It’s the new way of living. Read on for Hive Life’s guide to living sustainably in Hong Kong, featuring the best the city has to offer if you’re looking to minimise your carbon footprint.
With a growing awareness to care for our planet, sustainability and eco-friendliness have become trigger words in Hong Kong. From dining out to grocery shopping, transportation to body and skin care, here is our guide to living sustainability in Asia’s World City.
Sustainable Restaurants, Eateries and Bars in Hong Kong
Recycling paper for menus and upcycling waste plastic into coasters as well as composting all food waste and providing eco-friendly takeaway bags for leftovers, John Anthony is an eco-conscious restaurant serving up Chinese dishes with an innovatively modern twist – think delightfully flavourful Iberico pork presa char siu (Cantonese-style barbecued pork) and cold-served slow-cooked, meaty wagyu beef cheeks served chilled in a chilli sauce. This venue raises the bar for sustainable living with each element of the space incorporating an ethical initiative, proving that luxe and responsible living are not mutually exclusive.
Insider’s Tip: Their fatty and tender wagyu beef char siu is a favourite among customers.
Address: Basement Level, Lee Garden Three, 1 Sunning Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Open From: Mon-Sun: 11:30am-3pm, 5:30pm-10pm
Coining the term ‘fast slow food,’ MANA! focuses on sustainability and responsible sourcing with a mission of serving up plant-based whole food, with minimal processing to their customers. This spot is ideal for enjoying a vegan-friendly coffee while feasting on one of the many items on their menu. Whether it’s their signature burger (a scrumptious tower of grilled halloumi, soft tofu, beautifully caramelised roasted vegetables and more) or their wholesome, handmade and oven-baked-from-scratch flatbreads, all their items are wrapped in biodegradable & compostable packaging. What’s more, MANA! collects all this packaging and food scraps and turns them into compost, sending the soil to local farms and garden centres afterwards.
Insider’s Tip: Organic wines, beers, spirits and snacks are served every evening at MANA! Starstreet’s Hippy (Happy) Hour from 6-8pm (Note that Happy Hour is currently only available at Mana! Starstreet)
Address: 8-10 Queen’s Road East, Wanchai (click here for other locations)
Open From: Mon-Fri: 8am-9pm; Sat-Sun & Public Holidays: 10am-9pm
Embodying the phrase ‘booze with a conscience,’ the drink menu at Potato Head’s Eksotika Bar makes it so that you don’t have to worry about food waste on an alcohol-filled brunch. The sister establishment of the famous Bali bar and restaurant, this eco-conscious bar serves up deliciously naughty drinks while minimising fruit waste by composting unused parts of ingredients and using it as fertiliser for herbs and produce that will be used in a range of concoctions later on. In lieu of plastic straws, this venue embraces its tropical atmosphere with bamboo straws that are both great for the environment and your camera roll.
Insider’s Tip: Stop by earlier for brunch at Kaum, the venue’s vegetarian-friendly restaurant, that serves up recipes originating from the Indonesian islands’ 600 tribal communities with a modern approach.
Address: G/F, 100 Third Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong
Open From: Mon: 6pm-11pm; Tue-Sun: 11am-12pm
Sustainable Transport in Hong Kong
The city’s iconic, double-decked tramcars are the ideal mode of transport if you find yourself exploring Hong Kong Island. Nicknamed ‘ding ding’ by the locals, in reference to the double-bell ring used to notify pedestrians of their approach, Hong Kong’s tramways run on electricity and are the most affordable, convenient and greenest public means of travel when in the southern part of the city. A stark contrast to Hong Kong’s fast-paced, busy lifestyle, these trams travel at a relatively low speed, giving you plenty of time to absorb the diverse and encapsulating views that the city has to offer. With a total of 120 stops all over Hong Kong Island, each situated roughly 250 meters away from each other, riders can easily hop on and off wherever they so desire.
Insider’s Tip: Hong Kong Tramways offers an interesting and insightful one-hour long sightseeing tour (the TramOramic Tour) as the tram weaves through the city’s unique mixture of rich cultural heritage and modern innovation.
Price: Adults: HKD 2.60 / Children: HKD 1.30 / Senior Citizens: HKD 1.20 (regardless of the distance you travel)
Open From: First and last trains all depart at varying times so be sure to check their website when planning for your trip
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Sustainable Groceries in Hong Kong
With an industrial styled, steel-framed floor-to-ceiling window storefront, Slowood is a soft-hued, spacious grocery venue that’s stocked up with more than 100 international and local brands. From fresh-pressed juices to alcohol, high-quality groceries to household and personal care products, Slowood provides its shoppers with all things sustainably and ethically sourced. Also, encouraging zero waste habits, the space has a refill station where you can bring in clean bottles to stock up on a wide variety of small foods like dried fruit, nuts, herbs and spices.
Insider’s Tip: Feeling peckish after your trip? Slowood has a takeaway vegetarian and vegan-friendly kitchen tucked away towards the back of the store where customers choose from a selection of creative, mushroom-based dishes.
Address: The Hudson, 11 Davis Street, Sai Wan, Hong Kong
Open From: Sun-Thu: 10am-10pm; Fri-Sat: 10am-11pm
Alternatively, with the aim of providing natural, organic and fair trade food while encouraging a less wasteful lifestyle, Edgar is a zero-waste store where visitors buy fresh, packaging-free produce in bulk. Donning a rustic atmosphere, shelves here are stocked full with mason jars filled to the brim with all sorts of foods including dried mushrooms, fruits, nuts, biscuits and pasta. Prompting their customers to take the road to sustainable living, Edgar also has an extensive collection of eco-friendly and package-free products, such as glass and metal straws, wooden utensils and reusable containers that cater to all sorts of lifestyles and needs.
Address: Wanchai Star Street Precinct, 5 Moon Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Open From: Mon-Fri: 12pm-8pm; Sat: 11pm-8pm; Sun: 11pm-6pm
Sustainable Body and Skin Care in Hong Kong
The epitome of the phrase ‘natural is better,’ ZeroYet100 specialises in gender-neutral, toxic and chemical-free deodorants that keep you feeling fresh all day. These handcrafted products come in all forms of pots, sprays, push-up sticks and twist-up sticks that suit all needs and preferences. With a non-sticky, non-greasy formula, these amazingly environmentally-friendly deodorants come in recyclable or upcyclable packaging and are labelled with lamination- and plastic-free paper product stickers. What’s more, this vegan, cruelty-free brand also carries a line of face, body and detox products all made under the same, eco-friendly philosophy.
Insider’s Tip: Can’t seem to carve out some time to visit their store in person? ZeroYet100’s easy-to-use online store makes it so you don’t have the excuse of inconvenience to start your journey to sustainable and eco-friendly living.
Address: 702 Car Po Commercial Building, 18–20 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, Hong Kong
Open From: Mon-Fri: 9am-6pm (closed on Public Holidays)
INUF offers an impressive variety of vegan, eco-ethical skincare, haircare, fragrance and makeup products all designed especially for Hong Kong’s humid weather. Occupying a space with beautiful floor-to-ceiling windows letting in natural light with white, marble counters and soft pops of green and brown woody tones across the entire space, the venue also has refillable stations for their hand and body wash products, getting you closer to a zero-waste lifestyle. Don’t forget to visit INUF’s Skin Spa where you can enjoy relaxing face and body treatments with their in-house products.
Insider’s Tip: Get rewards from the store’s recycling scheme by returning empty INUF containers when you’ve finished the product.
Address: 21/F Penthouse, MW Plaza, 40 Kimberley Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Open From: Tue-Sat: 10am-9pm; Sun: 1pm-6pm