There's some rough news from Vietnam this week as the government approves a new coal plant — one of 90 new plants they envision by 2025. On the other hand, we received this wonderful update from Hong Hoang and the 350 team in Vietnam…

The Green Consumption Campaign launch kicks-off Vietnam’s 350 movement in 2011


Over 500 students, local residents, journalists and government officials attended the launch of a campaign to promote the consumption of green products in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) on 4 June. This is the first event from Vietnam leading up to Moving Planet to join the global 350 campaign to reduce the CO2 concentrate in the atmosphere for a healthy planet.

This is the second time the campaign has been coordinated by HCMC Department of Industry and Trade, Sai Gon Giai Phong Newspaper, and Saigon Union of Trading Cooperatives (Saigon Co.op), with the objective to inspire the local people to adopt more sustainable consumption practices, and from there encourage the manufacturing corporations to invest and expand their production of green products for the local market.

The 2-month Green Consumption Campaign includes various activities: from giving away a huge number of discount vouchers to consumers who buy green products in all Saigon Co.opMart supermarkets to offering green brands the best display shelves in the supermarkets, from conducting a large volunteer-led awareness raising campaign, to getting local celebrities to speak out for green lifestyles. Though the event on 4 June was the official launch of the campaign, the awareness raising activities had already been started earlier. Hundreds of volunteers were biking around the city carrying the campaign messages and distributing thousands of copies of green products manual along the way, while other groups organized “Green Street” events to introduce green products to local residents and excite them about adopting green consumption habits. Through this campaign, the organizing parties wish to help to ensure sustainability of the local economic growth, by reducing environmental impacts of production and consumption practices.

sites/all/files/green_consumption_campaign_hcmc_photo_2.jpg“We are aware of the global campaign, and we’ve learned that every individual can contribute to slowing down climate change simply by changing the way we live, the way we consume," said Huynh Giao, the winner of the National MC Contest 2010, one of the campaign’s celebrity ambassadors. “By joining this campaign, I want to make people see that living green is cool, and consuming green products is good for both our own health and the environment in which we all live in."

The launching event had many exciting activities: mottainai (a Japan-originated public event for exchanging old stuffs to reduce wastes), green shops selling souvenir items made of recycled materials, a student group introducing their hydroponic gardening model, a fashion competition with outfits made of old papers, a music show with beautiful environment themed songs, on-stage talks with the celebrity ambassadors and the participating green businesses…. The attendants also actively joined environmental games, and made commitments for greener lifestyle with the “Tree of Commitments”. Another highlight of the event was when the volunteers cheerfully posed for some nice photos with the banner of logo and the campaign’s slogan “Consume green products for your own health”.

The launching event was live broadcast on the national television channel VTV9. Dozens of local journalists attending and reporting on the event helped to multiply the campaign impacts on a much larger scale.

“I am sure there will be many more activities in Vietnam as part of this year’s 350 campaign, but this could be one of the most effective campaigns,” expressed Hong Hoang, 350 Vietnam Coordinator. “The Vietnamese people are aware of climate change, but in most cases they don’t know what to do, as an individual. This campaign shows people how to be part of solution by becoming wise consumers, and show the manufacturing corporations that greening their business is the best way to compete in the market these days."

This coming weekend, the volunteers will continue with another “Green Street” event in a heavily populated residential area. There will also be a much anticipated event, “Green Shopping with Celebrities”, where some favourite celebrities joined by supermarket consumers will compete in a shopping competition for green products in a busy Co.opMart supermarket. If you are by any chance in Ho Chi Minh City this week, do join us and see how fun it is to protect this planet!


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