Eating is something that we all do every day. But do we really know how to eat well? Do we really think about what we put into our mouths? When we do not think about what we eat, not only do we harm our own bodies, we do harm to the environment as well. To learn more about how to eat well and eat greenly, we went on an excursion to Green Hub.
Green Hub is located at the Old Tai Po Police Station. It is a very serene and elegant place. It is not too close to urban areas, which makes the place very quiet and peaceful. There, we were safe from the cacophony of distressing noises from the city and we could appreciate the lush green trees and plants quietly. In addition to the abundant vegetation, the main building of the Old Tai Po Police Station is stunning. It has a unique mix of traditional Chinese architectural elements and those of the West. Through this building, we could clearly see the great influence the British had on Hong Kong in the old days. And for this very reason, it was listed as one of the Grade I Historical Buildings in 2009. When we toured around Green Hub, our guide briefly explained to us what the original purpose of the building was, the historical value of the building, how they restored it, and the use of the building now. The building is now home to Green Hub – a place to educate people about sustainable living and its benefits, both to people and the environment.
After our guided tour, we went on to have the Eat Well Workshop. During the workshop, we tried to make our own snack, banana spring rolls. We were also served with salad and herbal tea made with freshly picked herbs and heated water from a solar cooker. The food was fresh and delectable and the tea was very refreshing. We were told that we should choose foods grown locally because not only are they fresher, it is also a more environmentally-friendly option as greenhouse gases released by transportation is minimalized. Foods that are in season are also a nice choice since they are usually fresher and are more nutritious to our bodies. Besides that, we should eat organic. It is because the chemical pesticides and fertilizers used in inorganic farming are very harmful to the environment and can pollute the soil for decades. Even after washing, the residual chemicals on our food can slowly corrode our bodies and long-term exposure to such chemicals can result in certain appalling chronic illnesses. Therefore, it is important to choose what we eat wisely.
On top of making the right choices, the way we cook our food and the way we dispose of it should be paid attention to as well. During the workshop, we have learnt that cooking requires a lot of energy, whether we use a gas stove or an electric stove. As fossil fuels are becoming less and less abundant, we must find ways to cook food that could save energy. We were taught that a solar cooker is a good tool to cook food and to save energy at the same time. Instead of using fossil fuels, a solar cooker can collect the energy from sunlight and use it to heat and cook food. It is a very neat way to save energy. Moreover, we should not waste food and if we must dispose of it, for example, bones and orange peels, we should try to recycle it. Orange peels can be used to make homemade detergent and other leftovers can be made into fertilizers so that the unconsumed nutrients can be returned to nature.
We have really learnt a lot from this excursion. We should really pay more attention to what we eat, how we cook it, and how we dispose of it to not only make our bodies healthier but also make our world better.