Living a green lifestyle, also known as sustainable living, is all about conserving and preserving the earth’s natural resources by minimizing negative environmental impacts.

There are numerous Facebook pages dedicated to promoting environmental awareness and attracting tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of members. Some notable examples include Vietnam Recycling, Cool Ideas for Recycling – Reuse, Green Saigon, Leafy House, and more.

One particularly popular topic among these pages is turning junk into delicate handicrafts, especially among young people. Their posts showcasing these creative crafts garner a lot of interactions, mostly from fellow youngsters.

“I’ve noticed that a significant number of young people are eager to participate in environmental activities whenever they have the chance,” said Nguyen Ba Hoi, a civil servant in the environmental sector and the chairman of the Green Living Club. This club brings together over 500 young environmental enthusiasts who volunteer their time to conserve nature.

Beauty queen Nguyen Thuc Thuy Tien (in white T-shirt) and other young people are cleaning up trash in an infamously filthy canal in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo courtesy of Sai Gon Xanh (Green Saigon)

Beauty queen Nguyen Thuc Thuy Tien (in white T-shirt) and other young people clean up trash in an infamously filthy canal in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo courtesy of Sai Gon Xanh (Green Saigon)

These young individuals are not afraid to face hardships during various environmental campaigns and volunteering projects, such as tree planting, litter picking, and transforming polluted areas into gardens or fishing sites, according to Hoi.

“The youth are incredibly innovative when it comes to creating environmentally friendly products as alternatives to single-use plastics,” he added.

Taking action to save the environment

Ly Tuyet Nhung, a 22-year-old senior at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Ho Chi Minh City, is one of many young individuals following these online pages due to her deep concern for the environment.

“The earth is getting warmer, and the weather is becoming more erratic, mainly due to human activities. That’s why I believe it’s important for both the government and individuals to take responsibility in protecting the environment,” Nhung shared.

Tran Duc Anh, a 24-year-old staff member at Procter & Gamble, suggests that companies and factories should organize more training workshops on environmental education. This way, eco-friendly businesses can benefit from good environmental practices and sustainability.

Similar to Nhung, Anh has been carrying a personal water bottle, cloth bag, and lunch box for the past three years instead of relying on single-use packaging and foodware.

“If everyone lends a helping hand, our quality of life will improve significantly,” Anh said.

Pham Thi Hai Duong, a 28-year-old from Phu Yen Province in south-central Vietnam, is a big fan of recycling and has a house full of vintage fabrics.

The project of Nha Nhieu La (Leafy House) recently received approximately three tons of clothes donated by patrons, mostly around the ages of 20 to 34. Photo courtesy of Nha Nhieu La

The project of Nha Nhieu La (Leafy House) recently received approximately three tonnes of clothes donated by patrons, mostly around the ages of 20 to 34. Photo courtesy of Nha Nhieu La

Duong follows several social media pages that teach how to upcycle jeans and other fabrics. This not only helps reduce waste but also allows her to have unique clothing items.

Surprisingly, Duong’s online posts showcasing her recycled denim handbags receive hundreds of comments showing interest and demand for purchasing them.

On March 30, Miss Grand International 2021 Nguyen Thuc Thuy Tien and a group of young volunteers spent four hours removing three metric tons of waste from the notoriously polluted Hy Vong Canal in Tan Binh District, Ho Chi Minh City.

Thuy Tien’s efforts aimed to spread a powerful message of environmental awareness not only to Ho Chi Minh City residents but also to the general public, with the ultimate goal of making Vietnam a more beautiful country.

In December 2020, a group of Ho Chi Minh City students passionate about green living established the Nha Nhieu La project. This project focuses on collecting and recycling waste in an effort to protect the earth.

Recently, their campaign to collect clothing donations for the homeless received nearly three metric tons of garments, with most being donated by individuals between the ages of 20 and 34, according to the project’s Facebook page administrator.

Circular fashion aims to reduce the negative environmental impacts by extending the lifespan of apparel products. Photo courtesy of UCS

Circular fashion aims to reduce the negative environmental impacts by extending the lifespan of apparel products. Photo courtesy of UCS

In 2020, a remarkable non-profit initiative called Urban Circular Space (UCS) was founded by a group of young Vietnamese individuals in Hanoi. Their goal is to extend the lifespan of fashion items through innovative means.

The concept of ‘circular fashion,’ developed by UCS, won first place at the Japan Business Model Competition in 2016 and ranked among the top six at the Viet Startup Contests in 2019.

“Circular fashion is essentially a closed loop system where clothes are kept in use for as long as possible,” explained Tran Thuy Nga, the current project manager. She believes that this model will raise public awareness about recycling and reuse.

“As a result, this model helps minimize the negative impact of the apparel industry on the environment and save a significant amount of resources.”