Want to Live More Sustainably? Our Earth Hour Attendees Share Tips

In Sustainable Consumption, Sustainable Lifestyle
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“It’s 2019. It’s cool to care.” – Preetipls

WWF’s official Panda Ambassador Liv Lo and Earth Hour Ambassadors Charmaine Yee, Paul Foster and Preetipls shared the stage on 30 March to lead the Earth Hour countdown to lights-out and lend their voices for change.

40,000 people came together during the largest three-day festival for nature in Singapore held at Marina Bay Sands, Event Plaza, almost tripling the number of people who pledged to #UseLessPlastic last year.

Among the 40,000 attendees who pledged and shared their commitments towards bringing nature and wildlife back.

We had tons of fun with the shopping, food, booze, music, but our favourite part was how it was a zero waste event — the first time for Earth Hour — with water stations, a reusable cup rental system, and food vendors dishing their specialty with reusable cutlery, plates and bowls. After we were done, we’d receive a $5 deposit back upon returning the cup, and could easily return the used cutlery and bowls at designated drop-off station.

The result: We saved 3,500 plastic bottles and almost 10,000 single-use disposable utensils and cutlery.

It was fuss-free.

Food waste bins were planted in areas at the festival and collected after the event for composting.

But most importantly, its success gives us a glimpse of how a zero-waste Singapore would look like. Or at least it provides us with a smart, effective solution to minimising waste in large-scale events.

Activities and marketplaces at Earth Hour aim to bring people and communities together to take easy, simple steps and live more sustainably in a world of overconsumption and depleting resources.

Here, we talked to several festival-goers on the best tips to minimise waste and be more sustainable daily.

Charmaine Yee

Profile: Earth Hour Ambassador, TV and radio presenter (Kiss92FM)

Sustainable brands she was wearing: A Hat of Cain hat, I Want The Missing Piece X Matter Prints dress, and shoes from Oleah.

Aarika Lee

Occupation: Marketing director and copywriter at Elementary Co.

What being a conscious citizen means: “I think it’s just being aware of what we actually need. Even for us, when we buy food, don’t over order. In Singapore, we like to oversupply, so we try not to do that. I also try to use more sustainable brands for day-to-day items.”

A sustainable brand to know: Cloversoft is a brand that we really support because even now, they are running a campaign for toilet rolls to not need a core.”

Mikayla

Occupation: Student

Reducing single-use plastic at home: “Every morning for breakfast, I will use my metal straw to drink my juice. I will also bring my reusable water bottle out.”

Nate

Occupation: Self-employed

A weekly commitment to go meatless: “I am very careful with plastic straws and I have committed every Wednesday to be vegetarian for close to a year. I also bring out my Tupperware to take-away my lunch everyday.”

Sharing the message to be a conscious citizen: “I will try to influence the people around me because I seem to be one of the very few people that is more conscious environmentally. I hope they will be encouraged to do the same when I use recyclable products like bamboo straws. I am also planning to get a bamboo toothbrush to reduce waste.”

Geoff

Profile: Retiree

Action starts now: “I do two things as contributions to the environment: I turn my electricity off and power every Wednesday for the past six months in the UK, and I no longer buy anything containing plastic for the past one month. I am on vacation at the moment.”

Esther Quek

On sustainable habits and beauty: “My little takes on sustainability would be around my daily life. I have stopped using plastic straws, and I have a set of metal straws that I reuse and wash all the time. I’ve also started to use make-up from brands that do not test on animals which you can find in Sephora.”

Elisa

Profile: Co-founder of The Kint Story

Starting a business in 2019 to support slow fashion: “It’s been two years since I bought new clothes. I stopped buying new clothes and now, I started a company that sells second-hand clothes at The Kint Story. Today, I am wearing upcycled pants.”

Yvonne

Occupation: Marketing

Going sustainable everyday could come in very simple steps: “Besides going meatless every Wednesday for the past one year, I collect rainwater to water my plants.”

Amiera

Occupation: Marketing

The first step to becoming a conscious citizen is being aware of where daily products come from and how they’re disposed of after: “I used to use a lot of straws but now, I try to make the conscious effort to bring out my metal straws when I drink bubble tea and bring out extra bags when I go out.”

Brodia & Caroline

Profiles: Brodia, admin (right); Caroline, mother (left)

Encouraging loved ones to make a lifestyle change: “My daughter is in third grade, and she is getting me and the whole family to use less plastic, compost our food and generally use less. Our daughters go to the same school, and now we are trying our best to be more sustainable at home, too.”

Ash

Occupation: Project manager

Establishing a reward system to encourage others to be more sustainable: “We always recycle. I have been actively trying to make sure we use reusable cutlery and my helper at home gets a bonus if she helps separate our waste accordingly, i.e plastics, glass, food waste are disposed and/or recycled properly.”

Laura Lemeray

Profile: Traveller

Growing own natural produce to offset overconsumption: “I was raised in a “recycling home” so we were recycling everything from the countryside – from natural produce like vegetables that we grow in the garden in France. I am not forcing myself to do certain things, but I try my best to be conscious of my journey on it. Now, I am travelling for five months, and I saw a lot of things in general, like in Asia, we consume a lot of plastic bags and straws. It makes me realise when I am travelling that I am just consuming (and not producing anything). I started counting the number of straws I use and it’s about improving. Just before I head out, I was looking for a container to put my food and it’s quite hard to find something that fits into my small bag. You know, sometimes they give you a large plastic box for a really small thing.”

Cathy Biong

Occupation: Retail manager

Supporting retail businesses that help you go zero-waste: “I have just recently started to be more sustainable and today I bought a bamboo toothbrush, reusable cotton pads to remove my makeup and a menstrual cup.”

Andrew

Occupation: Ngee Ann Polytechnic student

Consciously avoiding disposable take-aways: “For lunch or dinner, I will usually make it a point to eat there and not do a take-away. To have my coffee and bubble tea, I bring my own tumbler and mug.”

Ahilya

Occupation: Fitness instructor and dancer

Several simple actions everyday go a long way: “I make it a point to minimise waste as much as I can, not to use much electricity and off the air-con, save water, eat less meat and not waste food.”

Go beyond Earth Hour and join us in our 7-day Conscious Citizen Challenge in Singapore here to encourage people to make sustainable choices with plastic, paper, fashion and food.

Read more about Singapore businesses that committed to reduce plastic use, planet-friendly hawker food in Singapore, and why plastic is not the villain.

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