Reducing clutter

One of the reasons why I feel so strongly for minimising the amount of trash is because plastic waste is killing the earth. Living in Singapore, our efficient disposal system sees trash being incinerated, but that doesn’t mean we are at liberty to dump our trash frivously. I really don’t want to sound preachy and I am definitely not the best advocate for green living. However, as a parent, I believe it’s important to be a role model for our children so that there is a liveable earth for them and their children when we pass on.

Now, I’m not saying we have to go vegan (try to cut down on meat consumption though) and hug trees, but every one of us can do a part to preserve what’s remaining of the earth.

Do you really need a tiny plastic bag for something that can fit into your bag?

Is it so difficult to bring your own container when buying out? By the way, single use plastic containers leech chemicals when hot food is placed inside.

Can you pour out drinks from a large container instead of buying single packs?

Zero Waste Groups

Learn how to minimise waste and discuss with other like-minded people on steps to reduce consumption.

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This group is for people in Singapore who are curious, interested or trying to reduce the amount of waste they produce.

This group is for parents in Singapore who are trying to parent more responsibly and to generate as little waste as possible while parenting and caring for our children. 

A freegan is someone who rejects consumerism and seeks to reduce waste, especially by retrieving and reusing discarded items. We become freegans to save money, to save people, or to save the earth. Some do it for all the above.

Instead of discarding fruit peels, make them into eco enzymes to clean your house

Online

Say no to blatant wastage of perfectly useful items. Instead of sending usable items straight to the incinerator, give them another chance at life. 

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Comprehensive list of sites and offline places to donate unused and unwanted items

Park $2 Project (MUST CLICK)

Comprehensive list of sites and offline places to donate unused and unwanted items

Baby products, unwanted furniture from moving, random kitchen gadgets and practically anything in good condition can be donated in any of these groups.

Pass on excess food at events

Unwanted items, including those that are expired, can be blessed here

This is an initiative to link all artists and arts groups in Singapore to kickstart a culture of resource sharing. Whether you are tearing down a work and wants to dispose of materials that someone may find use for, or creating a work and is in need of materials, this is the place to look.

Offline

Practically everything can be given an extended lifespan. Reusable bags and books can be dropped off at book exchange shelves at libraries, kitchen rolls, glass bottles and caps are in demand by parents and educators who do loose parts play. 

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The Singapore Really Really Free Market is a market where everything is free. All goods and services are shared free and nothing is for sale. Anyone with stuff or skills to share are welcome to set up a stall, and if you find something you want, you’re welcome to have it.

Drop off unexpired and unwanted food items at the Food Bank

Electronic waste including but not limited to laptops, mobile phones, gadgets, printers, electronic toys

Exchange coins to notes for free at coin deposit machines if you have a children’s account, or exchange them with your friendly hawker. Old coins and notes can be exchanged at any bank where you have an account.

Learn how to repair your damaged electronics and appliances so they don’t get sent to the landfill over a minor issue

Ultimately, the best way to not have this problem is to minimise consumerism. Is it really necessary to purchase goody bags that will likely go straight to trash for your child’s birthday?

A lot of perfectly usable items are mindlessly disposed of each day. 

If you work at an office, take a closer look to see how many items can be reused. I have salvaged perfectly new clear files which were about to be disposed from an office I used to work at. Polymailers from couriers can be flipped inside out for your own mailing purposes. You can write the address on the flip side of a junk mail leaflet and paste it over the parcel.

Refrain from accepting plastic bags for minor purchases e.g. bubble tea, fried snacks, groceries etc. Using a stainless steel straw does nothing when you buy bubble tea in disposable cups. Bring your own tumbler.

There are many methods to reduce waste and it is everyone’s responsibility to be mindful of the trash we generate. If we had to live with all the trash we generated in one month like what this man did, I am sure we’d think through before dumping.