Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Wasteful habits

I was having lunch the other day and I saw this man carrying a box of food and sat down at a table beside me. I had seen him earlier buying rice from a stall next to the one that I was queueing. I thought he had packed lunch back home or the office but in fact he packed in and ate it at the foodcourt. That makes me wonder why is there a need for him to pack his lunch when he could've just use the plates and cutleries there available from the food stall. Was it because he is afraid that the plates and cutleries from the stall are dirty or is it just a wasteful habit of his (and many others that I've seen previously) to use the disposable packs and plastic spoons and forks?

If it's because of hygiene, then eating food cooked by someone else doesn't make the food any cleaner as well. He could still catch any diseases or bacteria from there too. If it's a habit, then it is just wasteful! Quoting from an article from the National Environmental Agency, Over the past three decades, the solid waste disposed of in Singapore has increased 6-fold. Domestic waste increased about 3-fold. Non-domestic waste increased even more by about 8-fold mainly from the high growth in the manufacturing and services sectors. For a small country like Singapore, we are generating so much waste!

We should make every effort to reduce waste. We can certainly make use of the three Rs. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. If we know in advance that we are going to pack our lunch, bring along your own containers to keep your food. Bring your own reusable grocery bag when you go to the markets. Separate your waste into those that you can recycle (glass, papers, plastics), those that you can generate as a compost for your plants in your garden (vegetable peels, egg shells, etc) or even use that beautiful glass bottles and give them a new life by painting them or decorating them and make them into vases! Buy household products that are biodegradeable and that they do not pollute our waters. I recommend reading up on this book about "NO WASTE LIKE HOME - THE PLAN THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR WORLD" by eco expert Penny Poyzer. There are loads of useful information and tips on how to reduce your waste, cute your household bills, etc.

It is all a matter of being socially responsible. If everyone do their part, then we can all prolong the existence of our home, the earth.

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