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Freitag, 24. November 2017

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LOHAS in Beijing

They try to walk or take public transportation, they don't smoke, they carry their own chopsticks and shopping bags when going out and they recycle and sort their garbage. They are the people living a Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability (LOHAS).

Tolerance and optimism are the common characteristics among this group of people. They believe that by caring for the environment and doing good deeds, they will feel better about themselves and become healthier and more energetic. The process is summarized as "three goods": do good, feel good and look good. Although a new concept, in Beijing, LOHAS is becoming increasingly popular.

Healthy living means sharing

LOHAS Room is a club that holds healthy and environmental friendly weekend activities. Founder and organizer Yu Xiaobei learned the concept several years ago and visualized starting a fun LOHAS club ever since. She finally made it happen this past October, and held the first activity in November. "I wanted to escape the boring life to start a fun and vigorous way of living, and most importantly, share it with others," said Yu. She thinks LOHAS is more about attitude toward life. "LOHAS is not a label. To me, it means to have a healthy spirit and positive lifestyle."

Activities held so far include making handcrafts, arranging flowers and making coffee with beans they roast themselves. Events were announced via the Internet, and each activity drew 15 to 20 participants. The most recent event, the flower arranging class, "was a huge success. There were participants who text messaged me after the event telling me they hope more events can be organized on a regular basis," Yu said proudly.

So far, most of the events were hosted by Yu's friends, "But I am planning to rent a place of my own, so we can have a fixed venue in the future."

Yu is also adding more fun-sharing activities to her agenda, such as wine tasting, drawing and cooking.

"The major characteristics of a LOHAS life, such as being healthy and environmentally friendly are all reflected in our events, although our concept might vary slightly and focus more on sharing and enjoying life."


Be healthy and eat organic

Lohao City is an organic store started in 2006 in Beijing; it's now spread to four other major cities in China. Lohao stands for Lifestyle of Health and Organic. The store sells organic food produced using no fertilizers, pesticides or preservatives. Li Zhe, the manager of Lohao City store at China Central Place, is a LOHAS follower himself. "The concept suggests being positive, contented and healthy, with good personal eating habits."

"There are more and more people shopping at our place now, although the price is on average 20 to 30 percent higher than non-organic products," Li explained, adding that the additional charges come from the natural way of growing and additional labor involved. Lohao City has organic farms around Beijing, and many products, such as hawthorns, apples, fish, chicken and pork come fresh from those farms. "Most people who shop here are educated and concerned about nutrition and health," Li said. "Some new customers became loyal after they try it out a few times. Organic products have a better taste than polluted food."

Lohao City now has nine stores across Beijing. Check out their website for shop near you and start your LOHAS life by eating healthier. Website: www.lohaocity.com

Get close to nature

One part of the LOHAS concept is to think more about nature and choose organic products. Many Beijingers are adapting this way of living by renting farmland in the outskirts of Beijing. "Have my own farmland in the suburbs of Beijing" is a project initiated by 5aimin.com and Panggezhuang Village in Daxing District. Through the website, people can reserve a patch of land to grow their own vegetables and fruits. It's a perfect way to release stress, and you get to eat the organic fruit of your harvest.

Xiang Wen, the manager of the project, told Lifestyle that most people come there to learn more about the nature, "especially families that have kids. As a mom myself, and a city dweller, I knew little about nature and agriculture. How am I supposed to explain all these things to my kids? I realized that many moms in the city have the same problem," Xiang said. "This is a perfect way to get close to nature and learn about it."

The project has been held for three consecutive years with great success. It starts in March every year and runs through the end of October (the growing season for watermelons, which are the most common fruit grown in Daxing District). If interested, check out their website in March next year to rent your own farmland!


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