IN A bid to arouse students' environmental awareness, the Environmental Campaign Committee (ECC) organised a 'Student Green Painting Competition' recently. Michelle Fan Ching-yim, who won an 'outstanding painting' award in the competition, said her work was inspired by her family's environmental practices. 'My mother always takes her own bag when she goes shopping, and so do I,' Michelle said after receiving her award from Governor Chris Patten. 'Some people do not like to take their own bags when they go shopping, but by doing so, they can help protect the environment. 'It is an effective way to encourage people to use less plastic bags and to show that we really care about the environment. We must put what we have learnt about environmental protection into practice,' said the 12-year-old. The budding artist said her award came as a surprise, 'but a pleasant one'. 'I felt so great about receiving the award from the Governor. But more importantly, I was happy that I had done my bit in promoting the green message through my work,' said the St Thomas Primary School student. Twelve outstanding and 20 merit award winning entries were displayed in an exhibition after the prize presentation ceremony. The competition attracted a total of 661 entries. Speaking at the ceremony, ECC chairperson Peggy Lam, said the theme of this year's World Environmental Day was 'Green Consumerism'. 'The idea was to encourage the people to show more concern for the environment when they went shopping. 'We hope that today's activities will further enhance locals' awareness about environmental protection and encourage them to have a greener lifestyle,' said Ms Lam.