Embracing environmentally-friendly habits is essential for building an active and gracious community
04 Nov 2017
- Clean & Green Singapore is an enabler to bringing about greater change in environmental behaviour
Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam launched the Clean & Green Singapore (CGS) Carnival at the Central Singapore District today. The Carnival is located at the open field next to Boon Keng MRT station Exit C and will last the entire weekend. DPM Tharman called on individuals to adopt greener habits in their daily lives as part of Singapore’s effort to create a more liveable and sustainable home. Businesses can also play a part in caring for the environment by transforming processes to be more sustainable and tap into the innovations and benefits of a green economy.
This year’s CGS exhibition builds on the ‘Eco Town’ concept, which aims to help visitors relate to how an individual can lead an environmentally sustainable lifestyle, whether at home, at work, or during shared activities with neighbours and friends. Through the exhibits, which will be in five settings, visitors are brought through different learning experiences, games and workshops to understand more about embracing simple, environmentally-friendly habits which reinforce green living. At home, we can start to practise the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle), energy efficiency, water conservation and dengue prevention tips. These habits can also be practised in our communal spaces and amenities such as hawker centres, public toilets and playgrounds as we all do our part to keep these places clean. We should keep our waters clean by not throwing litter into the waterways, staying on designated nature trails when exploring green spaces and maintaining a distance from wildlife. Businesses can go green at work, by reducing their carbon footprint and implementing energy and water efficient systems and equipment. With limited land and natural water resources in Singapore, it is critical that we also conserve precious resources as a nation. Please see Annex A for details on the CGS Launch Ceremony and Carnival.
Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources said, “As we continue on our journey to meet the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint (SSB) 2015 targets and objectives, let us not forget the importance of every individual action and how it contributes to our collective effort of creating a clean and liveable environment. Beyond this, by embracing new technologies and innovations in our efforts towards being a leading green economy, we can contribute to a more sustainable Singapore.”
The activities at this year’s CGS are in accordance with the theme of ‘Caring for Our Environment Together’, which encourages everyone to be an agent of change by adopting sustainable living habits. Government agencies, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), community groups and passionate individuals need to continually work together to develop the infrastructure and programmes needed to support the nation’s move towards a Liveable and Sustainable Singapore. With a growing ground-up movement, every individual’s actions will go towards forming part of our Singapore identity – An Active and Gracious Community where we are aware of environmental issues and take active steps to show care for the environment.
To launch the CGS Carnival this year, DPM Tharman planted the Cratoxylum cochinchinense at Boon Keng Road (near Boon Keng MRT Exit C), next to the CGS Carnival site. The Cratoxylum cochinchinense is a medium-sized tree which is native to Singapore and can grow up to 30m in height. This tree planting is in keeping with the important tradition of planting trees to enhance Singapore’s City in a Garden vision which was started by our founding Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew. This year’s tree planting also celebrates 10 years of community greening via the Garden City Fund’s Plant-a-Tree Programme. Around 33,000 trees have been pledged by the community since the programme was launched in 2007, and it has attracted over 50,000 participants and seen some 200 species planted across Singapore. Please refer to Annex B for more details.
To facilitate the adoption of eco lifestyles at home so that caring for the environment is second nature to us, NEA has collaborated with 21 exhibiting partners, to showcase their environment-related initiatives and products at the Eco Fair. The Eco Fair seeks to encourage individuals to implement the sustainability tips that they have gained to lead an eco-friendly lifestyle. The NGOs which are participating in the Eco Fair include Hemispheres Foundation, Central Singapore Community Development Council, Singapore Youth for Climate Action (SYCA) as well as Lepak In SG and The Food Bank Singapore. Eco-products will also be on sale at the Eco Fair. Some of the tips that visitors can pick up at the Fair include learning new technologies to save electricity, monitoring their water consumption at home, how one can donate used household items via an online portal and how to be a part of the network where one can attend and experience environment-themed events.
Role Models to Emulate
DPM Tharman presented eight national awards at the CGS Award Ceremony to recognise grassroots organisations for their efforts in achieving exemplarary standards in the areas of public hygiene and cleanliness, resource conservation and energy efficiency. A total of 157 awards will be presented this year. Of these, 129 awards are for cleaners who have demonstrated pride and commitment in their work by keeping our hawker centres, estates and toilets clean. North West District which is the winner for the Best Community Achievement had achieved significant milestones such as developing their GRI-referenced Sustainability report. The district had also received the Asean Environmentally Sustainable City award from the Asean National Committee in Brunei on 14 Sep. Please refer to Annex C for more details on the winners of this year’s CGS Awards.
Community in Bloom Ambassadors
Six Community In Bloom (CIB) Ambassadors were appointed for this year’s CGS campaign. The CIB Ambassadors Awards recognise individuals who foster the love for gardening amongst members of the community, and are volunteers who go the extra mile to help others enjoy gardening. These ambassadors have regularly contributed time, effort and resources to engage the community, and facilitate ground-up gardening-based initiatives. Please refer to Annex D for more details on the CIB Ambassadors Awards and the ambassadors that have been appointed this year.
Caring for the Environment at Central Singapore District
Central Singapore Community Development Council (CS CDC) wants to encourage residents to take action for causes they care about, such as the environment. In line with its mission to build a do-good district, the CDC has launched the EcoKnight SG programme. EcoKnight SG aims to build a community of individuals and groups who champion a zero-waste lifestyle and encourage Singaporeans to adopt sustainable lifestyle practices.
CS CDC also advocates forming good green habits from a young age. Working with NEA and schools in the Central Singapore District, the CDC rolled out the “I Am An Eco-Knight” programme to introduce a structured, interactive way for pre-schoolers and primary school students to learn about key environmental topics such as reducing waste and dengue. To date, 71 pre-schools have participated in the programme since it started in 2015.
The CDC brings regular upcycling workshops, through Project Upcycle, to help residents learn how to reduce consumption and repurpose their used, unwanted household items into something brand new. An annual upcycling-themed market (The UP Market) was also introduced in 2015 to bring together upcycling enthusiasts and spread the message on upcycling as a way of life.
The CDC’s Pass-It-On programme is an avenue for residents to donate their used, unwanted items in usable condition to needy residents who need it more. Started in 2007, the online portal, managed in partnership with The Helping Hand, has successfully matched more than 3,500 household items with the help of voluntary welfare organisations in the Central Singapore District in 2016. Please refer to Annex E for more details on environmental initiatives at the Central Singapore District.
Ms Denise Phua, Mayor of Central Singapore District said, “As the rate of urbanisation and affluence increases, our world is characterised by a desire for more things, bigger and faster. Building a better and more sustainable Singapore can happen if each of us actively check over-consumerism, reduce our own carbon footprint and move towards zero-waste. I strongly urge everyone to take action to kick-start our individual zero-waste journey by making the right choices about our lifestyle. I invite partners and passionate individuals to support and partner Central Singapore CDC in our environment programmes for a greener and more sustainable society.”