All Posts By

Jo

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.

Others

The Ocean Movement – Creating Waves of Change

Marine pollution has been a major issue that has been garnering attention across the world over the past few years. From pictures of shores full of plastic waste to videos of plastic straws getting stuck in the nose of turtles, these images have left an impactful impression on many individuals and spurred them to take action towards marine conservation.

The Ocean Movement, is a project started by five 17-year-old students from School of The Arts Singapore back in 2017. The founder of the group was an aspiring marine conservationist which inspired the group to start raising awareness about marine life. Since then, The Ocean Movement has conducted a session sharing common problems that our marine ecosystem faces such as climate change, plastic pollution and overfishing with their school. In addition, they initiated the sale of reusable straws in SOTA which successfully sold about 80 straws.

Over the past few month, the group’s objective also transformed into raising awareness about marine life particularly in Singapore, as well as creating platforms for students in our school as well as the public to contribute towards conservation efforts. This objective is achieved by making reusable goods accessible and creating avenues where different environmental groups can work together towards a common goal of saving our environment.

Coming this February, The Ocean Movement is organising an event – TIDAL.

 

 

TIDAL is a series of environmental events brought together by various organisations. The first 2 events in the series include a film screening of ‘A Plastic Ocean’ with a post-screening dialogue as well as a guided coastal walk/beach clean-up. (However, these 2 events are already sold out)

In addition, a ‘Know Your Seafood’ Workshop by SiBiol will be conducted on 4th Feb from 10.30 am – 12.30pm where one can observe the dissection of common seafood in an aid to explain how marine organisms function.

The main highlight of TIDAL is the awareness concert held on 4th Feb from 5 pm to 7.30pm. The event will be centred around the theme of the environment, with acoustic performances by local performers and students from SOTA, various fringe events, booths selling sustainable products and booths where you can learn how to make reusable goods out of recyclable materials or how to make your own compost bin.

All the above events are completely FREE OF CHARGE so what are you waiting for? As there are limited seats for each event, do sign up quick!

Be sure to support these young inspirational individuals and support them in their cause towards marine conservation!

 

Green Talk

Interview with Tingkat Heroes Singapore

When we hear the word “Tingkat”, a few questions pop into our mind – Who used it? When was it popular? Where did it go? Why did we stop using it? ….. and these questions and curiosity towards the practice of carrying Tingkat are exactly what Tingkat Heroes Singapore wants you to reflect on. Started by Pamela Low in 2017, Tingkat Heroes Singapore is an initiative that aims to work with communities, schools and businesses in Singapore to go disposables-free.

We had an opportunity to interview her to find out more about this meaningful initiative.

 

TSP: What inspired you to start Tingkat Heroes Singapore?

THS: For me, my journey started when my neighbour asked my family out to do recycling when I was in secondary school. We went to Tzu Chi and as I was dismantling a toy car, putting plastic with plastic and metal with metal – I realised everything I had been mindlessly tossing into the general bin had a second life. My family went home and started sorting our trash and we still do it today

Next, the Singapore Youth for Climate Action’s Learning and Leadership Program (LLP) in 2016. A thoughtful curriculum that aimed to empower youths with the necessary knowledge and skills to champion initiatives and to take climate action. I found myself finally meeting like-minded peers and mentors who have been at this way longer, with far more experience and having their own communities. That inspired me to think beyond self, individual actions and it made me more confident in pursuing opportunities. Being a beneficiary of the LLP, I also recognise the value yet lack of eco-youth development opportunities as comprehensive and geared at grooming and empowerment. And I hope to address just that.

I interned in the tourism industry during my holidays in 2016 and 2017 and that shaped a lot of my growth and perspectives in working with various stakeholders and as well as being conscious of and concerned about what makes Singapore a destination of travel, work and living. Together with my eco-lens, when I travelled around Europe for exchange, I found myself keeping my eyes peeled for solutions and what stood out in each city and country.

