Living and Thriving in Beijing | Nadia Hatta on Sustainability

Posted by Alex Florian & filed under Sustainability Issue 2014.


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I was so fortunate to have the opportunity to chat with Nadia Hatta, host for MTV China in Beijing and a friend of the team here at Schema.  When her email response came with an automated “PLS SAVE A TREE – PLEASE DO NOT PRINT THIS EMAIL UNLESS YOU REALLY NEED TO”I knew she would have some great insights for our sustainability issue. Here’s what she had to say on how she’s living and thriving in Beijing.

AF: First of all for all our readers who know and love you, how are you doing? 

NH: Hello again Schema and Schema readers! I’m doing fantastic. Excited and busy preparing for my upcoming projects.

AF: As we’ve mentioned, our current issue is focused on sustainability.  With the air quality in Beijing this must be a difficult issue to ignore.  Being a vegetarian promotes sustainability in itself, but are there any practices in your daily regimen that help create environmental sustainability?

NH: Yes, the air in Beijing is quite repressing to a person’s psyche. NH4Personally, many of my environmental movements are small, and in combination with my daily activities. I find that even personal health movements are in combination to environmental sustainability.

Personally I have a total of nine oxygen creating plants, including aloe placed in all the rooms. I also have a Swiss IQ AIR purifier on full blast in my bedroom, as we spend a third of the day asleep and breathing.  While these little things are more for personal comfort, it is a health necessity.

I have three sets of wheels: a fixed gear hot pink bicycle, an electric scooter, and a hybrid car. Each for different purposes and distances. For example, I like to go shopping for fresh groceries at the Xinyuanli market (using a large reusable bag of course) and it is close enough that an electric bike will get me there.

I love my coffee every day and even if I have to take it to go, I have a hot magenta coffee warmer I fill with. Same goes with a resuable water bottle.

My face wash, serum and lotion are all Chinese medicine that are all natural, with no chemicals. This is the only product that helps me protect my skin from Beijing pollution and dryness.

Nadia's eats!

Nadia’s eats!

As for food, I find that eating natural foods is not only better for your health, but also environmentally friendly because it minimizes plastic garbage that is created from eating a lot of plastic packaged chemical induced foods that fills the stores here.  And eating fruits and vegetables that are in season are even better for your health as well as being environmentally friendly.

AF: I read that Beijing has installed recycling machines in some subway stations that allow you to pay toward your transit fare with plastic bottles which is so neat.  What do you think is the biggest barrier to sustainability in Beijing?

NH: Beijing is a huge city, with an ever growing population, which means more cars, more transportation and more factories that produce pollution. Also, I feel that the sustainability movement hasn’t caught on locally, since here it is more about what is convenient and cheap and fast. However, after the crazy pollution scare (500RPM) for months on end where everyone needs to wear a mask on the streets, I noticed that people are starting to care more about their health as well as the environment. The city is making more moves to help this movement and the pollution RPM has dropped some so that’s positive. I love that people bike here and take the subway.

In Beijing, most stores ask you pay for plastic bags which forces people to want to save money, and be more conscious in bringing a reusable bag to the store. There is also a new breed of car that is all electric, which is quite brilliant.


AF: What about personal sustainability, I know you work really hard at staying fit.  Are you still kickboxing and staying active?  What’s motivates you to keep at it?

NH: Yes! I am back to MMA training for an upcoming feature film, as well as finally getting back into doing some great yoga at Le Yoga in Beijing. Other than for work purposes and staying fit, I find it a necessity to exercise, and keep my blood flowing.  It keeps me having a healthy lifestyle despite my environment, gets my creative juices flowing as well as my endorphins.  When I am inactive even for a few days, I can feel sluggish, slow, and my body is more susceptible to the pollution and chaos.

So, in short: being active makes me feel great!


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