By: Matthew Guo and James Eyre
Photography by Matthew Guo
What is ‘Drop in the Ocean (DITO)’?
Drop in the Ocean is a student-led group, passionate about environmental protection. Other than advocating for sustainable thinking and action, there is also a component of service in the work we do. DITO has three strands, Beach Clean-Up, Urban Farming and CIS Footprint, each of which is uniquely focused on environmental sustainability. Beach Cleanup hosts regular sessions to remove plastic debris from Hong Kong’s beaches. By planting organic produce in the school’s community farm and educating others on the topic, Urban Farming seeks to highlight the importance of farming in an urban environment. Footprint is the newest strand under DITO. It is a sustainability audit aiming to collect valuable data which will guide and encourage Chinese International School’s journey to becoming a zero carbon school.
What Have We Done?
Projects Past & Present
Last year, DITO asked Chartwells to introduce more environmentally-friendly operations, especially concerning the packaging of food and drinks. From this, came the tetra pack campaign to remove all tetra packs from CIS. DITO presented Chartwells with several types of eco-friendly packaging to replace the tetra packs, as well as educated CIS about why the campaign would be beneficial to the school and environment. DITO collected over 600 signatures and convinced Chartwells to make the change to eco-friendly packaging. We are so happy and proud of the CIS community for coming together to support this movement!
DITO also annually holds fun events, activities and talks for Green Week, Vegan Day and other days devoted to raising awareness about the environment. Last year on World Vegan Day, DITO organized 500 Impossible meat burgers for students. A vegetarian diet is more environmentally friendly than a meat-eating diet, as meat production contributes 18% of total human greenhouse gas emissions. This was a great chance to introduce this meat-free option to the community to promote a vegetarian/vegan diet!
Why our cause?
There are enough private cars in the city to wrap around Hong Kong island more than 43 times, and throughout the course of a year these cars release CO2 equivalent to about 80 percent of their weight. That’s a lot of carbon with a one way ticket to our biosphere! Facts like these are definitely not to be disputed, but often times can desensitise audiences and end up achieving the opposite of their intended purpose. The doom and gloom they bring does not foster a positive atmosphere to affect change. DITO is focused on advocating for our environment in a positive way in close connection with the CIS community, taking care of our environment for future generations to enjoy it the same way we have.