Of course, spending 5 months in Europe, being based in Germany and travelling around at least 15 countries were the perfect case studies for me. The European Union/ Europe is ahead of us in plastic bags, recycling and energy policy and have their own strengths as destinations. I was constantly reflecting on attractions, layouts, transport, recycling, energy policies and their way of life. I was not just blindly consuming travel, I probably have more pictures of buses, road signages, maps, transport (signs, vehicle, fittings) and recycling bins than of attractions itself/ touristy stuff themselves. Being in a reflective mode allowed me to learn more about the cities and to similarly formulate solutions that could work in Singapore.

 

Why disposables? I feel that the individual can get desensitised and disenfranchised by and with the whole concept of climate change. For example, rising sea level can feel quite far-fetched for the individual. Disposables are about personal waste management, and there’s an economic benefit, health benefit (in using glass/ metal ware vs styrofoam and plastics) and environmental benefit. Hence it’s tangible at the individual level and the individual when enlightened and empowered can actively and consciously make choices to avoid disposables/ generating waste.

I usually share my own BYO experiences on my Facebook page for my own reflections etc and this perceptive came when my friends started sharing their own BYO experiences with me. Not just them, even their own family members and partners’ experiences. That to me is empowerment in itself when you make the individual feel that they can take action and do something.

 

TSP: Can you tell us a few challenges you faced when launching Tingkat Heroes Singapore?

THS: Well it’s been an insanely steep learning curve. I have never had the opportunity to meet, talk and work with so many enlightened leaders and corporations and it’s not easy. Working with various stakeholders and partners, it was paramount I learnt to work together, consider and negotiate along mutual interest and at the same time protect the core value of the project and its mission to reduce disposables (for better waste and resource management).

Have everyone to thank for their guidance, mentorship, patience and common objective for a sustainable Singapore. No magic here. It was about working hard, working smart and working together. There is no room for assumptions and not taking things for granted. Would say I am busier this school break than the whole semester. I am learning things I can’t learn in the classroom, and getting myself out there and taking ownership of the project has been a good experience of growth and challenge.

The harshest moment would probably when my “mentor” for a grant application commented that I was outsourcing my project by engaging experienced, passionate partners, to be a part of my curriculum. I felt quite dejected, but thank goodness things worked out, and I managed to outsource the mentor/ specific grant instead, and I have received tremendous support along the way.

 

TSP: Since the launch of the initiative, what is the general response from the public?

THS: It’s hard to sustain the interest of the public as it’s a very comprehensive project with an eco-curriculum. Results are not instantaneous. In general, everyone has been very supportive and friends offered their help as they see me share more. My cousin helped in designing my marketing collaterals and my logo, which I am very thankful for. Hit me up for contact. The project was featured in The Straits Time on 1/January/2018, which was a bonus and signalled the importance of taking and encouraging climate ACTION this year.

 

TSP: For those who are interested in getting involved with Tingkat Heroes Singapore, can you share 2 to 3 quick and easy steps to get started?

THS: To collaborate, they can drop an email to tingkatheroes.sg@gmail.com. I am looking for support in terms of funding, education and volunteers

 

TSP: What is the main goal for Tingkat Heroes Singapore and what actions will be taken to achieve that goal?

THS: Besides the main tangible goal of reducing disposables use among individuals and working with schools/ institutions to go disposables-free – our core value is our eco-curriculum. There’s no shortcut to education for meaningful action and empowerment of individuals, and the eco-curriculum has been thoughtfully pieced together and tightly linked to pedagogy to bring students through a journey of motivating the topic, inquiry and exploration and problem-solving. I hope to inspire more youths to act through my comprehensive eco-curriculum. I believe education can really touch young hearts and minds and motivate them to think beyond self, and to serve the larger community positively.

I also aim to assimilate these simple “eco-friendly” actions into the priorities of the average Singaporean such as health and money. Doing this that benefit for the environment does not and is not a noble cause, it’s something that makes intuitive sense to our wallet and wellbeing to adopt, as Tingkat Heroes seeks to demonstrate. There’s also the community benefits that are hard to get or appreciate in a grab-and-go, fast culture life. When we slow down and rethink our buying needs and choices, declutter our life, we simplify our living, which makes for more time and money for meaningful and memorable experiences.

