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The Young Reporter

Hong Kong bus companies roll out electric and hydrogen powered buses to meet carbon neutrality goal

The first hydrogen double-decker buses in Hong Kong set sail in February for the Vodafone Road route. Starting from 2022, the electric buses are appearing on the Hong Kong’s street to reduce emissions more than diesel buses as part of the public transportation sector’s efforts to help Hong Kong achieve its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.  

Imaginative Promotional Merchandise: Cultural and Creative Products in Taiwanese Elections

Numerous people were lined up to buy promotional merchandise from the Taiwan People's Party (TPP), which had set up several kiosks amid the electric atmosphere of Tainan. The TPP had also prepared a large truck for the efficient delivery of merchandise. At a few booths, individuals could donate money to the TPP and receive propaganda materials in return, with no minimum amount required for the donation. Around the vibrant venues, we noticed people selling homemade promotional items. Some individuals, after covering the cost of souvenirs, expressed a desire to donate to the party to support its ongoing activities. In preparation for the upcoming elections, three parties—namely the Taiwan People’s Party, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), and the Kuomintang (KMT)—have launched a series of promotional merchandise, each showcasing their unique characteristics. This promotional merchandise was available for sale and on display at campaign headquarters and branch offices across various cities and towns. The primary purpose of selling these items was to raise funds for the respective parties' candidates. During campaign rallies, volunteers and party-affiliated staff also set up stands to sell a wide range of creative products, including both official merchandise and spontaneous, fan-made items. The three parties have distinct characteristics reflected in their merchandise. These items include representative cartoon images of the presidential candidates and slogans supporting their respective parties. The Taiwan People’s Party has created an energetic atmosphere with aqua colors and designs that appeal to the youth. The Democratic Progressive Party has used themes of baseball and pets to design a series of products. Meanwhile, the Kuomintang’s designs are simple, aiming to minimize the overt campaign implications of their products. According to RTCC data, promotional items for DPP's Lai Ching-te are the most popular, generating significant discussion among more than 11,000 people in just two and a half …

  • 2024-03-26

Budget 2024 Key Takeaways: Careful balance of revenue and deficit to continue

Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po delivered the 2024-2025 Budget speech on Wednesday, announcing policies to strive for high-quality development while sustaining a solid economy. Top the list is the cancellations of property cooling measures, with Special Stamp Duty, Buyers’ Stamp Duty and New Residential Stamp Duty scrapped with immediate effect. For the coming fiscal year, the total government expenditure will increase by about 6.7% to HK$776.9 billion, while the total government revenue is estimated to be HK$633 billion. Chan expects that there will be a deficit of HK$48.1 billion for the year, and fiscal reserves will decrease to HK$685.1 billion. Here are the key takeaways of this year’s budget plan.  

Green building facilities a sustainable future in Hong Kong

Next to the Hong Kong International Airport at Chek Lap Kok, a leisure and entertainment business centre is about to be launched The exteriors of the three main buildings are all made of glass walls, which effectively gives insulation and increases light sources, just like an airship. Its extensive green walls and surroundings with abundant plants signal its uniqueness as a green building. “I am looking forward to the soon to be opened K11 Skies,” said Lai Wing-tsz, a passerby who just left the airport, “it amazes me and makes me wonder if it is still the Hong Kong I remember. ” In recent years, the concept of green building has been developing rapidly in Hong Kong with the goal of a sustainable future, a concept  valued by the government and top developers.  "Green building is not just about the building itself," said Vivian Ngan, the assistant manager of Hong Kong Green Building Council (HKGBC), "it's about an organisational unity of the building and its surroundings." Green buildings are supposed to be environmentally-friendly and resource-efficient by reducing carbon emissions, increasing green coverage, reusing waste materials, installing rooftop solar panels and district cooling systems. K11 Skies for example, has been awarded platinum certification in several Hong Kong and international green building ratings, a recognition even higher than K11 Musea beside Victoria Harbour.  According to HKGBC, more than 57% of the roof of K11 Skies is covered with highly reflective coatings and greenery to reduce energy loss. It also uses non-chlorofluorocarbon refrigerants in the heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigerating system in order to avoid ozone-depleting substances.  In addition to K11 Skies, there are thousands of other green buildings in Hong Kong. In order to achieve the government’s long-term goal of carbon neutrality by 2050, green buildings are now a priority in …

