For office workers, weekends are a great time to destress and recalibrate your bodies and minds from the never-ending…
It has been almost 30 years since Captain Planet started airing on television, creating awareness on the detrimental impacts of modern-day human habits on the environment, yet the world is in an even worse state than before. In fact, the grains of sand in the hourglass descending towards irreversible climate change continue to rush through as global leaders scramble to make changes in policy and infrastructure plans to combat climate change.
Here are some steps that you, as an individual, can take to reduce your impact on the environment and be eco friendly.
In a highly dense and heavily populated city such as Singapore, we can try our best to reduce carbon emissions from commuting by choosing to make use of the public trains and buses to get around the city. If the place you are headed to or working at is in very inaccessible locations, make arrangements with your friends or colleagues to carpool together and help save fuel as well.
If you are commuting within your neighbourhood or a few bus stops away, see if you can rent a bike-share at a small fee, invest in your own bike if it is a regular enough journey, or just reach your daily step-count goals by walking between one MRT station or bus stop to the next, should the route be feasible.
I’m sure you have already been inundated with messages calling for reduction or even outright bans on single-use plastics such as the plastic cups or bags you get your teh-o-ping after class or on your way back to office. Sometimes store holders provide you with a plastic cup and straw even when you’re sitting down to eat! How you get around this in an easy and convenient way is by investing in a non-disposable tumbler WITH a straw. It is quite impractical to carry a reusable straw around on its own due to hygiene reasons, and together with a reusable cup, it ensures you still enjoy the full experience of drinking your kopi-ping on the go.
Single-use plastics also include the cutlery they give you when you takeaway your food. I know, for one, that fast food places pile on tons of plastic on one tray at a time. Try to minimise the plastics you use during such meals or forgo them altogether if you can pack your own metal forks and spoons in a case and leave them in your bag.
This step might lower your street cred slightly but, to be honest, I doubt people will judge you for carrying a simple cotton tote bag for your groceries and shopping, in fact they might even be impressed and reminded to bring a reusable bag the next shopping trip. Having a grocery bag will save you from straining your fingers under heavy loads when you can sling them over your shoulder and not have to worry about the plastic bags splitting or paying extra for additional plastic bags.
If you forget to bring your reusable bag, just pop the item into your own bag if its small enough, or make sure to reuse your plastic bags from the supermarket or shops as many times as possible, to save on resources used to make and dispose of the plastic bag.
This step might seem counter intuitive because you will be spending more money on better quality clothes, bags and shoes – but in the long-run, your wallet and the environment will thank you. Instead of spending your money on cheap, fast fashion and then having to replace them constantly due to the low quality of fabric or material that peels, tears, or perhaps doesn’t even look nice after a while, consider investing your hard-earned money into long-lasting, timeless pieces of fashion that will serve you for many years. You don’t need to spend a fortune just buying a few pieces when you can mix, match and reuse these pieces repeatedly. This way you can also save space in your closet and finally get rid of the clutter that never seemed to end.
Share these very achievable ways with your friends and family to help everyone do their part for the environment. Research and keep up to date with developments, and also trendy ways to make this place better for everyone.