Myself, I benefitted from a Learning and Leadership Program by Singapore Youth for Climate Action. No two persons have the same reason to get started on this green journey, which is why I feel awareness, outreach and programs are essential. In a class of 100, if 5% gets enlightened and starts pursuing their own initiatives that can each benefit 1000s, the ROI is very good!

It’s tough to measure these intangibles or very long-term measurable for grant applications, and I try my best to articulate the value of an LLP program and the “trickle down knowledge” or the extensive reach an initiative can have by one or a group of enlightened youths/ greenies from a cohort.

 

TSP: What are some of your future plans for this initiative? 

THS: Hmmm… I do hope to host a zero-waste market this year, which is hugely inspired by a zero-waste Christmas market I visited in Hong Kong.

Furthermore, I am looking to collaborate with chain F&B businesses to display by posters, which seeks to highlight already available options – including bring your own or having here, and applicable takeaway charges. By making this tweak in the consumer journey design, I hope consumers at the margin will make the better choice and bring about reductions in their waste-line.

Sustainable Living

A Guide To Sustainable Shopping

We all love shopping. It is one of the greatest weakness, especially for us – girls. While trying to attempt to live this zero-waste lifestyle, the temptation from shopping for clothes is especially great. From receiving emails from various shops about their sales to seeing brand new styles at shopping centres, the struggle is real.

So, how then do we prevent textile waste when faced with such great temptations? Here are some tips from our personal experience!

 

Know WHY NOT

You might regard it as only one pair of jeans. But did you know, it takes about 8,000 litres of water just to make one pair? That’s enough to fill almost 20 bathtubs! Not to mention, the cotton used to make jeans uses 2.4% of the world’s cropland and 24% of the world’s pesticide. How scary is that!

In Singapore, more than 156,000 tonnes of textile and leather waste was thrown away in 2016, but only a mere 8% of such waste is recycled. Based on a Channel NewsAsia documentary, Singaporeans buy about 34 pieces of brand new apparel per year, with almost half of them citing discounts as the main driver for doing so. And on average, they discard 27 items of clothing per year, citing reasons like “making space for new clothes”, “no longer fits” and “there are defects”.

To prevent yourself from contributing to unnecessary waste, you need to be equipped with the knowledge and be aware of how buying one piece of clothing can have a huge impact on the environment. It helps you to see how one little action can have a big impact!

So, always think twice before buying that piece of clothing that you thought was harmless!

 

Make a plan

To slowly reduce the amount of textile waste you are creating, it is not something that happens overnight. It is a step by step process and you first have to acknowledge that it will be a painful and difficult process. Making a plan is crucial and it doesn’t matter whether it will take months or years to achieve the goal, as long as you have a plan, it is better than nothing!

First of all, you need to track the amount of clothing you buy every month. By doing this, you will be aware of your consumption habit and it will be easier to monitor your reduction. Then, start setting a limit on the number of clothing you can purchase every month. One tip is before buying a new piece of clothing, evaluate if you have any similar pieces of clothing in your current wardrobe or if it is possible to borrow a similar top from your mother or sister. If it is a “yes”, then put that piece of clothing away!

It is also important to ensure that you practice self-control and stay away from any possible temptation. When you are able to make small progress towards working the final goal of eliminating your textile waste, be sure to reward yourself (with food)! We know it isn’t easy and by rewarding yourself, it serves as a form of encouragement to continue working towards the end goal.

 

Practice self-control

This might be the most difficult aspect as we are most likely being tempted from every corner of our lives. Our best practice is out of sight, out of mind. So, whenever there is a possible temptation, try to distance yourself from it and rationalise internally if it is a need or a want(Trust us, most of the time it will be a want.). It is also a good habit to constantly remind yourself of the long-term effects of a small act of purchasing a new top. It might seem trivial, but if you consider all the resources taken to make a single piece of clothing, it will definitely make you reconsider.

 

Shop Secondhand

If you really have the urge to shop and cannot stop yourself, why not try second-hand shopping? It helps you save money, save resources and be a better person. So, why not!

Our favourite is Refash, an exclusive online marketplace for women to buy and sell “like new” fashion. Members can list items straight from their wardrobes and shop up to 70% off their favourite fast fashion and luxury brands. It has many popular brands such as Love Bonito, Forever21, The Closet Lover, Forever New and a lot more. So, you no longer have to worry about having the same old few pieces of clothes in your wardrobe!

