Monthly Archives

February 2018

Sustainable Businesses

Foreword Coffee – Coffee With A Conscience

But first, coffee – this is the motto for all the coffee lovers around the world and we definitely do love our coffee fix! In Singapore, you can find your daily supply of coffee from a range of places – our local coffee shop, cafes, Starbucks and many others. But how easy is it to find a coffee roaster that serves coffee with a conscience? Well, look no further, as this is where Foreword Coffee comes in!

Founded in August 2017 at 8 College Ave East, Foreword Coffee is a coffee roaster that envisions a world unprejudiced to the differences between people. It concentrates on finding a sustainable solution to empower persons with special needs and also to be an advocate for the community. Hence, allowing the social stigma which the society holds towards the persons with disabilities (PWD) community to be broken. In addition, Foreword Coffee aspire to be a “good” and “sustainable” company from cherry to the cup.

So, if you have yet been to their shop, here are a few reasons why you should check them out!

Environment Advocates

How rare is it to find a coffee roaster that is plastic free?

The steps taken by Foreword Coffee to be plastic free is:

  1. Serving their cold drinks in paper cups
  2. Having a no straws policy (PS they sell reusable straws too!)

Besides that, Foreword Coffee educates and encourages their customers to adopt a more sustainable coffee drinking culture by bringing their own cups. Foreword Coffee is part of the BYO Singapore initiative which encourages their customers to bring their own cups for their takeaways by offering a 10% discount.

Did we forget to mention that their used coffee grounds are turned into compost?

Hence, Foreword Coffee regards the environment of great importance and aims to strive for a more sustainable coffee consumption culture here in Singapore.

 

Empowering Those With Disabilities

When you order your coffee from Foreword Coffee, you might notice something special about their employees. Foreword Coffee currently employs a barista who is deaf and is also training an autistic youth to be a barista. What is the reasoning behind this decision? Well, Foreword Coffee believes strongly in empowering people with disabilities. This is evident through the design in their workplace in which they create a workflow to suit their abilities and encourage interaction between the general public and the disability community.

Moving forward, Foreword Coffee is looking to expand their social impact by training and hiring more persons with disabilities and eventually convincing more cafes to hire them as well.

 

Green Coffee!

You might be thinking, green coffee = sustainable coffee? We made that silly mistake too! Instead, green coffee refers to raw coffee. Foreword Coffee imports green coffee directly from producers or cooperatives that work with the farmers directly as compared to other businesses which might buy from coffee importers (the middleman between producers and coffee roasters). Through the direct purchase of raw coffee beans, more money is transferred to the farmers which ultimately helps to improve the lives of the farmers in Asia.

The focus on Asian speciality coffee that Foreword Coffee offers is something different from other cafes in Singapore, which usually bring in American and African coffees. Foreword Coffee believes in the potential of our Asian counterpart and currently serve Yunnan (China) and Xam Nuea (Laos) coffee.

 

With that, check out Foreword Coffee’s Instagram and Facebook page and do drop them a visit in NUS!

Sustainable Living

Going Green This Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year – one of our favourite festive season whereby we get to eat so many delicious snacks, collect red packets and reunite with family members! It is definitely a time of celebration, but similar to every other festive season, unnecessary waste is always created in the midst of celebration. So how do you minimise your environmental impact while at the same time, enjoy this holiday without a sense of guilt?

Here are some tips on how to go green this Chinese New Year.

Good as new notes

When distributing the red packet, it is a practice to ensure that the notes are new. People would spend weeks preceding Chinese New Year to queue at the banks in order to obtain new notes as old or torn notes are regarded as being disrespectful.

Instead of using more resources to generate these new notes, have you ever considered using “good as new” notes? POSB and DBS customers are able to withdraw these notes at 36 various pop up POSB Automated Teller Machines (ATMs). Now, you no longer have to feel guilty about the number of trees being felled just to print all those new notes!

Recycle them all!

During this season, a lot of unnecessary waste will be created from the red packets to the soft drinks and to the plastic containers being used to store those snacks. It is undeniable that there is not yet a zero waste alternative for all these items. Hence, the next best alternative is to ensure that we recycle as much as we can. Remember to recycle all the red packets, soft drink cans and bottles, plastic containers and tetra packs that you can find. Always remember that a small action is better than no action!

Shop like new

New clothes are another tradition of Chinese New Year. But instead of purchasing brand new clothes, why not shop like brand new with secondhand clothes? Refash, a secondhand shop, is having their Chinese New Year final sale with a wide range of clothing from popular brands such as Love Bonito, The Closet Lover and so on. Plus, with the prices being so affordable, you can feel good and save money at the same time!

