6 ways to stay green in Singapore even after Earth Day.

Earth Day was just last month, so here’s a quick guide on conscious tips you can implement to make a difference beyond the day.


Earth Day is an annual event that takes place every 22nd April as a way to call attention to the protection of the environment alongside the ever-depleting natural resources of the Earth. First held in 1970, it has come a long way since then, with over a billion people participating in the movement last year. Read on to learn more about the small actions you can take to celebrate Earth Day!

1. do a no-buy this Earth Day.  

It’s extremely easy to be pulled and sucked into buying the shiny, newest item according to the latest trends. Or simply purchasing something under the guise of retail therapy if you’ve been feeling down over the past week. The advent of online shopping alongside the apps we have on our phones certainly doesn’t make it easier as well. You don’t even have to look at the clock to know when it turns 12am – your phone notifications announcing a new sale will inform you of it. 

Consumer culture and buying things can be addictive, and we’re all guilty of participating in it. So for Earth Day this year, why not attempt to tackle consumerism by participating in a no-buy? You get to save on plastic and packaging waste, which made up over one-third of the 1.6 million tonnes of domestic waste in 2018.  

It isn’t exactly about buying nothing at all. Rather than that, it’s mainly about buying only the essentials. Go for a week or two this month, or perhaps until you reach a certain goal of yours. Follow this handy guide on how to have a successful no-buy, and cut down on any unnecessary purchases. 

Remember to be kind to yourself if you meet with failure. The only thing that really matters here is picking yourself up after and trying again! Perhaps you’ll be able to walk away from this with the habit of buying consciously, or even stick to a longer no-buy throughout the year. 

2. repair or upcycle something lying about…  

If you’ve been putting off mending a hole in your clothes, or deciding what to do with plastic packaging from online shopping, now is a good time to tackle this. Repair what you have lying around and give them a second chance in celebration of Earth Day this year! 

In a world of throwaway culture, repairing means extending the life cycle of the product while also reducing the need to buy new goods. Knowing that you’re diverting items from the landfill or incinerator is a win-win situation all around. 

Alternatively, get creative with what you can upcycle around the house. If you’re handy with the sewing machine, turn your oversized shirt into a shoulder bag, or a pair of pants into a skirt. And if you don’t really know how to use a sewing machine, why not engage the services of someone who does? Alt.native is a platform where refashioners offer their reworking services for your preloved items. For example, transform an oversized dress shirt into a two-piece set, or any excess stretchy fabrics into a patchwork top. The end result is being able to enjoy a “new” item, when in reality, it’s simply something you’ve made from your own closet. 

3. …or shop second-hand!

If you really have to get something and have exhausted all other options, try seeing if apps like Carousell or Olio have what you’re looking for. Oftentimes, they can be much cheaper than if you were to get them completely new from online or physical retail stores. Plus, you also get to avoid the gruelling and unethical working conditions of major corporations and retailers. 

There are also certain retail options you can consider when shopping second-hand. If you’ve been thinking about purchasing a book, Second Story by Thryft is a great option you can consider. So if this has been something you were on the lookout for, make sure to drop by their store or check out their socials!

4. consider opting for plastic-free household alternatives during Earth Day.

You never really notice how much plastic there is surrounding household essentials unless you actively take the time to do so. That’s what stores like UnPackt are especially here for. The first zero-waste grocery and lifestyle store in Singapore, support local and enjoy package-free food, products, and other daily essentials. All you have to do is bring your own container down and buy as much (or little) as you need.

Other alternatives also include The Sustainability Project, which will package your items with used / unwanted packaging for online orders. Otherwise, bring your container down to purchase laundry powder or tooth powder (your plastic-free alternative to commercial toothpaste), and see what other household essentials you might need to top up as well.    

5. BYOE: bring your own everything.

If there is a chance that you will be using disposables, this is a perfect opportunity to bring your own reusable alternative instead. From straws, cutlery, bags and cups, simply throw them into your bag as you head out, and the rest comes easy. Deciding to bring your own utensils and bag instead of the disposables that most stores offer can help cut down on the waste that is being generated. 

Specifically, the Bring Your Own Bag initiative is a great way if you realise you’re in need of a recyclable bag, or if you simply have too many. By Zero Waste SG, get to partake in reducing the usage of plastic bags. This is desperately needed, considering that in 2017, Singapore threw away 2,640 plastic bags every 3 seconds – the plastic waste generated is usually incinerated and barely recycled, if at all

To help combat this, simply drop off any extra reusable bags you have at the list of mobile collection points. Not only do you get to declutter, but you’re also helping out those who might need these recyclable bags! Check out the full list of locations on their website

6. volunteer at a green organisation for Earth Day.

Another easy way you can participate in Earth Day is to volunteer your time and energy at a charity or organisation specifically dedicated to green causes. Be it animal welfare, helping promote zero-waste or repairing culture, the possibilities are endless. Enjoy spending the time helping out with various initiatives, knowing that you’re doing good for the environment.  

Check out the complete list of over 35 organisations you can volunteer with here

And If you want to arrange something more casual amongst friends and family, why not organise your very own beach or park clean-up? Help keep public spaces clean: just make sure you have the necessary items and register online beforehand. There’s even a list of guidelines you can look through if you require more information or places where you can rent the required equipment to cut down on unnecessary purchases!

Remember, the possibilities are endless. You might enjoy doing some of the above tips but hate doing others. Every part counts, so why not explore all the green possibilities there are? 


Happy Earth Day! If you enjoyed this, you’ll also enjoy 12 thrift shops in Singapore for fashionable & sustainable bargains and 5 things i wish someone told me about beach clean-up sessions in Singapore.

raeanne

The copywriting intern who likes spending way too much of her free time looking for small trinkets and watching two hour long youtube video essays.

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