As a sustainable business, The Hutong actively engages with other ethical businesses and organizations that contribute to long-term sustainable development in the regions where we travel. Our ethos is: “Leave a small footprint and a big impression in the minds and hearts of the people in the places you visit.” We set this expectation on all of our trips, and it is amazing to see how well students in the International School System respond.
Our chopstick challenge is an example of how we try to leave our small footprint: Did you know that 50 billion pairs of disposable chopsticks are used every year in China alone? If the number scares you as much as it does us, you would agree that we can all make a difference. We try to raise awareness in students to restrict waste, and – as part of our efforts to promote sustainability – we show and explain how overuse and neglecting to recycle everyday items effects us all.
At the start of every trip, we issue every student and teacher with a sustainably forested pair of chopsticks. We stress the importance of everyone bringing their chopsticks to their meal, and it is the responsibility of every participant on our trips to utilize these chopsticks for every meal. It’s a small difference, but it’s also a very practical way to keep a tally on the potential waste that just one person can create.