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Green Initiatives

We have a vision for a future, where we buy less, re-use more, save natural resources, recycle as much as possible.

Photo of Nitin
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Explain your idea

Our focus is bold but simple: Raise awareness that recycling is not the solution – it is the last resort. To be truly sustainable, one must buy less. At the same time we active ensuring that the recycling process in itself is done in the most efficient way possible by making the collection of the waste accessible, affordable and convenient. All our projects, campaigns and educational events revolve around these three fundamental principles – understand why we must buy less, try to re-use and if everything else fails, let us recycle - be it textile waste, e-waste, or dietary habits.

Who Benefits?

Encouraging people to consume less, while may seem intimidating, the benefits are reaped in three main aspects: people see immediate monetary savings, a decline in the depletion of natural resources used in mass production such as water, fossil fuels and reduces pollution of the environment as we have less waste going into the landfill. To be specific, the primary beneficiaries from our initiatives would be the people living in and around the city of Shanghai, and the mass producers of such goods [textile, electronics etc]. The latter would see benefits almost instantly as many corporations in Shanghai are not provided with reliable recycling solutions that is affordable.

How is your idea unique?

The concept of recyling is not new. However, as per our research, no major or minor non profit organizations are bringing the philosophy of reducing consumption to the forefront. We differ from all our peers in this respect. As ironic as it may seen, we aim to have even our recycling collection boxes, to have the same message. Recycling treats only the symptom of a much bigger, deep rooted disease of consumerism. With our robust recycling solutions, we aim to educate people to cure the disease itself – by buying less. We have already set us ourselves apart from other similar organization aiming to solve wastage issues by successfully with over 300 events and workshops. We also have several multinational corporations that have used our CSR solutions. 2016 CSR Innovation Award by AMCHAM Shanghai [American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai] for the nature of our initiatives that are making CSR and community engagement easy and affordable for companies.

Idea Proposal Stage

  • Full-scale roll-out: I have completed a pilot and analyzed the impact of that pilot on the users I am trying to reach with my idea. I am ready to expand the pilot significantly.

Tell us more about you

GI was founded in 2009 as Green Drinks China, one of the 600 global Green Drinks chapters ( GI runs Shanghai’s longest running monthly sustainability forums with 250+ activities attended by 15,000+ individuals in the last 9 years. GI currently focuses on creating awareness, developing solutions, and implementing action-oriented and scalable [projects = solutions] throughout China. Current partners & sponsors include Element Fresh, Arup, Schneider Electric, Ford Motors, ROCA - We Are Water Foundation, PwC, YK Pao School, YCIS, URBN Hotel, Aden Services, Anken Group, Eco & More, Crown Relocations and Urban Holdings (China). Green Initiatives has been kept afloat purely through our volunteer network. However, this model is not sustainable with our future goals of expanding both vertically [within Shanghai] and horizontally [national level]. If we have to move towards a more sustainable model with paid employees that are accountable and perform to set deadlines, we would need about 150,000 USD/annually to keep the organization alive, as opposed to the heavily subsidized cost through free volunteer labor that we work through currently [this is around 10,000 USD/annually] We realize that in order to truly step up our operations that have the capacity to increase our impact we need an initial level of funding for the following areas: • Set up a group of full time project managers, each dedicated to the projects earlier mentioned • Invest into appointing an energetic and dynamic leader, who can be the bridge the gap between various projects and operational aspects of the organization, setting it along the path of social enterprise creation. • Fund space for an office for full time members and team activities. • Pay for GI operational expenses including: website operation, project webpage development, organizing promotional events and campaigns.

Expertise in sector

  • 7+ years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered non-profit.

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Photo of Yvette Velasco

I love how there's a chapter in my hometown, Manila! I reckon you can also conduct Circular Economy workshops and info sessions to gain awareness for the cause. There are businesses who are currently engaged in this such as TerraCycle, Mud Jeans, etc.