Give your items a second life

So after spring cleaning your house and accumulating a huge mass of unwanted items, you might wonder to yourself “What should I do with these now?”. Well, give them a second life!

EcoBank is a national zero-waste campaign that provides a platform for you to give your pre-loved items a second lease of life, encourage responsible consumption and do your part for charity. Between March 2 – March 4 this year, EcoBank is welcoming donations of good condition toys, clothes, books and accessories through 7 pick up points across Singapore. Your donated items will be curated and sold at the EcoBank Bazaar, with 100% of the proceeds going to The Children’s Charities Association of Singapore (CCA). Unsold items will go to CCA and the MINDS Thrift Shop to benefit their fundraising efforts.

So what are you waiting for? Do good and donate these items to them!

 

There are so many more other ways to go green this Chinese New Year. Share with us your green steps taken during this festive season!

Others

5 Ways To Practice Upcycling At Home

The content of the article was contributed by Up and Away and re-edited by The Sustainability Project.

Were you ever caught in a situation where you have an item you need to throw out but do not bear to? … and you wonder to yourself if you can make anything new out of it? That thought by itself has already placed you in the first stage of upcycling.

Upcycling, also known as creative reusing, is the process of transforming by-products, waste materials or unwanted products into new materials or products of better quality. It ultimately prevents waste from ending up in the landfills and allow you to give an item a new life!

Why does upcycling matter to me?

Contrary to popular belief, not everything can be recycled! These include certain types of plastic (type 6 PS plastic), food waste or anything that are contaminated. Thus, upcycling is an important way of reducing waste of such items. Upcycling can be a fun and meaningful activity which is great for family bonding. Families can do upcycling activities with their loved ones to not only have fun together, to learn more about waste-reduction.

New to upcycling and want to give it a try? Here are 5 simple ways on how you can upcycle at home:

 

Transform your old t-shirts into bags

For decades, the donation bin has offered a guilt-free way to unload your old clothing. In a virtuous and profitable cycle, a global network of traders would collect these garments, grade them, and transport them around the world to be recycled, worn again, or turned into rags and stuffing. However, that Fast fashion in Singapore is a worrying trend and donating them away to a charity might not be that rosy of an idea anymore.

Furthermore, only 7% of textile waste in Singapore are being recycled. So, if you want to throw away that oversized shirt or that dress from last season? Think again.

Why not solve that problem by looking up on Pinterest for some simple tutorials and inspiration on how you can transform your t-shirts from yesteryears into bags again – by simply cutting and tying, no sewing require at all! Interested to learn more? There are also workshops in Singapore that offer these classes such as Taikensonzai and WahSoSimple.

 

Goodbye plastic containers and hello, keychains

Did you know there are 7 grades of plastic in use and not all of them can be recycled in Singapore? Type 6 plastic is an example and they are most commonly found for use in kuehs and sushi packaging. Apart from reusing them, you could also upcycle it to become shrinky-dink keychains.

 

Turn fruits and vegetables waste into eco-enzyme cleaner

Food waste, such as fruits peels, are almost unavoidable as we consume them on a very frequent basis. Instead of throwing fruit and vegetable scraps away, you can turn them into a household cleaner, simply by adding sugar and water. Enzymatic cleaners are powerful all-purpose cleaners that can be used safely on most surfaces, including metal and glass. So do not let those foods waste go to waste! Find out how to make your own eco-enzyme cleaner from these Facebook groups!

 

Turn your food packaging into zip-pouches

One of the most common plastic waste is from food packaging like the potato chips that you cannot resist. These packaging might seem insignificant but pose a great threat when they are found in our oceans, causing marine pollution. But have you ever thought of transforming these packaging into pouches? They make great gifts and bring out the inner hipster in you! It is a simple and easy item to make as it requires no sewing and all that is needed is just stapler, scissors, masking tape from your home (although you do need to purchase is a zipper). Find out how to do it here!

 

Turn up for huat

With Chinese New Year just around the corner, you will receive abundance of red packets. But what to do with them? Well, you can use those red packets to make mandarin orange bags or candy baskets! Online tutorials are aplenty and you can make it together with your loved ones. These items can even contribute vibrant colours to your household and brighten up the atmosphere for Chinese New Year!

 

About Up and Away

It all began with a group of four individuals, who were passionate about the environment, and wanted to reduce waste in Singapore. The big question was, what else can we do to help solve the waste problem? That is when we discovered upcycling. ‘Up & Away’ is an environmental campaign which targets both parents and children (7-9 years old), to encourage families to reduce waste through upcycling! Find out more about their campaign on FB: fb.com/upandawaysg or website at upandawaysg.com.