It’s Chinese New Year; launching the year of the horse with the new lunar calendar. Folks in the Chinese restaurant business will enjoy a boom as people celebrate with traditional, cultural cuisine.

While astrologers make their predictions for 2014, suggesting that the year of the horse may be filled with conflict but will pass fast — Vancouver’s Chinese restaurants are being encouraged to take a more sustainable approach to business.

Getting greener in the Chinese food sector

While the popular proposed ban on shark fin soup sunk to the bottom of the House of Commons abyss last year, the consumer base for this controversial dish has declined greatly, according to CBC. While this means the federal government will allow this product to enter the country, 18 cities across Canada went through with the sales ban of the soup as a municipal bylaw.

Perpetuating the idea of the sustainable diner, the younger generations of folks who frequent Chinese restaurants have been boycotting the item often served for fancy occasions — opting for alternative soups to celebrate.

People can be turned off by this traditional menu item because of the way the shark is caught, how it’s finned alive and tossed back into the water to die. While there’s no law preventing the importation of shark fins — the practice of shark finning is illegal in Canadian waters.

Folks at the Hua Foundation, an organization led by young Asian-Canadians, worked to get shark fin soup of menus and have recently been focusing on encouraging sustainable food to be served in Chinese restaurants in Vancouver.

Some Chinese restaurants have already started trying on new shades of green such as Szechuan Chongqing Seafood Restaurant, the first Chinese restaurant to partner with Ocean Wise Sustainable seafood program back in 2012, reports the Vancouver Sun.

What does the year of the horse mean for businesses?

As the year of the water snake ends, the year of the wood horse begins. “The upcoming Horse year is also a ‘yang wood’ year, when people will stick more to their principles and stand firm. So it is hard to negotiate or compromise as there are more tendencies for people to fight for their ideals,” Feng shui practitioner Raymond Lo told Reuters.

But there is good news driven by the Chinese zodiac’s fire element for stock performances. Predictions are good for those in wood-related sectors too — folks in culture, education, agriculture and lumber and media will have a better year, according to Reuters.

And any time a year, we have incentives and our free interactive Energy Audit tool.


Image credit: Wang Guowen