Besides switching to solar, what else can we do in Singapore to combat climate change?
As you know, at SolarPVExchange, one of our main goals is to promote the switch to renewable solar power as opposed to traditional energy which produces quite a fair bit greenhouse gases (GHG). However, just by switching to clean renewable energy is just one part of the problem, waste management, on the other hand, is also a huge problem in modern society and Singapore is no different. As such, in this blog we focus on how we should manage our waste and energy consumption, which are equally important as both contribute to climate change.
Types of waste
There are namely two types of waste, organic and inorganic. When organic waste decomposes, GHGs such as carbon dioxide and methane is produced, this contributes to the greenhouse effect which subsequently leads to climate change. It is worse for Inorganic products as they produce GHGs during the manufacturing process and when it is incinerated at a waste processing plant. GHG is also produced during the transportation process of waste. How then should we tackle of waste in Singapore's context?
Singaporeans have been so used to the "Da-bao" culture of using takeaway plastics and Styrofoam containers in storing food. This has been the case for decades and there has been hardly any changes in consumer behaviour, mainly due to the fact that hardly any stimulus exists to do so and people are largely unaware of the detrimental effects of their actions. Most people have the mindset that because Singapore is so small, no amount of waste generated can be compared with larger countries like USA, China and Russia.
With one of the world's largest GDP per capita, it is ironic that Singapore lacks in the management of waste production even though we take pride in calling ourselves a garden city with relatively clean streets and strict laws. Countries like Japan and South Korea have been recycling their waste since the 1990s!
Remember the 3Rs, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle!
1) Stop using single use food containers and utensils and start relying on environmentally friendly ones.
2) Purchase what you need and not in excess.
3) Bring your own recyclable bag when doing grocery shopping.
4) Separate waste into different categories such as, Food, Recyclable Plastic, Paper & Inorganic Waste and dispose of them accordingly.
5) Refrain from letting the tap run; Store water and reuse them whenever possible.
6) Turn off electrical appliances at the power outlet when not in use.
7) Go solar to reduce reliance on burning of fossil fuels for energy.
It is not realistically possible for us to totally obliterate GHG emissions unless we all live off-grid and survive by consuming natural produce. In fact, nothing in this world hardly emits GHGs even if you use biodegradable products! This is especially the case due to the rise in consumerism where we manufacture goods. We will not sugar-coat that solar panels do not play a role in GHG emissions in its manufacturing process. Solar energy is however, a more sustainable way of generating energy than burning fossil fuels. We should thus aim to reduce waste whenever we can, so that there is little impact to the environment.
We hope this has blog has given you some insights on the issues of waste in Singapore and how we can play a part in reducing waste besides switching to renewable energy like solar.
Hope we can all do out part to reduce our GHG and fight climate change.