PUBLISHED : Thursday, 13 November, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 13 November, 2008, 12:00am

Small steps towards making a change

I recently came across a survey that found Hongkongers don't want to change their ways to improve the environment. They would rather pay for it.

Money cannot buy back a destroyed environment. We should reduce our carbon footprint by taking action in every way we can, not just using less electricity. Think about all the consumer items we buy and then throw away.

Hong Kong people waste a huge amount of resources. Remember the TV set you replaced with the new plasma set, or that bulky monitor you replaced with the LCD one? They're in a landfill somewhere now. So are countless other things thrown away by families in Hong Kong.

I know it may seem impossible to make any changes. But all of us can do our bit by thinking twice about buying things that we're simply going to end up throwing away.

Anson Leung Tsz-shan, CCC Heep Woh College

Let's do more to reduce obesity

I recently read an article about how unhealthy eating habits were leading to more and more obesity among Hong Kong youth.

The problem is, even though they might start out with a healthy traditional diet, they then switch to living on fast food. Also, the food in school tuck shops might look attractive, but it usually contains a lot of fat. When children eat this kind of food all the time, it's bad for their health.

Hong Kong's high standard of living is also responsible. Living in high-rise buildings and getting around by a comprehensive public transport network means people hardly ever walk. To make things worse, our overcrowded city has a short supply of playing fields.

In other words, when it comes to youth obesity, it's not just bad diets but also lack of exercise that are to blame.

We need to work together to solve this problem. We need more education on healthy lifestyles at school, and the government needs to provide more space for recreation. Parents can do their bit by preparing healthy home-cooked food.

Li Ching-chi

We should make the effort to recycle

I read recently in a South China Morning Post news article that, according to a survey, 460 out of 1,000 citizens simply threw away their rubbish because they could not find any recycling bins nearby.

A green group said the reason for this was there were not enough recycling bins on the street.

Of some 20,000 rubbish bins in Hong Kong, only 858, the group said, were for recyclable rubbish, and most were placed next to trash collection centres, making them inconvenient to get to.

Actually, it is very easy to separate rubbish, but once it has all been mixed up in one rubbish bin it will probably all end up in a landfill. Hong Kong's landfills are filling up fast, so the government plans to build incinerators.

I still think we should make more effort to separate rubbish that can be recycled. If you take the example of Germany, people go to great lengths to separate their rubbish. Villagers will even drive to the nearest town with their rubbish.

Another good thing about Germany is they get refunds for their used bottles and also use their own bags when they go shopping - this means no more plastic bags, which are very bad for the environment.

I think it's time we followed Germany's footsteps.

Tikki, Our Lady of the Rosary College

A success that offers inspiration

I would like to write about how much of an inspiration Barack Obama's election as 44th president of the United States has been for me.

Nobody knows if president-elect Obama can bring 'real change' to his country as he promised all the way through his long election campaign.

But, no one can deny his election was a huge inspiration.

One of the main reasons Senator Obama became the first African-American president in US history was the time had come, but another was the unity of his followers.

But I don't think it is only because he is an African-American that we should find him inspiring.

Senator Obama didn't have an easy journey. His parents were divorced. When he was young he didn't have a direction and didn't know where he was going. But as he got older, he worked hard at becoming a politician.

Just four years ago, not many people knew his name. But in those four years he did the impossible and went all the way to the top.

We can all find inspiration in the way he followed his dream.

All of us have dreams, but few of us pursue them. I hope everybody can learn from Senator Obama and say, 'Yes, we can.'

Yuen Tsz-nga, Yuen Long Merchant Association Secondary School

In tutorial classes and confused

I'm a Form Four student and have been attending tutorial classes since July.

I joined the after-school classes because I was worried the Form Four classes would be much more difficult than the junior forms and everybody said tutorials would really help.

But now I think I have made the wrong decision.

The classes have not helped me in any way.

I often don't understand what the tutor is talking about, and I just do the exercises like a robot.

When I go home, I no longer feel like I want to do any revision.

Do I really need to go to these lessons? I wonder what other students think.

Tang Wing-man, Chinese Foundation Secondary School