Street Talk: We Ask, What Are You Doing About Sustainability?

practicalities - Saigon/HCMC: June 27, 2019

We take to the streets to ask the people of Saigon...

What have YOU been doing to make a sustainable difference? 
And how would you like to see Vietnam improve on waste management?

Crystal, South Carolina, USA

“I order bread from a bakery near work and always refuse the plastic bag when they offer it to me. Since then, they’ve switched over to using paper bags as a way to cut back on plastic waste. Although the change is gradual, every little bit helps! 

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If there were a way to mass produce biodegradable bags affordable enough for the street vendors to buy and use, we would reduce the plastic consumption significantly. 

Also, can we get some public recycling bins up in here? If people had easier access to recycling, they’d do it more often.”

Thao, Quy Nhon, Vietnam

“Everybody wants to see a less polluted, more green Vietnam. The level of awareness towards how urgent it is for us to reduce our waste is nowhere near where it needs to be. To change the mindset, the habit of local Vietnamese people is not easy.

Street TalkImage source: Thao

Vietnamese people are good at remembering things, can easily replicate things, but we are also easy to forget. The government, media and influencers should jump in urgently, with large scale, consistent and lasting campaigns to help educate people and train them to develop their own habits of using less single use plastics.”

Todd, Kansas, USA

“Things I commonly do include refusing plastic bags offered to me and bringing my own bag (when I’m) shopping. I also re-use bottles as much as possible and I always refuse single-use cutlery when I get take out.

Street TalkImage source: Todd

I know packaging is the nature of the game in take-out, but some places just give an insane amount of it so I tend to stop ordering take out from there and just dine in instead.”

Patricia, Portugal 

“I try to buy fruits and vegetables that are not pre-wrapped, I cook my own food from scratch such as yogurt, jam, sauce, juice and chocolate to avoid the packaging. I even make my own natural body products. I haven’t bought shampoo or conditioner or body scrub in years. I’m a teacher, so I give extra stars to my students when they bring reusable water bottles! I also try to buy locally to reduce my carbon footprint. When it comes to clothing and footwear, I get everything tailor made instead of spending on fast fashion.

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I would love to see less littering, more walking and less driving, as well as a public transportation system that actually works. Also, yearly motorbike checks to make sure their carbon-print is within limits.”

Francesca, Texas, USA

“I use zero plastic in the bathroom and I use dish and laundry soap that is made from organic ingredients. I save all of my plastic waste to use for bottle bricking. I bring my own reusable straws, cutlery and containers everywhere I go and have inspired several people to purchase and bring their own too!

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I would like to see designated places to dispose of recycling, as opposed to the group of street ninjas sorting dirty trash on the side of the road.”

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