PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 10 March, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 10 March, 2009, 12:00am

Stop just talking about 'eco-friendly'

'Eco-friendly' is a word on everybody's lips, but we could embrace the concept far more than we do in our everyday lives.

We are far wealthier today than we were in the past. We spend more on luxury items, and we throw them away when they have tiny problems.

But we could save a lot by buying less and using the things we have for a longer time by repairing them.

A typical example is shoes. We buy too many of them - trainers, slippers, high-heels, etc - and we never think of repairing them when they wear out.

Hong Kong has roadside shoe repairers and they only charge HK$20-30 to do a repair. But only the older generation seems to use their services.

Repairing shoes is just one example of many things we could be doing to be more responsible when it comes to the environment we talk about so frequently.

Talk is useless. It's time to take action.

Anson Leung, CCC Heep Woh College

An experience every student can afford

Student exchange programmes and overseas trips are popular. But they are very expensive and only students from well-off families can enjoy them.

Fortunately, students who are less privileged can enjoy programmes closer to home, and they are available - I know because I have joined one.

Recently, a social worker at my school held an inter-school exchange programme for us. It gave us an opportunity to gain new knowledge, such as technical skills, as well as an understanding of the atmosphere and culture of the other school. By comparing ourselves with the students from another school, we were able to see our shortcomings and get new ideas.

Exchange programmes of any kind can widen our horizons. They provide an opportunity to make new friends. Once new friends are formed, the exchange continues after the programme ends.

No matter whether an exchange programme is held overseas or at home, it will provide valuable experience we could never get from a textbook.

Claudia Lam, Leung Shek Chee College

Remember the love you already have

People - especially teenagers - always say they are looking for true love. But too often they forget the love they already have - that of their family, especially parents.

As they have been loved for so long, they take this love for granted. They are so used to it they don't treasure it anymore. Sometimes it is only when they lose it that they remember its importance.

Our parents provide us with support, but they will not be here forever.

Try to remember the love that they give us. That way you will have no regrets when it is gone. Make them feel loved in return.

Simon Yeung, STFA Tam Pak Yu College

Hugs say far more than words

Sometimes we feel we don't have the right words when a friend is sad and in need of comfort. But often it is not words they really need. A hug provides far more comfort than words.

A hug is the simplest way to strengthen a relationship by showing we care.

Research has proved that hugging can lift depression, help the body relax, lower blood pressure and boost happiness.

With the economic recession bringing hardship to everyone, hugs are needed more than ever.

Don't hold back out of fear of rejection. If you do, you will miss out. Just stretch out your arms and open your heart.

Sarah Lai, Yuen Long Merchants Association Secondary School