Tracy Wong (she/her)Co-Founder, Nature Bathing
- 30 Under 30
Tracy is a social entrepreneur leveraging nature to uplift people's well-being in Hong Kong, building impactful partnerships and innovative programs to connect people with nature.
Hong Kong, Age 29
How are you using education to build more sustainable and equitable communities? Tell us about your EE work and impact.
I’m the co-founder of the Hong Kong-based social enterprise, Nature Bathing. Living in one of the world's most stressed cities, we provide nature-based wellness programs for citizens to de-stress, learn, and connect deeply with nature. Science has shown that a 20-minute nature break can effectively reduce our stress hormones for 2–3 weeks. As people experience nature's power in improving well-being, they gradually integrate nature into their daily lives and develop intrinsic motivation for environmental conservation. Hence, we aspire to make "nature for well-being" as popular as yoga and running.
Since 2017, we have partnered with 70+ schools, 40+ nonprofits and 20+ corporations to co-create impactful programs and community resources, serving more than 10,000 people. We organize nature immersion programs in country parks, community tasting sessions in urban parks, large-scale events like the first Hong Kong "Tree Hug Day," and "Nature Well-Being Day for Schools". We also offer train-the-trainer courses to teachers, stressed families, and students, where they learn to relax with nature and gain skills to serve others. We also create public education resources such as game books, nature maps, and videos to enable families, teachers, and social workers to plan self-guided exploration in nature and educate their own users
Tell us about your journey to where you are today. What inspired you? What has your path been like?
I had the chance to represent Hong Kong in a visit to Antarctica when I was 16. On a warm summer day (10°C), I saw a huge avalanche crashing down the glacier. I was stunned and I knew something must be done. But for people living in megacities like Hong Kong, I wonder what Antarctica means to them. They know about penguins and polar bears, but their hearts are disconnected from nature. So I started to think, instead of inducing guilt and fear towards climate change, how do we make people genuinely fall in love with nature and build an emotional connection?
After learning about nature's immense benefits in improving our well-being, I co-founded Nature Bathing to connect people with nature. When people immerse in nature, they calm down and gradually start to appreciate the clouds, the birds, the trees and the flowers around them. And when children and adults play in nature, they realize that happiness can be very simple. I believe cultivating empathy and connection towards nature is the first and vital step of environmental education. And I have been running my social enterprise since then, wishing to achieve business sustainability by providing innovative solutions for environmental education and well-being.
A Little More About Me
Where would you go for a daily dose of nature?
Lai Chi Kok Park downstairs of my home (hello to anyone who actually knows this park!) I like the peace and nature there, and I hope everyone can find a place like that in their neighbourhoods
What (or who) keeps you hopeful for the future?
Small children playing in nature or rolling on the grass! When children get to connect with nature at a young age, nature will always be a friend.
What is your superpower?
Empathy - recognizing that everyone sees and experiences the world differently. By putting myself into others’ shoes, I learnt to understand their needs and find consensus for the common good.
What advice would you give to the next generation of leaders?
Always be curious and creative. The future is not here yet, so the possibilities are endless!