Earth Day: Tips You Can Use Every Day

Happy Earth Day! Saving the environment isn't as hard as you think! You can help make a difference in the world with some small practices and change of habits. To help adopt more sustainable living, we've created a list of tips that you can follow every day for a greener future!

Using Reusable Bags While Grocery Shopping

ntuc reusable bags

Make your next trip to NTUC more eco-friendly when you bring a reusable bag! These bags are way easier for both loading and unloading your groceries, all your items can be neatly packed into just one bag. You won't have to carry so many plastic bags on your arms anymore!

Reusable bags are durable, and more stylish as well! Who likes lunging around a bunch of white, crumpled plastic bags on your way home?

You're also potentially saving thousands of marine animals! Every plastic bag that ends up in the ocean or land is a serious danger for animals. So many of them die due to ingestion of these chemically produced plastics. Imagine how many wildlife creatures you could save just by using a reusable bag.

Fun fact: Did you know that plastic products such as plastic bags can take between 15 to 1,000 years to break down? That's incredibly long!

Follow the 3Rs 

Reuse

plastic bags

Being Singaporeans, I'm sure many of us have a collection of plastic bags from our various trips to the supermarket over the years. These plastic bags, however, are perfect for reusing! You could use it in your trashcan or as a general waste bag for everyday use.

Use your old clothing as rags or cloths for when you need to do some cleaning. Just cut up a piece of an old shirt and voila! You have a new rag to wipe with. You could also pack all your unwanted clothing into a bag to give away to others. But please ensure that these clothes are still in a usable and clean condition!

If you're at the office, you can also practise some of these good habits. There's bound to be many stacks of unused paper somewhere in your office. Make use of these papers as memo pads for when you need to take a quick note!

 Reduce

reduce consumption and waste

Tips on how to reduce waste:

  • Write a shopping list to avoid impulsive purchases and shop wisely
  • Bring a reusable grocery bag
  • Buy items that last longer and have less packaging
  • Cook a sufficient amount of food
  • If there's any leftover, place it in a container and store it in the fridge for future consumption
  • Minimise the use of disposable wares (plastic straws, forks and spoons)

Recycle

recycle bin

Recycling has definitely been made easier over the years. With more and more recycling bins being placed at HDB void decks and shopping malls, it serves as a bigger encouragement for people to recycle.

Do take note that when you throw something in the recycling bin, it does not contain any food or water. Ensure that you carefully wash away all the food or liquid residue first. Items that you can recycle include Paper, Glass, Plastic and Metal. Do not throw shoes, toothpaste or even soft toys into these recycling bins. They are made specifically for recycling items and should not be treated like regular trashcans.

Managing E-Waste

What is E-waste in the first place? Well, they are electronic equipment or products that have been thrown away because they're no longer in use. Some examples include laptops, desktops, smartphones, ricecookers, refrigerators, batteries and many others. At this day and age, it is not uncommon for an individual to own multiple electronic devices. But how can we properly handle electronic waste? Take a read below to find out!

electronic waste phone laptop desktop telephone

Before you discard these E-waste items, it's best to check whether you can repair it first. You could also donate these items to others, provided that they are still in good working condition. Lastly, you could recycle these products at the respective E-waste recycling locations.

There are quite a few E-waste recycling places where you can safely dispose of your electronic equipment. Below are just some of them:

Starhub RENEW

starhub renew recycling bins

This RENEW programme is led by Starhub and stands for "REcycling Nation's Electronic Waste"

Where to recycle:

  • AMK Hub, Level 4
  • Bishan CC
  • Bedok Mall
  • Plaza Singapura
  • White Sands Shopping Mall

Click here to see the full list of locations.

What to recycle:

Most electronic items, less than 47cm by 12cm. Examples include phones, laptops, modems, telephones, cables, plugs and others.

Fun fact: Did you know that the 4 major electronic retailers in Singapore; Best Denki, Courts, Gain City and Harvey Norman have joined this RENEW Programme? You can find their recycling bins at selected stores in Singapore.

 

SingTel x SingPost E-Waste Recycling Programme

singtel singpost recycling bin

Where to recycle:

  • Singtel shop @ ComCentre 
  • Singtel shop @ Jurong Point
  • Post Office @ Bukit Batok Central
  • Post Office @ Block 28 Tiong Bahru Road
  • Lock + Store @ 37 Keppel Road, Tanjong Pagar 

Click here to see the full list of locations.

You might be wondering, how do our electronic devices even get recycled? Well, there is a whole process to it! People discard their electronic phones into the respective bins. These devices are then manually dismantled into individual parts: Casing, keypad, LED Screen, battery, components.

electronic waste recycling process

(Photo courtesy of recycle.sg)

All types of storage devices such as thumbdrives, SIM cards and hard drives will be consolidated in a large volume before they go through a crushing process for destruction.

Any plastic material will be converted into secondary raw material which can be used to create things like water bottles. Precious metal, on the other hand, can be converted into base metal like copper and nickel. This can be used to create secondary raw material for jewellery and new electronics.

If you would like to read more on the various E-Waste recycling programmes, visit this website for more info!

Saving the earth starts with you

We can all take small steps everyday to adopt more sustainable living habits. It doesn't take much to help the environment. So, let's start caring for our environment more and play our part in keeping the earth safe and clean!

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