The Singapore Series on Sea-Level Rise, a special blog series by four Masters students from the University of Melbourne.
Our previous blog posts in the Singapore Series on Sea-Level Rise discussed the science behind sea-level rise, as well as the effects on Singapore as global temperatures increase and sea levels rise. If you have missed reading our first two blogs, you can find them here:
The Science of Sea-Level Rise: How Climate Change will Hurt Singapore
Why Your Chicken Rice Depends on Sea-Level Rise
These blog posts should make it clear that Singapore is extremely vulnerable to sea-level rise and that immediate action needs to be taken. Specifically, there needs to be a swift reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in order to prevent further global-warming and sea-level rise. While action at the national level is important, collective individual action can also make a huge difference.
With that in mind, here are a few tips to help you reduce your everyday carbon footprint with an easy one to start with.
Tip 1. Reduce your energy consumption
Be sure to turn off lights and other appliances when they are not in use. Switching appliances off at the wall will ensure they are not still consuming energy when they are on standby. The added benefit of using less energy is that you will also save money on your power bills.
Fact: It is possible to reduce household emissions up to 20% by switching off power at the wall.
Tip 2. Use active and public transport
Singapore is well connected by footpaths, bike paths, buses, and trains. Take advantage of these amenities and leave the car at home.
Fact: Private cars are the greatest contributor to emissions within the transport sector in Singapore.
Tip 3. Repair rather than replace
Next time the handle on your bag breaks or the soles of your shoes wear out, take them to be mended rather than buying a whole new product. Also, keep this in mind for larger items around the house, such as furniture and white goods.
Fact: Repairing a broken refrigerator requires up to 50 times less energy than manufacturing a new one.
Tip 4. Eat less meat
There is no need to cut meat out of your diet completely, but increasing the number of vegetarian meals you have each week will significantly lower your carbon footprint. Mushrooms, chickpeas, lentils, and tofu are all great substitutes for meat.
Fact: Meat-rich diets cause double the emissions of vegetarian diets.
Tip 5. Resist fast fashion
Try to buy quality clothes that you will wear over and over regardless of the latest trends.
Fact: The fashion industry generates more emissions than international flights and shipping combined.
As was pointed out in our first blog, the rate and magnitude of sea-level rise will be determined by the emissions pathway that is taken. But, in order to minimise the impact of sea-level rise on Singapore, urgent action must be taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
While it is easy to feel powerless in the fight to curb climate change, never underestimate the power of collective action.