Pledge for No Air Con Night 2016 now!

Green Sense is launching the 7th annual No Air Con Night this year on October 7-8th from 7pm to 7am! This event encourages Hong Kong residents to shake their dependence on carbon belching artificial coolers and lower greenhouse gas emissions in Hong Kong. The event raises awareness for the consequences of systemic overuse of air conditioning in Hong Kong, and inspires residents to go on afternoon hikes and enjoy good company and fresh air. The No Air Con Night has been met with resounding success, with over 88,000 households participating in the effort to reduce Hong Kong’s carbon footprint in 2015.

Despite Hong Kong’s natural subtropical climate, it is not unusual to see people wearing jackets and coats indoors. Arctic blasts of cold air from restaurants and malls that leave their AC on continuously can be felt even from the streets. The territory-wide wasteful and hazardous overuse of air conditioning has become so normalized that it is not receiving proper attention as a public health problem. Hong Kong only passes about 10% of the World Health Organization’s standards for clean air, and the abuse of air conditioning is a major source of contamination.

It can be difficult to discuss cutting air conditioner use in the summer. In moderation, air conditioning can offer relief from sweltering heat waves and help prevent faintness and heat stroke. However, overusing it comes with health risks of its own. Air conditioning aggravates air pollution in enclosed spaces. Dirty filters spread pesticides, allergens, mercury, and particulate matter that can cause asthma, lung infections, and heart attacks. The increased CO2 levels from overuse of air conditioning also cause dizziness, headaches, and fatigue. On the street, the ever-present dripping from broken AC units overhead creates puddles of polluted water that host harmful bacteria and spread infectious illnesses.

Air conditioning can account for as much as 30% of total electricity usage in Hong Kong. In order to meet this demand, power plants burn fossil fuels and emit clouds of pollutants into the atmosphere. This massive energy guzzling consumption has a huge impact on greenhouse gas emissions. Hong Kong suffers from the urban heat island effect, which means that urbanized areas of Hong Kong are consistently hotter than outlying areas as a result of pollution generated by human activity. These heat traps create more demand for AC use and generate more waste, further driving up temperatures and corrupting air quality. It is time to time to break free from this vicious cycle and come together to save our environment!

Let’s join the No Air Con Night 2016 for cooling the Earth!

SIGN UP NOW http://greensense.org.hk/noaircon

[1] Hampshire, Angharad. “Beating Hong Kong’s Bad Air: The Best Ways to Defend Your Lungs from Air Pollution.” South China Morning Post. January 24, 2015.