Vietnam’s Da Nang protects environment with Eco Station

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Vietnam's Da Nang protects environment with Eco Station

A group of participants join a recycling workshop hosted by Eco Station – a pro-environment project run by a group of undergraduates in Da Nang, Vietnam. Photo: Thuc Quyen / Tuoi Tre

Eco Station is a project run by a group of Vietnamese environmentalist undergraduates in Da Nang, aiming at promoting the values of environmental protection to the public at large.

‘A small action, a green planet’ is their slogan.

This team has exerted positive change in the community following their pro-environment work.

Trash gets new life

A group of young Vietnamese eagerly engage in trash recycling workshops held every weekend on Son Tra Peninsula in Da Nang, a coastal city in central Vietnam.

Ragged clothes get turned into special design cloth bags through sewing and mending work.

At one event, Nguyen Thi Bich Tram, an 18-year-old participant, yelled in joy when her idea of a recycled handbag was voted as the most eye-catching design of the day.

The bag was immediately put into action and its owner donated all the money to the Eco Station project, which helps to fund their future environment awareness events.

If a new life is added to something discarded, it will be a practical way to reduce the exploitation of natural resources for the production of goods, according to Tram.

Trash can be turned into practical and catchy items. Photo: Thuc Quyen / Tuoi Tre

Trash can be turned into practical and eye-catching items. Photo: Thuc Quyen / Tuoi Tre

“This cloth bag is ideal for daily shopping at open air markets as a substitute for plastic bags,” she said.

“I think that recycling may be neglected by a lot of people, but it is actually very meaningful and easy to carry out.”

Their recycling workshops attract a lot of young people.

Plastic bottles are transformed into plant pots, while used wooden planks and bamboo trays become pleasant decorative objects.

Eco Station events also receive parents and their children, who get to nurture their own love for the environment.

Participants get to meet with environmentalists and can join a trash collecting tour along Son Tra Peninsula.

Each of these workshops welcomes over a hundred participants.

For a brighter future

Nguyen Thi Hong Phuc, a senior student of the University of Economics in Da Nang University, is the Eco Station founder.

Most of the members are from the central city, according to Phuc.

The idea for Eco Station popped up from a random meeting of the members. They were discussing their common dream of constructing a network of destinations for environment enthusiasts.

The members of Eco Station hope to inspire and support young people in protecting the environment.

“We all believe that the small contributions from each member will bring about a huge result,” said Phuc.

This banner says “Feeding monkeys is killing monkeys.”

This banner says ‘Feeding monkeys is killing monkeys.’

“For example, if one Da Nang citizen cuts down on one plastic bag per day, that will be more than one million fewer plastic bags every day.”

Dang Thai Tuan, a third-year student at the University of Science and Education in Da Nang, is a co-founder of Eco Station.

He noted that originally Eco Station focused on educational activities, media campaigns, and experiential events.

“In the coming time, we will run long-term projects that require more funding, like experiential events that target university students at organic farms in Da Nang,” said Tuan.

“Eco Station is running a project called the Communal Garden.

“It’s where residents of a residential area get to categorize their trash, turn the organic waste into compost, and grow their own vegetables for their family use.”

With a lot of ideas in the pipeline, the members of Eco Station face a financial hurdle since they have not yet graduated.

Thanks to the dedication and hard work of its members, they manage to effectively operate events that could have otherwise cost them an arm and a leg.

A few environmental experts have agreed to speak for Eco Station free of charge.

They have also recruited art teachers who provide support in recycling sessions.

A restaurant owner has even allowed Eco Station the use of her premises for their offline events.

Such support has helped to spread their scope and effect in the community.

Free online environment talks

Under COVID-19 pandemic burdens, pro-environment activities from different organizations and associations had to come to a standstill, but Eco Station remains active.

They look for experts in the field of environmental studies and persuaded them to be guests for their online discussions.

Eco Station has broadcast 12 Eco Talks.

Some of the trendy topics covered are living a green life amid the epidemic, the Communal Garden, the urban animals, trekking and the environment, or applied economics in agriculture.

These talks have attracted thousands of people from Da Nang and neighboring provinces.

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