Eating is something that we all do every day. But do we really know how to eat well? Do we really think about what we put into our mouths? When we do not think about what we eat, not only do we harm our own bodies, we do harm to the environment as well. To learn more about how to eat well and eat greenly, we went on an excursion to Green Hub.
Green Hub is located at the Old Tai Po Police Station. It is a very serene and elegant place. It is not too close to urban areas, which makes the place very quiet and peaceful. There, we were safe from the cacophony of distressing noises from the city and we could appreciate the lush green trees and plants quietly. In addition to the abundant vegetation, the main building of the Old Tai Po Police Station is stunning. It has a unique mix of traditional Chinese architectural elements and those of the West. Through this building, we could clearly see the great influence the British had on Hong Kong in the old days. And for this very reason, it was listed as one of the Grade I Historical Buildings in 2009. When we toured around Green Hub, our guide briefly explained to us what the original purpose of the building was, the historical value of the building, how they restored it, and the use of the building now. The building is now home to Green Hub – a place to educate people about sustainable living and its benefits, both to people and the environment.
After our guided tour, we went on to have the Eat Well Workshop. During the workshop, we tried to make our own snack, banana spring rolls. We were also served with salad and herbal tea made with freshly picked herbs and heated water from a solar cooker. The food was fresh and delectable and the tea was very refreshing. We were told that we should choose foods grown locally because not only are they fresher, it is also a more environmentally-friendly option as greenhouse gases released by transportation is minimalized. Foods that are in season are also a nice choice since they are usually fresher and are more nutritious to our bodies. Besides that, we should eat organic. It is because the chemical pesticides and fertilizers used in inorganic farming are very harmful to the environment and can pollute the soil for decades. Even after washing, the residual chemicals on our food can slowly corrode our bodies and long-term exposure to such chemicals can result in certain appalling chronic illnesses. Therefore, it is important to choose what we eat wisely.
On top of making the right choices, the way we cook our food and the way we dispose of it should be paid attention to as well. During the workshop, we have learnt that cooking requires a lot of energy, whether we use a gas stove or an electric stove. As fossil fuels are becoming less and less abundant, we must find ways to cook food that could save energy. We were taught that a solar cooker is a good tool to cook food and to save energy at the same time. Instead of using fossil fuels, a solar cooker can collect the energy from sunlight and use it to heat and cook food. It is a very neat way to save energy. Moreover, we should not waste food and if we must dispose of it, for example, bones and orange peels, we should try to recycle it. Orange peels can be used to make homemade detergent and other leftovers can be made into fertilizers so that the unconsumed nutrients can be returned to nature.
We have really learnt a lot from this excursion. We should really pay more attention to what we eat, how we cook it, and how we dispose of it to not only make our bodies healthier but also make our world better.
As part of the English curriculum and experiential programme, S.3 students went to Ocean Park and participated in a variety of guided activities run by Ocean Park Academy Hong Kong on 18th March 2019 (3J and 3P students) and 26th March 2019 (3L and 3M students).
Ocean Park Academy Hong Kong emphasizes a hands-on learning experience as part of the programme design for students to construct knowledge and better understand marine animals. Students had opportunities to exchange ideas and demonstrate their learning outcomes through the activities.
3J and 3L students joined the programme, ‘Polar Voyage’. They got the chance to see a walrus and they were introduced the body parts of a walrus. Students found it amazing to stay so close with a walrus. After meeting the walrus, students were introduced the impacts of climate change. They also acquired knowledge on low-carbon living and how different polar animals adapt to the environment. Later, students were instructed to make a mini-model to understand how global warming affects the polar regions and the threats different polar animals are facing.
3M and 3P students joined the programme, ‘Dolphin Snapshot’. It was a great opportunity for students to get into the back of house area or the Ocean Theatre to stay close with dolphins. The instructor was patient enough to explain how the consumer behaviour is threatening dolphins in the wild. Students felt shocked to see pictures of injured dolphins and they realised how human activities like fishing and land reclamation had destroyed the habitat of different marine lives.
Students found the experience eye-opening and valuable. They enjoyed the programmes and some of them shared their personal experience in the following articles. Read them and you’ll know how much they benefitted from the programmes! Enjoy reading!
Study Tour to England 2019 Reflection:
This Chinese New Year, from 30th January to 15th February, 30 Shungtakians went on a study tour to England. The tour was split into two parts; the first was packed with sightseeing while the second half was the school experience. This was my first time in England but not my first Study Tour. I experienced a lot on this trip.
In the first four days of the trip, we went sightseeing in London and even had a chance to visit Cambridge University. At Cambridge University, the scenery and sites around this 810 year old university were beautiful. It gave me a relaxing vibe. In London, we went to see the Changing of the Guards, but we didn’t have the chance to see much because the weather was bad. It was raining the whole day and it was freezing cold—there was even a little snow! Fortunately, we had wonderful weather when we went to the London Eye and the view up there was amazing. I could see for miles and was able to shoot a lot of good photos.
Although there were so many activities, the highlight of these four days was definitely watching the musical, Lion King. Even though I have watched the animation a number of times, I found the new experience of watching it on stage interesting. The sound effects and costumes were amazing, and the modifications made in the story suited the audience’s likes. There was a lot of interaction between actors and the audience. It is definitely a good show.
After the four days as tourists it was time to get serious. We went to Bournemouth to stay with our host families and start our school immersion. Shungtakians were paired up in many different families. My partner Mavis and I were with a host family that had four children, a dog, a cat, and a guinea pig. Every night, after our dinner, we would play Uno and Stacks with the two youngest kids. It was fun playing with them. Shungtakians went to two different schools in the countryside. The twenty girls went to Avonbourne. My local Avonbourne buddy was very nice to me and I met a lot of new friends in the school. The students there are able to study a lot of subjects like Media Studies, Philosophy, Geography, and Food Technology. I had no idea about some of those subjects as I had never heard of them before. The best subject was Maths because we learnt the syllabus they are learning already. However, for the other subjects, it was very hard for me to follow what they were learning.
Two years ago I joined a study tour to the USA, and there are a few differences between these two trips. In the US, we stayed in hotels instead of with host families. We couldn’t really experience their life and communicate with the locals. Host families help us learn more about the culture and also allow us to be proud of our own culture. Also, we did not have much time at school when we were in the US. I think going to school is one of the best ways to learn about a new culture. We only had two half days of school immersion in the US. We could not build up a bond with the students there. However, in the UK, we had a lot of time at school. We got to experience their everyday routine and appreciate their school life. It was a very meaningful experience for me and the other Shungtakians.
Overall, I enjoyed the trip a lot and I hope I can have another chance to go on another study tour to learn more about different cultures.- 4J SARAH HO