The Voice Vol 31

Page 12

Our World

Whole School Eco Week 2019 Launched by the Head Team in a whole school assembly, Eco Week at Tanglin was once again embraced across the school. Eco Week is an annual event which helps to raise awareness and encourages us to do our part to become more sustainable. Our Senior School Head Team challenged everyone to do at least one eco-friendly action each day of the week, whether it be eating a meat free meal, supporting the beach clean-up, attending the Sustainability Showcase or coming into school by bike. There was something for everyone!

ParentWise: Let’s Talk Rubbish! This year we were delighted to welcome Patricia Jones (Green Bees Social), Jeroen van de Waal (Orca Scuba) and Zero Waste SG to present to our community on what families can do to reduce household waste and how we can ensure our waste is recycled responsibly. Our waste is generally incinerated, sent to landfill sites, or recycled. However, there are issues with these methods of disposal, for example burning waste creates greenhouse gases and toxins, waste in the ground releases toxins into the soil and waterways. In addition, only metal and glass can be 100% recycled, whereas paper and plastic are more complicated. A guest speaker from Zero Waste SG explained that the amount of waste disposed in Singapore has increased over the past 45 years. If this continues the projected lifespan of the one landfill on the island is about 35 years. He added that the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint 2015* sets targets of achieving a 70% national recycling rate and a 30% domestic recycling rate by 2030. Currently, 99% of ferrous metal and construction debris is recycled. However, paper/cardboard and plastics are often contaminated meaning they cannot always be recycled. The presenters outlined several tips on how we can all manage our own waste. These include:

Beach Clean-up at Changi Students and teachers from the Senior School volunteered in a beach clean-up, organised by Tia, Year 13 Assistant Head Girl. Eighteen large bags were filled to the brim with a range of rubbish – fishing nets, plastic bags, children’s shoes and pieces of broken bottles and food wrappers! Kit, Year 12 said: “It was incredible to see the positive impact just a couple of hours of team work and resilience can have on our environment! I thoroughly enjoyed the activity. Small actions can make a big difference.”

Shop wisely – buy products that are not pre-packed, support eco-friendly brands, refuse plastic bags, and use your own bags

Educate your family members about correctly separating waste into rubbish and recycling

Wash your recyclables

Reduce food waste – plan your meals before you shop, donate to food kitchens and love your leftovers

Use alternatives for wrapping paper including cloths and colourful magazine pages

Give non-plastic presents, for example, donations or an experience

Carry your own reusable water bottle or coffee cup

Use loose tea leaves rather than tea bags

Use electric or bamboo toothbrushes

Consider quality over quantity when buying clothes. Give old clothes to charity or rent your one-off outfits.

*Ministry of the Environment and Water Sources