Last Stop: Back to Basics

Hello!

How have you all been? How time flies as we have unknowingly reached the final week of the first semester of school. To sum things up, my previous blog posts have been addressing the different green initiatives implemented in our home country, with one or two tangent posts regarding recycling on a more personal level. Hence for this final post, let us delve into the importance of going green.

WHY GO GREEN?

Related image
(Kuchiya, 2016)

There are many reasons why we should go green. However, I personally feel that the main reason to go green is to counterbalance the greenhouse gases that are emitted into the environment by anthropogenic activities and to help to keep a sustainable earth for each and everyone (including you and me) on the planet. After all, as my professor, Dr. Coleman likes to quote, “Treat the Earth well. It was not given to you by your parents – it was loaned to you by your children.” Hence it is only right for the future generations to enjoy earth as what we have now, if not better.

With global warming and climate change being a hot topic of discussion these days, we are constantly bombarded with the concept of “green” living as well as attempting to work together to slow down these environmental impacts, with terms such as “carbon footprint” and “energy efficiency” coined on what seems to be an everyday reminder. Therefore, with such prominent reminders from various platforms such as education and the media of how bad our Earth is degrading, some things need to be done NOW if not it will really be too late to do so in the future.

HOW TO GO GREEN?

Some might say going green is troublesome. Although I do not deny that it requires some changes to personal bad habits, once you get the hang of it, it’s really easy. Also, there is a lot of misconception that going green can be expensive but that’s not true. There are simpler and cheaper ways to go green and here are 6 ways for beginners:

  1. Use a reusable tumbler/ water bottle instead of disposables
  2. Pay your bills online instead of receiving letters in your mailbox (it’s hassle-free too!)
  3. Read your news online instead of subscribing to newspapers 
  4. Shop for eco-friendly products (shopaholics can go green too)
  5. Clean your refrigerator coils regularly (when dust accumulates there, it makes the fridge work harder by consuming more energy)
  6. Use a handkerchief instead of tissue papers 

Regardless of our age or social status, there are different ways that we can all contribute towards going green. Whether our actions are big or small, our actions today will determine the future for all life on earth.

Last but not least, with exams just around the corner, I wish you, my readers, all the best and may you all have a great holiday ahead but don’t forget to continue protecting our earth!

For the last time,

Cheers,

Joey


Kuchiya, K. (2016, March 11). 21 Simple, Cheap and Effective Ways to Go Green at Home. Retrieved from Clean Up Home : https://cleanuphome.com/21-simple-cheap-and-effective-ways-to-go-green-at-home/

 

More action for the Year of Climate Action?

Welcome back!

As this marks my second last blog post, I figured I shall write something closer to the heart and that is about 2018 being the Year of Climate Action. I am sure that the BES community and the public who are reading my blog will surely know about this movement that helps to further improve Singapore’s ongoing environmental efforts to build resilience against climate change (Singapore to declare 2018 Year of Climate Action, 2017).

“As a small island city-state vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, Singapore is committed to the effective implementation of the Paris Agreement” – Mr Masagos, Environment and Water Resources Minister

When Mr. Masagos was interviewed by Channel NewsAsia sometime back in 2017, he noted that the warming rate of our country over a period of 12 years from 1951 – 2012 exceeded the double global average of 0.12 degree over the same time frame (Singapore to declare 2018 Year of Climate Action, 2017). This meant that our country’s sea level is likely to rise by one meter by 2100. Hence, Year of Climate Action was introduced to continue to instill awareness of climate change amongst the public and to urge citizen to fight against climate change.

Related image
(Nia, 2011)

Even before 2018, our country has been consistently mapping out and implementing certain considerable emphasis on sustainable development that has enabled us to observe a surge in green initiatives in an effort to fight against climate change. Here are some initiatives that I thought of that are currently being executed:

  1. Phasing out the single-use disposable plastic
  2. Installation of LED (Light Emitting Diode) lighting
  3. Installation of solar panels
  4. Annual Tree Planting

What I have listed above is just a mere percentage of the green initiatives that we have as a nation in the effort of going green. But are there really enough green initiatives/ programmes to fight against climate change? We need more.

