1- Energy and money saving tips
- Switch to renewable energy providers
- Set your air-con temperature to 25°C or above or use fans instead of air- con when possible
- Switch off your plugs when not using your appliances – Energy conservation is one of the most important things to do, to reduce our carbon footprint. And it will make your electricity bill cheaper!
- Place the lid on your pan when boiling water to save energy as the water will boil faster
- Buy energy-efficient appliances. The ones that have at least 4 ticks on the energy label
- Use LED bulbs as they consume 12 volts vs 220 for standard bulbs
- Use as much as possible public transport, bikes or simply walk when possible. The transport sector represents almost 50% of the PM2.5 emissions in the air
- If you have a car and can afford an electric vehicle, go for it. Singapore government is encouraging the transition to diesel or gas-powered cars to electric cars with a revised road tax structure and an increase in electric vehicles charging points
- If you need to go grocery shopping to several places with your personal car, consider buying online. Singapore-based online grocery shops reduce the number of trips you make with your individual vehicle as they deliver several households with a single vehicle.
You can try to track your CO2 emissions with the capture app
2- Wear – Revamp – Donate
- The best way to green your wardrobe is to reduce your consumption and WEAR your clothes as long as possible.
- When you do not like them anymore, and if you know how to sew, you can REVAMP them (lots of DIY videos on the net to alter your clothes)
- Do not throw them away when you really do not want them anymore, DONATE to NGOs: Itsrainingcoats, Salvation Army… are in great needs of second hands clothes.
When it comes to green banking, there are several things you need to know.
- In a nutshell, companies need money to invest in projects and to develop their business. Ways to get this money include loans or investments from banks and investors.
- If banks fund companies that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions like fossil fuel industries or projects that have negative impacts on local communities like deforestation programmes or the construction of plants or projects that need the relocation without compensation of families, they are hence also contributing to global warming or harming human beings. More and more people do not want to put their money in banks that have such activities…
- In Singapore, banks like DBS, UOB or OCBC have made public commitments towards not only managing carbon emissions and sustainability programmes for their own operations, but also making commitments towards green financing.
Here what you can do on your day-to-day banking:
- Choose to apply for e-statements to reduce the impact of printing and mailing your statements to your home and in general ask your bank if it can totally avoid sending you information via mail such as PIN numbers…
- Ask your bank when you need a loan if it has better interest rates if you are borrowing money for green initiatives like the renovation of your house (solar panel installation for instance) or buying an electrical vehicle.
- Ask your bank if it provides eco-friendly debit/credit cards. These cards are created from a plastic substitute called polylactic acid (PLA), which is made from renewable sources such as plant leaves and corn, making it biodegradable if industrially composted, recyclable and non-toxic if incinerated (which is the case here in Singapore).
- Ask your bank if it can provide you with more insight into how your spending habits are affecting the environment. For example, some banks can help their users track, understand and reduce their CO2 footprints through carbon offsetting via free and easy-to-use mobile banking service.
- Do not hesitate to commend your bank if you are happy with the way it conducts its business and on the contrary, voice your disappointment if you are not satisfied with its unethical practices.
If you are not satisfied with the answers or offers of your bank, consider changing bank for a greener one or opt for a Fintech that is an innately sustainable alternative to the traditional finance sector, removing the reliance on paper statements and physical bank branches by instead allowing people to manage their finances using digital technology.
Also be mindful when it comes to bitcoins or cryptocurrencies, as most of them are NOT sustainable at all mainly because of the huge data centres that are needed to mine the cryptocurrencies. This obviously leads to an excessive energy consumption and CO2 emissions and an important consumption of digital devices, ultimately generating a huge e-waste problem. Even China is stepping down on crypto-mining.
You can visit Lepak in SG to find out about environmental events taking place every week in Singapore.