Chasing Mirages

Earth hour – March 27, 2010

by on Apr.06, 2010, under Quickies

A couple of weeks ago, I was eating dinner at a small Yunnan restaurant when the owner announced that she was turning out the lights for an hour to bring attention to our dependence on electricity and its environmental impact.  At first we thought it was a little weird, but after they gave us candles, it became a surprisingly enjoyable eating experience.

The next day, when I was buying breakfast at one of my stand-bys, a bakery chain called Holiland, I noticed a poster in the window:

Here’s a close-up of the poster:

The poster announces that each of Holiland’s 1000 or so stores in China participated in Earth Hour, an event organized by the World Wildlife Fund to highlight the need to develop a sustainable economy.  I was pleasantly surprised to see this kind of participation by a Chinese company.  It shows that corporate responsibility (as a concept) does exist in China, and that environmental awareness among Chinese consumers is high enough such that some companies find this kind of publicity worthwhile.

I was deeply humbled to learn that both the restaurant owner and Holiland knew about this Earth Hour thing before I did.  Some environmentalist I am, huh?

For those of you in Beijing, I highly recommend the restaurant.  It’s a little tough to find, but very cozy, very friendly, with delicious yet inexpensive food.

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