Have you been suffering in the sweltering heat the last few months? That’s a sign of climate change impacting Singapore. If this keeps up, simply feeling “hot” is going to be the least of our concerns — we’re going to find trouble with our water supply, food security and more.

Each and every one of us has a part to play in turning the tides and fighting climate change. And it doesn’t need to be difficult! Here are six small steps your family can take:

#1 One meatless day a week

Did you know that red meat is responsible for the release of greenhouse gases such as methane, carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide? Or that consuming meat and dairy has a greater impact on the environment than vegetables and fruits?

While that doesn’t mean you need to turn vegetarian or vegan forever, you could cut back on your consumption and dedicate one day of the week for the family to go meatless. It’s a small step to make in the fight against climate change and as a bonus, eating more greens has health benefits!

#2 Walk, cycle and ride

With a myriad of features like sheltered walkways, cycling paths and silver zones popping up across the island, it’s much safer and more comfortable for you to walk and cycle to your destination now.

Public transport is also becoming increasingly family-friendly and accessible with features for families and the elderly. Plus, the MRT network is growing fast. In contrast, fuel, parking and car prices are going up. So when you think about it, do you really need to drive?

#3 Dump the single use plastics

Start small by remembering to bring a water bottle out so you don’t need to buy bottled water, and having a reusable shopping bag on hand for groceries so you skip the plastic bag. And when you’re ordering food off delivery platforms like Deliveroo and Grab, opt for the “no cutlery” option. Do the dishes instead so you cut the plastic and reduce waste.

Although it’s more of a hassle, it’s also worth bringing our own reusable cups and containers for takeaways, because a variety of F&B spots across the island now offer discounts if you do!

#4 Learn to recycle properly

Recycling is a great way to reduce waste, but while over half of Singaporeans recycle regularly, not all of us are doing it properly. For example, did you know that a greasy pizza box, if thrown into a bin with clean cardboard boxes, will make the entire bin unrecyclable? Take the time to find out what can or cannot be done, so you know that your recycling efforts will count in the war against climate change.

#5 Don’t be cheap

One way to reduce waste is to simply make sure items don’t need to be trashed to begin with. So when you shop — especially for big ticket items like furniture — don’t just look at the price point. Prioritise items that are durable and can last the test of time. That way, even if you eventually want to get rid of the item, it’s more likely to be in a condition to be donated and not sent to the landfill.

#6 Plan, plan, plan!

Finally, plan your meals and grocery list. This prevents you from buying too much and using too little — which ultimately means more food waste is generated. It’s a little bit of effort on your part, but besides saving the earth, you can also save money!