Cara Mcilroy is a TV host, model, blogger and YouTuber based in Hong Kong. She is also an entrepreneur, with Genie Juicery, a mum and wife.
Earthero: What inspired you to move to Pui O?
Cara: I grew up in a country town in Australia, i have always been surrounded by clean air, animals and spaces. With kids, I prefer to provide the same for them. I have been trying to look for places in US, but it’s hard to move there after living in HK for 14 years. I have always love Lantau, so I decided to move as far from hussle as I can to Pui O!
Earthero: Can you tell us more about your back garden farming at home?
Cara: My mum is a huge gardener, she managed to live off her garden and that inspired me. I have watched the locals doing it, and have been trying it to do it on my own. We do consume the food in our garden on regular basis, including thai basic, lettuce (when they are not being eaten) and mint tea.
Earthero: We see that a lot of disposables are used in the juice and takeaway business, with your business Genie Juice, what have u done to minimize the impact of that?
Cara: It is definitely hard with the business. We have paper straws, and our packaging is plant based, which is supposed to be biodegradable. However, I recently found out that the landfills in HK are not big enough to degrade them. We have made a decision to change into glass bottles in few months! To maintain a business, cost is definitely a concern. We think that glass will elevate the brand, and it is the best option we can find to be more eco-friendly.
Earthero: Do you feel that it’s more expensive to live a eco-friendly lifestyle in HK? What would be your suggestions for everyone to take little steps?
Cara: In some aspects it is, eco and organic food are more expensive. However, you don’t have to be organic-everything! Simple things like eating less meat is already better for the environment. My suggestion would be to buy less packaged items. Pick the fruits on your own, buy refillable products instead of new bottles, bring your own bag. The most important thing, I think, is to educate your children. I always teach my kids to pick up rubbish at the beach, they now say “That’s not good!” whenever they see trash. Your next generation are the ones who will suffer, but they can also make a huge impact.