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    Environment & Health

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    11/04/2021

    No Waste, Good Taste

    Hong Kong is a gourmet paradise. We can find food of different kinds from different parts of the world. But when we are enjoying all those delicious food, have we thought about the fact that there are over 3 500 tonnes of food waste being disposed of at landfills every day? And how much of those leftovers are caused by people wasting food? Although food waste are degradable organic materials, a large amount of greenhouse gases is released during the waste burial process, and thus leading to climate change.

    Hong Kong people have always had exquisite taste in food and beverage. However, if we overbuy food, it will cause damages to the environment. Meanwhile, overeating will lead to problems like obesity or overweight, which will adversely affect our health in different levels and also greatly increase the risk of disease, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, stroke, chronic kidney disease and cancer. Currently, around 30% of adults in Hong Kong are obese, while another 20% are overweight, and the situation is an issue of concern.

    Whether for the government, the industries or the general public, there are various ways to reduce the amount of leftovers, for example, recovering and recycling food waste, choosing local food materials and going for low carbon diet, which was proposed in recent years. If we are willing to make small changes to our lives, we will be able to reduce waste, improve the environment and build up healthy eating habits, so why not do it?

    重溫

    CATCHUP
    02 - 04
    2021
    RTHK 31
    • No Waste, Good Taste

      No Waste, Good Taste

      No Waste, Good Taste

      Hong Kong is a gourmet paradise. We can find food of different kinds from different parts of the world. But when we are enjoying all those delicious food, have we thought about the fact that there are over 3 500 tonnes of food waste being disposed of at landfills every day? And how much of those leftovers are caused by people wasting food? Although food waste are degradable organic materials, a large amount of greenhouse gases is released during the waste burial process, and thus leading to climate change.

      Hong Kong people have always had exquisite taste in food and beverage. However, if we overbuy food, it will cause damages to the environment. Meanwhile, overeating will lead to problems like obesity or overweight, which will adversely affect our health in different levels and also greatly increase the risk of disease, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, stroke, chronic kidney disease and cancer. Currently, around 30% of adults in Hong Kong are obese, while another 20% are overweight, and the situation is an issue of concern.

      Whether for the government, the industries or the general public, there are various ways to reduce the amount of leftovers, for example, recovering and recycling food waste, choosing local food materials and going for low carbon diet, which was proposed in recent years. If we are willing to make small changes to our lives, we will be able to reduce waste, improve the environment and build up healthy eating habits, so why not do it?

      11/04/2021
    • Everyday Household

      Everyday Household

      Recycling of broken household electrical appliances helps to reduce waste and recycle metal resources. As such, will you feel less guilty when you buy new electrical appliances? In fact, repairing household electrical appliances not only saves money, but also extends product life. As an environmentally conscious person, when you think of replacing your electrical appliances, there is no harm for you to pause for a moment and consider if there is really a need to do so.

      Mould exists everywhere in household environment, it grows so fast that many families can do nothing about it, but to live with it. As mould may lead to allergic reactions, people with allergic constitutions should be more careful.

      04/04/2021
    • Hazardous Air

      Hazardous Air

      The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently published a list of “Ten Threats to Global Health in 2019”, and air pollution is on the list. It is also considered by WHO as the greatest environmental risk to health.

      In the past two decades or so, there has been a gradual improvement in Hong Kong’s air quality. However, when comparing with other major cities in the world, the air pollution problem in Hong Kong is still serious.

      The major sources of air pollutants in Hong Kong include nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, ozone, respirable suspended particulates (PM10) and fine suspended particulates (PM2.5). Apart from power plants and ocean going vessels that sail across the waters of Hong Kong, the air pollutants in Hong Kong mainly come from vehicles; designs of the city and its buildings, climate, wind speed, etc. will inevitably affect the air quality as well, yet the urban and industrial development of peripheral regions have made pollutants transport from the Zhujiang Delta, or even more remote places, deteriorating Hong Kong’s air quality.

      Air pollution can impose very serious impacts on cardiorespiratory and cardiovascular health. It is also one of the reasons causing lung cancer. The air pollution problem must be addressed at source in order to solve it. Nonetheless, Hong Kong is densely populated with a heavy traffic, together with its geographic location, it seems that it is impossible to cut pollution at source completely.

      This programme has worked with Clean Air Network and conducted a social experiment, in which four groups of people who live or work in Sham Shui Po were given a suggested daily walking route with cleaner and fresher air respectively, but the routes were longer than their normal ones. Time or health – what would be their choice?

      28/03/2021
    • Well Building

      Well Building

      Well Building

      Urban people spend around 90% of their time indoors or inside buildings. Most of their time, whether work, leisure or rest, is spent indoors. As such, it becomes an important issue how design and facilities of buildings can help us live healthier.

      In recent years, the concept of “WELL” — building for well-being, has been all the rage in the architectural sector. The ten indicators of the concept are air, water, temperature, light, sound, movement, materials, nourishment, mind and community, which add a lot more concerns of humanities than the architectural concepts which only focus on physical space in the past.

      In 2017, a research of the University of Hong Kong found that home and neighbourhood environment have certain effects on people’s physical and mental health. Dr Corine WONG, who is responsible for the research, thinks that the project helps architects and town planners to incorporate appropriate consideration in their designs, especially on how the design of public space can promote neighbourhood relationship.

