We’re no strangers to Earth Hour, where we see millions of people, businesses and governments around the world come together for an hour on the last Saturday of March each year to take one iconic action: switch off the lights.
But Earth Hour is more than a symbolic one-hour event – it’s a clarion call for our commitment towards taking care of this one home we all share, every day of our lives.
Did you know that the “60” in the Earth Hour logo refers to the 60 minutes we spend taking positive action, while the “+” represents a commitment that goes beyond the lights out event?
So how exactly can we do more?
- Consume less
One of the 3 “R’s” when it comes to being environmentally friendly, is to reduce the number of things we consume – that is key.
More often than not, we buy (or even take, when it comes to freebies) much more than we need which ends up being thrown away or left forgotten somewhere in the back of a drawer.
When added all together, this excess consumption comes at a cost to the environment with unnecessary energy and resources being used up to manufacture, transport and dispose of these goods.
The next time you find yourself tempted to make a purchase or accept a non-essential item, a good practice would be to ask yourself if you really need it before making a decision.
By doing so, you can also save money and reduce the amount of clutter in your home.
- Shop second-hand
Next up, shopping second-hand lowers the environmental impact of the things we consume as we’re reusing things that have already been produced as well as preventing them from being turned into waste that takes up space in landfills.
Second-hand goods can also be just as good as brand new purchases while coming at a fraction of its original price tag.
With many online platforms like Facebook Marketplace and Carousell in Singapore, we are spoilt for choice in terms of the variety of pre-loved products we now have access to.
When it comes to fashion, a great option is The Fashion Pulpit (#01-04) – a social enterprise where you can swap, upcycle and mend your pre-loved clothing items to extend its lifespan, and at the same time play your part to help lessen textile waste!
- Say no to single-use plastics
Instead of having your morning iced latte in a plastic cup, takeaway lunch in a styrofoam container or groceries carried in a plastic bag, bring your own reusables instead!
A good habit to have is to plan ahead so you know what you’ll need to bring to avoid being caught in a situation without your zero-waste alternative.
Making the switch and incorporating reusable eco-friendly products into your existing lifestyle doesn’t have to be difficult either with stores like The Social Space (#01-03) offering a wide selection of plastic-free alternatives to everyday products that will help you achieve a sustainable, zero-waste life.
- Switch it off
Last but not least, switch it off – to conserve energy and reduce your carbon footprint. This isn’t limited to just your lights but includes all other electricals like your television, fan and air conditioner too, which uses up energy unnecessarily when left on standby.
Make it a habit to switch them off when not in use, and you might just see a difference in your electricity bills as well!
A question you might ask yourself is, “Can one person really make a difference?”
The answer is yes.
When it comes to taking action against climate change, we tend to think of ourselves as bystanders, but with every individual mobilised to take action for the environment, we can make a difference!
As Achin Steiner, administrator of the United Nations Development Programme says, “Every small action matters because when 7 billion people do that thing, it changes the world.”