Hong Kong recycling industry faces uncertainty over waste charging scheme

Yeung Man-ching, 21, a student at the Hong Kong Baptist University, starts her morning by bringing plastic bottles and waste paper from home to throw them into the recycling bin on campus. She has been recycling garbage for more than two years and says she has recycled over a hundred bottles. “I always ask my family to collect and clean the plastic bottles. From where I live in Tai Wai, there are no recycling bins downstairs at my house, so I can only take them back to school to be recycled,” she said. Yeung said that she once passed a food waste recycling machine in Sha Tin with a long queue, which intrigued her. She had never thought about recycling before and decided then to start recycling plastic bottles. “I believe that after the waste-charging scheme is officially implemented, more people will be willing to recycle,” she added. “It’s time for Hong Kong’s recycling system to improve.” Recycling in Hong Kong is finally on track, alongside many expectations of its continuous development with the introduction of a new waste charging scheme, whose implementation was pushed back until August this year. But experts say the city still has a long way to go before it can call itself green. “I have noted many discussions and questions raised by various sectors in the community about Municipal Solid Waste Charging, and many people expressed their concerns to me that the general public do not understand how waste charging will be implemented,” said Secretary for Environment and Ecology Tse Chin-wan in a media session on Jan. 19. “As a responsible government, we would like to implement waste charging successfully and smoothly,” said Tse. “Therefore, I believe it is a liable act for us to put more time into public education.” The “pay-as-you-throw” charging scheme …

Small companies find ESG compliance easier said than done

Two years ago, Edmund Chan started a small company called Meat The Next which offers  plant protein products. He came up with the idea soon after his child was born because he wanted to protect the  environment for the next generation through sustainable development. “Sustainable development has the highest priority in our business,” Chan said. “We want to provide a solution to our customers and give them the platform to protect the environment.” Chan’s company develops  their leading products in  an environmental, social and corporate governance or ESG philosophy. That means they are mindful of the company's sustainability, including its effects on the environment and the broader society. According to the company’s website, the carbon emission in producing one kilogram of tiger nut milk is  less than 0.9 kg, far lower than the  3.2 kg in producing the same amount of cow’s milk. “Our society is becoming more concerned about our environment compared with the previous decade, and companies are embracing the idea of ESG as consumers are calling for more sustainable development,” said Davis Bookhart, Director of the Sustainability Office at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, A Hong Kong Consumer Council survey in 2023 found that 87% of consumers said they would be willing to pay an additional 5% or more for products or services that are environmentally friendly or sustainably produced. However, developing ESG is easier said than done for small to medium enterprises.  “The lack of talent is a major challenge for SMEs,” said Keith Chan, assistant professor of HKUST. “It will affect their ability to make their ideas financially feasible.” Edmund Chan said his company has  cooperated with experts from different fields, such as  product development, test and retailing. “If small businesses do things individually, it is like trying to speak up but …