Hence, with 2018 as the Year of Climate Action, it was announced earlier this year that local interest groups, non-governmental organizations (NGO), as well as local constituencies that are keen on organizing green events to spread the word of climate change, are qualified to apply for a government grant of up to $5000 (Neo, 2018). This grant was initiated by Senior Minister Dr. Amy Khor to help organizations to cover the expenses of developing programmes in a bit to raise awareness of climate change (Neo, 2018). More information can be found here.

Climate change is a real and pressing issue. It poses a fundamental threat to places, species and people’s livelihood. It is extremely dangerous because even our continuous existence as man on this planet depends on what we are doing either to aggravate or ameliorate it. It is not restricted to a country or a region but it is a global phenomenon and all of us must work towards averting its dangers.

Cheers,

Joey


Baker, J. A. (2014, November 3). Tree Planting Day in Singapore: 5 things about the 51-year-old tradition. Retrieved from The Straits Times: https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/tree-planting-day-in-singapore-5-things-about-the-51-year-old-tradition

Neo, E. (2018, March 24). Government grant available for green initiatives from Apr 1. Retrieved from Channel NewsAsia: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/government-grant-available-for-green-initiatives-from-apr-1-10073658

Nia. (2011, July 20). Nia’s Stuff. Retrieved from Blogspot: http://nias-stuff.blogspot.com/2011/07/chemistry-homework-11.html

Singapore to declare 2018 Year of Climate Action. (2017, November 17). Retrieved from Channel NewsAsia: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singapore-to-declare-2018-year-of-climate-action-9414346

SG Maritime Transport Goes Green

Hello!

I am sure we all know that the Singapore Changi Airport is the world’s top ranking airport. However, the airport is not the only facility in Singapore that ranks first.

The Port of Singapore is currently ranked as the first maritime capital in the world too (Williams, 2017). It is also the world’s second busiest port for it is known to tranship 20 percent of the world’s shipping containers and up to half of the world’s annual supply of crude oil (Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, 2018). On average, an estimated 130,000 vessels enter the port annually (MPA Singapore, 2018). In addition, the Port of Singapore also serves as an important gateway for our resources to get to us other than by air and to act as a harbor which allows goods to be repackaged and ship out to help generate revenue to boost our country’s economy.

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Port of Singapore (Rowles, 2016)

With such a massive number of vessels entering the straits of Singapore, it is unavoidable that there will be a certain environmental impact brought about by the maritime industry to the waters if an incident were to occur or not. Therefore, aside from the constant monitoring of the activities of these vessels, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) also took up duty to ensure that water pollution in our shores is kept to the minimum or none at all. Therefore in 2011, the MPA  introduced an initiative called Maritime Singapore Green Initiative (MSGI).

(MPA Singapore, 2018)

The MSGI aims to minimize the environmental impact caused by shipping as well as to incentivize the shipping community by adopting green shipping initiatives in Singapore. To show that the MPA is committed to sustainable shipping, it has also promised to pump in $100 million into the MSGI over a span of five years. Fast forward five years into 2016, this initiative has received overwhelming support from the maritime industry and has thus been further enhanced and extended till the end of 2019. The MSGI compromises of five other programmes under its wings:

  • Green Ship Programme 
  • Green Port Programme
  • Green Technology Programme
  • Green Awareness Programme 
  • Green Energy Programme 

Each programme has its own incentives that cater to all the different maritime industry be it local or international ones. As long as these maritime companies incorporate green activities into their services one way or another, they will be able to receive beneficial support in terms of fundings or special privileges regarding projects or registration fees when they submit a report to MPA to show what is the green initiatives that they have implemented. To learn more about these programmes, click here.

