Directory swap boosts recycling
If it takes the death of one tree to produce 66 telephone directories, a recycling competition has saved 19 trees from destruction.
Youngsters taking part in the Old Directories Recycling Programme collected 1,290 old phone books in the contest co-organised by the Conservancy Association and Telecom Directories.
Secondary schools collected 488 books and primary schools 802.
Marymount Secondary School won the trophy in the secondary division for collecting 186 books.
Carol Lim Yin-yin, a sixth-former at Marymount, said the entire school had been involved in the project.
It had inspired in them a sense of environmental protection.
'We learned it is important to stop depleting nature's resources, which is what recycling is about.
'Why destroy more trees to produce something we already have, when we can just return the old books to be remade into new ones?' CCC Fong Yun Wah School, which collected 308 copies, won in the primary school division.
Primary Five pupil Sei Chun-hing collected 21 copies single-handed, the most collected by a single person in the competition.
The 11-year-old had asked relatives and neighbours for old directories and brought them to school over a period of days.
Chun-hing said he had not been aware directories could be recycled.
'I saw the new directories come in every year and we used to throw the old ones in the bin.
'I have learned something. To recycle is meaningful. It is important to contribute to saving our earth in these simple ways.' Conservancy Association executive committee member Dr Chung Shan-shan said because children learned easily, it was crucial to foster good conservation habits from an early age.
'Telephone directories renew annually and few people are aware how wasteful it is to just throw the old one in the bin.' Telecom Directories manager Tam Sin-wing agreed it was a matter of education and habit.
'The early lessons our parents drummed into us are the ones we follow throughout our lives.
'This is why it's vital to teach children when they are young.'