Monthly Archives

February 2019

Sustainable Living

Being an Environmentally Conscious Pet Owner

We love pets. Who wouldn’t?

Singapore’s pet population is projected to hit 824,000 pets in 2016, according to statistics from Euromonitor International.  The Federation Cynologique Internationale also reported that Singaporeans own over 62,000 dogs in 2017. With that in mind, how we clean up after our pets or even the treats we feed them, will have a sizable impact on the environment. Many green practices that have become our good habits can also be applied to our pets as well, so why not take a step further by taking care of the environment while taking care of your pet?

There are many ways we can reduce our carbon “paw-print”, and here are just to name a few:

 

Tip 1: Reusable wipes

If you use wet wipes to clean your pet or to clean up a mess they made, it’s time to switch to an eco-friendly alternative! One method would be to simply use a reusable cloth, which can be washed after every use. You can use towels that are not used anymore, or even cut up old clothes. Not to mention, it can help you save a lot of money in the long-run! Another method would be to switch to more eco-friendly wet wipes, such as Cloversoft’s non-toxic wet wipes that are made from 100% unbleached bamboo pulp.

 

Tip 2: Using what you can to pick up poop

Often, the waste that we create can be out of our control. Sometimes, it is because the items we buy are already pre-packaged, such as the vegetables found in supermarkets, which come in clear plastic bags. This plastic cannot be recycled and end up as waste in our bins. If waste like these is unavoidable, what we can do is to reuse them!

You can use these items to pick up your pet’s poop. Alternatively, you can even use big leaves that you find, and simply slide them under your pet when he/she is about to poop! As long as you wrap it up nicely (so the smell doesn’t spread after throwing the poop), almost anything can be used!

 

Tip 3: Turn to eco-friendly toys, accessories and treats

If you enjoy spoiling your pet with toys and treats, how about turning to eco-friendly alternatives?

There are many pet accessories and toys that can be found online, and they are often made from recycled or plant-based materials. Alternatively, consider upcycling your old clothes and turn them into new toys! Check out this link for some inspirations!

As for treats, consider giving them small portions of fresh fruits or vegetables, or even baking/cooking treats from scratch! These options are much healthier for your pet and they will still love eating them equally. However, please do proper research on exactly what your pet can/cannot eat.

 

It can sometimes get a little tiring to take care of our pets, but they are a lifetime commitment and we should never compromise their well-being. The same applies to take care of Mother Earth! Green practices are often less convenient but every small step will go a long way into improving her well-being. Try tying more environmentally-friendly habits into the different aspects of our daily lives and the caring of your pets is somewhere you can start!  If you happen to have any other tips, how about sharing them with us? 🙂

Sustainable Living

Zero-Waste Gift Recommendations for this Valentine’s Day

Pssst, just between you and me, are you still figuring out what to get for your loved one on Valentine’s Day? Fret not, we are here to help you! Valentine’s Day is not purely about purchasing something new for your loved one. You can come up with many creative and useful gifts for them!

Deciding on the perfect gift for your loved ones can be quite tricky so we both tips and zero-waste gift recommendations for you!

 

Tips

 

Arrange a date near memorable places

Honestly, what can get better than revisiting various fond memories you made with your loved one? It can be the place where both of you had your first date, where both of you met or even just the go-to area you both hold dear.

Remember: Valentine’s Day comes only once a year, so it would definitely not hurt to go back and relive some of those precious memories made!

Make a card

Not only are handmade cards great in showcasing your appreciation as well as sincerity for your significant other, but you can also churn out your own unique card! Decorate your card with different memories (eg. polaroids and various memorable items) as well as a heartfelt handwritten message and it will definitely make your partner’s day! Not to mention, you can use what you have at home to showcase your creative side.

If you need a little inspiration, check out how others reuse materials at home to make their cards! Some use scrap cloth and paper to decorate and make their card! You can get creative and add more as you go to make your card truly one of a kind! To get a better understanding of how to do it, you can check out this site here!

 

Do something meaningful together

Lastly, consider volunteering together! There are tons of areas both of you can extend a hand to so do not worry, there is an event for everyone! Perhaps, your significant other is more into the environment. Well, both of you can take up a volunteering event relating to the environment to not only help out for a good cause, but it also serves as a type of bonding time where both of you can learn why and how passionate your partner is in certain areas!

For one, you can consider joining Youth Corps’ first-ever Veggie Rescue journey with SG Food Rescue with your partner! Not only is this educational and for a good cause, but you also get to see and experience with your partner how this goes, making it extra memorable!

 

Gifts 

So, if you really feel the need to gift your loved one something for this special day, we have some items that would be practical for him or her!

For the Coffee or Tea drinker

Is your partner one of those people who needs caffeine every day in order to kickstart their day? Well, why not give them a reusable cup to not only help their caffeine addiction but also to reduce waste on the side?

We recommend the SoL Cups which come in different sizes and beautiful colours for the caffeine lovers. We also carry Reusable Teabags for the tea drinker, so they can enjoy a cup of tea without any plastic involved.

