10 ways of being sustainable at home
Have you heard of the 3Rs rule - Reduce, Reuse and Recycle? We at ShiokFarm try to enforce this at every level of our business, but also in our lives.
ShiokFarm supports Eden Reforestation Projects, which plants mangrove trees on our behalf. We plant these trees to offset our collective carbon emissions. But the best CO2 is the one that has not been emitted! 😊 Find more about it here…
Hereafter is a list of what we do that you could also try at home. 🌱
1. Reduce your carbon footprint by picking up your groceries yourself
10% of our CO2 emissions are caused by home deliveries. 89% is caused by shipping the goods to Singapore (airplanes from Australia being the worst). At our own level, picking up our weekly bags would help reduce our CO2 emissions. We understand this is difficult for some households, but if you have someone who can spare 20 minutes on Wednesdays to collect from a Collection Point, it would be fantastic!
All the home delivery services available in Singapore are actually really damaging for the environment... Whenever you can, go and collect your goods yourself. 🌱
2. Reduce your electricity consumption. Optimise it
To optimise electricity usage you can simply turn off lights and fans when they are not in use. Set the air-conditioner to around 25-26°C. Unplug your devices when you don’t need to charge them.
3. Reduce the use of plastic as much as possible
Did you know that it takes up to 450 years for plastic bottles to decompose in landfills? Now think how much plastic is being used every day. You can become plastic-free by refusing plastic cutleries when eating outside and investing in reusable sets. Also, when shopping you can use eco-friendly bags instead of plastic ones.
4. Donate boxes to schools for crafting and other purposes
Whether you have children or not, keep your cardboard boxes, egg boxes, plastic bottles, and ask a school near you if they would be interested to have them for crafting. You might be surprised by their answer! 😉
5. Use old toothbrushes for cleaning purposes
Dentists recommend changing toothbrushes every 3 or 4 months. Try to picture all the toothbrushes you have used, sitting in landfills! Time to switch to bamboo biodegradable toothbrushes. Don’t throw away your old plastic toothbrushes yet. They are very useful for cleaning hard-to-reach spots: water bottles, computer keys, jewellery or even shoes.
6. Turn your old clothes into cleaning rags
About 92 million tonnes of global textile waste is being produced yearly according to Fashion Revolution. This causes 20% of global clean water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. So, instead of throwing away your old clothes, bed sheets or socks, find another purpose for them. One way is to turn them into cleaning rags (depends on material).
7. Reuse shopping bags, like we do at ShiokFarm*
Because of our bright colourful bags our members can easily recognise us. But what is more significant about ShiokFarm bags is that they are reusable. Since we started, we have distributed over 55,000 bags to our members, reusing each of our bags more than 11 times. We encourage our members to return their bags every week, so we can wash them with eco-friendly detergent ready for the following week (ShiokFarm, 2021).
8. Recycle trash properly following the labels on recycling bins: paper, metal, plastic and glass items
The situation with the pandemic has worsened Singapore’s recycling rate. For the past 2 years only 13% of all trash was recycled. According to the National Environment Agency (NEA) the main challenge is the content of blue recycling bins. People leave liquid and food inside containers, throw away clothes and toys instead of donating them, e-waste is not properly placed where it has to be, etc.
As this concerns the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment, Singapore aims to achieve 30% in waste-to-landfill reduction by 2030 by pushing more sustainable consumption and production practices (The Business Times, 2022).
9. Donate old clothes, shoes, bags instead of placing them into recycling bins
There are so many people out there that still do not have access to clothes to wear. If you have spare clothes or shoes that you thought of throwing away just donate them to charities and let other people use them.
10. Compost your leftovers
One of our favourite ways to reduce waste is composting. You can do it at home, or do it at your Collection Point. In Serangoon, the host received frozen organic food scraps every week for her compost bin. We could roll this out to other Collection Points. Let us know if you would like to join the movement.
You can always compost materials indoors in a specific bin if you do not have space for outdoor composting. Remember to take care of your compost pile and keep track of what you throw in it. You will not attract pests and it will not smell bad if you manage the compost bin properly. Your compost will take about 2-5 weeks to be ready (EPA, 2022).
So, how can you benefit from composting organic waste?
- Natural composting reduces the need for chemical fertilisers
- Compost helps in production of higher yields of agricultural crops
- Composting remediates polluted soil in a cost-effective manner
Download a pdf file with 10 ways of being sustainable at home here.
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