Sustainable Living

All About The Humble Brush

Toothbrush – a daily essential that everyone has to use for good health.

But little did anyone expect that a small plastic toothbrush can cause so much harm to the environment. The world consumes 3.6 billion plastic toothbrushes annually and most of them end of in the landfill. In the United States, an estimate of 850 million to over a billion toothbrushes are discarded annually and that amounts to more than 50 mullion pounds of waste.

Can you imagine the amount of waste produced from this small equipment? By replacing your usual plastic toothbrush into a bamboo toothbrush, you can help to fight climate change through this small action.

One of the products on our online store is the bamboo toothbrush from The Humble Co. and here are a few benefits of the products:

 

It is developed by dentists

Humble Brush was conceived, designed and is now manufactured under the guidance and supervision of dentists. This help to ensure that the product is similar to the plastic toothbrush in terms of functionality and quality.

 

100% biodegradable bamboo

The handle of the toothbrush is made of bamboo which naturally provides a non-slip surface and even better, is 100% biodegradable. In addition, bamboo is the fastest growing plant on earth and since it is antibacterial, no pesticides or fertilisers have to be used during cultivation!

 

Degradable and BPA-Free bristles

All brushes are made of Nylon 6 which degrades faster than lower grades of nylon.  Nylon 6 is a material ideally suited for dentistry but also degrades over time and can be processed through regular waste channels. The bristles have also been verified to be free from the toxin BPA (Bisphenol A).

 

Lifespan

The Humble Brushes have the same lifespan as any plastic toothbrush so you do not have to worry about the issue of constant replacement.

 

Compostable packaging

Besides providing a toothbrush which is sustainable in nature, the brush will be packaged in a transparent and biodegradable wrapper made completely out of plants and a box made out of 100% recycled materials.

 

With that, there simply are no other reasons not to switch to a sustainable bamboo toothbrush. Click here to purchase them!

Sustainable Living

5 Essentials You Need To Embark On A Zero Waste Lifestyle

The term “zero waste lifestyle” is one that is commonly being used now to describe one who leads a lifestyle that aims to create no waste at all.

Some might think, is that even possible? How do they do it? Well, for those of you who are interested in leading this lifestyle or simply trying it out, here are the 5 essential items you need to help you lead a zero-waste lifestyle!

 

1. Stainless Steel Straws

By now, I think most of us know that #plasticstrawsucks. If one was to use a plastic straw every day for the next ten years, there would be 3,650 straws worth of landfill! It is time to switch to a more environmentally friendly alternative – metal straws.

Metal straws are reusable and can last for ages if properly taken care of. Be reassured that it is easy to clean a stainless steel straw, with a cleaning brush, dishwasher or soap. As compared to plastic straws, stainless steel straws are BPA free and safe to use. They also make your picture look more stylish and chic!

Purchase them here!

2. Stainless Steel Container

If you always buy takeaways, you should be aware of the amount of Styrofoam and plastic containers that are used to store your food. Some plastic containers may even leak out harmful substances due to the heat! Did you know that more and more research is proving that toxic compounds found in plastic cause health problems ranging from cancer to infertility.

So why are you not using stainless steel containers? They are durable, non-toxic, completely recyclable and less wasteful. Hence, making them a much healthier and better option as compared to plastic containers.

Purchase them here!

3. Reusable Tumbler

For coffee/tea lovers, this item is a must-have! Reusable tumblers allow you to keep the beverages hot for a long period of time, reduce your plastic waste and even save money (as some vendors offer a discount for bringing your own). Coupled with the fact that bottled water costs 2,000 times more than tap water, save your money and bring your own bottle instead!

4. Reusable bags

It has been estimated that by purchasing a reusable bag and using them every time, it eliminates the use of 20,000 disposable plastic bags! The production of plastic bags requires the burning of fossil fuels which is causing climate change. By using a reusable bag, you are reducing your environmental footprint.  Think about the big picture and avoid plastic bags, even when they are free of charge.

