This month is #plasticfreejuly and a reminder to think about how we better manage our use of waste, reduce plastics and care for the beautiful environment where we live.
Hoi An is blessed with a stunning natural environment and it’s our responsibility to practice sustainable travel over the summer. To walk softly and leave only footprints behind.
At HAIS, our goal is to make socially conscious decisions that consider the environment where we live, as well as the broader planet. With this in mind, we are committed to the ‘R’s – and we would love you to practice these too when you are on holidays:
All plastics used at our school are resold, reused or recycled.
For those living or visiting Hoi An, remember to separate your rubbish and to find the right location for waste. There are many locals who will gladly take your glass bottles or plastics.
Remember when you drop rubbish at the kerbside pickup spots, they can attract wildlife so always wait until there is a bin with space.
Visiting a scenic spot with no bins? Please take your rubbish with you.
Traveller tip: When you’re out and about travelling over the summer, always pack a reusable water bottle.
All our leftover school food goes to local organic farms.
The Hoi An people have a longstanding commitment to biodynamic farming practices. They use minimum intervention fertilisers and chemical-free pesticides.
If you go to the Tra Que vegetable village you will be transported back in time, seeing the farmers hand-picking the new crop. It’s a beautiful traditional process that respects the land, takes time, and produces less carbon without all that machinery!
Traveller tip: Go to the wet market to buy your vegetables and ingredients. You’ll be supporting these farmers directly.
Our entire school has been renovated using recycled materials. We also have an organic garden and chickens where we use our home grown produce in the school kitchen.
We are currently undergoing renovations at the school and have kept the skeleton of the building while reusing all the bricks, wood, concrete, steel and plastic. The construction industry accounts for much of the world’s waste and our CEO Ms An is dedicated to finding new life for all of our building materials.
Traveller tip: Go to the Hoi An pottery village and the carpentry village and you’ll see where the locals get their sustainable building materials. Or visit our school and see how much we have upcycled!
We prioritise ethical sourcing and support local communities where we can when buying products for our school. We actively collaborate with suppliers to thoroughly examine the supply chains and many of the goods at our HAIS sharing shop are donated to rural communities in need.
This ethical viewpoint spreads far within our small community, with our HAIS families also strongly committed to supporting local. Rudy – one of our parents who runs Hoi An Roastery, supports coffee plantation farmers by purchasing their high-quality hand-picked coffee beans (which are much better than the ones from the store!).
Villagecraft Planet is also a local fashion company and friend of our big HAIS community. Their label uses ethically sourced fabrics and pays the correct manufacturing rates to create the clothing under good working conditions.
Traveller tip: Go to Hoi An Roastery for one of the best coffees in town! Or head to Villagecraft Planet in Cua Dai for a special purchase.
We re-educate ourselves and our students about evolving sustainable practices and empower our children to make informed choices about product sourcing and waste management.
Solar power, wind power, electric, paper vs plastic – consider the entire life cycle from design and manufacturing to disposal or recycling. Learn from some of the leaders advocating to save our climate like Greta Thunburg, David Attenborough, and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Traveller Tip: See below (get on your bike!)
Another ‘R’ – Ride your bike!
It’s easy – we live in Hoi An! Jump on your bike and explore the paddy fields or coastline on two wheels. Or plug into some power and go exploring on an electric motorbike to minimise your carbon footprint.
Get behind the ‘R’s’ too, and make good plastic-free choices this month (and always!).
Happy Plastic Free July!