Lecture 11- Go ÜberGreen

After having these lectures, i have learnt more about how to protect the environment and I realized that I only know very little about the greening measure that implemented in my hostel.

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After the visit to the dorm, I know that the college has put a lot of effort in greening the dormitory in different aspects.

Lighting 

-The canteen adopt natural light and plan to use energy saving light bulb which have higher energy efficiency

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Water 

-Toilet has two different levels of flushing buttons

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Recycling

  -There are  recycling bins in each floor of the dorm which include plastic, aluminium, paper and glass bottles

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Electricity

-The electricity meter that limit the use of the electricity of students -The solar panel installed on the roof top to provide solar energy

Appliances 

-Energy saving fridge is chosen

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Action 

-Series of greening workshops were held to encourage students to live green

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Last but not least, I  understand the truth that there are still a long way to go in order to achieve the goal “Working Green, Living Green” and there are a lot for me to go.

I will try my best to think of any other areas that can improve the greening measure in the campus and the hostel.

The most memorable quote in these lessons is ” Go ÜberGreen means Go super green”. I think i should bear in mind this quote everyday so as to remind me to live green.

Lecture 10- Green your Building

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Greening our building seems to be a big issue for us. It is difficult for us to construct a green building with water efficiency , sustainable energy, renewable building materials. However, I think the government in Hong Kong should concern renewing many buildings by constructing different kinds of green roof. 

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As Hong Kong is very crowed place, constructing green roof is a space saving green measure.

It has the advantages listed below ….

– temperature reduction–> (reduce the use of air conditioner)

-improve air quality

-reduce sound transmission through absorption, reflection and deflection

– provide a relaxing and soothing atmosphere

Different kinds of green roofs 

1) Podium Garden

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2) Sky Garden (photo taken in IFC, HK)

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3) Vertical Greening

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Instead of really greening our building, we can do our part in our daily lives to green our buildings which includes….

1) using  energy saving appliances (energy saving fridge/ light bulb/ washing machines)

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2) open more windows to adopt natural light instead of turning on the light all the time

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3) Using water saving gadgets in our household appliances

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We are not able to construct a new house with all greening measures, but we can try to do our little part in our household to turn our building into a green building.  🙂

 

Lecture 9- Green your Transportation

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Greening our transportation is an important issue as everyone need to travel by different kinds of transportation everyday.

In China, the government has taken many measures in promoting green transport which include….

1)Putting into pilot use of the first green straddling bus in China

-this is expected to reduce traffic jam by 20-30 percent –> lower the carbon emission

-it is powered by electricity and solar energy

-it is greener and cheaper than standard bus

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2) Providing bikes near subway station (Nanjing) 

-bring strict new penalties in a bid to stop cars to drive over bike lanes

– these encourage the ride of bicycle –> lower the use of other transports–>    lower carbon emission

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3) Promoting  the use of electric cars

–> development in vehicles, fuel cells and charging systems

–> provide subsidy for citizen who buy pure electric cars and plug-in hybrid vehicle

–> These can encourage citizen to use greener transportation which can improve energy efficiency and cutting pollution

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Details for the green transport measures can be found in the website below.

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/greentransport/index.html

Chinese University of Hong Kong is the only university in Hong Kong which owns its transport network in campus, it also put emphasis on the greening measure.

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The Chinese University bought two electric shuttle bus and two electric vans to put into the service in the campus. As Chinese University is providing transport service for 27,000 students and staff, the greening measure for the transportation system can be an significant improvement for the environment.

Instead of the purchasing of electric vehicles, the Chinese University also encourage students and the staff to walk in the campus.

For us, as students, I think we can put more effort in greening transportation by taking more public transportation especially MTR or Tram instead of private cars. In campus, we can try to walk in the campus instead of taking shuttle bus.

 

 

Lecture 8 – Green your energy (Solar energy)

solar-panel

Greening our energy is a crucial issue as we are consuming energy everyday and every minute, if we can use our energy efficiently, it would probably help to save our next generation .

From the previous lecture, one of the renewable power resources- solar power has been discussed. In no doubt that solar power can help to produce renewable energy for us to use, though there are come potential practical problems concerning by people including its cost and the unreliability.

Cost – The solar panel is expensive for a small household to consume even if they are willing to .

🙂 A good news is that the price of the solar panel is reducing and the Shang Hai Government is planning to install a solar panel on the roof of every building so as to reduce the reliance on coal.

http://orientaldaily.on.cc/cnt/lifestyle/20130107/00325_001.html?pubdate=20130107

 

Unreliability– As weather is unpredictable especially in Hong Kong. There may not be enough sunshine for the solar panel to convert into energy and supply household use.