Memorial exhibition of Jin Yong brings back the world of wuxia

“A Path to Glory - Jin Yong’s Centennial Memorial '', an exhibition celebrating the 100th birthday of the famous Hong Kong writer Jin Yong opened in Central on Friday, free to the public. Fans can immerse in the fictional narratives with sculptures, calligraphy, and augmented reality. 10 sculptures made of bronze or stainless steel featured in the exhibition held in Edinburgh Palace, worth a total of HK$100 million, are on loan without charge from their creator, mainland Chinese artist Ren Zhe. The exhibition will open until July 2. "Seeing these sculptures in person is more shocking than watching them on TV,"  said Joyce Cai, 63, who has read all the novels by Jin Yong. She came from Kwun Tong, which is an hour's drive away. “The expressions of these characters are so real.” Speaking at the opening ceremony on Friday, the centenary of Jin Yong’s birth, Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu said people worldwide are familiar with Jin Yong’s 15 novels which have become a “golden-plated signboard” for Hong Kong. Jin Yong, also known as Louis Cha, is a prominent Chinese martial arts novelist and writer, whose 15 volumes of works have been translated into 14 languages and whose books have sold more than 300 million copies, with 1,400 characters created. Zoey Siu, 55, a photographer, has read all of Jin Yong’s novels. “Jin Young’s novel is the collective memory of Hong Kong,” she said.”Once Jin Yong's works were published, the whole city seemed to be quieter at that time because everyone was reading his stories.” Siu was deeply impressed by Jin Yong’s style of writing and attracted by his psychological and detailed descriptions. "Many foreigners are able to read Chinese and history probably because they read Jin Yong novels," said Chong Tai-leung, 55, executive director of Chinese University of …

VegCoffee Mix & Match Competition attracts non-vegetarian visitors to Vegetarian Food Asia

The 10th Vegetarian Food Asia held from Friday to Sunday featured the second VegCoffee Mix & Match Competition, with a combination of cafe culture and vegan culture which attracted many non-vegetarians. This year's competition highlighted a vegan and coffee theme, requiring competitors to make desserts and coffee within an hour. The organizer of this event, the Hong Kong Roasters and Coffee Commissioners Association, said this is the only live competition in Hong Kong where coffee and roasting are held at the same time. Lei Bui-dak, 45, chairman of the Vegan Coffee Creation Competition organizing committee, said they wanted to further promote vegan culture through the growing popularity of the cafe culture in Asia. "We wanted to explore how well vegan and cafe cultures could be integrated so that the vegan culture will become widely known as a lifestyle. We were happy to see that the competition did succeed in attracting many non-vegetarians who came because they were interested,” he said. “I came to this exhibition after seeing the Coffee Association's promotion on Facebook​​,” said Cheung Ming-wing, a coffee lover, who specifically came to watch this competition. “I’m not a vegetarian, but I think I might try going vegan after this exhibition,” he said. Lim Sze-han and Chan Sung-ming participated in the VegCoffee Mix & Match competition, presenting a work called "The Hong Kong Tea Set". "The theme of our work is a very classic Hong Kong afternoon tea with pineapple buns and coffee, and all the ingredients of the pineapple bun are vegan," Lim said. “We are not vegetarians. We came to this contest because we were curious about vegan culture and our desire to help spread it for the better,” said Lim and Chan. Lim said that they had made a lot of efforts before the competition, such as …

Sham Shui Po' s first Literary Youth Bazaar immerses visitors in local culture

The Home Affairs Department organised the "Searching for Sham Shui Po" Literati Bazaar at the activity space underneath the Tung Chau Street Flyover on Saturday. It is one of the events under the "District 18 is Colourful Day and Night in 2024" programme, aiming to drive people to understand and immerse themselves in local design products and Sham Shui Po textile culture while promoting itself to become the core area of ​​the innovative economy. The bazaar marked the first time for Sham Shui Po to host an event of this scale, with more than 30 stalls featuring local original works such as fabrics, leathers, and cultural and creative products. The bazaar also promotes city walking activities.After registering for admission, visitors will receive a printed eco-cup as a gift. Shadow Lee, 28, a handmade stall owner, said she was happy that the government has given  young literary youths a platform to promote their work. Cindy Chen, 26, a ceramic craftsman, said that as a resident of Sham Shui Po since childhood, she is honoured to contribute to the development of this area's culture. "Although the economy here is not well developed, the culture of cloth and handicrafts has always been very distinctive, and in recent years, I can feel that the government is emphasising these cultures," said Chen. Effie Zhu, 21, a visitor to the bazaar, said it is her first time participating in such type of bazaar in Sham Shui Po,“ I did not expect that there would be so many visitors, not only some literary youth but also many old people and children joined today’s bazaar.” Karlssen Wong, 7, said his favourite part of the whole fair was the stamping and punching of cards in the fair, where there were all sorts of prizes to be won. “I was …

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