Simple daily habits help to conserve wetlands

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 20 April, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 20 April, 1999, 12:00am

Wetlands are a vital, yet unknown component of our daily life. The water we drink and the rice we eat come directly from wetlands. In addition, wetlands also store rainwater, reducing the risk of flooding low-lying areas. Wetlands are also home to a huge variety of wildlife, some highly endangered.

Many wetlands, including Hong Kong's, are under ever- growing threats from pollution and development.

WWF HK has organised an education programme, Water for People, highlighting Hong Kong's freshwater resources.

'What we aim to achieve in the project is to motivate people to adopt simple but effective daily 'green' habits that will help conserve wetlands - not only for our benefit, but also for future generations,' said WWF HK education officer Pauline Tsang.

Dos: Turn off the taps when they are not in use.

Mend or replace leaking pipes or taps.

Use your washing machine only if you have a full load of clothes.

Take a shower, not a bath.

Do your washing in a bowl of water instead of running water.

Read the labels before you buy cleansing agents, pesticides or herbicides. Some products may contain harmful substances that pollute our freshwater resources and/or kill the associated animal or plant species.

Don'ts Don't brush your teeth or wash-up under running water.

Don't flush a toilet before using it.

Don't flush chemical or food residue down the toilet.

Don't wash your utensils in streams when you go camping.

Don't throw rubbish into streams.

Don't pick any plants from, or catch or kill animals in streams, rivers or marshes.

Don't release your unwanted pets, especially amphibians or fish, in wetlands. Such introduced species may upset or even destroy the delicate environmental balance.

WWF HK is a local charity environmental organisation established in 1981 which aims to build a future in which people can live in harmony with nature. For information, call 2526-1011 or e- mail to