🙂 An invention by the students of University of Hong Kong helps to moderate the power supply of the solar power. This product can be installed in the electrical appliances and it helps to stabilize the power supply of renewable power.

http://hk.news.yahoo.com/%E6%B8%AF%E5%A4%A7-%E9%9B%BB%E5%8A%9B%E5%BD%88%E7%B0%A7-%E6%94%B9%E8%89%AF%E5%86%8D%E7%94%9F%E8%83%BD%E6%BA%90%E6%95%88%E8%83%BD-220537861.html

 

The technological advancement helps to solve the problem of renewable energy, though the question come to whether we would like to live green.

Installing smart meter, increasing electricity charge may be some good measures to force citizen to live green and contribute their effort to create a sustainable life by reducing the use of energy.

From my point of view, education should be the most important and effective measure to encourage people to live a green life. Education not only in schools, universities but also educating public the emergence to live a green live.This lecture makes me remember of the film- The Simpsons Movie.   The theme of environmentalism is presented in the film and it serves as an effective way to promote green living.

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We should try our best to protect our environment, otherwise we have to bear the devastating consequences.

 

 

Lecture 7- Green your waste

WastePyramid

In order to maintain a sustainable life, it is important to avoid waste from the very first hand. However, the waste keep on increasing and the second method to suspend its growth is to start recycling waste.

There are many kinds of waste that we can recycle according to the lecture, though I would like to focus on the issue of plastic waste as it can take millions of years to decompose.

As from last lecture, it discussed about the bioplastic that is biodegradable and some ways to recycle the plastic product include reuse those plastic products.

I have found a TED talk that discuss that “we can have a better way to recycle plastic”  by turning plastic into energy since most are made from petrochemicals to begin with. The plastic here include not only bioplastic but all kind of plastic. However, this talk arouse an important issue that it is difficult to recycle plastic because of a lot of hindrances.  The possible hindrances are listed below.

  •  enormous energy and CO2 emission savings in recycling plastics compared to making plastics from petrochemicals
  •  assurance of that supply ( the challenge of getting technology to your house referred to as the “last mile” problem)
  • No recycler can afford to make big investments in equipment and people

In this talk, we found out the cruel truth is that, we are able to recycle the waste but we can’t because of many practical reasons.

 

Better way to recycle plastic

Cosmetic safety :D

According to last lecture, the cosmetic myth and fact was being discussed. I was shocked about the fact that the Federal law allows companies to leave many chemicals off labels . After the lecture, I checked the cosmetic products at home and i could not find their ingredients. In other words, I don’t know what i have been put on my face.

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When I am worrying about the ingredients of the cosmetic product, I found a website that is about the safety of the cosmetic product.  http://cosmeticsinfo.org/othercountries2.php

Even though ingredient labels are not required, there are still a lists of chemicals that are banned to be used in the cosmetic products. This is a nice website provided with detail information on cosmetic product, including the ingredients, the labeling or the regulations of different countries.  I will try to dig out more information about cosmetic product from this useful website.

Greening in the filming industry :D

http://hk.apple.nextmedia.com/supplement/culture/art/20130302/18181456

 

I found this news interesting is that a well-known director – LEE ON is a person living green. This director produced many successful and stunning movies. All of the Asians should have heard of his success, but how many of us heard of his green living style?

 

During his filming career (for almost twenty years), he did not allow his crews or actors to use plastic bottles or non-reusable chopsticks. When he was filming the 《少年Pi的奇幻漂流》, he and his crew followed the “green guide” by providing drinking water machine, using electronic files  and reusable utensils. Director LEE On emphasized that the crew must clean up the natural environment (filming venue) before leave, he ,himself, would double check the venue to make sure that it is clean as it was before. Because of all these, the Environmental Media Association awarded him with a green logo.

We can save the earth by following the footsteps of our humble directer, even we can only do a bit in our daily life, we are still making changes, we are still helping our planet.

Not only greening your wardrobe but also greening your house by growing it :D

 

After the lecture last wednesday, I understood that we can do a lot to green our wardrobe by considering more factors, like shop with a plan, wash our clothes well or keep our clothes clean and new. Though these may be some good strategies to make our lives green. These may only be some minor changes. Yes, a minor change by one person can result into a huge change by millions of people. However, can we try to do something that can have a more significant result?

 

Mitchell Joachim: Don’t build your home, grow it!

 

In this TED talk, Mitchell Joachim introduced that we can grow our home instead of building it. When we build our home, a lot of chemicals and materials were used , tons and tons of waste were dumped. This TED talk used the blood vessel system of test tube meat and built a meat house, which does not contribute to any waste (or maybe some during the experiment). Bio- technology really helps us to live green. Though there are still many issues raised concerning this meat house, such as the safety problem, sanitary problem, rotten problem etc. In this primary stage, we cannot have a perfect answers to all these questions. However, it is important for us to appreciate the idea of growing a house which makes our lives more sustainable.