Ok Seriously, Our Red Dot Needs To Go Green - Stat!
STORY: Ng Kai & Sim Ding En
01 March 2021
Singapore is ranked Asia's greenest city - but being green is really more than just about the verdancy of our Little Red Dot. Flora aside, we need to constantly working towards building a sustainable island-city for our people to live in with an emphasis on low carbon emissions, zero waste and a clean environment.
Last month on 10 Feb, the Singapore Green Plan 2030 (aka #SGGreenPlan 2030) was unveiled. Spearheaded by the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of National Development, the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, and the Ministry of Transport, the mega project will chart our garden city's green targets over the next decade.
Running in tandem with this "whole-of-nation movement" to fight climate change and reduce our country's greenhouse gas emissions are local individuals, initiatives and organisations that are - and have been - hard at go-green work. Here, a list of some of them. Be very inspired.
Mai tu liao! There's no time to waste.
Ministry of Defence
Achievement unlocked: For years now, the Singapore Armed Forces has made efforts to go greener - very reassuring that a dua zhong ministry like MINDEF is taking the lead in a whole-of-Singapore effort to go green.
In 2018, for example, the maintenance and storage hangar for the Republic of Singapore Navy's Unmanned Surface Vessels and Specialised Marine Craft at Changi Naval Base was designed for better ventilation, and to incorporate the innovative use of rain water to cool engines, plus solar panels to power the air-conditioning. Close to zero energy consumed - win-win lah!
Last year, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said, "We are on target to reduce our energy and water consumption. New buildings will be more energy efficient, several are net zero energy." As an example, he cited the Republic of Singapore Air Force's new hangar for their A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport which - get this - generates more electricity than it consumes! #mindblown
This year, Dr Ng said in his ministry's Committee of Supply speech that the SAF will be setting up a Sustainability Office to drive the planning and compliance of sustainability efforts such as the replacement of admin vehicles with hybrid models, the installation of solar panels on more of its buildings, and the introduction of a food waste management system in more camps.
Green armed forces
Other efforts include the installation of smart utility metering systems to let SAF units know how much they are contributing to greenhouse gas emissions and waste or water consumption; the RSAF's trial of green aviation fuel; and the Republic of Singapore Navy's zero emissions ozone-free water-mist fire suppression systems on some of its newer vessels.
Find out more: Click here for a fact sheet on the SAF's efforts towards greater environmental sustainability.
Achievement unlocked: The 24-year-old is super multi-talented and has a big heart for the environment, especially the ocean. He is a self-taught documentary writer, photographer, filmmaker and the founder of Our Seas, Our Legacy -a documentary collective and social enterprise - that engages communities and celebrates Singapore’s marine environments and biodiversity through storytelling. Nathaniel is also a National Geographics Young Explorer, with features in Asian Geographic, World Vision Singapore and Singapore Eco Film Festival.
Achievement unlocked: It's an initiative spearheaded by 22-year-old Teo Xue Shen that brings together fishing hobbyists who aim to promote sustainable fishing. Their Youtube channel is updated regularly with their fishing escapades, and even includes videos of various fishing spots in Singapore as well as the rich biodiversity in our waters. Btw, when he's not fishing for a good catch, Xue Shen is a prolific novelist - in fact, the youngest author longlisted for the Epigram Books Fiction Prize. Dig this: he wrote two novels on his phone during his National Service. Sibei ups!
Find out more: Brush up on your fishing knowledge at Jives Fishing's YouTube channel and become a fintastic fisherman in no time! If you're curious to know more about susatainable fishing, check out Xue Shen's blog, Sustainable Shore Fishing In Singapore.
Achievement unlocked: Say whaaat... Save the environment yet look good doing it? Owners Jeff Lam and Florence Tay (left and middle in the post above) got you covered with their zero-waste grocery and lifestyle store. Their products are affordable, and do not sacrifice quality or aesthetics. Just bring your own containers and buy as much or as little pasta, spices, and other produce as you need. You’ll also find reusable straws, food containers, and other eco-friendly lifestyle accessories here. It’s never too late to start being kinder to our planet, and this is a great little place to take your first steps.
Seven Clean Seas
Achievement unlocked: Seven Clean Seas is an ocean clean-up organisation dedicated to removing plastic pollution in the marine environment. They prevent plastic from entering the natural environment and educate the public on responsible plastic consumption. Their mission is to preserve the marine environment by ridding the ocean of plastic for good. At the age of 34, founder Thomas Peacock-Nazil started Seven Clean Seas as a side community project doing educational beach clean-ups in 2018 after encountering alarming amounts of marine pollution on his travels. As of Feb 2021, Seven Clean Seas has recovered and removed over 100,000kg of ocean plastic.
Find out more: They're always looking for more volunteers to help pull plastic pollution out of the ocean. Find out how you can help or even donate to fund their efforts.
What is it? The seeds of Green Nudge were sown back in 2018. Green Nudge first started out as a project idea when founder Li Seng wanted to make mass events more sustainable. Li Seng formally set up Green Nudge as a company in mid-2018 to create environmentally sustainable behaviour and practices that lead to a low carbon, zero-waste Singapore by 2030. Since then, Green Nudge has expanded its offerings to include cleanups, workshops, learning journeys, training and consultancy services; and grown from a one man outfit to a team of 3 full-time staff, supported by an amazing team of volunteers and interns. Green Nudge is now one of the leading green social enterprises in Singapore.
Find out more: They offer cleanups, workshops, learning journeys and more. Their website has a suite of offerings that cater to the needs of companies and communities.
The Green Collective
What is it? Built with a vision to create a responsible Green Kampung, The Green Collective SG is an ecosystem of Sustainable Brand Owners, conscious consumers and businesses. Working together on a principle of sharing, they are building a community of change-makers who collaborate with each other to simplify adoption of a sustainable lifestyle. They originated as a popup in 2018 store at KINEX (formerly OneKM mall) to showcase local brands and change makers doing great things – and they now have two permanent fixtures with the second store at Funan
Find out more: Their website lists how you can do your part in creating a responsible kampung in our Little Red Dot.