do so. Then you could advocate that McDonald’s stops using plastic bags for their drinks.

And why stop there! Join the DC Green Cobras to look at ways of making our school ‘greener’, or get involved in how our school can celebrate environmental days such as World Ocean Day, World Environment Day, or Mother Earth day. There are many ways that you could act on this issue, some more beneficial than others. Following the CE framework/CAS Stages will help you ensure that your action has the greatest benefit.

Go beyond the hour

Posted by Peter MUIR

Earth Hour 2016 is approaching!


By now, you probably know all about the most famous Earth Hour action: switching off all non-essential lighting. Since the first Earth Hour, held on 31 March 2007 by WWF-Australia, the event has become a beacon of global concern about climate change and the world’s largest environmental action. The size of the event has grown enormously, with millions of people around the world supporting subsequent Earth Hours.

Switching off for an hour is actually an easy challenge. What can you do to go beyond switching off non-essential lighting (on 19 March 2016 between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. local time)? What action can you take to consume less and consume wisely? Keep in mind that small, daily changes to a person’s lifestyle can make a big difference to our planet. What will you do?

Last Call for Applicants: Nature Works Hong Kong 2016 Environmental Innovation and Leadership Program

Posted by Peter MUIR

NWHK Student Feedback 3Nature Works Hong Kong, organized by one of the world’s largest conservation organizations, The Nature Conservancy, is a free program designed to empower students to conceive, test, and launch their own environmental conservation projects in schools and communities across Hong Kong.

Last year, over 110 students from 35+ local and international schools join together in 13 project teams. The program combines leadership skills training, a network of volunteer advisors from the corporate and non-profit worlds, and a platform from which student teams can raise support for their ideas. It’s a great opportunity for students aged 14-17 who are passionate about the environment and want to take action.

Further information and application details can be found on the Nature Works website.

Nature Works Hong Kong 2015 Trailer from Seeds Training on Vimeo.

Ark Eden CAS Project opportunity

Posted by Peter MUIR

Ark eden logoArk Eden’s 2015-2016 CAS project provides you with an excellent opportunity to learn new skills and take action for the natural environment. The project will concentrate on developing leadership skills within a range of areas with all Creative, Action and Service components included in this major undertaking. The principle component of this years CAS project will be to train you to manage and lead environmental-permaculture activities with groups of young students Skills that you will acquire will include: Leadership, team work and communication Effective teaching and learning methods All element of safety required in transporting and managing groups of young children Researching, planning, time-tabling and other logistics for group activities Managing resources, setting up and down programmes Documenting permaculture programme content Creating a Perma-scout blog and newsletter

Click here for more details and registration – Ark Eden CAS Project 2015 – Environmental leadership.

Summer Volunteering opportunity in Indonesia

Posted by Peter MUIR

tasikoki logoESF in cooperation with the Masarang Foundation want to offer you a fantastic volunteer opportunity at Tasikoki Wildlife Rescue Centre in North Sulawesi, Indonesia. Masarang Foundation is an inspirational organization that is making real changes and finding real solutions for today’s global problems. Our students will have the chance to play a role in this change at Tasikoki by helping in the rehabilitation and care for the animals of Tasikoki who have been rescued from the illegal animal trade.

At ESF we are continually trying to find ways to improve the learning experience as well as preparing our students for their futures. This volunteer opportunity will give our students the experience of volunteering/working full time, which will contribute towards their growth as an individual and further prepare them for what’s ahead. It is becoming an increasingly competitive world and our students are competing with thousands of other International Students for placements in Universities or the workplace. What will separate the students future applications from the others are valuable hands-on experiences such as this.

This project will embody what the IB CAS program represents which is activities that give our students the chance to take on challenges that will develop them holistically. The students will also get a ‘head start’ in learning what the expectations for a CAS project are for their upcoming senior years at school. Furthermore our students will have pre and post-trip opportunities to work with the Masarang HK Society Limited registered charity in Hong Kong ( These opportunities could form a large component of their CAS program.

