Have you ever wondered what Singapore will look like when SG100 rolls around? We might be grateful for the lush greenery, clean streets and unpolluted air that we have now, but will future generations enjoy the same luxuries?
Going green is not just about making our planet liveable for the present. It’s also about keeping it a wonderful place for future generations. Our little actions today can have a long-lasting protective effect on the environment. Sometimes, all it takes is a simple change – here’s how you can start:
Avoid take-out that could prove toxic for Mother Nature
It’s easy to opt for take-away when there are no seats at the food court during lunch hour. But have you noticed, the packaging is often either made of polystyrene or plastic – both of which can be damaging to the environment if not disposed of properly?
These materials are not biodegradable – they take a long time to decompose. And when they’re improperly disposed, they don’t just pollute the environment. Wild animals may mistake them for food and this threatens their very lives.
To reduce the amount of polystyrene and plastic we introduce into the environment, bring along a reusable container to the hawker centre the next time you decide to pack your lunch or dinner. (Bonus: You can even save on the additional 20 or 30 cents most hawkers charge for the take-away container!)
Make DIY compost and cleaners
Every day, rubbish collectors in Singapore remove 1,000 truckloads of waste – let’s not add to that number any further!
For those of you who enjoy gardening, making your own compost can be a heap of fun. Instead of tossing your fruit and vegetable skins, grass cuttings, eggshells, soil, paper, even stale bread straight into the garbage can, reduce waste by collecting them for compost. You can create a DIY indoor compost bin for this purpose, which can be easily made by punching a few holes into the plastic lid of an old coffee container!
Here’s another tip: use white distilled vinegar instead of buying multiple household cleaners that come in large plastic bottles, since they might harm the environment when disposed of improperly. Vinegar effectively removes odours, repels bugs and eliminates grease – making it a natural, inexpensive and environmentally friendly cleaning solution.
Track and reduce water wastage
Being a small country, Singapore relies heavily on the rain as one of its key sources of water – and we should not take this precious resource for granted. With climate change posing new challenges to us every day, we must be prepared for dry weather and low rainfall, which could greatly reduce our supply of water.
The first thing we should do is track how much water we use for different activities around the household. Next, find ways to reduce wastage. High water usage happens most often when we shower. By cutting down our shower times by just 1 minute, we can save almost 9 litres of water.
Exercise consumer power
We all remember the day when haze levels reached an all-time high. But did we ask ourselves, why it happened?
Some environmental changes happening today, were caused by our actions. One example of this is our reliance on products that are made with palm oil.
To produce palm oil, many companies burn forests to make way for palm oil plantations. It is these large-scale forest fires that created the haze that plagued the region.
We can stop the burning by buying products from companies that support sustainable practices. Just look out for products with green labels when you are doing your grocery shopping next time.
These changes may not seem like much, but when we rally together, our collective environmental efforts can have a positive effect on our planet!