We need to learn to buy and waste less

PUBLISHED : Monday, 31 October, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 31 October, 2011, 12:00am


A recent news story in Young Post reported that a team from Japan won an international solar car race through the Australian outback.

The hi-tech solar cars used public roads on the trek. After sunset competitors stopped and spent the night on the roadside. Then in the morning they were off again. Renewable energy is important today and we should develop more and more forms of renewable energy sources. We should also use existing energy sources like wind and solar power in more and more ways.

People should all make sure not to waste energy in needless ways. Many people buy and consume far more than they need. They simply do it to show off. In Hong Kong many people go on regular shopping sprees, which leads to plenty of extra waste. Many shoppers change their wardrobe regularly with the coming of new trends and fashions.

We also celebrate holidays like Chinese New Year and Christmas by buying yet more new things - most of which we don't really need or even want. The custom of handing out red envelopes during the Lunar New Year festival also creates a lot of waste. Research found that every Chinese New Year we throw away 70 million packets - which is the same as cutting down 3,600 trees.

People are becoming increasingly concerned about green issues, but we have a lot more work to do if we are to save the planet. Chan Wing-lam, Tsuen Wan Government Secondary School

From the Editor

Thank you for your letter Wing-lam. You are quite right to say we need to stop the waste in our lives. And we do need to look for renewable and clean energy sources.

One renewable resource we do have on Earth is trees and so paper. While the world tries to turn its back on paper, it might be making a big mistake. Very few paper suppliers these days cut down virgin forest to make paper. Rather, they plant new forests of trees to fulfil the supply.

If there is no demand, these valuable carbon lockers will dwindle and the land will be put to other use, which might not be as environmentally friendly at all.

Paper, unlike electricity used for tech items, is recyclable. It can be reused many times before it becomes waste. Paper is also 100 per cent biodegradable, so it will have released its goodness back into the soil long before old mobile phones or computers degrade. Tech waste is poisonous; paper waste is not. What's new is not necessarily better.

Susan, Editor