I am once again asking for your support to understand that Earth Hour is not about saving electricity.
I can clearly see three groups of people in this time of fear and anxiety.
The first group belongs to a category of people who get stuck in a perpetual cycle of blaming and shaming (think panic buying and spreading fake news to feel better about life – and themselves).
The second are those who find it easier to accept the current circumstances, recognise that something needs to change, and funnel their energy into something useful: in this case, uniting people together to help those in need.
Most of us probably belong to the third group, like me, are people who are living in neither realities. You are either constantly wondering whether you are underreacting or overreacting to the news you hear each day.
And now that you are home, we are here to help you navigate this Earth Hour weekend with love, synergy and smiles. Most importantly, I want us to successfully turn our anxiety into something useful, like those in the second group.
I’ve got three hours to spare this Saturday. What should I stream?
This will be the first weekend after the Ministry of Health’s strictest measure yet to close all bars, cinemas and entertainment venues in Singapore to contain the spread of COVID-19.
It’s easy to stay anxious when staying home gives us more reason to glue ourselves to the news. But I hope you are well.
Now, more than ever, we need to continually remind ourselves that though isolated, we are not alone.
This Saturday, let’s hang out online as Earth Hour brings together Singapore’s most influential voices and top music artists into one screen – from 5.30pm to 8.30pm – for all things fun, hopeful, and reasons why we must hold on to the good and one another.
Playing live from their homes (I know you are going to love them), catch Benjamin Kheng, Nathan Hartono, Preetipls, RRILEY, Sezairi, Subhas and more. Also joining us online are some friends from Zero Waste Singapore, SG Climate Rally, LepakinSG – and a really special guest, Anthea Ong, a Nominated MP in Singapore.
I want to take action. Tell me more.
Customise your own open letter for decision-makers in Singapore.
As we struggle to accept and understand the ongoing health crisis, Earth Hour becomes a platform for people around the world to unite as we come together to reflect and speak up on reasons to hope.
Knowing that this is not the first nor will it be the last challenge we face together, the Open Letter (supported by our friends at Zero Waste Singapore, SG Climate Rally, LepakinSG and Green Drinks Singapore), aims to rally voices in Singapore to safeguard our future by calling for improved environmental policies and business practices nationwide.
If we recognise how failing to take care of the natural environment can result in health, social, cultural and economic crisis, then maybe, we still have a chance of surviving inevitable threats brought about by environmental emergencies like climate change.
I need feel-good music. What should I listen to?
A tasteful blend of pop, contemporary, and chill hits.
So you are working from home and you (finally) have the freedom to play your playlist out loud without anyone’s judgement. Or you’ve been staring at your computer screen for the whole day – and just looking for feel-good, audio-only content.
For that, we’ve put together a one-hour Earth Hour playlist on Spotify for a sneak peek of what your favourite music artists will play on Saturday.
I want to vote for responsible initiatives. How can I lend my support?
Businesses that soldier on to support systemic change alongside people and the government.
I like that there is a growing number of businesses and initiatives that incentivise people to be more sustainable. Beauty junkies will appreciate The Body Shop’s Return.Recycle.Repeat initiative where they are encouraged to bring back their plastic beauty empties for recycling.
Steps to redeem:
- Drop off the brand’s used, clean and empty plastic bottles and tubs for recycling.
- If you are a member, each bottle per tub (min 50ml) collected will earn you one stamp.
- Collect five stamps and receive a reward.
The brand also encourages customers to bring their own shopping bag with their Kick The Bag initiative, where 10 cents will be charged to customers asking for a bag – and donated when customers refuse the bag. All proceeds will go towards supporting WWF’s conservation initiatives.
In support of Earth Hour this year, Thermos Singapore outdid themselves this time with its latest Singapore Exclusive limited edition collection, taking on a ‘Go Green’ theme for the first time. Designed together with the Band of Doodlers’ (BOD) Shana (@littlecorals), Paula (@paulalala) and Audrey Le (@audrey.le.art), expect bold yet sophisticated illustrations of Singapore’s beloved nature and botany, adding a touch of eco-chic as you tote along with your favourite food and drinks. Every purchase of this collection will donate $2 to support WWF’s conservation initiatives.
Also, Samsonite will be donating $10 to WWF if you purchase the brand’s Varro or Aspero styles from now till 31 March.
I want to see something creative! What can I look out for?
You can’t miss out on the vintage-inspired stage set.
If you love sustainable, Scandinavian furniture designs, keep an eye out for our hosts (and the coffee table!). The locally-sourced urban timber comes from the massive amount of hardwoods that are disposed of in Singapore during landscaping work.
When major works were done to widen the PIE in the Bukit Timah area three years ago, there were tons of tree cutting. The good people behind Arthur Zaaro decided to buy the huge rain trees from the tree cutters, and turned them into the huge coffee table you will see during the live stream!
“They were huge, so we had to dry them for the last few years, and only in the last month were we able to do the final sanding and finishing on this table once it was dry and stable enough,” founder of Arthur Zaaro, Aaron Foeste, explained.
The stage set (pictured above) was inspired by local elements like a vintage shophouse to symbolise unity and Singapore coming together in empowering our decision-makers to help ensure a safer, fairer and healthier future for all.
A lesson learnt.
If anything, this pandemic is a painful awakening to the global challenges that affect public health and well-being.
This health crisis will come to pass. But it will not be the last we experience.
But if this crisis is what it takes for us to learn our lessons, we will emerge stronger and better – ready to tackle other challenges like the global climate and nature crises.
After all, once this is all over, we want to claim back the freedom to live – one that guarantees good health, clean air, and economic stability.
Main image credit: unsplash.com.
Watch the live stream on Saturday, 28 March, 5.30pm to 8.30pm here.