PUBLISHED : Saturday, 27 August, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 27 August, 2011, 12:00am


Solar-fuelled ship can power thinking

The world's largest solar-powered ship, MS Turanor PlanetSolar, which is helping to promote sustainable energy while on a round-the-world trip, stopped off in Hong Kong this month.

It is a timely global voyage for the whole world. The Earth is faced with dwindling energy resources. If we continue to use up existing energy sources, such as oil and coal, then sooner or later we will run out of these fuels.

However, since solar power is a renewable energy, we could always use it. With the right approach, we will be able to harness solar power at a reasonable cost. We should invest in such technology.

Besides cars, I hope other forms of transport, such as aircraft, can also use solar energy. This can help us to save money - and the planet.

Other kinds of renewable energy, such as wind power, can also be used in transport.

The solar-powered ship could further promote alternative power sources by displaying messages on its hull which emphasise the need for environmental protection and safeguarding the Earth.

Michael Ng Ho-man, Po Leung Kuk No 1 W.H. Cheung College

Old buildings need better maintenance

There have been several deadly accidents involving old buildings in To Kwa Wan. On January 29, 2010, four people died and two others were injured after a five-storey building partially collapsed. And on June 15 this year, five people died in a fire at another old building in the area.

These incidents have frightened people. There have been so many accidents in To Kwa Wan's old buildings. The reason is obvious. The buildings are old, rundown and in need of repair. It is much cheaper to rent a flat in an old building so tenants have no incentive to raise extra funds to spend on repairs.

There are no residents' or owners' associations responsible for the proper maintenance of old buildings. So when things need to be improved - such as replacing faulty wiring or out-of-date fire equipment - nothing is done.

Building owners should form an organisation to deal with residents' problems. This can prevent any further accidents. Such associations should take responsibility for upgrading their buildings' fire safety equipment and carrying out annual repairs.

Eleanor Wong, Pooi To Middle School

Reusable bags not so friendly after all

Some people believe that using reusable bags will help protect the environment. I don't think so.

Many people worry about using plastic bags when shopping at supermarkets, or using plastic containers when buying takeaway food. Others worry about using their own cars, rather than using public transport.

One thing on many people's minds is the problem of plastic bags. Should we stop using these bags, and switch to environmentally friendly ones that can be used repeatedly?

The answer seems to be yes.

However, big companies are making use of this opportunity to try to make more profits.

They are selling eco-friendly bags made from cloth at a discounted price. Most of us will buy these bags - some are offered for HK$1 if we spend HK$50 or more at some stores - even if we already have five at home. Yet the main idea behind using these bags is to reduce the amount of plastic bags that are thrown away after being used just once. What's the point of an eco-friendly bag if you are not going to reuse it? You are just going to create more rubbish.

I don't think the mass production of eco-friendly bags will help protect the environment. We should educate people to stop buying more and more of them - instead of using the same one - each time.

Ivy Leung

Story on poor should make us feel lucky

The article 'Lifeline for poor students' (Young Post, July 29) showed that some American children, who need free school breakfasts and lunches, go hungry at weekends. But now there is a programme whereby these children are given a backpack full of food that they can eat during weekends.

This programme is really meaningful. Hopefully reading such articles will make us all appreciate how lucky we are, and be grateful for what we have.

Lo Yu-ting, Leung Shek Chee College