Natural Network Mr. Mok: Environmentally friendly life is a better quality of life
Natural Network is a local social enterprise in Hong Kong. They regularly organize guided tours to experience nature, such as hiking, camping, and farming, as well as lectures and workshops related to environmental protection and ecology, hoping to encourage people to practice environmental protection. In addition to these activities, Natural Network arranges a relatively long-term internship programme to teach participants the necessary skills to live in nature, so that they can live happily in nature.
Director Mr Mok (nicknamed Savage) said that the opportunity for establishing the Natural Network stems from his concern for environmental protection. He has considerable concern and responsibility for environmental protection since he was at secondary school, so he has requested himself to be as environmentally friendly as possible in his daily life, and hoped that his future work could also promote environmental protection, thus he established the Natural Network after graduating from the University of Hong Kong.
He believes that environmental protection education and activities in Hong Kong are mostly knowledge-based rather than experiential. In addition, the modern urban lifestyle makes it difficult for young people to get in touch with nature. So, people lack connection and emotion with nature and cannot freely exert their inborn ability of getting along with nature, which makes it easy for people to be alienated from nature due to accidents, and to measure the value of nature only by economic development potential. Therefore, through educational activities, people should learn how to get in touch with nature, protect themselves and nature, and then re-enter nature, in order to re-establish a true connection with nature.
When being asked about the compatibility of agriculture and eco-environmental protection, Mr Mok replied that although agriculture, as a part of the long human civilization, has changed nature through human activities, in his opinion, there is no structural conflict between the two. One hundred years ago, when people did not use chemical fertilizers and pesticides for farming, the damage to nature was not so big, and the variety of crops was also very diverse; but in the modern times, people’s changes in seed and variety selection, as well as farming methods have emphasized the harm of agricultural activities to nature. Therefore, he does not support the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers, but supports planting methods that do not harm nature. He believes that the inheritance of physical seeds and seed education is very valuable, and it is very important to the entire ecology and environment.
Finally, he feels that as a part of nature, human beings can get along with nature, and choosing to live an environmentally friendly life is actually a better quality of life rather than a hard-working or backward life. “We can easily breathe fresh air, meet the sun, grow and eat fresh vegetables, live a real life. On the contrary, life in the city is too convenient and too fake.”
Interview and text: Joanna Wong, Zoe Gan (June 2021)
The purpose of internship programme is to help participants learn to live happily in nature.
Homemade mosquito incense by burning weeds in a pot to repel mosquitoes.