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By Gaargi SHARMA (Alumni Civility Hall)

Living in City University is living by your own choices. It was famously said, ‘It is not chance but CHOICE that determines your future.’ We have the power to choose when to take a shower, when to switch off the electricity, when to go to bed and when to go to eat. Everything is at our disposal and this is something we should respect. Currently, I am on an exchange at Tsinghua University in Beijing. Only after coming here did it dawn upon me that the life of students is so different in Beijing compared to our lives in Hong Kong.

We have been emphasising ‘environmental sustainability’ in this section of ResLink but the interesting thing is that while saving energy is an option for us, it is compulsory for the students in Beijing. Some of the rules include: switching off of the electricity in the rooms after 11.00pm, so that students can get a healthy night’s sleep; turning off the hot water by 9.00am to encourage students to wake up early to make good use of the daylight; fixed times for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and no food available if you are late.

These are just some of the many rules. Don’t worry, they are not meant to scare you away, but we believe that it gives us an opportunity to appreciate what we have.  While in Beijing a disciplined life is emphasized for overall development, in Hong Kong independent decision making is promoted. Eventually, we are all aiming for overall development in a sustainable way. It just illustrates how two different paths lead to the same goal. The responsibility for choosing the path is bestowed upon us because only we can make the difference.

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One of the ways you can do this is by participating in Earth Hour 2010 on 27 March 2010. “WWF urges everyone to turn every hour into Earth Hour and use this as an initiative for living a sustainable lifestyle.”

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ResLink hopes that we all make a choice of a lifestyle that respects the environment, so that it respects us back. After all, choice is yours and YOU can make a difference!