As the world’s population continues to grow, the maritime transport has a vital role to play in order to help in sustainable development. Since the number of vessels entering our shores is expected to rise, it is our responsibility to ensure that our port stays committed to clean and green shipping. Together with the MSGI, our waters can be kept clean too.

Cheers,

Joey


Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore. (2018). Maritime Singapore Green Initiative. Retrieved from MPA Singapore : https://www.mpa.gov.sg/web/portal/home/maritime-singapore/green-efforts/maritime-singapore-green-initiative

Rowles, G. (2016, November 29). New MPA Singapore chairman appointed . Retrieved from Splash: https://splash247.com/new-mpa-singapore-chairman-appointed/

Williams, A. (2017, April 26). Singapore named top maritime capital of the world for 3rd consecutive time. Retrieved from The Straits Times: https://www.straitstimes.com/business/economy/singapore-named-leading-maritime-capital-of-the-world-for-3rd-consecutive-time

 

Mosquitoes & Microplastics

Hello again!

Today, I shall divert a little from my theme – Green Initiatives in Singapore, to touch a little bit on micro-plastics.

In the previous 2 posts, I have mentioned how two big enterprises – KFC and Starbucks have already initiated or is taking the initiative to step forward to put a ban on single-use plastic straws. Plastics are frequently found floating on the water surfaces and even though we are fully aware of the severe impact that single-use plastics disposables can bring about to the aquatic ecosystem when it disintegrates into many tiny fragments, have you ever wondered if this impact goes beyond the waters? Sadly to say, it does because recent studies have revealed that these tiny pollutants may have entered our skies too (Gabbatiss, 2018).

White-bellied sea eagle (Ang, 2017)

You heard me right and mosquitoes are one of the vectors that bring these tiny microplastics into the skies (Gabbatiss, 2018).

The Microplastic Diet

Not too long ago, scientists have discovered that microplastics can be easily ingested by the mosquito larvae (Ye, 2018). Yet, unsure if these microplastics do continue to remain present throughout the life cycle of the mosquitoes, scientists have decided to carry out further experiments to find the answer to their prediction. To their astonishment, the results of their experiments came back positive. A significant amount of microplastics still remains in the life cycle of the mosquitoes even after the larvae have developed into the adult mosquitoes (France-Presse, 2018) although some studies have shown that microplastics are usually excreted out as the larvae mature into adult flies (Ye, 2018). This spells bad news as mosquitoes are commonly featured in the diet of birds and bats, which raises the concern of microplastics being introduced into the aerial food web (Gabbatiss, 2018).

mosquito larvae
Mosquito larvae (Ye, 2018)

As the birds and bats continue to consume an increasing number of mosquitoes, they are indirectly consuming a higher dosage of microplastics (France-Presse, 2018). Furthermore, there is also a probability of biomagnification of microplastics when the birds and bats are being preyed by their predators. This new discovery of larvae ingesting microplastics may have just paved another way for pollution not thought of before (Condie, 2018), which also suggests that aerial pollution may already have existed in the wild (Ye, 2018). However, mosquitoes might not be the only vector because there are many other insects that have lifecycle stages taking place underwater too (Gabbatiss, 2018). Therefore, we need to be more cautious about the disposal of plastics into our waters not only to prevent microplastics from entering the aerial food web but to eliminate harmful impact that it is bringing to our ecosystem and biodiversity as well. Surely we do not want to introduce microplastics into the uncontaminated environment, do we?

Food for thought:

If birds can accumulate microplastics by consuming plastic eating mosquitoes, can microplastics then enter into our body system if we were to be bitten by such mosquitoes? Can microplastic be transferred via the saliva of such mosquitoes? I certainly hope not.

