Monthly Archives: March 2017

Be an Advocate for our coral reefs

Posted by Peter MUIR

A message from our CE Captain Ngai Ning Yu, about being an advocate

Coral reefs are more than just a natural beauty; they harbour​ ​​​fish that feed millions and shield us against storms and floods. Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, the largest living structure on the planet, is dying quickly. As ocean waters steadily warm, extensive coral destruction continues, and coral reefs die.  This must be stopped.

The Great Barrier Reef is considered one of the greatest natural wonders of the world. It consists of more than 2,900 smaller reefs and 900 islands and countless species of fish., but we may lose this treasure in as little as a few decades.

Just last year, two-thirds of the reef in the northern part of the Great Barrier Reef died, the worst die-off in history.

What could be the problem? Since June of 2014, there have been continuous bleaching in the world caused by high temperatures of water. Therefore, reducing our use of fossil fuels is the only solution. If not, corals reefs as we know them will not exist, and we could single-handedly be responsible for the extinction of an entire ecosystem.

What should you do? Cut down on energy usage and use sustainable alternatives, like walking instead of taking the bus, or turning off power outlets when not in use. These things may seem little, but if everyone does it, huge amounts of energy will be saved altogether.  The Nature Conservatory includes more details on taking action to protect our reefs.

What may make a bigger difference, is advocating for others to join you in taking these small steps. Advocacy is promoting a certain event, and this is exactly what we want you to do. Raise awareness about this situation by spreading the word and perhaps organising events​ too! By having people like you do a little at a time, it can really make a big difference​ in the bigger picture. ​​​

Calling all photographers!

Posted by Peter MUIR

HandsOn Hong Kong are currently seeking capable photographers to attend some of their volunteer activities and take photos. Being able to visually capture moments between volunteers and beneficiaries is critical for the organisations communications—having strong photos to support their ‘Call to volunteer’ campaign is a powerful motivation for people to join their programs.

Timing is flexible. If you are interested, please email hohk@handsonhongkong.org with the subject line: “HOHK Photographer”.

Earth Hour 2017

Posted by Peter MUIR

This weekend is Earth Hour (8:30pm on 25 March 2017), a global event that sees millions of people, businesses, and landmarks switch off their lights as well as host events aimed at raising awareness about climate change.

Click here for Earth Hours events in HK.

Getting involved in Earth Hour is certainly something that people should consider getting involved in, but the organiser do not want you to stop there. This event is not simply about turning off appliances and lights. As promoted on the event’s website, it is a movement pushing for ongoing action and climate consciousness. It is advocating for ongoing change. The phrase ‘Earth hour – every hour’ perhaps best sums up these ideas.  What we must ensure is that switching lights off for one hour does not result in making people feel they are doing something for the environment, while in reality the amount of carbon emissions reduced by the earth hour is negligible.  We need to aim for ongoing, consistent steps to reduce our impact.

So, while you are encouraged to get involved this coming weekend and make some noise for climate change action, you are more so encouraged to get involved in ongoing action. The same can be said for those who participates in ‘Lights Out’ here at DC last week – ongoing action is the goal here!

WildChina Explorer Grant

Posted by Peter MUIR

WildChina is inviting students to apply for their Junior Explorer Grant.

By developing and implementing action to address a global issue and submitting these details to WildChina, you could be in the running for the grand prize of US$1000 to use on your future studies!

The event is open to students aged 15-18. Select a global issue that is important to you, and then propose a solution in a format that you choose.

Proposals will be evaluated by judges that include representatives from at Harvard Business School, OXFAM, and the Royal Geographic Society.

To enter, follow these steps:
1. IDENTIFY a ‘Global Issue’ that you feel passionately about
2. PROPOSE a ‘Creative Solution’ to the global issue you have chosen, and present your ideas through a medium of your choice. There are no limitations so get creative. Make a documentary, a presentation, a short story, a cartoon strip, a gallery, a sculpture, a musical composition… the choice is completely yours.
3. FILL OUT an application form

Click here for more details

Global Citizen’s Week Long Action Challenge

Posted by Peter MUIR

Here is a message from the organisation Global Citizen, encouraging you to get involved in taking small steps for Earth Day. As they say, small changes can have a big impact.

Earth Day is right around the corner, and there’s a lot you can do to celebrate and protect our planet. The world can’t wait for politicians and business executives to do the right thing. We need to take action ourselves, as Global Citizens, to improve the environment for generations to come.

Sign up for our action challenge to help save the environment and reduce your carbon footprint.

All you have to do is take an action a day, every day for one week. Starting April 22, receive an email a day with the action of the day. Take all seven actions to complete the challenge. When we take action together as Global Citizens, we can help solve the world’s biggest challenges.

