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Suzanne Younan’s “The Green Dragon”: educating children about plastic pollution

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Hong Kong Resident, Suzanne Younan, has published her first book ‘The Green Dragon.’ The book aims to educate children on the dangers of plastic pollution.

This is not the first initiative Suzanne has undertaken to protect the environment. Suzanne founded Green Dragons Hong Kong in 2017 to raise awareness on the issues associated with dragon-boating in Hong Kong. Dragon-boating leads to major waste and pollution through single-use plastic, plastic water bottles and other rubbish that is discarded on the beaches. To prevent this, Green Dragons works with festival organisers to provide water refill stations that encourage racers to bring reusable water bottles.

Suzanne was inspired to write ‘The Green Dragon’ when she recognised that educating children early on is key. ‘The Green Dragon’ book portrays the message of reusing and reducing waste to make a difference through relatable characters. According to Suzanne “many people in HK are blissfully unaware of the negative effects of single use plastic on our environment”. Thus, educating children with “endearing characters to promote empathy and to empower them to take action was a key driver”.

The story unfolds as Willy, the Green Dragon, soars over the islands of Hong Kong and discovers that all of his friends are in desperate need for help. A young boy helps Willy and his friends by taking action in his community.

The book is beautifully illustrated with heart-warming characters who are endangered by modern day pollution. The book encourages children to reflect upon their actions and what they can do to make positive changes.

Suzanne plans is to visit schools, organise book readings and engage children in discussions about how the book made them feel and what practical changes they can make at home and in the outer world.

Suzanne’s message is clear: empower children with knowledge and practical solutions to prevent a toxic future for younger generations. Children “cannot do it alone, everyone needs to lead by example and save not only the sea creatures and environment but human beings as well”.

Even adults who do not belong to a dragon boat team can do their part to make a difference for the environment. Suzanne herself has completely modified her lifestyle with the aim of reducing her contribution to human waste; she reuses, reduces and recycles as much as possible.

Suzanne recommends that, as a start, everyone should carry reusable shopping bags, refuse single-use straws and cutlery, and even talk to restaurant and hotel managers about changing their plastic policies.

Suzanne Younan presenting her book at Bookazine

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