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Switch on to a greener lifestyle

     Substantial gains in environmental protection could only be achieved with public participation, the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Edward Yau, said today (October 18).

     Mr Yau said environmental protection was a major policy area for the third term of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government. The policy initiative also formed an important part in building a quality city and a quality life for local citizens as stated by the Chief Executive in the policy address last week.

     "To improve the living environment in Hong Kong, we must continue to raise the community's awareness of environmental protection and conservation with enhanced participation," Mr Yau said. "The Government is mounting a publicity campaign to engage the public in protecting the environment.  The campaign also calls for collective efforts of society to help make a change in various aspects of daily living to nurture a cleaner, greener and better lifestyle."

     While the Government was committed to providing good quality living environment to the public through reducing pollution, promoting energy efficiency and strengthening further regional co-operation, public involvement and participation was the cornerstone.

     "Improving our environment is not a job just for either the Government or green groups. It is a business for each and everyone of us," said Mr Yau, who also emphasised the importance to act green as well as think green.

     "Action makes a difference. We all should take part to help make a change.  A better environment can be more attainable if it becomes a way of life.  We must start forming new habits.  A simple act in our daily living can help conserve energy and reduce waste production or generation, such as turning off the computer or TV when not using them, not wasting food, using less disposable utensils and setting air-conditioners at an energy-saving temperature. These are all within our reach and simply easy and closer than we think,' Mr Yau said.

     Publicity programmes on the promotion of a greener lifestyle include the launching of new TV and Radio Announcements in the Public Interests (APIs), a dedicated website, roving exhibitions, roadshows and an advertising campaign.  To reach out to a wider community, an on-line computer game has been developed to encourage the public to think and act green in their daily lives.

     Details of the programmes are as follows:

* A series of new TV and Radio APIs, conceived with the slogan "I love Hong Kong! I love green!", will be launched to arouse public awareness of the environmental problems and encourage early action. Apart from the thematic APIs, another four APIs will be produced under the themes of four basic necessities of life - Dressing, Eating, Living and Commuting.

* A computer game adopting the idea of a SimEP with six characters in a family setting is created. Through a series of mini computer games, the public will be able to appreciate the growing waste problem and how they can play a role in addressing the problem through waste reduction, re-use and recovery.  

     Copies of CD Roms, containing the computer game and information of green initiatives, will be distributed to schools, youth centres, elderly centres and district offices. It will also be uploaded on the dedicated on-line game website.

* A dedicated Waste Reduction Website ( is to give the public a one-stop source of information about waste generation, reduction, recycling and management in the territory. It will provide a channel for registered members to trade or donate their usable goods or share their views on how to reduce waste.

* Others programmes include exhibitions and roadshows; distribution of e-posters to schools and other organisations for promoting the green message; and educational activities funded by the Environment and Conservation Fund.

     Mr Yau said the Government valued the partnership with District Councils and green groups, adding that he would continue to discuss with them more long-term collaborations, such as encouraging District Councils and NGOs to incorporate the message of "green lifestyle" into their World Environment Day 2008 activities.

     "Ultimately, it is up to each of us, as individuals and families, to take action to reverse it through everyday awareness of our living habits and together we make a behavioural change to create a better environment for Hong Kong," Mr Yau said.

Ends/Thursday, October 18, 2007
Issued at HKT 15:06


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