Year-round Festivals Series 32 – World Cleanup Day – Clean up more than just rubbish

With the end of the summer holidays, autumn is gradually approaching us. This Friday is the White Dew, one of the 24 Solar Terms in traditional Chinese lunisolar calendars, which is an autumn season. This is an autumnal season when the northern hemisphere’s sunshine hours are shorter and nighttime temperatures drop faster, causing moisture to condense into crystal clear dew drops.

The poetic name “White Dew” originates from the ancient people’s observation of nature’s nuances. Our planet is also like a crystal clear blue-green pearl. However, as the world’s population continues to grow, it has become overburdened by extravagant and wasteful lifestyles. According to the United Nations Environmental Protection Agency, it would take 1.7 Earths to support our current lifestyle.

The rise of environmental organisations and environmental days is an opportunity for us to address this issue and educate our next generation on how to live in a sustainable and beautiful environment.

The Earth doesn’t just belong to our generation

World Cleanup Day is an international festival held on the third Saturday of September every year. World Cleanup Day addresses the global crisis of waste disposal, including the problem of emissions in the oceans. It is one of the most important environmental holidays in the world. The festival was founded in 1993 and has been running for 30 years. It is coordinated by the international organisation Let’s Do It World.

According to the official website of Let’s Do It World, more than 190 countries participated in the previous year’s event, with more than 15 million people taking part. During the festival, these countries will mobilise participants to clean up waste and plastic waste in streets, parks, beaches, forests, rivers, beaches and more.

Turning rubbish into a creative backyard

Apart from recycling and sending them to landfills, is there any other use for the collected waste? Sustainable art is a way of using discarded materials or thinking about sustainability to create art that focuses on the climate crisis and related social issues.

There is an art village in Peng Chau, Hong Kong, where sustainable art is the theme of the village: the “Secret Garden” of the Cowhide Factory. The whole village is full of ingenious installations, where seemingly useless old tables, chairs, bicycles, tyres and pipes have been transformed into music installations for playing, chairs for sitting, and dreamy hanging decorations for taking photos. The factory, a Grade III cultural heritage in Hong Kong, has been transformed by Peng Chau residents into a secret garden full of creativity after being decorated with discarded materials!

#YearroundFestivalSeries #WorldCleanupDay #PengChau


✍🏼 Write + Create 

◢ Elva Lai enjoys creating art, reading, travelling, hiking and making a cup of coffee in the morning. She received her education in Singapore, the United States, Germany and Hong Kong.

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