19 October 2015

Freshmen’s Eco-friendly Fest



Orientation Camp (O’Camp) in The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) is more than about making friends, playing games, and shouting rhyming slogans. The Campus Planning and Sustainability Office (CPSO) has been engaging student organizers to incorporate environment-conscious activities into their camp itinerary, helping freshmen realize that environmental stewardship is part of the culture of the University.

The Greenest O’Camp Award ceremony was held earlier outside the Yasumoto International Academic Park, officiated by Prof. Fung Tung, Associate Vice-President and chairman of the Committee on Campus Sustainability. He spoke to the winning students, ‘Going green is to re-examine our lifestyle, to take responsibility for others and ourselves, to show respect to nature, and to take care of the Earth and mankind. One small step for each of us, one giant leap for helping the planet. Green O’Camp is a good start. I hope you can keep the spirit up and at the same time, motivate your friends and families to live a green life together.’

Starting from 2013, CPSO has been sponsoring eco-friendly O’Camp organizers by reimbursing the expense of their production of BPA-free reusable water bottles with an eco-friendly message. This has been expanded to include T-shirts and towels this year. To earn the sponsorship, O’Campers must fulfil at least 11 actions out of a ‘Green O’Camp Checklist’ of 22.

Ms. Vivian Ho, Director of CPSO, was delighted with this year’s achievement: ‘We have seen an increase in participation since 2013 when the sponsorship programme was rolled out. This year we sponsored 17 O’Camps in total, which benefited more than 4,000 students. I wish the "green baton" will be passed on to each year’s new intake, so that the culture of sustainability can live on in CUHK!’

The O’Camp that performs the highest number of green actions is acknowledged as the ‘Greenest O’Camp’. Winner of the Greenest O’Camp Award 2015 goes to the Chinese Language and Literature Department Association, which has integrated 18 green initiatives into their orientation activities.

‘We informed all participants in advance that they would receive water bottles so they didn't need to buy drinks in disposable packaging. Tips are shared on where to find water dispensers on campus,’ said Erica Wong, camp organizer of the winning association.

‘We consulted with canteens to carefully plan the ordering of food, and try to order dishes that are least likely to generate leftovers. Freshmen participants were encouraged to request for "less rice" and avoid using disposable cutlery.’

When it comes to designing games, most O’Campers made sure that all destinations are reachable by foot or train. They also urged the freshmen to take the stairs instead of the lifts, after showing them the fast walking trail from the University Station all the way up to the University Mall.

中大協理副校長馮通教授(右五)、校園規劃及可持續發展處處長何婉兒女士(右四),以及參加者代表展示綠色迎新營的環保行動圖案。
中大協理副校長馮通教授(右五)、校園規劃及可持續發展處處長何婉兒女士(右四),以及參加者代表展示綠色迎新營的環保行動圖案。

馮通教授(右)頒發最綠迎新營大獎予中國語言及文學系系會迎新營籌備委員會。
馮通教授(右)頒發最綠迎新營大獎予中國語言及文學系系會迎新營籌備委員會。

嘉賓與得獎人合照。
嘉賓與得獎人合照。