 

Not forgetting the Bubble Tea lover

If your significant other buy bubble tea on a regular basis, why not give them something to help them cut out the plastic cup holders you often get from buying bubble tea or even other drinks? We carry Cup Holders in different cute designs! (You will be pleased to know we tested them on different vendors, and they are expected to fit all cup sizes!)

 

Spoil them with your cooking

Why not try cooking up a new recipe for them to try? Preparing as well as actually cooking something takes up a lot of effort as well as care! So, to be able to taste your cooking on such an important day, they are guaranteed to feel your overflowing love for them!

To start, you can source at your local wet market for fresh produce! To make this an extra special meal, try using ugly but absolutely still good-tasting ingredients for your meal! Perfectly usable vegetables such as carrots are frequently discarded just because they are deemed too ‘ugly’ to sell.

Not only that, you can plan a picnic date at the park, taking in nature while snacking on delicious food. You know what they always say, the way to one’s heart is through their stomach! You can also check out our store for products such as our Snack Bags or if you prefer the sturdy Stasher Bags for bringing your delicious treats on the go! For bigger meals, we recommend getting the spacious Stackable Bento Box!

 

Adding to their beauty routine

Taking off your makeup to shower before getting ready for bed has such an incredible, soothing feeling to it. It’s almost as if you are washing and taking off the stress accumulated for the day, prepping a fresh new start. So why not consider gifting your loved one a zero-waste gift that will help them relax as well as cut down on the number of disposables used in their everyday beauty routine?

Our reusable Facial Rounds are here to help minimise wastage while aiding in your beauty routine! You can use them to apply toner or take out your makeup after a long day, but best of all, it is perfectly reusable and easy to clean! (Just chuck it in the wash and set it to ‘delicate’.)

 

Enhancing their bathing experience

Speaking of showers, I think everyone can agree that nothing is better than a bath after a long day of work. So why not gift them something that would greatly enhance their usual bathroom routine?

We carry Felted Soaps and it cleans like a dream! Not only does it come in different scents so you can do your picking, it is wrapped in Merino Silk wool blend which makes it an excellent natural exfoliant. (Bye bye, loofah!) Not to mention, it looks absolutely gorgeous, making it the perfect gift for anyone looking to spice up their bathroom routine.

 

To sum up, there are plenty of ways you can enjoy a zero-waste Valentine’s Day with your partner but ultimately, what really makes the day special is the effort and sincerity from both parties. So don’t be stressed and just have fun with your partner!

Green Talk

Interview with UglyFood

With a mission to “maximise the value of food resources and to offer healthy and delectable food products”, UglyFood was started out with the aim of preventing wastage of ugly food while providing nutritious food at affordable prices.

Curious as to how and why they started out and what their future plans are? Read the full interview as answered by their team!

What inspired you to start UglyFood?

Pei Shan, the founder of UglyFood and a SUTD-SMU Double Degree Programme graduate, developed an interest in food four years ago when her grandmother was stricken with cancer. In hopes that fruits and vegetables would alleviate her grandmother’s health condition, she started reading about healthier food choices, such as fruit and vegetables and learned how to make different fruits and vegetable juices.

Upon stumbling across a video on Facebook about global food wastage, she then gathered a team to look into the issue of unnecessary food wastage in Singapore. With her experience in making healthy foods and the awareness that food waste is avoidable and is present in Singapore, she decided to start a social enterprise, UglyFood.

Can you tell us a few challenges you faced when launching UglyFood in Singapore?

When we first started, we faced multiple challenges. One was the need to understand the food licenses required by the authorities for selling at Farmers’ Markets, retail stores and what not. Another was the sourcing for food that might otherwise go to waste. It took time and effort to reach out to partners and communicate what we do to them.

Since the launch of the organisation, what is the general response from the public?

We had good sales from the public during farmers’ markets at various locations. There are a few corporations and customers that purchased our signature cold-pressed juice series in bulk for their employees and family. Recently, we collaborated with another social enterprise, Bettr Barista, to have our products in their store!

Can you share with us a few statistics on the impact of UglyFood since it has been launched?

Since launch, Uglyfood has saved 7,384 fruits and vegetables.

For those who are interested in getting involved with UglyFood, can you share 2 to 3 quick and easy steps to get started?

If you are interested to purchase our products or engage our services for events, meetings or educational booths, do email us at hello@uglyfood.com.sg .

If you are interested to collaborate on crazy ideas or volunteer with us, feel free to drop us a message on our facebook page or our website!

What is the main goal for UglyFood and what actions will be taken to achieve that goal?

The main goal for Uglyfood is to accelerate the minimization of the impact of food wastage on the rapidly deteriorating health of our planet and the reduction of food-related poor health outcomes. Uglyfood hopes to continue to improve our business model to increase our sales as well as expand our product line to cater to more markets and in so doing, reduce more food that would otherwise go to waste and provide more choices for people who wish to eat healthier foods!

What are some of your future plans for the organisation?

UglyFood intends to expand our product range and increase the number of flavours for existing products. We will seek opportunities to work with the special needs community to assist us in the manufacturing of our products.