Earth Chat

【Olympics Series】Carbon Reduction is a Race in Need for Speed




Less than a week left until the Tokyo Olympics, many people have been waiting for this race that emphasizes speed, endurance and persistence. Saving the Earth also requires these three elements. We must walk the talk as we need to urgently decarbonize to solve climate change. This year, Friends of the Earth (HK) invited a number of local star athletes to serve as the "Team Earth” for "Tree Planting Challenge 2021" to plant trees, reduce carbon and cool the planet. This week, let us introduce three of those athletes. How do they integrate environmentalism into their daily lives? Do they have any environmental tips they can share with us when they go abroad to compete?



Chiu Hoi Yan, Cori: Reuse cooler bags, drink ice water, do not rely on air conditioner

Cori Chiu, one of few female international Muay Thai judges in Hong Kong, was also a member of the Hong Kong Muay Thai team. Now, she is physical fitness and Muay Thai coach under the Sports Legacy Scheme from the Sports Federation & Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China. Cori said that rising temperature these years have affected training performances, especially in summer. Therefore, she has a bunch of daily routines for decarbonization. She brings her own water bottle to eliminate the number of one-off beverage bottles used. Also, she tries to use reusable cooler bags. Cori always spends a lot of time in the Muay Thai center. Turning on the air conditioner is nearly a must when doing sports and sweating. However, Cori had learned about the various methods to cool off without an air conditioner during her training in Thailand. She suggests Muay Thai centers in Hong Kong also practice the same. ”Muay Thai centers in Thailand have a tank of water filled with ice for drinking. The cooling effect of drinking ice water is way better than using an air conditioner,” she said.



Yip Pui Yin: Extend the life of sneakers by exchanging them with other athletes

As a member of the Hong Kong Badminton team, Yip Pui Yin often trains indoor and is less affected by hot weather. But playing badminton often requires smashing, which wear down the shoes quickly. It is common to replace the shoes every two to three months. To protect the environment, Yip came up with an idea: since the weight of gravity is mainly placed on one foot, the shoe of the dominant foot wears down quicker. To avoid waste, she would exchange sneakers with another athlete who has a different dominant foot. For example, she exchanged one side of the sneaker with a good condition from a left-footed player, and then she will have a good pair of shoes.




Chan Ka Ho: To reduce the wastes, recycle clothes on the starting line

Chan Ka Ho, a current 4x1500m relay Hong Kong record holder, coaches under the Sports Legacy Scheme from the Sports Federation & Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China. Due to his unique experiences of long-distance training all around the world, the hot weather has always been one of his concerns, leading to his personal views on environmental protection. He had seen so much waste during his different international events, especially at places with cold weather. Athletes will often throw away their coats right before the start of the race, becoming waste. Fortunately, more event organizers will collect these clothes and distribute to developing countries. Ka Ho also has some environmental protection tips he wants to share with us. As he trains a lot, his running shoes wear down quickly. He would donate less-worn down shoes. He also avoids using disposable plastic tableware and plastic straw to reduce his carbon footprint, doing his best to protect the climate.

Epilogue

The interview was done when they participated in the "Tree Planting Challenge 2021” event. The athletes have experience in attending international events, but they were still very excited to help plant tree saplings and anticipate their growth. If you want to contribute as well to cool down the world, come and join "Tree Planting Challenge 2021”!



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Climate Change
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