Self Improvement

6 Eco-Friendly Acts For Singaporeans To Check Off Easily, Measured In Terms Of Plastic Bottles Saved

Eco-friendly acts in Singapore

Image (RHS) adapted from: @ikigai.9

We all go through a ton of plastic – everything from our dabao-ed lunch to our morning coffee fix. And even though recycling efforts are on the rise, nothing beats plastic waste by refraining from using single-use plastic in the first place. 

By making a conscious effort to use eco-friendly items instead of single-use disposables, we can help reduce plastic waste. We used an online plastic footprint calculator to find out exactly how much plastic is saved after switching to these: 

1. Reusable straws – save 6 plastic bottles per year

With the number of BBTs and Teh Pengs we drink, we’re going through approximately 10 plastic straws a week. To make it a more guilt-free drink, pick up your own reusable straw – they come in different materials like glass, bamboo and metal along with a variety of  patterns and designs. 

Image credit: @themetalstrawcouk 

Fast food joints like KFC and Burger King are also phasing out plastic straws, so you’ll want to arm yourself with one of these. 

Using 7 plastic straws per week adds up to 0.2kg per year – using your own reusable straw for a year will save ~6 plastic bottles!

2. Reusable shopping bags – save 105 plastic bottles per year

Image credit: @bhoomi.ind

Reusable shopping bags come in a huge range of colours and designs – most can be folded into small pouches to easily fit in handbags. No need to fret over squeezing another item in your crammed purse! 

Image credit: @explorezerowaste

Most bags are also durable, so don’t worry: heavy items or those with sharp edges can be thrown in too. Some even have straps long enough for you to sling over your shoulder – useful, especially when we have multiple bags to juggle.

Using 10 plastic bags per week adds up to 3.78kg per year – using your own reusable bag for a year will save ~105 plastic bottles!

3. Sustainable fashion – save up to 6 plastic bottles per year

When we’re trying to be green, our fashion choices aren’t exactly our top concern. But you’ve got to admit, all those shopping sprees and overflowing wardrobes are in fact, supporting fast fashion. And that’s why we need to make conscious choices when shopping. 

Companies like Aldo are branching out into eco-fashion and we are more than ready to welcome the change.

With their new RPPL Sneaker collection, you can pick up a pair of sustainable sneakers that’s made from low-impact and recycled materials. These are available in stylish shades of red, pink, grey and black, and you can also choose between conventional lace-ups or convenient slip-ons. 

By reducing the use of raw materials and using materials that would have instead gone to waste, a pair of sneakers will save up to 6 plastic bottles.  

4. Food container and cutlery – save 603 plastic bottles per year

Image credit: @ikigai.9

Whether your office is in Buona Vista or the outskirts of Jurong, let’s face it – Singapore’s heat makes lunchtime a sweaty affair. And that’s exactly why we like to dabao, so we can get out of the sun ASAP. Unfortunately, this is how a ton of single-use plastic goes to waste. 

Bring your own lunch boxes and cutlery sets to help save the earth. Bear in mind that it’s also an easy way to save money – many hawker stalls charge extra for takeaway boxes. 

Image credit: @daurbumi

You can also opt for a collapsible silicone cup – it’s convenient, light, and takes hardly any space whatsoever. Some can even be expanded to 550ml, large enough to fill with our favourite bubble tea drinks. 

Using takeaway boxes, disposable cutlery, and takeaway cups adds up to 21.7kg per year – using your own reusable meal sets for a year will save ~603 plastic bottles

5. Bubble tea cup holders – save 81 plastic bottles per year

Image credit: @runaway.flamingo

While there are plenty of eco-friendly acts you can do, one of the easier ones would be to use a bubble tea cup holder. These cup holders are tiny – there’s no excuse for not using one. Besides, they require zero cleanup after use – just one more reason for you to pick up this eco-friendly habit today. 

Image credit: @thehungryunicorn

There’s a multitude of choices and designs that you can easily purchase – you’ll definitely find a design that speaks to you. 

Using 7 plastic bags adds up to 2.9kg per year – using your own bubble tea cup holder for a year will save ~81 plastic bottles.

6. Bamboo toothbrushes – save 3 plastic bottles per year

Image credit: @soseasuk

Assuming that most of us brush our teeth twice daily, making the switch from a plastic toothbrush to a sustainable bamboo toothbrush can make a huge difference. Since bamboo is a fast growing plant, there’s plenty of it around – on top of it being biodegradable, we’re in no danger of it running out. 

Plus, they lend earth vibes to our bathroom vanity!
Image credit: @rainbowchildreneco 

It also has natural antibacterial properties, certainly essential for something we put in our mouths everyday. 

Using 4 plastic toothbrushes adds up to 0.1kg per year – using the equivalent number of bamboo toothbrushes for a year will save ~3 plastic bottles.

Eco-friendly acts to adopt in Singapore

We get a rush of satisfaction when diligently sorting through our trash – separating recyclables from general waste. But one thing is glaringly clear: reducing our use of single-use plastic is far more efficient than recycling ever will be.  

One easy way to do so is with sustainable fashion, by shopping from environmentally friendly fashion retailers like Aldo – their new sustainable collection RPPL (pronounced as “ripple”) reduces the use of raw materials. 

Even the shoebox is made from recycled cardboard and comes with a nifty handle – so there’s no need for a plastic or paper bag. 

By using algae for the outsoles, each pair helps clean 35 litres of water! 

Each pair of sneakers is made from recycled plastic knit that make the most of used plastic bottles. The soles are made from algae biomass – a plant that becomes hazardous when too much is in the ocean. Taking algae from the sea keep the water clean for marine life, so these kicks not only reduces plastic wastage, but also helps the environment. 

The sustainable RPPL Sneaker collection comes in both slip-on styles and a lace-up sneakers for both men and women. Choose from a total of 4 colours: pastel pink, red, grey or black. 

For TSL readers, use promo code “RPPL15” from 25th September – 13th October 2019 to get $15 off a pair of Aldo sneakers* from the sustainable collection – to kickstart your green journey. Each pair retails for $109 across all Aldo stores islandwide. 

*Available online or in stores. 

Find out more about Aldo’s sustainable sneakers, RPPL here

This post was brought to you by Aldo.
Photography by Clement Sim.


Gladys Chua

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