It's never too late to dedicate yourself to positively impacting the environment by reducing your carbon footprint. Whether you've been embracing the sustainable lifestyle for years or you're a newcomer, living sustainably in Singapore is easier than ever.
Here are our top ten recommendations for increasing your sustainability and embracing the green lifestyle:
- What to buy for sustainable living
- Where to donate used clothing and accessories in Singapore
- Packaging-free stores in Singapore
What to Buy for Sustainable Living
Reducing your carbon footprint can have an immediate impact on the world around you. According to National Geographic, more than 92% of all the plastic ever created hasn't been recycled. By reducing the amount of plastic you use and increasing the amount of emphasis you place on recycling and reusing different materials, you can help extend the amount of time we have on the planet.
Reducing your plastic use requires a bit of forethought as well as an investment in a few essential pieces. Thankfully, you can do this a little bit at a time or all at once — it's up to you.
Here are our must-have reusable items to have on hand to make sustainable living easier:
- Reusable drinkware and utensils. Whether you love coffee, hot tea, or ice water, avoiding one-use items takes some forethought in this category. There are hundreds of different options to choose from when it comes to reusable drinkware. This gift set of takeaway essentials from The Social Space is a great way to ensure you always have reusable utensils and cups at your fingertips. We also love these LEXNGO silicone resealable straws, and this take away kit from The Clean Attempt.
- Reusable grocery bags. Single-use grocery bags are so unnecessary. These plastic bags rip easily, harm the environment, and you only really use them once. Investing a few dollars in durable, reusable shopping bags will have such an enormous payoff in the long run. You can use them for groceries, traditional shopping, travel, and more.
- Reusable beeswax food wraps. Using plastic to store and transport your food uses unnecessary resources and contributes to Singapore's overall plastic problem and beyond. These reusable beeswax food wraps from Trove of Gaia are a sustainable alternative to plastic wrap or aluminum foil. In addition to being sustainable and nontoxic, the material provides a waterproof and airtight seal to keep your food fresher, longer. Added coconut oil also provides anti-bacterial properties.
Although there are dozens of other items you can purchase to help reduce your carbon footprint, starting small can help make sure you succeed.
Where to Donate Used Clothing and Accessories in Singapore
For the most part, the fashion industry is a disaster when it comes to sustainability. Although several brands are making strides to improve manufacturing practices, there is still a tremendous amount of work to be done. In addition to shopping from sustainable-focused fashion brands such as The Jersey Shop and Gen Woo, here are some great organizations and businesses that accept donations of used books, clothes, toys, and furniture in Singapore.
- Singapore's Dignity Mama is a project that provides local hospitals with kiosks of used books. The initiative has kept more than 50,000 books out of landfills and created employment opportunities for young adults with special needs by hiring them to operate the book kiosks. Drop off your gently used books at National University Hospital or Ng Teng Fong General Hospital.
- Blessings in a Bag helps bridge the gap between high- and low-income neighborhoods in Singapore by providing books, blankets, toys, shoes, and more to families in underprivileged communities. To donate, contact the organization via email or on the Blessings in a Bag website.
- Pass-It-On: All of us struggle with something at one time or another. Pass-It-On is a nonprofit in Singapore that helps people make sustainable decisions while also providing household essentials to those in need. The organization provides a new lease on life to still functioning yet unwanted furniture, appliances, clothing, and more in Singapore. You can donate items as well as network with the organization during times of need.
Packaging-Free Stores in Singapore
As the emphasis on sustainable living increases in Singapore, there are more opportunities than ever to purchase from packaging-free stores. If you've never had the chance to visit a packaging-free store, you're missing out. Instead of focusing on offering items in pre-packaged quantities, these stores offer bulk items such as cleaning supplies, pantry staples, desserts, and more that you can purchase by weight instead of a pre-packaged amount. If you're living in Singapore and want to improve your sustainability practices, here are our favorite packaging-free stores, as well as an example of the different products offered by each:
- Scoop Wholefoods: This unique store is the largest zero-waste retailer in Australia. Scoop Wholefoods offers two locations in Singapore — Great World City and Cluny Court — and is an excellent stop for items such as grains, kombucha, and pre-mixed meals. Bring your containers and explore the sustainable products this retailer has to offer.
- Eco.le: Whether you're looking for honey, black sesame seeds, noodles, or biodegradable laundry powder, Eco.le has you covered. This zero-waste retailer features organic and fair-trade offerings in categories such as condiments, personal care, grains, seeds, beans, tea and coffee, toiletries and cleaning, noodles, and more. Besides its range of packaging-free products, the store also offers rental for cutlery and a sewing machine.
- FairPrice Xtra: This expansive hypermarket is designed to be a one-stop-shop for everything from apparel and electronics to groceries — all in a packaging-free and sustainable way. Bring your jars to stock up on pantry essentials, select your seafood and have it cooked in front of you, or enjoy a cold beer — all at FairPrice Xtra at Vivo.
- Two Sisters Pantry: This sustainable store is small compared to some of the others, but what Two Sisters Pantry lacks in size, it makes up for in sustainable options with a focus on health and wellbeing. Take home high-quality organic produce, make your yogurt with a yogurt starter kit, and shop in bulk to fill your pantry.
- The Social Space: What better way to make the most of your time shopping than with a trip to a place that has a little bit of everything? The Social Space includes an eco-friendly lifestyle store, café, florist, nail salon, and The Refillery, a packaging-free store offering everything from shampoo and pet soap to cleaning supplies.