Cheers,

Joey


Ang, B. (2017, July 9). Where to spot owls and other beautiful birds in Singapore. Retrieved from The Straits Times: https://www.straitstimes.com/lifestyle/a-bird-app-or-two-in-hand

Codie, B. (2018, September 19). Microplastics transfer from mosquito larvae to adults. Retrieved from COSMO THE SCIENCE OF EVERYTHING: https://cosmosmagazine.com/biology/microplastics-transfer-from-mosquito-larvae-to-adults

France-Presse, A. (2018, September 19). MICROPLASTICS COULD BE ENTERING THE FOODCHAIN THROUGH MOSQUITO LARVAE: STUDY. Retrieved from TECH2: https://www.firstpost.com/tech/science/microplastics-could-be-entering-the-foodchain-through-mosquito-larvae-study-5212921.html

Gabbatiss, J. (2018, September 19). Mosquitoes eating microplastics raise fears of pollution harming birds and bats. Retrieved from Independent: https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/mosquitoes-plastic-pollution-microplastics-birds-bats-swallows-a8543151.html

Ye, Y. (2018, September 19). Mosquitoes are eating plastic and spreading it to new food chains. Retrieved from NewScientists: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2180055-mosquitoes-are-eating-plastic-and-spreading-it-to-new-food-chains/

 

Is Starbucks the next KFC?

Welcome back!

Previously, I mentioned that KFC is currently the only establishment in Singapore that does not provide plastic straws when customers dine-in. This will no longer be the case as Starbucks is expected to join the bandwagon 2 years later. This comes after Starbucks’ announcement on 9 July that it hopes to be able to do away with plastic straws across all of its outlets worldwide by 2020 (Starbucks Newsroom, 2018). Starbucks has decided to go with strawless lids known as the ‘adult sippy lids’ which are made of a higher grade of recyclable plastic – polypropylene, to replace the normal lids that are now used for beverages such as iced coffee/tea and expresso (Singapore, 2018).

(Nace, 2018)
(Nace, 2018)

As a frequent customer of Starbucks myself, I was exhilarated when I came across this news because Singapore has been chosen to pilot the use of these ‘adult sippy lids’ (Singapore, 2018) though I am still in search for a Starbucks that is currently trying out these lids here. The other pilot countries also involved are Japan, China, Thailand, and Vietnam. However, since drinks such as frappuccinos will still require the use of straws, it will be replaced with paper or compostable plastic straws instead (though I do hope consumers will not ask for a straw).

(Cholakova, 2015)

With Starbucks known as the largest beverage retailer in the world, this bold move made by the company estimates to remove approximately one billion straws annually, earning themselves the praise of many environmentalists (Starbucks Newsroom, 2018). Starbucks also hopes to use their well-known status to set an example of how companies can play a key role to avert the tide of ocean plastics – especially single-use plastic straws (Starbucks Newsroom, 2018). Single-use plastic straws can easily end up in the water due to inconsiderate anthropogenic actions and bring harm to marine life when they are being ingested, as can be seen in the following video that I stumbled across (Warning! – The video may be disturbing).


(Sea Turtle Biologist, 2015)

Poor thing 🙁 My heart ached after watching this video… and you are probably going to feel the same too. This is exactly what happens when the straws we discard makes it way into the ocean. You might be thinking: “Straws end up as a deadly weapon against all of the marine life? Who are you kidding!” I KID YOU NOT – will be my reply to your thought. Therefore, the simplest way to prevent this from happening is to eradicate the use of straw as much as you possibly can.

The last I read, MacDonalds is also intending to implement the ban of plastic straws across all of its outlets worldwide, with the United Kingdom and Ireland being its first stop (Nace, 2018). I am heartened to see popular and large establishments taking actions to stamp out on the use of plastic for they are able to reach out to the masses more easily and am hopeful that we will one day be able to cut down on the use of straw drastically as one Earth.

