Monthly Archives: March 2013

DC Ethical Consumer Quiz

Posted by Peter MUIR

As a part of ethical consumer week, the student organising committee held a quiz.  Here are the answers:

What percentage of Hong Kong’s garbage is food waste?
40% – Food waste accounts for almost 40 percent of Hong Kong’s municipal solid rubbish. This adds to the landfill crisis, which must one day hit breaking point. Source

In 2010, Hong Kong imported how many tonnes of frozen pork?
120,000 – 140,000 – 130 298 tonnes from Brazil (32%) Mainland (49%) USA (6%) Germany (2%) – Source

According to a survey of landfill rubbish, how many plastic bags would each Hong Kong person use every day? (From the total estimated number of plastic bags used divided by Hong Kong’s population).  More than 3 – landfill survey indicates that some eight billion plastic shopping bags are disposed of at landfills every year. This translates into more than three plastic shopping bags per person per day, which apparently go beyond our needs. done in 2012?  Source

What percentage of Hong Kong’s total food supply is imported?
90% of the total food supply in Hong Kong is imported food. The Mainland is our most important food source, especially for fresh food. Source

How many plastic water bottles are used by school children in Hong Kong each year?
20 million – An estimated 20 million plastic water bottles – equivalent to 16 football fields – are dumped by local schoolchildren each year. That’s the finding of a Chinese YMCA survey involving 1,883 Primary Four to Secondary Three students from April 1 to May 15 2012.  Source

What is a food mile?
The distance food travels from where it was grown or raised to where it is purchased

Which is the most effective way to reduce the environmental impact of your shopping?
Buy less meat – source

A sweatshop is:
A factory where workers are exploited by low wages, long hours, and unsafe working conditions

“Fair trade” is:
A trade system that ensures farmers in poor countries can compete in global markets

Critics of marketing products as ‘green’ refer to this practice by this term:
Greenwashing – Source

Year 3 Easter Games Party – Help needed!

Posted by Peter MUIR

Year 3 will soon be having their Easter Games Party – and help is needed from junior secondary students (from Year 8 or 9) to plan and implement some fun games and activities.
Date: Wednesday 20th March
Time: 3.30-5.00pm
Location-Grass Foreshore
Theme: Easter Games Party.
4-6 students are required to help arrange and run fun and interesting games for the year 3’s. Equipment to be provided by the PE department (balls, hoops etc.) and parents/guardians will be present to support you.
If you are keen, please email

Earth Hour

Posted by Peter MUIR

Six years ago saw the first Earth Hour event held in Sydney Australia, where 2.2 million Sydneysiders and 2,100 businesses participated by turning off lights and electrical devices for one hour.  Earth Hour has grown much in that time, with this year’s event looking to involve over millions of people in over 140 countries.  One part of Earth Hour’s campaign, the “I will if you will” initiative on YouTube has already attracted four million participants and received more than 200,000 commitments from individuals, businesses, organisations and governments, all taking their action for the planet far beyond the hour.

And that is what is required for us to change direction that our Earth is heading – the world is undoubtedly facing some of the most critical environmental challenges in its history.   The only work to find solutions and to act on these problems is if we do it together – together our individual actions add up to make a difference collectively.

What can you do as an individual; what can we do as a school to change our practices.   And how could you make it so that these actions could be a meaningful part of your CAS / C&S programme?

Designed for the dump

Posted by Peter MUIR

This clip, posted by the student organisers of the DC Ethical Consumer Week, looks at the problems associated with the consumption of electronic items.
Designed for the dump means making stuff to be thrown away quickly. Today’s electronics are hard to upgrade, easy to break, and impractical to repair.  Our high-tech revolution’s collateral damage is 25 million tons of e-waste and counting, poisoned workers and a public left holding the bill. What we need is for electronic designers to make long-lasting, toxic-free products that are fully and easily recyclable.  Click here to see more details about  “The Story of Electronics”

What is ethical consumerism?

Posted by Peter MUIR

This week is ‘Ethical Consumer Week’ at DC.  The students organising this week have prepared a number of activities for students to take a part in – quizzes, games, a role-play, displays – all aiming to improve understanding of ethical consumerism that hopefully leads to principled action (IE us being an Ethical Consumer!).

As a part of the week students will be sharing related clips in the daily bulletin.  Here is the first clip …

Everyone loves a bargain, but how often do we think of the origins of the products we buy? Who made these products, under what conditions and at what cost to the environment? This clip tackles the issue of ethical consumerism, focusing on the global consumer, ethics, sustaining our future, fairtrade and consumer choice.

Research Shows Poor Air for HK Marathon Runners

Posted by Peter MUIR

To get first-hand air pollution information along the race route of this year’s Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon, Clean Air Network (CAN) invited four volunteer runners (two running the Full Marathon and two running the 10 KM) to carry portable PM2.5 monitors to measure air pollution levels during the race.

PM2.5, which is short for “Particulate Matter, 2.5 micrometers or less” measures the amount of fine particles in the (ambient) air 2.5 micrometres or less in size.  These “PM2.5 particles” are known to produce respiratory and cardiovascular illness.

For the 42-km Full Marathon, the average PM2.5 concentration was 30 microgram/cubic meter, higher than the WHO Air Quality Guideline of 25 microgram/cubic meter.  This tells use essentially what we already assumed – breathing Hong Kong air is not healthy!

What could you do in your C&S / CAS efforts to address this?  What principled action could you take?  Ideas might include spreading awareness here in Discovery Bay, and encouraging the school and DB community to sign a petition to inform the government to take action.


Moon Bears Concert

Posted by Peter MUIR

Clara Chan, an esteemed piano teacher and lover of dogs, is organising a musical fundraiser night:
Moon Bears Concert – Saturday 16 March 2013, 7.30pm, Discovery Bay International School Globe Theatre.  Acts include: Academy for the Performing Arts, Trinity Chapel Choir, LYN, Deep Chile, Soul Traders, Bruce and Friends, Benzine, Tania Martin, and Y-Rock. All proceeds from ticket sales go to Animal Asia Foundation. Tickets available at Island Veterinary Services: $180 for adults and $90 for students. Supported by Animal Asia, Hemingway’s, Americraft, Pen N Paper, Berliner, Dymocks, Trinity Chapel, Renaud, Around DB, Solera, and more. Lots of lucky door prizes to be won. Please contact Clara Chan at 9707 7994 for further details.

Prince & Princess of the Hills – trail running for kids!

Posted by Peter MUIR

The Lantau Buffalos are organising the third and final race of the series on Sunday 10 March at 9am. Kids aged 5-15 will start at Seabee steps (opposite Seabee Lane south playground), hike up to the Trig Point and then run down to the Lookout Point, and do one loop around the Lookout Point area. This is the third and final race in the Lantau Base Camp trail running series that aim to get you out in the hills and enjoy nature! For more information please go to