The date of the project will be from June 18th – July 2nd, 2015 and students will be selected from each of the ESF schools based on a written letter of application stating why they want to be involved in this project. Most students would have finished their Year 11 exams so the timeframe suits both the supervising teachers’ and students’ schedule.

The overall cost of the trip will be $13,790 HKD based on 28 students attending. These 28 students will be supervised by 4 teachers from across different ESF Schools; as well as the attentive, qualified staff at Tasikoki.

Enriching experiences like this are so valuable and are always remembered. We are extremely excited to offer this opportunity especially since it is with an organization that is making a real difference in the sustainability of a developing country. We look forward to receiving your interest and application.

More details in this document Y11 Tasikoki Volunteer Opportunity – Pamphlet – Please contact Mr Muir if you are interested.

Hong Kong’s Ecological Footprint hits a record high

Posted by Peter MUIR

globalfootprintAccording to the Living Planet Report 2014 published by WWF across the world, global wildlife populations have declined by 52 per cent in the last 40 years! Humanity’s Ecological Footprint is now 1.5 times the available biocapacity – in other words, it takes 18 months for the Earth to regenerate what humanity consumes in 12 months.

The situation in Hong Kong is even worse: our per capita Ecological Footprint recently hits a record high of 5.4 global hectares – the 15th largest in the world. This huge “ecological deficit” ranks Hong Kong as first in Asia – not something that those living in Hong Kong should be proud of. To put it in perspective, if everybody on the planet lived a Hong Kong lifestyle, we would require 3.1 Earths to fulfil our resource needs.

All Hong Kong residents have a shared responsibility in reducing our impact on the planet.  Businesses, citizens and schools alike need to put real effort into reducing our Ecological Footprint today.  WHat could you do to reduce your personal eco-footprint?  How could you reduce your family’s eco-footprint?  And what about DC’s – how could we reduce our impact?  There are many opportunities for students to lead the way and make change here – change that could make a difference in the impact we have on our planet.  Of course, such meaningful action would be a valued part of your Community Engagement efforts.   Speak to Mr Muir if you are keen to learn more.

ESF Environmental forum – looking for leaders

Posted by Peter MUIR

The ESF Student Environment Forum, is looking for a maximum of four students to represent DC in the ESF student environmental forum.   This is a fantastic opportunity for students to get involved in directing ESF schools to becoming more environmentally friendly, and would provide those involved with great experience in this inter-school initiative.

Those chosen to represent DC will be expected to be active participants at once per term meetings to achieve the committee’s goals and facilitate ESF-wide strategy.

We would like to have one student from our middle school and one senior school student to represent DC.  Naturally, those who apply would need to be enthusiastic about environmental sustainability.

Last year, members of the forum were able to make several changes within ESF, including a pledge from all ESF schools to go plastic free, changing school policy to to use recycled paper and other recycled paper products and more.  If you are interested, please email Mr Muir ASAP.

A petition for bees and more

Posted by Peter MUIR

New research indicates that neurotoxic pesticides known as “neonics” are not only wiping out the world’s bees, but also killing off butterflies, fish, and birds, threatening to wipe out “the heart of a functioning ecosystem”. The study says neonics can be 5,000 to 10,000 times more toxic to bees than DDT, and according to some scientists, it is a threat to the productivity of our natural and farmed environment.

dead-beeBayer, one of the largest producers of neonics, has been under enormous pressure to reign in the killer pesticide. Instead, Bayer has launched a lawsuit at the EU in an attempt to overturn neonic regulations.

The Story of Stuff organization has organized a petition to tell Bayer to stop making the neonics causing mass destruction of our ecosystem and wiping out the food chain.  You can click here to sign the petition – but I would suggest being informed about the issue before doing so.  Also consider – is signing a petition enough to be classified as ‘taking action’? And what role does advocacy take to bring about social change?