A healthier lifestyle is key to a longer life
Many people face the prospect of premature death because of their lifestyle. Emergency rooms are packed with victims of serious accidents, which could have been avoided if more care had been taken. Every four minutes and eight seconds, a person dies in Hong Kong of various causes.
The leading causes of death are cancer, brain disease, heart disease, accidents, liver disease, kidney disease, blood disease, suicide, and stress-related ailments.
Other factors behind many premature deaths are unhealthy diets and lifestyles. Bad eating habits can lead to obesity and even stroke. Cigarettes are another major source of death. Smoking can cause cancer and damage our lungs.
Also, many of us fail to seek medical assistance when we should and so risk contracting a serious disease. No disease will heal without the right cure.
The first step towards a longer life is changing habits and lifestyles that are detrimental to our health. Life is a gift: we must treasure it.
Karen Ho Hiu-tung, The Chinese Foundation Secondary School
Being punctual is a virtue
Many people in Hong Kong are not very punctual. They often arrive late for appointments and even for concerts and movies.
No doubt they don't think much about being late because others are often late, too.
Yet being late regularly is a bad habit which can destroy relationships. If you have a friend who is always late, you will lose your trust in her. You may also decide not to waste your time waiting for her and simply end the friendship.
If you are regularly late, you may also miss out on vital opportunities. Being late for an interview may destroy your chances of getting a job.
Most importantly, keeping other people waiting for you is a sign of disrespect for them.
Stephanie Li Sui-fong, Leung Shek Chee College
It's vital to have a trusted friend
We all suffer from sadness and sometimes it can be very hard. I believe we all need a trusted friend who can provide support in such times.
Having someone we can share our problems with is very important. It makes us feel that we are not alone in this world.
Such friends can also provide us with useful advice by looking at the source of our problems from a different angle. Their support can make a world of difference by making us see things in a new light.
Rainie Hui-oi man, Pooi To Middle School
Air conditioning is a cause of warming
It is undeniable that the climate is changing and we are facing a warming Earth. Often the summer heat in Hong Kong can be unbearable so we turn on the air conditioner at full blast.
However, by doing so, we contribute to a vicious cycle. Air conditioners use lots of electricity, which is often generated by burning fossil fuels. This contributes to the greenhouse effect, which makes us feel even hotter and so we use even more air conditioning.
You may think that using less air conditioning won't have much effect on the climate, but if we all use less electricity, it will make a big difference.
Here is how you can go about using less air conditioning and still staying cool. Make sure to set the air conditioner at a low setting and then use it briefly until the room cools down. When the heat is not intolerable, use fans instead of air conditioners.
But you should turn off both the air conditioner and the fan when you are not in the room so as not to waste electricity needlessly.
Chicharito Wong Chun-hong, Chiu Lut Sau Memorial Secondary School
Play it safe on Facebook
The safety of personal information on Facebook has become a serious issue. The site stores such information as your date of birth, e-mail address and phone number.
Hackers can easily gain access to your personal data by finding their way around the site's firewall. I urge you to be careful and not to store important personal information on the site.
As the saying goes, it is better to be safe than sorry.
Ng Ho-man, Po Leung Kuk No 1 W.H. Cheung College