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PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 01 February, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 01 February, 2012, 12:00am

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Waste not, want not: think before you eat

Hong Kong may be considered a foodie's paradise, but it is also gaining notoriety for its excessive food wastage.

Friends of the Earth, a green group, says that leftover food at two wedding banquets recently in Hong Kong amounted to a total of 400kg.

The Environmental Protection Department points out that almost 3,300 tonnes of food are wasted every day across the city.

This means that on average each person wastes half a kilogram of food per day. That places Hong Kong in the top range of food waste in the developed world.

Leftover food cannot be recycled so it is dumped in landfills, which are filling up fast.

To solve the problem of wasted food, we should take action at once.

For instance, restaurants serving banquets should reduce the number of courses from eight to six.

Some restaurants have already introduced policies to penalise customers who order or take more than they eat. That's a good start.

Local Chinese restaurants should also adopt the Western practice of individual servings in favour of banquets. Diners, meanwhile, should be encouraged to bring their own reusable boxes to take their leftovers home.

Maggie Cheung, Leung Shek Chee College

We must stop the spread of junk mail

Whenever we sign into our e-mail accounts, we usually find a number of junk e-mails.

E-mail is a very convenient means of communication. It also helps us protect the environment by saving paper. Yet electricity is required to send e-mails, so the sending of e-mails also adds to carbon emissions, which harm our planet.

A huge amount of junk e-mail is not only a waste of our time, but also harmful to the environment.

The government should pass a law to control junk e-mail.

Angela Wong

See a doctor before taking supplements

Many people that use health supplements do not consult doctors before starting to take them.

The government should encourage people to seek medical advice before taking them.

There are several reasons why people fail to seek doctors' advice: easy access to health supplements, their inability to pay medical fees, and long lines in public hospitals.

The government should promote the importance of consulting doctors through education.

It could hold seminars to tell people about the drawbacks of taking health supplements without supervision.

Distributing leaflets to the public and broadcasting messages on television and radio could also help.

The government should also impose strict restrictions on the sale of health supplements.

We should treat health supplements as we treat other drugs. People should be able to acquire them only with proper prescriptions. That would ensure they are taken in appropriate doses.

The government should also build more hospitals and train more doctors to reduce waiting times in public hospitals so that more people will visit doctors for advice.

Serene Lee, SKH Tsang Shiu Tim Secondary School

Wrong for school to select student union

A student union's function is to represent students and relay their wishes to a school's administrators.

As a result, a union should be appointed by students themselves.

Yet recently, our student union failed to secure a confidence vote. So my school simply handpicked some students for the student union without seeking our support.

I think the student union can no longer be considered our legitimate representatives. As they have not been elected, they lack legitimacy in the eyes of many students.

We should be able to use the democratic process of voting to elect our own representatives.

Wai Kin-long, The Chinese Foundation Secondary School

Chungking offers a cultural melting pot

Chungking Mansions, in Tsim Sha Tsui, is popular among budget travellers from around the world.

Rents there are cheaper than at most other city centre places.

As a result, it has become a real melting pot with a fascinating mix of cultures, nationalities and languages.

By visiting it we can learn about other cultures without even leaving Hong Kong.

Rave Mak, Fung Kai Liu Man Shek Tong Secondary School