City getting green makeover one inch at a time

Updated: 2015-04-03 11:31

By Zhang Kun in Shanghai(China Daily USA)

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City getting green makeover one inch at a time

Jason Inch, a Canadian scholar living in Shanghai, has installed a "personal power station" on the roof of his renovated 1930s-era LOHAUS building in the city center. He has just published a book extolling the virtues of going green in China and is pictured here with his business partner Andrea Liu. Photos provided to China Daily

A social entrepreneur from Vancouver who has made Shanghai his home for the last decade hopes to promote broader use of sustainable technologies using LOHAUS Shanghai as a platform.

Canada's Jason Inch is on a green crusade to save Shanghai from its own excesses.

He founded LOHAUS, Shanghai's loft of health and urban sustainability, in 2013 by taking a six-storey house in the former French Concession and refurbishing the 1930s building with solar panels, green displays and other upgrades.

Now the social entrepreneur wants Chinese people to adopt more of the sustainable technologies the country produces, rather than just export them overseas for profit.

"We believe China is a leader in sustainable technologies," the Vancouver native said at the recent book launch of LOHAUS in Chinese, his 235-page manifesto that includes chapters on low-carbon buildings, smart cities and even 3D printing.

"China is the top producer of many of the world's sustainable technologies: wind energy, solar energy, and technologies like LED light bulbs. All of these are produced here in China, but we believe they are not used enough."

The book, which Inch penned in English to reach a wider audience in and out of China, can be purchased on Amazon and Kindle. It is available in 13 countries including the Netherlands, Japan and India.

Inch, together with his Shanghainese business partner Andrea Liu, established LOHAUS as a social enterprise. It channels its revenue into spreading the message of sustainability. They earn money from renting office space, hosting conferences and other events.

It is one of the first buildings in Shanghai to have solar panels installed. Any excess energy is sold to the local electricity grid and the profits put to good use.

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