Buy refurbished or second-hand furniture that are repaired and cleaned to look like new furniture. This helps to reduce the amount of old furniture sent for disposal. Or choose furniture and building materials made from recycled wood such as tables, chairs, doors and flooring.
You can also select furniture and building materials made of eco-friendly bamboo or wood sourced from sustainable forests such as those certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which helps to reduce the rate of deforestation.
A microfibre cloth is effective for cleaning sensitive surfaces such as television, handphone and computer screens, spectacles and mirrors. It does not scratch the surface and can remove dirt easily, thus reducing the need for water and chemical cleaners. Try using a microfibre cloth instead of using tissue paper or paper towels for cleaning. You can reduce the need to use disposable paper since the cloth can be washed and reused many times.
In 2006, the number of handphone subscribers in Singapore is about 4.6 million. This means that each person in Singapore probably own at least one handphone (the population in Singapore is about 4.5 million). The rate of change of handphones is fast and we know of people who change their handphones every few months so that they can have the latest model with better functions and features. If each person change their handphone once a year, we would end up with 4.6 million old handphones that are usually sold as secondhand phones locally and overseas, or disposed of.
We think that there is no need to keep changing your handphone to the latest model if your current one is still working fine. The frequent changing of handphones results in more resources being used to make new ones and also increases the disposal of the old ones.
Image credit: Chance Agrella via freerangestock.com.
The National Environment Agency (NEA) has implemented the National Recycling Programme for several years, where recycling bags or containers are given to residents living in housing estates and landed properties. These recycling bags or containers are given by appointed recycling contractors and are collected fortnightly. You can make use of the recycling programme to recycle items such as paper, plastic and glass bottles, metal cans and old clothing, instead of throwing them away.
In addition, there are recycling bins placed at housing estates (one set of recycling bins placed for every five blocks), and also public recycling bins placed at train stations and high traffic locations. Check out the locations of the nearest recycling bins at the NEA website. The government has also recently announced that it will make it mandatory for condominiums and private apartments to provide recycling facilities in phases.
With all these recycling facilities in place, it’s easy to recycle and there’s no more excuses not to.
Rechargeable AA and AAA alkaline batteries can be reused many times and this will help to reduce the disposal of normal single-use batteries. If 5% of the local population switched to rechargeable batteries, this would prevent the annual disposal of more one million single-use batteries (assuming each person throws away five batteries a year).
Switching to rechargeable batteries also helps to save money. A pack of four AA alkaline batteries costs about S$2 and can be used once, whereas a pack of four rechargeable batteries and a charger costs about S$20, and the batteries can be reused about 500 to 1,000 times. If you switch to rechargeable batteries and reuse them 10 times, the purchase cost between normal and rechargeable batteries would breakeven.
Image credit: PublicDomainPictures.net.