Whether you’re a seasoned climate hero or starting out to earn some green karma, no action is too small when it comes to fighting climate change. Here’re our top 10 climate actions anyone can do to lighten your carbon footprint.
Set your air-con to 25°C
We get it. Singapore can get really warm. And the air-conditioner easily becomes our best friend when indoors. But rather than making our rooms our personal Snow City, the goal should be to keep cool. At 25°C.
Left running for 8 to 10 hours, the average air-conditioner contributes up to 10kg of carbon emissions per day. Equivalent to the weight of one rice bag.
A higher temperature setting uses less energy to cool our rooms. By using less energy, you directly lighten your carbon footprint.
Further reading: Energy efficiency and your air-conditioner
Take shorter showers
Save water by using less of it! Yes, climate change means more extreme weather like intense rainfall which leads to flash floods. But this does not mean more water for water-scarce Singapore. Climate change may cause dry spells too – which impacts the amount of water we collect from our catchment areas.
The water from your tap’s origin story.
Secondly, energy is needed to treat water in Singapore. Desalination and recycling water (i.e. NEWater) are energy intensive processes that produce carbon emissions. When you save water, you save energy too! This makes saving water doubly precious!
Further reading: Singapore’s water story
Take public transport
When you travel by public transport, walk or cycle, you directly reduce carbon emissions. A car uses 9x the energy of a bus, and 12x the energy used by a train per passenger per kilometre. Yes, per passenger per kilometre means just the driver alone.
Clearly, cars have emission issues. Image credit: POSB Singapore. (https://www.posb.com.sg/personal/articles/family/five-ways-to-heal-the-world)
By using public transport, you reduce the number of cars on the road and this helps to reduce road congestions too. Imagine the emissions that can be reduced from traffic jams.
Further reading: Overview of transport in Singapore
Support local produce
Local produce is more carbon-friendly as they do not need to travel long distances to reach you.
Types of local produce grown in Singapore.
Local produce is fresher and it’s a great way to support our local farmers too!
Further reading: Food security, Singapore, and you
Bring your own
Both the production and incineration of disposables result in carbon emissions.
Just flexing our most chio tingkat.
Using your own bag, bottle and cup reduces the use of disposables. This can save energy and resources required to produce and incinerate them.
Choose energy efficient appliances
Energy efficient appliances use electricity more effectively.
Just this once, more IS less.
Less fossil fuels need to be burnt to generate electricity if we use less of it or use it more effectively.
Further reading: What those ticks on your fridge mean
Switch off power at the mains
Standby power can account for up to 10% of home electricity use.
Smartphones still aren’t smart enough to stop using electricity once fully charged.
Even leaving your phone to charge overnight wastes electricity as power is still consumed even though your phone is fully charged. These silent contributors to your carbon footprint can be easily avoided!
Further reading: How to save energy, save money, and the earth at the same time
Reduce food waste
When food is wasted, so are all the resources used to produce the food on our tables.
Of course, we know that some food waste is unavoidable. We’re talking about the ones that can be avoided. Eat first, can order more if not enough!
Food waste makes up about half of the waste disposed of by each household in Singapore every day. Disposing food waste also contributes to a heavier carbon footprint that can be avoided if we just order what we can finish. If there are leftovers, keep them safely to eat another day.
Further reading: Singapore, food waste, and you
Reuse when possible
Reusing gives what would have been a waste a second life.
By making sure recyclables are free of food and liquids, they can be converted into useful products.
Seen this many times already hor?
Reducing, reusing and recycling right are our combo moves. This reduces the amount of waste we generate and incinerate , which reduces carbon emissions. At the same time, energy is saved from not needing to make as many new products.
Further reading: Waste minimisation and recycling in Singapore
Further further reading: How to recycle right
The Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment (MSE) will be holding its Climate Action Week from 15 to 21 August with a line-up of virtual activities and events (safe distancing mah!) for everyone to take collective climate action.
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