Earth Day - what changes are you making?

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 22 April, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 22 April, 2009, 12:00am

Eman Lam Yee-man, member of music group at17

When we go to public toilets, it's tempting to use an excessive quantity of free toilet roll. But to be honest, you don't need that amount, which is probably enough to paint a Qingming Shang He Tu [a famously long Chinese painting from the Song dynasty]. For me, three sheets is enough. But that shouldn't mean using loads more if you're doing 'bigger business'. What I really mean is if we count out the number of sheets of toilet paper in our heads each time we go to the toilet, it will help to avoid wasting it. It also helps if you can use your own packets of tissues as well because they are more expensive and you will tend to use just what you need.

CoCo Lee, singer

I recently launched a new single with the National Geographic Channel for Earth Day called BYOB, or 'Bring Your Own Bag,' to encourage people to use fewer plastic bags. I found out from a recent survey by the channel that each year we dump some 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags [worldwide]. It is just shocking. It hurt me to find out that wild animals including fish and birds often mistakenly eat the plastic bags that we dump. As for myself, when my family and I go out, we always take a recyclable bag and I believe that if each of us makes a small change to our wasteful habits, it will accumulate into one great power to save our planet from climate change and global warming.

Lam Chiu-ying, retired Observatory director

As a meteorologist, I am very much aware of climate change. So I introduced a policy of reducing the large consumption of electricity through air conditioning both at home and in the workplace. At my [former] office, I would open a window for natural ventilation and, occasionally, I would switch on a fan. When the days were really hot, I would still try to allow the natural breeze to come in in the morning and wait until later in the day to switch on an air conditioner. After adapting to this habit, I found that even at 28 or 29 degrees Celsius we could still manage to operate normally, and actually it boosted the efficiency as well because all my colleagues just wanted to escape from this 'super greenhouse' as soon as possible.

MC Yan (Chan Kwong-ya), rapper

At least we can take a first step to reduce waste and then take further steps to achieve no pollution ... I just hope that the next time we have a stormy night, a boiling afternoon or a smoggy evening, you forget how busy you are living your own life and have a good think about it.

Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, legislator

I know that cooking leaves a carbon footprint, so when I was living alone in the United States [studying at Stanford University], I would cook several meals at the same time. This was to ensure that I didn't waste food, and also because eating out was very expensive in the US. Even if I had half a bowl of rice left [in a restaurant], I would take it home.

Stephen Chan Chi-wan, TVB general manager

A lot of the green habits I keep to now were actually taught to me by my late mother. In her era, environmental protection was never an issue, but I still believe such knowledge can be instinctive [even when people are not aware of the issues at the time]. For instance, I don't remember my mother ever using paper tissues. Every time she went out, she would put a [cloth] handkerchief in her pocket. I still follow my mother's example. I always take a handkerchief with me. It's like having my mother with me and makes me feel very secure.

It's also environmentally friendly.