go to Top

Sustainability Can be Simple

Sustainability Can be Simple

Sovina Taneja's Story
Faculty of Science

Sovina worked as an intern for the HKU Edible Space in her final year. As a Nutritional Science student, she always wanted to actualise what she learned in classes. However, she could not find a way until she encountered the HKU Edible Space Project.

“I learned about pollution and the loss of biodiversity in my final year. People around me were also talking about sustainability. I didn’t know where my field of study could play a role in achieving sustainability, ” said Sovina. Until one day, she came across the recruitment email from the sustainability office. Without a second thought, she signed up for its internship programme and began her journey in pursuit of sustainability.

During the internship, Sovina was responsible for managing the rooftop farm and herb garden in HKU with other interns. She also organised events to promote these two spaces to the HKU community since some students did not know that rooftop farming ever existed in HKU.

Photo of Sovina promoting HKU Edible Space Project

Whenever Sovina organised an event, she tried to make it educational and fun. As Sovina described, “The events aimed to teach our students and staff how to fully utilise the two farming spaces. The rooftop farm and herb garden have been there for three years. We can grow proper vegetables there, including pumpkins and cucumbers. ” Sometimes, local farmers were invited to her events to share their urban farming experience. Most people may assume that it is hardly possible to do urban farming in Hong Kong due to limited space. According to Sovina, however, urban farming has become a trending activity recently. Some farmers even grow their crops in mass production. Space for planting is not a problem anymore. The vegetables grown in urban farms also attract a certain number of organic lovers in Hong Kong. By promoting urban farming in her events, Sovina wanted to show others the small and simple ways to actualise sustainability.

Sovina admitted that it was difficult to get the idea across the people. As she pointed out, “The concept of sustainability is misunderstood in an extreme perspective. When we talk about sustainability, people are intimidated by words like vegetarian, environmentally friendly , etc. People are scared of these concepts because they think that achieving sustainability might require a lot of efforts.” People usually skip emails from the sustainability office as they have already assumed that the activities organised by this department involve a lot of labour work. However, this is not true at all.

Photo of Sovina at the Herb Garden"She strived to assure people that sustainability is not only about manual labour and farming but it is a healthy concept that changes our lifestyle."

Sovina recalled the painting sessions, cooking sessions and upcycling sessions organised for the students. She strived to assure people that sustainability is not only about manual labour and farming but it is a healthy concept that changes our lifestyle. She hopes that the extreme outlook on sustainability will soon be eradicated.

Currently, Sovina works in the field of sustainability education. She is thankful that she has acquired the necessary skills and experience from her internship. She said, “ My experiences with social media management and event planning in the sustainability office have made me the best fit for the current role. I hope that I will be able to continue with this initiative and make the world a better place.” 

Written by:
Tracy Wong
2020 Graduate, CEDARS Intern
December 2020

Sustainability Can be Simple