You’ve probably heard the spiel about sustainability and the need for us to do our part to help our planet. You might even have calculated your own carbon footprint to understand how your lifestyle impacts the earth. But beyond bringing your own reusable bags and straws out, does it seem like being sustainable is too difficult or expensive?
It doesn’t have to be! If you’re looking to do your part for our planet, here are some simple, eco-friendly tweaks you and your family can make.
Say No to Food Waste
Did you know? Food is a huge contributor to waste in Singapore. In 2019, we generated around 744 million kg of food waste, which is the equivalent of 51,000 double decker buses!
Cut food waste by signing up for a food delivery subscription plan so you won’t over-order just to hit the minimum cost for free delivery. If you plan your meals, check the refrigerator and write a shopping list before heading to the supermarket to ensure you only stock up on what you need.
Swap, Don’t Shop
The cost of a pair of jeans to you might be what’s on the price tag, but to the planet, it is over 3,000L of water and over 30kg of carbon emissions. The fashion industry contributes more to carbon emissions than flights and maritime shipping combined!
The next time you’re thinking of picking up a new outfit, try exchanging clothing you don’t want at places like the Fashion Pulpit instead. To put it into perspective, when you trade something as small as a t-shirt, you’re not just saving money, but also helping the earth conserve around two-and-a-half years’ worth of drinking water for one person.
Repair and Retain
The average Singaporean dumps the equivalent of 70 mobile phones worth of e-waste a year. Make a difference by repairing appliances instead of replacing them. Learn to do this yourself through various courses or by visiting the Repair Kopitiam meetup – it’s a chance to make friends, pick up new skills, and save the earth at the same time!
Parent Some Plants
Besides looking nice, plants absorb carbon dioxide and other pollutants in the air. The best part? You don’t need a huge space to start your own home garden!
Look into species like money plants, which are low maintenance and easy to pot in recycled jars or containers. You can also start your own urban farm by picking up some seeds from the National Parks Board (NParks) and getting the whole family involved in growing your own edibles, like cauliflower, lady’s finger, cherry tomatoes and more.
Learn to DIY
DIY projects are a great way to get rid of unwanted items at home. Use scrap food parts for stock and sauces or get creative with vegetables and fruits that are about to go bad by turning them into stamps for the kids to play with!
You might even be surprised – some of the best home cleaning products can be made with things like vinegar, baking soda and lemon, all of which are easy to find in the kitchen and will keep your cleaning products toxic-free.