V'air Hong Kong is an environmental education organization with the aim of promoting low-carbon local tourism. We are a group of university students, who wish to dedicate our efforts as youths in influencing Hong Kong people to combat climate change. Prior to the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21), Hong Kong Tertiary Schools COP21 Challenge was organized to invite innovative climate solutions from students. Our team came up with V’air and captured the champion title. V'air was established since then and continued to operate up till today.
Tremendous amount of energy is required to power an airplane. Air travelling is a major source of greenhouse gas emission from Hong Kong people, leading to climate change and detrimental effects associated. According to the Environmental Protection Department, average carbon footprint per Hong Kong citizen is 6 tonnes of carbon dioxide. While WWF-Hong Kong initiated a carbon footprint calculator in 2007, collecting carbon footprint from over 5800 Hong Kong residents. The average annual carbon dioxide emission was found to be 13.44 tonnes instead, more than 2 times of the initial figure. Over 50% of the emission was originated from air travelling.
Promoting local tourism is a potential solution to reduce large emissions from aviation.
V’air takes the role of exploring local attractions, organizing local tours and education workshops to encourage Hong Kong people travel locally, with the aim of
reducing carbon footprint per capita. “V’air” is a homophone to “Vert” in French, which stands for the colour green. It displays our mission of making the earth a greener planet. “Air”represents air-travelling. Combining “vert” with “air” means incorporating the elements of green and travel. This can be achieved through offering local tours, which resembles the experience of air-travelling.
At present, V’air aims to achieve our mission of combating climate change through three main channels - organizing local tours, public education events and content creation. For local tours, we have organized eco-tours for secondary school and university students. This can raise their environmental awareness and promote local tourism as an alternate leisure option. In terms of public education, V’air has held booths at environment-related events and carnivals, such as Greennomarket. For content creation, V’air focuses on operating Facebook page (www.facebook.com/vairhk) and webpage (www.vairhk.com). On these platforms,
V’air recommends Hong Kong travel locations and itineraries. We also spread
green messages and ecological knowledge to the audience in order to promote awareness on environmental protection. In October, 2017, V’air published a book
named “Low Carbon Tourism (低碳。好行)” by Wan Li Books Ltd. The book records 39 itineraries in rural and urban areas of Hong Kong with knowledge on environmental conservation.
During the course of operation, V’air has received wide media coverage, including Mingpao, TVB and RTHK. V’air has won Sustainable Development Promotion Award organized by Environment Bureau, Gold Award of Sunny Passion Programme from Chinese University of Hong Kong and Dorsett Young Entrepreneur Scholarship. Besides, V’air is a recipient of the Chinese University Social Enterprise Fund. Facing the imminent climate crisis, V’air is determined to dedicate our efforts as youth in influencing Hong Kong people to take a more active role to combat climate change. Join us in the journey of exploring Hong Kong!
Part of the articles are written with English translation, but full English website is not available yet due to shortage of manpower. We are more than welcome for volunteers to join, accept public and media enquires!
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