Residents brave heat to enjoy taste of sustainable life

With laughter and cicada chirping, the Sustainable Community Market was held in the central greenbelt of Jiuting Town in suburban Songjiang District recently.

As part of Shanghai Daily’s 20th anniversary celebratory events under the theme “20 Years On: Responsibility & Innovation,” it was the third stop of the fair which aims to promote a sustainable lifestyle.

The scorching heat and humidity didn’t vaporize people’s passion for making their community greener and cleaner, as hundreds of nearby residents thronged the fair.

The fair was coorganized by the newspaper and the Jiuting Town government. Booths were set up by eight renowned companies and organizations from both home and abroad, with a variety of games and quizzes on environmental protection and garbage sorting.

Yang Jing from the city’s information office noted that environmental protection for a thriving metropolis like Shanghai, with a 20-plus million population, is by no means an easy task.

“It is quite important for media to guide residents in the city,” Yang said. “With the joint efforts of the authorities, the media and the people, we can create a better future.”

It seems like the perfect spot to organize a fair themed on sustainable community at the greenbelt, now awash and brimming with plants but which, just some years ago, was a barren area with smelly garbage dumped everywhere, according to Fei Wei, deputy Party secretary of Jiuting.

Chen Yi, a ninth-grade student who was a volunteer at the fair, said the residents were way more interested in the games then he had expected.

One of the most popular games at the fair was a power-generating installation created by iDEALShanghai, a sub brand of Shanghai Daily.

It had two bikes connected with an electric generator which supplied power to two toy cars on the track. The faster one stepped on the bike pedal, the faster the toy car raced.

At the Coca-Cola booth, the American beverage company showcased a variety of products such as bags, T-shirts and shoes, whose materials came from recycled bottles.

“The fair provided a good platform for residents to have a fun glimpse of a more sustainable life," said Xu Baoxiang, deputy chief of the town.

Since the new regulation on garbage sorting came into effect earlier this month, Jiuting has organized seminars and guided tours to help residents quickly understand the rules. Many residents wrote plays and shows about garbage sorting that they performed in their neighborhoods.

But the fair, Xu said, was a fresh attempt by Jiuting to raise more public awareness to push forward environmental protection. “I saw parents bringing their children to the fair,” he said. “It’s good to see the next generation interested in carrying forward the course we have started.”

Zhu Yilei, who lives nearby, said her family was having a good time at the fair, especially her daughter.

“The fair has taught the children knowledge in their favorite way,” said Zhu, “games and rewards.”