Green Gift Bonanza

Handy gifts designed to kickstart a lifetime of changes

Issue: Sep 2009

Shoppers redeeming their green gifts at the CapitaLand Green Shop in Raffles City Beijing
Shoppers redeeming their green gifts at the CapitaLand Green Shop in Raffles City Beijing
With global warming and depleting natural resources, most people have grown up knowing they need to be environmentally friendly. Yet the transition from thought to action is hardly easy. This is precisely what motivated architect, Adam Li of CapitaLand China Holdings to participate in the corporate green community event, the CapitaLand Green Shop.

Held from 5 to 7 June this year, the Green Shop was part of the CapitaLand "Building a Greener Future" initiative, first launched in 2008.

At the Green Shop, CapitaLand not only introduced their green mascot, CapitaFrog for the first time in China, but also increased the public's awareness about environmental conservation and encouraged people to do their part by reducing their use of daily disposable items like plastic bags, chopsticks, and tissue paper.

But to do more than just remind people of the need to conserve resources, CapitaLand went a step further by providing people with the materials needed to alter their habits.

Enduring gifts

Green Shop displays built with reusable cardboard boxes.
This was done with the launch of eight green gifts—all of which were redeemable at the Green Shop.

These included laundry balls, handkerchiefs, staplers, multipurpose tools, chopsticks, pencil holders, and steel soap bars.

In line with this environmentally friendly objective, CapitaLand China set up Green Shops, in four of its shopping centres in Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu and Foshan-all with the use of reusable cardboard boxes.

At these shops, shoppers were allowed to exchange green coupons for one of the eight green gifts that would replace a daily disposable item.

These green coupons were given to those who spent more than US$29 (RMB 200) at CapitaLand China malls or to those who bought any of the three CapitaLand "Building For Our Future" books, the proceeds of which went to the children of CapitaLand hope schools across the country. Each book was sold at US$2.90 (RMB 20).

A CapitaLand volunteer promoting the eco-friendly green gifts, at the Green Shop in Raffles City Shanghai.
Li himself volunteered at the Raffles City Shanghai Green Shop for an evening, where he explained the cause to shoppers and helped them redeem their gifts.

"With the increasing emergence of extreme weather around the world, being green is no longer just trendy, but a social responsibility for everyone. This is especially so in China, as our large population doesn't allow us to take resources for granted," said Li.

He was pleased to see a huge turnout at the Green Shop, most of them young people. "As they were all young, they were probably already aware of the need to be environmentally friendly, although they may not have thought about how to contribute," Li explained.

Passing on the green message

Shoppers at the Green Shop in Jinniu Mall, Chengdu
Li's favourite moment that night, was when a woman accompanied by two children came to redeem a green gift. The woman, after learning about the Green Shop's initiative, proceeded to purchase one of the books to show her support, and to obtain another green gift for her children.

"I liked that her actions were passing the message of being environmentally friendly to the children. It is through lessons like these that people adopt values they will carry through life," explained Li.

He is heartened when he sees his fellow colleagues learning from the green initiative, and starting to integrate reusable items, like the foldable chopsticks, in their everyday life.

He found all the eight green gifts useful and especially liked the multipurpose tool because of its many functions.

CapitaLand volunteers at the Raffles City Beijing Green Shop
Legal executive Wang Jing, a staff volunteer from CapitaLand China Holdings at the Raffles City Beijing outlet, was similarly impressed by the variety of the green gifts.

"It was a creative venture, and all the products were practical and very useful for everyday life," said Wang .

Echoing her sentiments, Li added that the event was good at encouraging people to use environmentally friendly items.

The Green Shop initiative saw 112 staff volunteers stepping up to help. CapitaLand distributed over 7,775 coupons, exchanged 3,944 green gifts and raised approximately US$1000 (RMB 6,839) from the sale of books for the CapitaLand hope schools' children.

Most popular Green Gifts

The foldable favourite of all the green gifts
The most popular green gift was the foldable chopsticks. Made of stainless steel, the chopsticks are a clean, compact, and convenient substitute for their wooden counterparts.

Although small, the laundry balls are one of the biggest friends to the environment.
Laundry balls
Next on the favourites list are the Laundry Balls. Promising to do the job without washing powder and in a shorter period of time, the laundry balls are a reusable, cheaper option to help conserve resources.

The unique, bullet-less stapler
Perhaps the most innovative of the lot, this stapler doesn't require bullets. The gadget functions like a stapler, but instead uses only pressure and air to do the job.

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