3 Immediate Things You Can Do Today To Preserve Our Environment
- 5th April 2018
With Singapore’s recent launch of the Year of Climate Action, many individuals, organisations and educational institutions have pledged to take climate action and inspire others to do the same.
Earlier this year, Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli told The Straits Times that “Taking action individually all adds up... towards making sure that climate change is not as adverse as predicted.”
In Singapore, the effects of climate change can already be felt. The Straits Time reported that 2016 had been the hottest year for the island city-state since 1929. Singapore has also experienced prolonged dry weather and more intense rainfall in recent years.
So yes, your effort counts! And it all starts with being mindful of your everyday habits:
1) Switch off Power Sockets
According to the National Environment Agency (NEA), stand-by power can account for up to 10 percent of electricity usage. Whether it’s a household appliance or computer, remember to switch off the power sockets when they are not in use. You’ll not only conserve electricity but also save on your utility bills! How hard could it be? Just flip the switch!
2) Eliminate Disposables
Disposable plastics, like cutlery, cups, containers and shopping bags, are generally manufactured using finite natural resources such as oil. Plastic production processes also emit harmful gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect.
On top of that, most of these plastic disposables are non-biodegradable. This means that they can last forever without breaking down, and simply accumulate in and pollute landfills and the environment. The Last Plastic Straw campaign highlights this very fact and the dire need to end the use of plastic.
Food delivery companies such as Foodpanda have already started efforts to reduce the use of such items by giving customers the option to omit disposable cutlery from their food orders.
As a consumer, you can also do your part by bringing your own tote bags when grocery shopping, or have baristas fill your tumbler up instead of using disposable cups! Less demand can lead to less supply and hence, there might be a reduced need to produce plastic products in general.
3) Limit Paper Usage
Every day, heaps of paper are being printed, used and disposed of. In Singapore, 1,183,100 tonnes of paper waste were generated in 2016 alone, according to the NEA. That is equivalent to nearly 54,000 cargo containers of paper!
Many companies, such as telco giant StarHub, have taken steps to reduce paper production and wastage by giving customers the option to switch to e-billing.
Whether in the office, school or home, refrain from printing documents unless absolutely necessary. And even if you do need to print, adjust your printer settings to 2-sided and black and white printing.
To take it a step further, you can recycle your printers and ink and toner cartridges in any of these e-waste recycling bins across Singapore. Apart from reducing environmental pollution, e-waste recycling can ultimately protect our planet’s finite natural resources, as these recycled items may be used to make new products.