6 easy ways to live a more sustainable lifestyle

As individuals, we have our part to play in saving the earth. Doing your part to save the earth doesn’t require you to spend a lot of money or make big changes in your daily routine. Here are some easy ways to reduce your carbon footprint and help establish a more sustainable world.

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Doing your part to save the earth doesn’t require you to spend a lot of money or make big changes in your daily routine. Here are some easy ways to reduce your carbon footprint and help establish a more sustainable world.

We’ve been reading about Antarctica and Greenland shedding ice at record rates, and whales dying from plastic consumption, but what are we doing about it? According to the world’s leading climate scientists, we’ve only got about 12 years to limit climate change catastrophe before natural disasters such as floods, extreme heat and drought affect the lives of hundreds of millions of people.

And while it may seem like our individual action of minimizing the use of electricity and plastic, and even tossing our soda cans in the recycling bin, isn’t going to save the world, the truth is, every individual’s actions matter. Here are some adjustments you can consider making.

1. Reduce the use of plastic 

Unlike products made from natural materials, things made from plastic, including straws, plastic bags, cups, containers and many more can take up to 1,000 years to break down. Furthermore, plastics are killing marine life as a lot of the marine animals mistake plastic for food and end up consuming them. Recently, the news reported that the body of an endangered sperm whale was found on a beach in Murcia, Spain. An autopsy revealed that 29 kg of plastic was stuck to its stomach, blocking its digestive system and causing its death. There have been many other marine animal deaths reported in recent years caused by plastic pollution. To prevent further damage to marine life and to our earth, you can choose to minimize the use of plastic whenever possible, such as bringing your own reusable bag to the supermarket; using your own cup when you buy coffee or tea at the cafe; refrain from using plastic straws; and as much as possible try to avoid buying clothes that are made from plastic-based fabrics like polyester, nylon and spandex.

2. Grow your own mini herb garden

Growing your own herbs and vegetables is a rewarding way to reduce your impact on the environment as you only grow what you need to use, and there is no packaging involved and zero transport emissions. Your produce can also be organic as you can control the amount of pesticides you use, if any at all.

3. Bring your own mug to the cafe

According to data from the National Environment Agency, plastic was the largest category of waste disposed in Singapore last year. And only six percent of the 815,200 tonnes of plastic waste generated were recycled. We can all do our part by reducing plastic consumption by bringing our own mug to the cafe for our morning coffee or tea.

4. Sign up for electricity plan that is 100 percent carbon neutral

Carbon emissions make up 97 percent of Singapore’s greenhouse gas emissions, and these emissions lead to more heat being trapped in the atmosphere, contributing to global warming. Some repercussions of global warming include rise in global sea levels due to melting ice, increased precipitation, and an increase in extreme weather events. We can all do our part to limit the effects of climate change by reducing our carbon footprint, and one way to do so is to sign up for an electricity plan that is 100 percent carbon neutral.

Electricity retailer and energy company Geneco offers a “Get It Green” plan, in which *Verified Carbon Units (VCUs) are retired on behalf of the consumer based on the calculated volume of carbon indirectly emitted from their consumption of purchased electricity and the corresponding retirement certificates issued serve as validation of the electricity’s carbon-neutrality.

*One VCU represents one metric tonne of carbon emissions reduced or removed from the atmosphere.

5. Reduce the use of paper

Save the trees by going paperless, and one easy way to do so is to opt for e-tickets when you fly or go to the movies. You can also opt for e-bills instead of having the hardcopy mailed to your house to cut back on needless paper use.

6. Reduce, reuse and recycle

One way we can do our part to reduce landfill waste is to use less, so less things go to waste; bring your own reusable bags out when you go shopping; use recycled products as it requires less energy to produce them; and avoid using disposable utensils, cups and plastic bags whenever possible. Bringing your own cutlery and water bottle out also goes a long way in ensuring less plastic end up in our landfills.

To find out more about Geneco’s 100 percent carbon neutral “Get It Green” plan, visit www.geneco.sg.

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