      21/03/2021
    • The New Norm for Town Planning

      The New Norm for Town Planning

      In 2020, the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is rampant across the globe. To prevent the epidemic from spreading, rezoning or addition works have been carried out in a lot of spaces in the city, so as to implement social distancing. Professor Joseph SUNG, who combated SARS in 2003, describes that the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic has brought permanent changes to people’s living habits and a “new norm” will emerge. And city designs have to find ways to adapt and cope as a result.

      Back then, when SARS was over, the Government reviewed its policies on town planning and architectural designs, and formulated relevant building standards and guidelines with regard to air ventilation. Also, planning standards were added into the Urban Design Guidelines, requiring future developments to take into consideration the impacts of the designs and layouts of buildings on the peripheral environment, scenery and air ventilation. Edward NG, Professor of Architecture in the School of Architecture of The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and his team were commissioned by the Planning Department to continue studying topics related to city ventilation. Meanwhile, they learnt from Germany’s experience and finished devising the Urban Climate Map of Hong Kong, and thus Hong Kong was the first Asian city that successfully drew up a climate map.

      The World Health Organization pointed out that rapid urbanization, crowded living environment, aging population and climate change were all challenges to a healthy city life. Among them, climate change gives rise to the growth in number of extreme weather incidents around the world; glacial meltdown leads to the global sea level rise, and thus the risk of being affected by water crises faced by coastal cities increases. Experts in areas such as town planning, architecture, drainage and water services give full play to their abilities to devote themselves to fight against the risk of climate change.

      14/03/2021
    • Short-Lived Plastic

      Short-Lived Plastic

      Short-Lived Plastic

      In recent years, take-out platforms are on the rise. With the outbreak of COVID-19 this year, more and more people are choosing take-out over dining out. As a result, the use of disposable plastic tableware has increased significantly. In April this year, after conducting a survey, an environmental protection group estimated that Hong Kong people would consume more than 100 million pieces of disposable plastic every week during the pandemic. The amount is staggering!

      Does disposable really mean convenient, hygienic, and efficient? Is it worth to use “short-lived plastic” and cause “long-term” effects?

      07/03/2021
    • The 5mm Menace

      The 5mm Menace

      The 5mm Menace

      Microplastics have become a hot issue in the environmental sector in recent years. They are fragments from degradation of plastic and are called “micro”-plastics as their diameter is less than 5mm.

      Although we can hardly see microplastics with our bare eyes, they are actually within our reach, as they have already snuck into our life.

      To prevent ecological disasters brought about by microplastics, eradication of their sources should not be delayed.

      28/02/2021
    • The Unbearable Pollution

      The Unbearable Pollution

      The Unbearable Pollution

      Hong Kong, surrounded by water on three sides, is diversified in the types of marine creatures, possessing around 6 000 marine species. Corals, as one of the species, is also an ecosystem itself, providing different species with food and habitats. Meanwhile, fisheries products are an important source of protein for humans. Therefore, the survival of corals is crucial enough to affect our food chain.

      Currently, there are about 900 types of corals around the world, of which around one-tenth were discovered in Hong Kong, having 84 types in total. Facing the problem of global climate change, the increase in sea surface temperature and seawater acidity, as well as the problem of marine pollution, the lives of corals are now under threat, and the coral community in Tolo Harbour, Tai Po is one of the examples. The coverage of corals in Tolo Harbour dropped sharply from 70% in the 1980s to nearly zero in 1996, which was kind of a marine ecological disaster in Hong Kong.

      About a decade ago, the team from the coral planting base of Simon F.S. Li Marine Science Laboratory of the Chinese University of Hong Kong started the study on the restoration of corals in Tolo Harbour, hoping to rebuild the underwater coral ecology.

      Apart from tangible rubbish, the impacts of sun creams on corals have also been a key issue for scientific research in the recent decade. Scientists found that the majority of sunscreens contain chemicals, such as Benzophenone-3, which will damage the reproduction and growth cycles of corals, causing coral bleaching in the end.

      21/02/2021
    • Consumption Climate Change

      Consumption Climate Change

      Consumption Climate Change

      The pandemic of the novel coronavirus makes everyone to rediscover the power of Mother Nature. In fact, as the impact brought by climate change becomes bigger, extreme weather conditions around the world have been worsening. Typhoons, rainstorms, heat waves, droughts, hill fires or spreading of communicable diseases, are all great threats to our life. To alleviate the impact of climate change, reduction of carbon emission is of the utmost importance, and promotion of other measures to reduce emission such as energy saving and reduction of deforestation should not be delayed. Besides, our continuous production of refuse is in fact one of the reasons exacerbating the emission of greenhouse gases.

      The emergence of consumerism since the 1980’s brings about the issue of over-consumption in Hong Kong. Consequently, a substantially increased amount of refuse is generated and the extent of which is much greater than that of the population. To achieve waste reduction, apart from the conventional ways to handle refuse, which are “recycling, incineration, landfilling”, a brand new direction will be wasting less and reusing. If everyone goes an extra mile and takes action to change their existing habits in daily life, we will be able to waste less and avoid producing refuse in various aspects relating to clothing, food, accommodation and transport.

      Climate change may be a warning for us to reconsider our lifestyle.

      14/02/2021
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