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10 ways to be zero-waste at your workplace, whether at home or the office

10 ways to be zero-waste at your workplace, whether at home or the office

Climate change is becoming an increasingly prevalent issue that plagues our planet. Organisations and individuals globally are taking necessary steps to ensure they are reducing their carbon footprint.

During the Singapore International Energy Week 2022, Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong declared that the country is on track to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

While Singapore was previously committed to peak carbon emissions at 65 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2030, Mr Wong announced at the conference that the nation will aim to reduce that figure to 60 million tonnes, and asserts that this significant improvement is “equivalent to reducing our current transport emissions by two-thirds.”

The efforts taken by the government are exemplary, and as responsible citizens, we can go the extra mile to support these targets.

For most of us, our waking hours are mostly spent working. We can start by making simple swaps at our workplace to waste less(er) and here are some tips for you to get started.

  1. Set up a "takeaway" station
    Setting up a station in the pantry with reusable containers, mugs and bags is a good way to reduce packaging waste. If anyone ever forgets their takeaway lunch boxes or afternoon coffee mugs, they can always borrow and return them.

    ikea lunchbox
    Five healthier packed meal ideas

  2. Make and pack your own lunch
    The likelihood of food wastage will be reduced when you are in control of your own meal portions. Make your own lunch and pack them in reusable food container.

  3. Set up compost and recycling bins
    One sure-fire way we can help protect the environment is by recycling our waste properly. Having designated bins can help us with this practice.

  4. Reduce paper usage
    There is no denying that in this digital age, we are still printing and receiving hard-copy notes, post-its and paper receipts. Let's go digital as much as possible. We can take notes using our mobile instead of our journal, drop our co-worker a message on Teams and opt for cashless payments and reject receipt prints.

  5. Consider travelling alternatives
    Carbon emissions from cars are one of the most troubling causes of pollution to the atmosphere and contribute as the third-largest CO2- emitter in Singapore. To complement the efforts of SG Green Plan 2030, we can also provide support by using carpooling services, or walking or biking to our offices or meeting points whenever possible. Not only is this more environmentally friendly, but it will also help benefit our physical health.

  6. Prevent electronic waste
    Electronics, such as monitors, laptops, computer accessories and mobile phones contribute dangerously to world pollution. In 2016, it was reported that the world generated 44.7 million tonnes of e-waste, with Asia being the largest contributor.

    We can find ways to mitigate this issue by extending the life of our electronic products, repurposing them for new employees, or using them beyond the date that an upgrade or replacement is slated to take place – as long as they are not unfixable!

    Recycling Corner at By The Bay
    By The Bay Recycling Corner at Marina Bay Link Mall (Near 7-Eleven)

    If they can no longer be used, do recycle them properly. Alba e-waste recycling bins can be found island-wide, including one at Marina Bay Link Mall (near 7-Eleven).

  7. Be mindful of energy use
    By being prudent with our use of electricity, we can help with reducing the emission of greenhouse gases into our atmosphere. Some examples include turning off our devices when they are not in use, switching to a sustainable energy provider, and only using the lights when needed.

  8. Thrift-shopping / Clothes Swapping
    Buying preloved items and clothes swapping can lessen fashion wastage. We can also uphold this by donating or selling our items to be repurposed instead of adding them to the landfill. Not only does this help save the environment, but it will also cause less of a burn in our wallets!

  9. Pick our brands well
    Brands are also becoming very well aware of their impact on the environment. Be sure to look out for and purchase from brands that support sustainability and ethical behaviour.

  10. Set up a green community at work
    Another way to champion sustainability at work is by forming a green community with your like-minded colleagues. You can start recruiting by noticing similar actions or habits of your colleagues and come together to brainstorm ways to inculcate sustainable practices at the workplace.

At By The Bay, the Green Champs Committee was formed to support tenants in their efforts to advocate greater sustainability awareness, committed to the call for greener living and reduction of harmful carbon footprint.

If you are passionate about sustainability and are keen to do more, join our Green Champs Committee as we strive towards driving sustainability. Register your interest: sustainability@rqam.com.sg.

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