Looking back at 2018, I think we can all agree that 2018 marked the spark of something new. With Singapore naming it as the Year of Climate Action, the widespread adoption of banning plastic straws and lids and the evident green movement growing within Singapore, this is without a doubt, THE ‘eco-conscious’ year. It really heartens me to see that we are finally talking about the environment and taking more action overall. With 2018 finally coming to an end, let us not only celebrate this win for our community but also reflect on the next action to take for 2019.
The switch from disposables to reusables do indeed contribute to sustainability but let us all keep in mind that another highly contributing factor to climate change is – buying more than what you need. Just take a look at the changing dates of the Earth Overshoot Days for the past few years. The date marks when the annual demand for goods and services has surpassed the earth’s ability to regenerate new resources. The fact that the date comes a little bit earlier with each passing year is great evidence that we have overconsumed beyond the earth’s limits.
Thus, why not go one step further this year by making one of our new year’s resolution to consume mindfully. It might be a tough challenge to change a high-consumption lifestyle, but here are some beginning tips that can help along the way:
Determine if it is a need or a want.
We can all agree that we get really excited when we see a new product. I’m guilty of this and it is after all human nature! But, hold that thought. Before purchasing the product, why not take a step back to reflect upon the urgency of purchasing it. Ask yourself, will I really use this product frequently? Is this purchased for naught? Do I not have an item at home that can be used to serve the function I am looking for?
For example, before picking up that straw set, ask yourself: do you really need 1 straight straw, 1 bent straw and 1 bubble tea straw even if it’s all at a discounted price? Can’t you just get a single bubble tea straw to fit your needs then, since they are all well, straws?
Simply by taking a step back and reconsidering can help you determine if it is a need or a want!
Finding out how your products are made.
If we all just purchased products of an unsustainable origin, it will just give companies a reason to continue through with exploiting our environment and producing unsustainably. That more than often gives out nasty byproducts into the atmosphere such as air pollution and more! It is important for us to recognise our power as a consumer. We have the power to make a change by our choices!
So why not, go the extra step to find out if your products are sustainably made or not? Just spend a little bit more time researching or reading up on how the product is being made and what materials are present in the product, can help you make a more informed decision!
By selecting a more sustainable product, it encourages companies who are doing it right. At the same time, it sends the message to companies that consumers are now watching what moves they are making, positive and negative, for our environment which will more than likely further encourage those companies to switch to a more sustainable approach to producing their goods.
Make sure you utilise it as much as possible!
Remember: even if your product was not purchased out of impulse and is produced sustainably if you don’t use it as much, it will likely have only a minor impact on our environment. To encourage usage of your products, do look upon the different options available and compare the pros and cons of using each product!
The ultimate goal is for you to choose a product that you see yourself using for many years or even a lifetime. The product should be able to fit perfectly in your life and bring you more conveniences than troubles. Don’t forget to factor your personal preference into this as well! Don’t worry, getting one made less sustainably but it’s something you are definitely going to enjoy beats everything!
With the year coming to an end and 2019 being the Year of Zero Waste, we hope these tips can help you achieve that goal and aid towards consuming mindfully for 2019 (and for life!).