Cheers,

Joey

__________________________________________________________________

Cholakova, F. (2015, November 17). Can we dare to change? Retrieved from http://naturallygreattraders.blogspot.com/2015/11/could-we-dare-to-change-beauty-will.html

Nace, T. (2018, July 10). Starbucks To Ditch Plastic Straws — Will It Actually Help The Environment? Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/trevornace/2018/07/10/starbucks-to-ditch-plastic-straws-worldwide-for-adult-sippy-cups/#66cf98b1c9eb

Sea Turtle Biologist. (2015, August 10). Sea Turtle with Straw up its Nostril – “NO” TO PLASTIC STRAWS. Retrieved from Sea Turtle with Straw up its Nostril – “NO” TO PLASTIC STRAWS

Singapore, C. (2018, July 10). Starbucks to go strawless by 2020; Singapore outlets to pilot sippy cup lids. Retrieved from https://coconuts.co/singapore/news/starbucks-go-strawless-2020-singapore-outlets-pilot-sippy-cup-lids/

Starbucks Newsroom. (2018, July 9). Starbucks to Eliminate Plastic Straws Globally by 2020. Retrieved from https://news.starbucks.com/press-releases/starbucks-to-eliminate-plastic-straws-globally-by-2020

 

 

Can YOU do without plastic straws?

Hello and welcome back!

Since I touched on the BYO Campaign aimed at minimizing the use of single-use plastic, I will blog about KFC’s (Kentucky Fried Chicken) No Straw Initiative this week.

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(KFC Singapore, 2017)

Earlier in June this year, KFC officially announced that they will stop the distribution of single-use plastic straw to all of its customers when they dine-in across all of its 84 outlets islandwide (Channel NewsAsia, 2018). However, little did I know that this was not KFC’s first initiative in their attempt to go green. If you were to recall, KFC started to serve their fried chickens in a reusable basket instead of the normal paper box back in December 2016 and in early 2017, all of its breakfast platters and porridge were served in a recyclable paper bowl or platter instead of the ones made of foam (Channel NewsAsia, 2018). There were no commotions about these changes back then but the moment KFC ceased providing straws for dine-in, complaints from unsatisfied customers started to surface overnight.

No doubt KFC’s No Straw Initiative estimates to observe the reduction of some 17,800 kg of single-use plastic a year (Channel NewsAsia, 2018), not all of its customers are willing to participate in this initiative. Some customers who were interviewed feedback that it will be inconvenient for people who wear lipstick, have sensitive teeth or have braces to enjoy their drink (Lim, 2018) forcing them to go to other fast-food chains or hawker centers nearby to get themselves a straw. Management teams of other retailers even have to display signs to ask customers to refrain from taking their straws for they are not “KFC’s straw suppliers”.

(Lum, 2018)

If you really need a straw, my suggestion will be to purchase yourself a reusable metal straw from Seastainable Co and bring it with you wherever you go.

No doubt single-use plastics are small, they can cause a huge impact on the environment. Single-use plastic straws contribute to four percent of the total plastic waste which translates to 30536kg a year (National Environment Agency, 2018). If we are able to reduce 17,800 kg of single-use plastic per year as gauged by KFC, we will be able to approximately reduce 1.67% of the total plastic waste generated a year. 1.67% may seem like a very small percentage but if this percentage is to increase over the years, there might be a chance that the lifespan of our landfill (Semaukau Island) can be extended beyond 2035 since we do not generate as much plastic waste. In addition, less harm will be brought about to the marine life too. Hence if you were to think about it, not using plastic straws may be a good thing after all. Though KFC is currently the only fast-food chain to implement this initiative, I hope that other fast-food chains will be able to follow suit too because we all know how much threat plastics can bring to the environment. So no more excuses but instead, ditch your plastic straws because every effort counts!!!

Say ‘NO’ to plastic straws!

