Steps to Shrink our Footprint
Steps to Shrink our Footprint

Each of us leaves a carbon footprint on the planet … and yours is probably larger and more destructive than you think. By making small, simple changes to our daily habits, we can tread more lightly and help build a more sustainable future. Here are four ways to start a lower-carbon lifestyle today.

1. Cook smartly 

The way you cook plays an important part in reducing carbon emissions. Induction cookers, microwaves, and slow cookers are more energy-efficient than traditional ovens, reducing the size of your energy bills as well as your carbon footprint.


Each meal makes a difference too. Defrosting food before cooking shortens the cooking time, for instance, and keeping a lid on pans heats up food faster. When you’re using the kettle, don’t overfill it and only boil as much water as you need.

Induction cooking
Induction cooking reduces energy bills and is kinder to the environment.

2. Switch to a low-carbon diet

What you put on your dinner plate can be one of the largest sources of carbon in our daily lives. A study by the research organisation Our World In Data found more than a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions came from food production


Animal products – beef and lamb in particular – account for more than half of those food production emissions. So, by eating less meat and opting for organic and locally-produced food where possible, we can reduce emissions from the transport and preservation of food.

Greenhouse gas emissions of selected food products
Source: Our World In Data

Many restaurants now offer low-carbon menus. Ocean Park Hong Kong offers one such menu along with sustainable seafood dishes, including fish balls sourced from fish certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council.


Humans generated an estimated 931 million tonnes of food waste in 2019 – equivalent to the weight of around 1.6 million Airbus A380 aircraft – according to an United Nations report. Simply adjusting your diet options and serving sizes can make a big impact.


3. Be a clever commuter

Taking public transport or using electric vehicles significantly reduces the emissions our daily lives generate. Cycling and running are also great ways to get healthy and be kinder to our planet.


In Hong Kong, the NT Cycle Track Network – a 60 km-long route completed last year and running between Tuen Mun and Ma On Shan in the New Territories – includes scenic spots, cultural attractions, food kiosks, and rest facilities. It offers a delightful travel alternative for people who want to be greener and healthier. 

Jogging to work
Running to work boosts your energy levels through the day.

Jogging to work in the morning is becoming increasingly popular with office workers. Apart from the obvious health and environmental benefits, you will gradually find you have more time on your hands as you reach your daily fitness goals. These quick tips from the sports brand On can help you get started.

For the less energetic, try walking home from work. Kwun Tong Promenade, Tseung Kwan O South Waterfront Promenade, and Pak Shek Kok Promenade near the Hong Kong Science Park are easily accessible and offer spectacular views to help workers unwind after a long, busy day in the office.

4. Travel closer to home

Air travel makes a huge contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. Even though overseas travel has dramatically reduced during the pandemic, longer-term reductions are needed if we are to see a meaningful impact on climate change. 

Governments and tourism bodies have recently promoted travel at home and green tours. The Hong Kong government launched the Green Lifestyle Local Tour Incentive Scheme to promote nature conservation and biodiversity and support the city’s tourism industry.


As a result, some of Hong Kong’s world-class natural sites, such as the UNESCO Global Geopark and historical sites like Mui Tsz Lam, are becoming as popular with residents as they were with overseas visitors before the pandemic.


By discovering the natural beauty around us, you not only get all the benefits of an overseas break but you also discover your home city at a more profound level and deepen the connection between yourself and the community you live in.

Natural scenery of Hong Kong
Remember to take your litter home with you when you explore the beautiful natural scenery of Hong Kong.

It’s easy to take a few simple steps towards a greener lifestyle. How you cook, what you eat, and the way you commute and travel all play a part in the impact you have on the planet. Make better choices and reduce your carbon footprint today ... Your health, your bank account, and the environment will all thank you for it.