5. Bamboo Toothbrush

It is now a well-known fact of how harmful plastic is to the environment. But little did we expect that the toiletries item we use every day, our toothbrush, can bring so much harm! The world consumes an estimate of more than 3.6 billion plastic toothbrushes every year, in which most of them end up in landfills and oceans.

So, you might be thinking, why don’t I just recycle them? Unfortunately, toothbrushes are one of the most complicated items for recycling because of the need to separate each component before recycling.

The alternative to these arisamboo toothbrushes that will help to reduce the damage being done by this household items. Hence, being more environmentally responsible as well.

Purchase them here!

Others

How You Can Contribute to the Year of Climate Action

It is official. 2018 has been declared to be the Year of Climate Action for Singapore!

As noted by Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli, “As a small island city-state vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, Singapore is committed to the effective implementation of the Paris Agreement”. Singapore, being a low coastal area country, will definitely suffer from climate change, with the daily mean temperature projected to rise by up to 4.6°C towards the end of the century and sea level estimated to rise by up to about 1m by 2100.

With the government making this declaration to commit towards combating climate change, it is time for us as citizens to acknowledge our responsibility and play a part as well.

Here are 3 small and simple changes in your life to contribute to the Year of Climate Action.

Just say NO

These two words hold great power when it comes to helping us make a decision in our lives! Say no to straws. Say no the plastic bags. Say no to any form of plastic. Also, these two words are free of charge! Just by saying no, you are using the power of a small action to make a big change in the world.

 

Think twice before buying

In Singapore, the amount of solid waste generated in 2016 increased to 7.81 million tonnes, up by 140,700 tonnes from 7.67 million tonnes in 2015. If you re-evaluate your buying habits, you will realise that you are able to eliminate unnecessary waste. Think of buying second hand. Think of using reusables. Think of borrowing books or doing book swaps. Most importantly, think of whether it is a need or a want.

 

Be more aware

To be able to make responsible decisions for yourself and for the environment, it is crucial to be aware of the events happening in the world. Relying solely on others to feed you information is not enough. Take a step out of your comfort zones and read on all these issues that affect your view on climate change. Go in with an open mind. Read on issues such as ocean pollution, renewable energy, starving polar bear or plastic waste. Start somewhere and you enrich yourself with the knowledge to make better and wiser decisions in your life!

 

These are three small and simple steps that do not require you to devote a large number of resources or time to be committed to. So what are you waiting for? Make 2018 the year you start making a change.

Others

5 Reasons Why You Should Visit EarthFest

EarthFest is a Singapore festival that is designed to be sustainable, fun and inspirational for all ages. It features a food fair of delicious international and new age planet-friendly foods, a Farmer’s Market of local businesses with more sustainable products, an eco-carnival of engaging low carbon games, talks, screenings, etc. There will be something for everyone and all interests, all packaged in one of the most sustainable and beautiful venues in the world. EarthFest is scheduled to take place on 14 January 2018 from 11 am to 4.30pm at Marina Barrage!

Still deciding if you should check it out? Well, here are the top 5 reasons on why you should attend EarthFest 2018!

1. They are really really serious about sustainability

We kid you not, this event “talk the talk and walk the walk”. Here is how they ensure sustainability is in the core of the event:

  • Biodegradable plates and cutlery will be used and then composted
  • If one-use materials are necessary, they must be biodegradable
  • Food is all planet-friendly requiring less water, land, and food inputs to produce
  • One-use plastic carrying bags will not be given out (Reusable bags will be available for purchase)
  • No pamphlets can be handed out – vendors have to do digital distribution
  • Palm oil is banned
  • Vendors are given a financial incentive to create less waste
  • Everything is designed to be reusable for future EarthFests

 

2. It’s free of charge!

Did we fail to mention that Earthfest is FREE OF CHARGE? They are, however, limited in number. So what are you waiting for? Get them here!

 

3. Everyone has something to do

If you are wondering if there are activities for you to do, fret not! EarthFest has activities planned for everyone of all ages.

