You don't have to make the change overnight! Take small steps with our easy-to-follow tips and work your way towards a sustainable life in Singapore.
With the issue of climate change on our minds, it’s time to take a step back and rethink our impact on this planet. The idea of reducing your carbon footprint can be mind-boggling – where do you even start? From adopting the zero-waste lifestyle to shopping for eco-friendly essentials to trying out a clean beauty routine, there are many ways to go about living a sustainable life in Singapore. C’mon, you don’t have to wait for Earth Day to show Mother Nature some love!
Simple tips for sustainable living in Singapore
1. Opt for fuel-free transport
Our roads are congested enough; do we really need more cars choking the earth with exhaust fumes? Besides, why get stuck behind a wheel (and pay the sky-high COE prices) when you can peddle happily on a beaut from one of Singapore’s best bicycle shops and bike rentals? And don’t forget the simple act of walking. It’s one of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint for free!
2. It’s all about eco-friendly, reusable products
Those plastic bags at supermarkets and shops across the island really add up! To cut down on your plastic consumption, bring a tote bag when you go grocery shopping. Or, carry around a foldable little bag that you can stuff into your purse or pocket. It’ll come in handy when you get a spontaneous urge to buy something. You can also go for more eco-conscious products like shampoo bars, natural skincare, sustainable sanitary pad alternatives and more.
3. Secondhand is king
Forget about trendy pieces that you’ll chuck in a month. Head to thrift shops and vintage stores for your shopping haul. Alternatively, hit up circular fashion brands and sustainable labels or take your pre-loved clothes to swap meets where you can find a gem or two from someone else’s fashion pile.
4. Show your love for flora and fauna
Remember, the earth doesn’t only belong to you. Show your kindness to animals by volunteering at animal charities in Singapore. Also, never buy a furbaby, always adopt. There are countless needy cats and dogs that need a new home. But if you think having a pet is too big a commitment, start easy with indoor plants. Just hit up plant nurseries and you’ll be on your way to having a lush home in no time. Oh, and did we mention they’re nature’s air purifiers?
5. Get in tune with nature (and yourself)
The great outdoors may not seem so ‘great’ these days with increasing temperatures, but you should certainly give Mother Earth another chance. Studies have shown that spending time with nature can reduce stress and anxiety levels. Luckily for us, Singapore has no shortage of hiking trails, hidden gardens, lush running trails and even verdant parks that boast sky-high views. Or you can easily chill at alfresco restaurants for breezy good times.
6. Sustainable booze, anyone?
Even boozy brands have jumped on this green bandwagon. Hopheads can join in the green movement by swigging beer from Lion Brewery Co. This craft brewery has been working with Greensteps Group to plant a tree in the Borneo and Kalimantan rainforests for every beer keg sold since 2021. Bars like Analogue Initiative and Native are also carrying out Earth-friendly actions such as repurposing discarded ingredients for the former and employing composting techniques as well as sourcing items from suppliers who prioritise sustainable practices for the latter.
7. Avoid plastic
Plastic has gotten a bad rep and with good reason. As convenient as they are, these pesky buggers have made their way to the oceans and are slowly killing marine life (who can forget the grim video of a turtle with a plastic straw lodged in its nose?). If you need help to ditch it, check out our guide to going plastic-free. You can also make a direct impact by volunteering to clean up the beaches in Singapore.
8. Educate yourself
Streaming services are home to numerous documentaries that shed light on important environmental issues. Check out Our Planet, Brave Blue World, Seaspiracy, A Plastic Ocean, Chasing Coral, Cowspiracy and David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet. For a local perspective, read Eating Chilli Crab in the Anthropocene by Matthew Schneider-Mayerson. It’s a collection of essays on climate change and how that affects our Lion City.
9. Forks over knives
Veganuary isn’t just another food trend. Research has shown that animal agriculture is closely linked to global warming. Not to mention, veganism is the healthier option if it’s done right. So before you wolf down a beef burger, think about choosing plant-based options instead. Or you can check out the many vegan restaurants that have sprouted up across the island.
10. Turn off the lights
This one’s pretty much a no-brainer that you’ve heard time and time again, we know. It’s all about natural light during the day! But you’re probably thinking, “How will I get things done at night?”. Save electricity and use less energy by lighting fragrant candles before bedtime instead. Skim through our aromatherapy and essential oils guide for ideas. You’ll have classy ornaments flickering across your space, and your pad will smell pleasant too.
Sustainable living in Singapore is easy-peasy when you start with small steps. So who’s ready to help save the planet?