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  • Jul 24, 2014
  • Updated: 12:37pm

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PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 10 July, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 10 July, 2012, 12:00am

No one wants to have incinerators

Incineration to get rid of solid rubbish cannot promote sustainable development in Hong Kong. Sustainable development means having economic growth to meet the needs of people while also having a good environment, not just now, but also in the future.

An incineration scheme is expensive. The burning process requires energy and it costs a lot to keep it going.

A lot of people oppose the construction of incinerators, saying they do not want them in their backyards.

When the government proposed building an incinerator in Tuen Mun or on Cheung Chau, people protested strongly.

They said the emission of air pollutants from the incinerator would affect their health and that it would block their views.

Although the burning process can create pollution and toxic gases, modern technology makes incinerators much safer than they used to be. But they cannot solve the problem of getting rid of solid waste in the long term. It is an emergency solution which aims to reduce the pressure on the three landfills in Hong Kong.

However, it merely turns rubbish into ashes and cuts down waste, but this is still dumped into landfills.

The government needs to bring in measures to reduce the amount of rubbish produced by the public. It should have a system where the polluter pays.

Mok Elim, True Light Middle School of Hong Kong

We don't get outside enough for exercise

Most people believe that short-sightedness is caused by reading, writing and playing video games for a long period of time. But some scientists say it may be caused by a lack of sunlight. In East Asia, more than 80 per cent of children are affected by eyesight problems, and many of them spend a lot of their time indoors.

Students in Hong Kong are obsessed with tablets, laptops and smartphones, which provide a wide range of entertainment such as games, social networking platforms and free movies. They also have to do a lot of homework and revision every day, besides the classroom lessons. So they don't get outside enough for exercise.

Parents should set a good example for their children. They can encourage their children to take part in outdoor activities such as cycling and hiking. Schools can also allow students to leave the classroom for extra-curricular activities such as learning about wildlife.

Why don't we get out of our flats to absorb sunlight to improve our vision? It is also good for our bodies as sunlight stimulates the formation of vitamin D that makes us strong.

Arabella Ma Hoi-ching, St Antonius Girls' College

It's good for us to get close to nature

Recently, my class went to Mai Po, a well-known wetland and nature reserve in Hong Kong.

I was excited but some of my classmates don't like plants and animals. 'Biophobia' is fear of nature. Many teenagers don't want to spend time in the natural environment, enjoying the fresh air and plant and animal species. It is a growing problem and we are being cut off from nature.

Many students don't want to get dirty. They are also scared of insects such as mosquitoes, and many animals.

Being close to the natural environment is good for our health.

You can help the Earth by planting trees, and improve your health by going hiking.

Daisy Kan, Tsuen Wan Public Ho Chuen Yiu Memorial College

Help those with mental disorders

There is a lot of misunderstanding about people with mental disorders.

People have a responsibility to watch out for unusual behaviour in their families. If you find that a family member feels anxious, is depressed or does not want to chat with others, you must comfort them and take the time to find out what they are worried about. You must care for them and make sure they get the right help.

The government needs to keep track of these patients. Although they can have a normal life after treatment, there is the chance that they might suffer a relapse. The government is better placed to offer medical and counselling services to them.

If everyone can accept and support them, they will be able to have a good life in the community.

Yiu Wing-yi

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