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China diaries: Li Bingbing

Updated Wednesday, 5th January 2011

Actress Li Bingbing was once the Green Ambassador for the China Environment Protection Fund. She describes the small steps everyone can take to help protect our environment

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Hello, everybody!  I am Li Bingbing.  I’m an actress, in Beijing.

Can you remember what first triggered your interest in environmental issues?

In 2001, I was the Green Ambassador for the China Environment Protection Fund.
At that time, I got to know from some professionals many facts and figures that struck me a lot.  Statistics show that are around 100 billion disposable articles consumed every year, like disposable shower caps, slippers, tooth brushes, chopsticks and so on.  In our daily life, we may not pay special attention to these things and the effects caused by the waste.  I felt ashamed realizing that I had also contributed to the statistics and I think we should try and do something to reduce or eliminate that kind of waste.

What is your contribution towards the environment?

Of course, environmental protection is not the matter of a single person but needs the attention of the whole society, everybody on this planet.  As far as individuals are concerned, as long as we can changes some habits, the effect on the environment protection can be huge.  In our daily life, some people are used to turn on the water tap, leaving the water running.  Now that I have realized the importance of protecting the environment, I always turn on and off the water tap carefully.  When I have a shower, I always prepare a large basin and stand in it.  When the basin is full of water, I will transfer the water into barrels I have prepared.  I always put water containers in my bathroom.  By doing so I can save three or four barrels of water when I have a shower.  Then I will use the water to clean the floor or the toilet.  I feel good each time I do it.  And when I do not do it, or use the water for something else, I feel kind of bad.  In this way, we can save water and contribute ourselves, reduce our impact on the environment and climate change.

There are many other habits we can change.  Turning off the lights when you leave the room.  Shutting off the computers when you don’t need them.  Switch off or unplug the plugs when you leave rooms.  Last year, I took part in the “Earth Hour” initiative.  The result turned out that we can save a large amount of electricity each year through certain small acts.  The amount of saved electricity can be as much as what is produced by three Dayawan power stations in a year.  If everyone joined in these actions to protect the environment, our achievements would be considerable.

And in your work?

I spend half of my time making movies and the other half on public welfare events, like environmental protection.  Maybe I am not the best or among the most knowledgeable, but there is an old saying in China: Cross the river by feeling the stones.  I hope we can all find our ways to work on raising other people’s attention.

What do you anticipate working on and thinking about in relation to environmental issues over the next 1, 5 and 10 years?

I do not want to predict what we will be doing in 5 or 10 years.  Instead, I just want to say that we have to be responsible for today, as we are young and alive.  If we can not do it well now, it is impossible for us to do it well in the future.  As natural disasters keep happening, as human beings on earth, as citizens, we should be concerned, pay attention to and take steps to protect the environment.  We should also fight against global warming and raise everyone’s attention.

Are you an optimist or a pessimist as you look out to where we might be in 2020?

No matter what happens in the future, no matter if we still have time to take action or not, if you don’t try, that means you give up, and giving up is useless.  I hold a strong belief in my life, that is never say never, and hold on.  You may hold a strong belief in work, in family, in love.  If everyone in the world holds a strong belief in environment protection, eco-balance and climate change, we have to work hard on it.  The meaning of our work is much more than that of the time limit.  No one can tell us if there is a limit or not.  Should we give it up if someone gives us a time limit? No.  So, I believe we should do it.  As human beings on this planet, we may have different lifespans.  We should leave the world with warmth, contributions and hope instead of sin, and let the young enjoy the world and continue our dreams.

 

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