Harvard University Graduate Makes Trash to Treasure

September 14, 2019
Editor: Wei Xuanyi
Harvard University Graduate Makes Trash to Treasure

Zhou Chun checks garbage sorting in a residential community in Shanghai. [China Women's News]


"Environmental protection is for our living environment as well as for our descendants. Making residential communities and environment beautiful and wonderful is our initial intention," said 35-year-old Zhou Chun who launched a project for promoting correct garbage sorting in communities in Shanghai.

Zhou has had rich life experience. After graduating from Fudan University, she became a government employee; five years later, she resigned her job to travel around the country. During her trip to Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, she participated in a project of the Greenriver Environment Protection Promotion Association that guarded bar-headed geese; it was the first environmental protection project she was involved in.

In 2013, Zhou followed her husband to the United States for further study. She took part in a 40-year-old non-profit organization set up for picking up trash at Boston wharf.

"Since I wanted to learn the operation mode of the environmental-protection public-welfare organizations, I applied for a master's degree in public administration from Harvard University," she said.

After graduating from Harvard University and returning to China, Zhou set up her own public-welfare organization for garbage sorting and launched a community garbage sorting project "Trash to Treasure."

Zhou recruited volunteers to promote garbage sorting and to teach residents how to do it. Zhou used her experience to set up seven index scoring systems and classify residential communities into three types. She formulated customized plans based on the three types and different residential communities, making garbage sorting more effective.

"In the past year, my team has instructed 88 residential communities on garbage sorting," Zhou expects that her project can be introduced to 1,000 residential communities in Shanghai within one year, and it will be expanded to other cities in the future.

At present, Trash to Treasure has eight employees who are overseas returnees and volunteers. They gather together to push forward China's environmental protection, starting with garbage sorting.

Harvard University Graduate Makes Trash to Treasure
Zhou Chun gives a lecture on garbage sorting in a community. [Youth Daily]


(Source: China Women's News/Translated and edited by Women of China)

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