Every time you buy, use or hrow something away you are harming the environment. The books you read, the clothes you wear and the food you eat all take resources and energy to produce and transport them to Hong Kong, where they are used and thrown away. Electrical goods consume energy during their use. Some, such as packaging materials are thrown away without being used at all. If you listed all the products you used and multiplied that by the six million people in Hong Kong, it would add up to a lot of trees, oil, minerals, plastics and crops. While every product we buy has an effect, it can often be reduced. We have to learn to see past the price tag to the real cost. Green consumerism is a powerful tool for change. By choosing not to use products, by consuming less and by using products developed to minimise their impact on the environment, you can help reduce damage to the planet. If you buy packaged food, stop to think - how was the packaging produced, is it necessary and what will happen to it once you have finished eating the contents? Remember the three 'Rs' - Reduce, Re-use, Recycle. When buying drinks or snacks try to reduce the packaging - fresh fruit has no wrapper. Or buy re-usable packaging - for example milk bottles - or which is biodegradable - paper or cardboard - or easily recyclable, like aluminium cans. Carry a re-usable container to put food or drinks in when you buy a lunchbox from a restaurant or drink from a stall. A directory of green products, called Green Living in Hong Kong, has been published. It is available at health shops and the bookshops in Sogo and Daimaru. Friends of the Earth is a non-profit-making environmental group. For further information, call 2528 5588.