Every Sunday, female residents of Tho Quang ward go from door to door to collect plastic waste and used paper. Over the past 2 years, the waste has been recycled into pen boxes to be donated to students or sold to raise charity funds. Phan Thi Hoa, who leads the Thanh Vinh 4 Women’s Association Branch, said a retired kindergarten teacher is the mastermind behind the project. Thanks to the meticulous effort on the part of the women, the waste bottles are turned into attractive containers for pens. Advertisement posters cost less than 1 USD each. Hundreds of USD have been raised to help members in need. Phan Thi Hoa said: "Such activities will help create jobs for many women while generating some money for our community activities."
The people of Da Nang city’s Tho Quang ward were surprised to see large gardens with leafy greens grown by the local women at a formerly fallow plot full of weeds. Tho Quang ward’s women’s union branch asked two members to take care of the gardens and paid them roughly 85 USD monthly. Nguyen Thi Phuong is one of them. She told VOV: "Growing leafy greens ensures a clean source of vegetables for our daily use. We used to buy vegetables from markets which were not as clean and economical as those grown by ourselves."
The model “green life” was first piloted in 2010 by a small group of women in Hoa Khanh Bac district under the guidance of Da Nang City’s Women’s Union. The women were provided training on 6 topics: waste, water, energy, smart consumers, safe housing, and health. During the training, they learned how to sort garbage, create organic fertilizer, grow sprouts in styrofoam boxes, save electricity and water, avoid using plastic bags, as well as tips on how to make the office green.
The model has been expanded to 7 districts and 56 communes across the city with 900 groups “green life” with more than 16,000 members who are in charge of different tasks. For example, women of Hoa Vang district grow banana trees to get banana leaves to replace nylon bags in wrapping food, while women of Son Tra district use plastic baskets when shopping to reduce the number of nylon bags they would use.
Competitions have also been organized among Da Nang women union branches to encourage their members to seek solutions for a smarter and greener lifestyle to protect the environment. One of them is “Da Nang women – live green, act green”. The contest, organized for female members of 7 districts, gave them opportunities to show their talents and creativity in protecting the environment.
Nguyen Thi Ha, Chairwoman of Da Nang City’s Women Union, said: "We launched an emulation campaign on preventing plastic waste in response to calls by the Vietnamese Women's Union and to support social-economic and environmental programs run by the municipal People’s Committee in recent years. The campaign is expected to raise public awareness on preventing plastic waste and protecting the environment."
Each person’s individual actions will contribute to changing public awareness toward a greener lifestyle to help protect the environment and contribute to the city’s development.