Cheers,

Joey

__________________________________________________________________________

Channel NewsAsia. (2018, June 18). KFC Singapore to stop providing plastic caps and straws for drinks. Retrieved from https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/lifestyle/kfc-singapore-plastic-caps-straws-drinks-10442886

KFC Singapore. (2017). KFC SINGAPORE ROLL OUT NO STRAWS INITIATIVE NATIONWIDE. Retrieved from https://dinein.kfc.com.sg/whats-new/no-straws-initiative/

Lim, A. L. (2018, June 21). Applause for ‘No Straws’, but some still need them. Retrieved from https://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/applause-no-straws-some-still-need-them

Lum, C. (2018, September 5). Kopitiam poster to stop KFC customers from taking straws: “It could have been handled more diplomatically”. Retrieved from https://stomp.straitstimes.com/singapore-seen/kopitiam-poster-to-stop-kfc-customers-from-taking-straws-it-could-have-been-handled

National Environment Agency. (2018, September 26). Waste Management. Retrieved from https://www.nea.gov.sg/our-services/waste-management/waste-statistics-and-overall-recycling

 

 

The BYO Campaign

Hello readers!

Do you BYO???

If you are new to this term, let me tell you what it is. BYO (Bring Your Own) is a campaign introduced by Zero Waste SG (check it out!!) in 2017 to encourage individuals to cultivate the habit of bringing their own reusable items whenever they wish to purchase something in hope to reduce the amount of single-use plastic used. In partnership with this campaign, participating retailers provide incentives to their customers whenever they bring their own reusable items, be it bags, bottles or even containers.

I am sure all of us are aware that plastics pose a huge concern to the environment since they can take up thousands of years to decompose. According to statistics, the National Environment Agency (2018) recorded an alarming 763,400 tonnes (763,400,000 kg) of plastics thrown away in 2017 and plastic alone has already contributed to the bulk of the waste disposed of by our country (as can be seen from the table below).

Photo Source: National Environment Agency (2018)

Numbers don’t lie, are you surprised by the figures? Well, I certainly am not because plastics can be found literally everywhere. Plastics can be found in takeaway plastic containers, trash bags, cutlery, and stationary just to name a few. As the number accumulates, the mass disposal of single-use plastic will eventually pose an environmental problem not just to our country but to the entire world. Plastics either end up being burnt in the incinerator with the ash being deposited into the landfill afterward or into our waterways and oceans as marine waste. If we still do not cut down the number of plastic disposed of, we might not have sufficient landfills to dump the waste and I foresee our living conditions in the future to be uninhabitable for it will be polluted with all kinds of waste, not just plastic. I am sure this is not something we all are looking forward to. We only have one Earth so let’s do our party to protect it.

With a total of 430 retail outlets across the island offering incentives to encourage individuals to BYO and refrain from using single-use disposables (BYO Singapore, 2018), this makes a good platform for us to start to make a change in our reliance on the use of plastic items and perhaps start saving the unnecessary cost too. Hence, the next time you want to grab a coffee to go, remember to bring along your reusable cup. Every action has a consequence and we do not want the environment to suffer due to our irresponsible actions.

So, join in and start to Bring Your Own!

Cheers,

Joey

__________________________________________________________________________

Koh, H. (2017, September 2). New campaign aims to put lid on Singapore’s use of disposable plastics. Retrieved from https://www.eco-business.com/news/new-campaign-aims-to-put-lid-on-singapores-use-of-disposable-plastics/

Leo, D. (2017, October 9). Bring Your Own campaign key in Singapore’s push to go green . Retrieved from https://www.todayonline.com/commentary/bring-your-own-campaign-key-singapores-push-go-green

National Environment Agency. (2018, September 26). Waste Management. Retrieved from https://www.nea.gov.sg/our-services/waste-management/waste-statistics-and-overall-recycling

San, O. S. (2017, September 12). NEA supports ground-up moves to reduce plastic waste. Retrieved from https://www.straitstimes.com/forum/letters-in-print/nea-supports-ground-up-moves-to-reduce-plastic-waste

Zero Waste SG. (2018). BYO Singapore. Retrieved from http://www.byosingapore.com/

 

 

 

Let’s Give Our Cars a Longer Break! (Part 2)

Hello readers!

