THE long-running conflict between convenience and environmental protection is being blamed for the slow progress in Hong Kong's green campaign by organisers of a recent exhibition. Called 'Green Action = You + Me ? Participation', the second Joint School Conservancy Exhibition, organised by St Paul's Secondary School and Hong Kong Wah Yan College, was aimed at examining the role of school, family, individual and society in environmental protection. Loretta Yip Wun of St Paul's Secondary School said there was discrepancy between people's behaviour and attitude towards environmental protection. 'People know the damage caused by plastic bags, but they still ask for them,' Loretta said. 'Many people may not know how CFCs [chlorofluorocarbons] damage the ozone layer or why using polystyrene lunch boxes is not desirable, but for the sake of convenience, they continue buying them.' St Paul's Secondary School's Ecology Club president Flora Lai Yuen-wah agreed. 'They are aware of the problem but they fail to do anything about it on a personal level. Most of them think it is the responsibility of the Government. 'They feel using an extra plastic bag will not make much difference,' said the 17-year-old. Loretta said the general public regarded the problem as something of no immediate impact. 'Hong Kong people are very short-sighted in this respect. They care only about things which may happen in the near future, but do not want to be bothered about the long-term effects their habits could have on the environment.' The exhibition, which kicked off last month at Hong Kong Wah Yan College, and moved to St Paul's Secondary School this month, also offered tips to visitors on how to protect the environment. 'We wanted to show people how they could save water and energy at home, for example, by putting the refrigerator away from direct sunlight,' Loretta said. The group believed education was the most effective way of boosting awareness. 'We feel that education in this area, especially for children, is very important,' Flora said. The two-day exhibition also featured games, quizzes and demonstrations on paper recycling.