Highlights and additions to the festival this year include:

  • New bands on stage, including local artist Christiane Mikaela
  • Our first hybrid food truck will be part of the food fair
  • New talks and workshops curated by Green is the New Black!
  • PitchFest by Awesome Foundation – win $1000 for your sustainable project
  • NEA Exposition on Climate Change + Waste
  • Screening of Landfill Harmonic by Singapore Eco Film Festival
  • Singapore Really Really Free Market
  • Exhibition of the Green Warriors by The Wedge Asia
  • WWF Eco-School exhibitions
  • Bookswap hosted by Secondsguru

4. Opportunity for you to change your lifestyle

EarthFest is about creating effective change in people’s daily habits. By attending it, you can easily learn about your carbon footprint based on your daily behaviour, have access to many different organisations educating on key sustainability issues and discover knowledge to realise various action options. Ultimately, the mission of EarthFest is to “To inspire and empower us all to create a sustainable future.” With all the tools aforementioned, EarthFest will provide you with insights and knowledge to lead a more sustainable lifestyle!

5. Support local

EarthFest serves as a platform to help you connect with businesses they didn’t even know existed in Singapore! These businesses all main one goal in mind – Sustainability. By attending EarthFest, you are supporting both local and Mother Earth! You can check out all the businesses that will be there by visiting EarthFest’s website.

 

With all these reasons, we don’t see why you should miss EarthFest!

 

Sustainability Reporting

Singapore Sustainability Reporting Award: CDL’s Integrated Sustainability Report 2017

In September this year, the Singapore Institute of Directors held the inaugural Singapore Sustainability Reporting Awards (SSRA) which aims to encourage and recognise excellence in sustainability reporting among Singapore listed companies. Of all the participants, CDL was honoured for producing the best sustainability report for established reporters or firms that have long been producing reports on sustainability.

Here are some highlights of the sustainability actions that CDL has reported in their Integrated Sustainability Report 2017: 

My TreeHouse

Built using eco-friendly and recycled materials, My Tree House boasts an eco-centric book collection, interactive green features and programmes which enable children to learn and discover about our natural environment, especially during their formative years. The library is a collaboration between the National Library Board (NLB) and CDL. There are about 45,000 books in this library, a third of which are green-themed covering on animals, plants, nature, water, weather, environment, recycling, and climate change.

My TreeHouse is located at the Central Public Library located within the National Library Building. In 2016, it received a visitorship of over 312,500.

Engaging Tenants on Resource Efficiency

Tenant electricity usage accounts for close to 50% of electricity consumption in CDL’s office and retail buildings. To support efforts in reducing energy consumption and environmental footprint, CDL implemented the CDL Green Lease Partnership Programme in 2014.

A digital energy monitoring portal was jointly developed with Tuas Power to enable tenants to track and better manage their energy usage. In addition to the “green fit-out” guide issued to all tenants, CDL created a dedicated team of CDL Green Lease Ambassadors to guide tenants on how they can create more environmentally-friendly premises by adopting sustainable practices, designs, materials, fittings, equipment, and lighting fixtures. The Ambassadors also helped identify energy-saving opportunities to lower tenants’ operating costs.

As of end 2016, more than 95% of  CDL’s tenants have pledged their commitment to the CDL Green Lease Partnership Programme by signing a Green Lease Memorandum of Understanding as part of lease renewal.

Find out more about the green lease and tenant agreement here!

Twin Chute Pneumatic Waste Collection System

This is an eco-friendly waste management system that utilises air suction to convey general waste and recyclable waste separately. The entire refuse disposal and removal process is clean, odourless and vector-free, and requires less manpower to manage, reducing costs while encouraging recycling.

CDL Singapore Sculpture Award

Themed “Towards Zero Waste!”, the 6th edition of this biennial award draws inspiration from the circular economy and Singapore’s vision of becoming a zero waste nation by 2030. The competition invites participants to design sculptures with residual materials from the construction of the Singapore Sustainability Academy.

Through the theme of the Award, CDL hopes to shift mindsets and change behaviour from  a linear “take-make-dispose” model to a more circular one, in which resources are circulated back into the economy and used for as long as possible

 

Besides the aforementioned actions and initiatives that were taken by CDL, their integrated Sustainability Report has more details about the company’s environmental commitment and actions. Read it here!