Image result for welcome back gif

This will be a continuous post from Let’s Give Our Cars a Longer Break! (Part 1). Today, allow me to share with you my thoughts on whether or not enough has been done to encourage a car-lite lifestyle in Singapore. But before I proceed, let’s have a recap. Do you remember these questions from my previous post?

“What will stop people from staying in the north, south, east, and west from driving to and parking at someplace nearby in order to attend the activities? Will the act of driving then defeat the purpose of Car Free Sunday? Furthermore, Car Free Sunday only happens once in a few months.  Will that few days a year be enough to make a difference in helping our environment? Why not increase the number of days?”

As I think about these questions, one thought came to mind: Are Singaporeans ready to embrace a car-lite society? While the Singapore government has made attempts to encourage a car-lite society among her citizens such as raising the cost of the Certificate of Entitlement (COE) – a certificate that allows an individual to own and use a vehicle in Singapore for a span of 10 years and introducing Car Free Sunday, I believe more can be done to spread the message of embracing a car-lite society.

According to Land Transport Authority (2017), 961,842 cars are present on the road as of end December 2017. This translates to an additional 5,412 cars on the road compared to 956,430 cars as of end December 2016.

With increasing numbers of cars, this shows that more people are becoming dependent on personal vehicles, something our government is trying to discourage. If the numbers continue to grow, there will be insufficient roads to accommodate the cars due to land scarcity in our country and the number of hydrocarbons introduced into our environment will be beyond imagination. Hence, I believe with a little modification to Car Free Sunday, this problem may be addressable.

Instead of just cordoning off the roads in central Singapore during Car Free Sunday, more roads across the country should be cordoned too. Increasing the number of venues to stage the different activities and bazaar will also allow Car Free Sunday to reach out to a larger crowd and make it a more successful event. By introducing more venues for participation, this will reduce the number of vehicles on the road used to get to the action that was previously only happening in central because now, Car Free Sunday is happening at the various venues across the island. Provided that this initiative becomes successful, the government may consider increasing the number of Car Free Sunday per year. As citizens start to reduce their reliance on cars and make adaptation to their lives, there may be a possibility that we will be able to observe a drop in the number of vehicles on the road and the number of hydrocarbons released into the environment!

Together, let us make our air cleaner and give our cars a longer break!

Cheers!

Joey

___________________________________________________________________________

Giphy . (n.d.). Retrieved from https://giphy.com/explore/welcome-back

Land transport Authority . (2017). Retrieved from https://www.lta.gov.sg/content/dam/ltaweb/corp/PublicationsResearch/files/FactsandFigures/MVP01-1_MVP_by_type.pdf

 

 

 

Let’s Give Our Cars a Longer Break! (Part 1)

Hey readers!

In my previous post, I shared about my personal green initiative in a bit to reduce my contribution of waste into the environment. Today, let us shift our focus to Singapore’s Green Initiatives. First up, I will be talking about – Car Free Sunday Singapore.

Image result for car free sunday in singapore
Source: (Melissa Lin, 2016)

In 2016, Car Free Sunday Singapore was launched to focus on promoting a car-lite society. Parts of the roads along the central building districts were cordoned off to convert it into a pedestrian and cyclist friendly route and for other activities – line dancing, Zumba, cultural trails etc to take place (Melissa Lin, 2016). At the same time, it is to also reduce the number of carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide (both are a major greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming) that are emitted from automobile vehicles from entering our atmosphere. Besides causing global warming, air pollution is another problem too. Harmful pollutants that are given out by automobiles that are present in the air may be inhaled by individuals, bringing about negative health impacts to them. In order to protect our well-being and the environment from being at stake, we have to come together as a nation, through our collective efforts, to make a change. That is, to try to not drive for a day (preferably).