Small changes can have a big impact, starting with you.

The Story of Microfibers

Posted by Peter MUIR

Did you know that many of the clothes we wear are actually made from plastic? Synthetic fabrics like polyester are used to make many clothing items, such as dress shirts, yoga pants, and fleeces. 60% of all clothing on earth is said to be made from synthetic materials. Some companies even use plastic bottles to produce clothing, which sounds great but may actually consume too much energy for this process to be considered “green”. Aside from this, perhaps a bigger issue is that when these clothes are washed, they release tiny plastic bits — called microfibers — that flow down our drains, through water treatment plants, and out into our rivers, lakes and oceans. There microfibres are polluting our waterways by the billions.

What could you do?
Be an advocate – get involved in spreading awareness about this issue. Perhaps join “The Story of stuff” organisation in their campaign, which “calls on clothing brands to: 1) publicly acknowledge the seriousness of the pollution threat that microfibers pose; 2) commit to investments of time and resources to investigate and test potential Solutions; and 3) share what they learn with each other and the public”.

Earth Day 2017

Posted by Peter MUIR

Did you know that, according to Reader’s Digest, the average American uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water a day?

Or that about 2.03 million tonnes of solid waste was recovered in Hong Kong in 2015; 2% was recycled locally and 98% was exported to the Mainland and other countries for recycling.

And, recently, The European Union (EU) has decided to reduce 20% of its energy consumption by 2020.

What is Earth Day?

Earth Day is an annual global event that is celebrated on 22nd April and its purpose is to demonstrate support for environmental protection. Earth Day is coming up soon and there are many different ways that you can contribute to reduce our eco-footprint.  Click here to be informed with the different activities you can be involved with.  It is a matter of getting involved and taking small steps to reduce your impact on what is currently our only home. And then, of course, continue these actions everyday!

Lights Out at DC

Posted by Peter MUIR

globalfootprintRealising that we all have an impact on the health of our planet, and taking steps to try to reduce this impact, is a key element in sustaining our natural environment. According to the World Wildlife Fund, we would need 3.9 Earths if everyone in the world led the lifestyle of Hong Kong people. A part of this is our energy consumption, something that we hope to reduce. Reducing our electricity consumption may also indirectly improve the quality of our air, which seems to be getting worse every year.

For our Community Engagement project, we wanted to see if could make a step towards reducing our school’s energy consumption. Our “Lights Out” initiative aims to reduce our eco-footprint by asking the DC community to turn off lights and electrical appliances that are being used unnecessarily. Though some areas of the school, such as the drama rooms, may not get enough natural light, we feel that we are consuming electricity unnecessarily in many classrooms by using too many lights. Air Conditioners are also often used to a degree that is not required, and projectors are left on when they are not being used.

We ask that from Monday 13th to Friday 17th of March, we turn off as many lights and air conditioners as possible. We hope that laptops that are not being used are on sleep mode, and projectors are only turned on if required. We want all members of the school community to do this during blocks three through to five (10:45am – 1:30pm).

We will measure our electricity consumption during these times, to see how much of a difference turning off unneeded lights and appliances makes.

By getting involved in this project, we hope that students and staff realise that our use of electricity is often wasteful, and that this is harmful to the environment. Hopefully we can bring about change in our day to day electricity consumption habits.

Please support us, and get involved in turing Lights Out!

From Year 10 students Horeb, Skye, Bryant and Horus.

Nature Works Hong Kong 2017 Environmental Innovation and Leadership Program

Posted by Peter MUIR

Nature Works Hong Kong, organized by one of the world’s largest conservation organizations, The Nature Conservancy, is a free program designed to empower students to conceive, test, and launch their own environmental conservation projects in schools and communities across Hong Kong.  In the past 3 years, we’ve helped more than 200 students from 50 local and international schools join together to launch 20+ conservation initiatives.  The program combines leadership skills training, a network of volunteer advisors from the corporate and non-profit worlds, and a platform from which student teams can raise support for their ideas.  It’s a great opportunity for students aged 14-17 who are passionate about the environment and want to take action.

Further information and application details can be found on the event website.

Approval for student-run events

Posted by Peter MUIR

CE-Logo-BW

Wanting to see DC be involved in Earth Hour?  Thinking of getting students to sign a petition about the use of plastic in our supermarkets? Keen to run a workshop for students so they can be a more ethical consumer?  If you are planning to organise any event at DC, you must first submit this proposal form found on the CE blog.  Please do not go further with your plans until the CE Captains have reviewed and approved your event!  Aim to submit your proposal at least 4 weeks before your proposed dates.