” Alone we can do so little; Together we can do so much.” – Hellen Keller

But if you were to ask me if this initiative is really serving its purpose, my answer would be no. Although the response from the public has been good thus far, there has not been a single article published by any news agency documenting the decrease in harmful pollutants released into the atmosphere contributed by automobiles. The numbers are still at large according to the National Environment Agency. Then it struck me, maybe the numbers of roads cordoned off were not enough. If you are to observe from the picture below, only roads along venues such as Telok Ayer Street, Amoy Street, and Civic District are cordoned off to be car-free routes (click on the image to expand).

Source: (Urban Redevelopment Authority, 2018)

This may be the reason why the results are not showing because the action was only happening in the Central. Hence I was thinking:

1. What will stop people staying in the north, south, east, and west from driving to and parking at someplace nearby in order to attend these activities? 

2. Car Free Sunday only happens once in a few months. Will that few days a year be enough to make a difference in helping our environment? Should we increase the number of days? 

Do stay tuned for I will be discussing my thoughts on these questions in my next post.

(*Hint: The next Car Free Sunday will be on the 22 September 2018, you know what to do!)

Cheers!

Joey


References:

Melissa Lin, R. O. (2016, August 6). Car-Free Sundays didn’t set the tills ringing much. Retrieved from https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/car-free-sundays-didnt-set-the-tills-ringing-much (last assessed: 13 September 2018)

Urban Redevelopment Authority. (2018, January 24). Car-Free Sunday SG is back. Retrieved from https://www.ura.gov.sg/Corporate/Media-Room/Media-Releases/pr18-03 (last assessed: 13 September 2018)

My Recycling Efforts :)

Hey there readers!

Welcome back to my blog post, Trash turns Treasures! To kick-start my series of blog entries, I shall start sharing about my own recycling initiatives to reduce the amount of waste I produce 🙂

Source: Mediacorp Saving Gaia. (2016, June 4)

Do you ever remember primary school teachers educating us about the 3 ‘R’s? Or does the song in this video ring a bell to you? Nowadays, the government is urging us to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle our waste to save the Earth and this can be seen from the huge blue recycling bins placed around public housing and private estates all over Singapore. Well, at least for me, these bins can be spotted just 2 minutes walk away from my lift lobby. With such convenience and the many tell-tale signs from the media and posters, I started to recycle, to do my part for the environment. Following are some examples of what I do.

Instead of discarding unwanted items away, I do the following:

  • Lose Socks turned Soft Toys
Don’t throw away your old socks! Wash them, stuff them with polyester fiber from spoilt pillows and make a soft toy for yourself! (Relax guys, I just put them on display, not for cuddling)
Left to Right: Bunny, Snoopy, Squirrel

Don’t throw away your old socks! Wash them, stuff them with polyester fiber from spoilt pillows and make a soft toy for yourself! (Relax guys, I just put them on display, not for cuddling)

  • Unwanted Newspapers for extra cash

Cash collected in return after the newspapers are sold for recycling

Read a lot? Don’t throw them away, recycle it and earn yourself some extra pocket money like me!

  • Discarded fruit skins turn eco-friendly cleaning agent
Ferment unwanted fruit peels (Orange, Apple, Lemon, Pear etc) and turn it into a cleaning enzyme.

Housework is part and parcel of our daily life. Instead of using commercial cleaning products that introduce harmful chemicals that end up in the environment, why not Do-It-Yourself (DIY) and save the environment. It’s cheap, odorless and most importantly, harmless!

Though these examples are small scale, having good waste and material management can help to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emission released into the atmosphere (LESSER BURNING!!!) With the reduced number of carbon dioxide and unburnt hydrocarbon released into the environment, global warming might change for the better and Singapore may not feel as warm as it is now. Though to save the environment might sound like a huge and impossible task to do, but if each and every one of us plays our part, no matter big or small, our hard work will pay off. So don’t hesitate and find your own sustainable initiative today and start to make a difference!

Till the next post,

Cheers!

Joey

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Reference:

Mediacorp Saving Gaia. (2016, June 4). Save My World Music Video 2016. Retrieved from www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4pIQ238PFc (last assessed 8 September 2018)