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The Lunar New Year (LNY) period is a time of prosperity and abundance. This festive celebration of new beginnings traditionally calls for new decorations, new clothes, snacks and gifting of red packets. However, as we continue celebrating this festive season, we can still eat, drink, gift and have our get-togethers sustainably.

According to the free sharing app OLIO, 94 per cent of Singaporeans are concerned with the amount of waste generated during this festive period.

While we uphold our cherished traditions, it is just as important that we start taking steps to practice greener alternatives. From our fashion choices to spring cleaning, gifting, dining and even travelling, here are 8 things we can take into consideration to ensure our auspicious celebrations are uplifted through sustainable means.

1. Clean green

Be sure to find the most sustainable way of cleaning up your homes – this can be by donating items such as furniture, toys, clothes and electronics appropriately.

Synthetic cleaning products release unnecessary chemicals into the environment. Try using natural ingredients like lemons, baking soda, and vinegar when cleaning, or make your own eco-friendly cleaning agent with mandarin orange peels.

2. Choose sustainable seafood

Seafood is undoubtedly a staple food item during our celebratory bingeing, but according to WWF, Singapore consumes 120,000 tonnes of seafood every year – and 3 out of 4 of the popular species consumed are unsustainable!

To address this issue, consider looking into this guide by WWF when it comes to choosing your seafood ingredients. We can also look into sustainable seafood recipes when preparing our LNY feasts.

3. Plant-based food swap

Meat-free alternatives are a sustainable option for your celebratory meals. Consider cutting down on meat consumption by serving your families and guests plant-based dishes. Check out these vegan recipes apt for the LNY period.

4. Eliminate food wastage

According to the National Environment Agency (NEA), it was reported that 817,000 tonnes of food waste was generated in 2021 alone. While this festive period is a time of abundance, abundance doesn’t have to mean wastage.

Instead, have your guests bring along reusable containers in anticipation of leftovers to bring home.

Have a tower of unopened snacks and goodies? You can donate to The Food Bank Singapore for redistribution to their beneficiaries. They accept donations of unopened, unexpired dry/packaged food items with at least 4 weeks to expiry date. You can find their food donation bin at Marina Bay Link Mall (Near 7-Eleven #B2-56).

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

5. Get creative with decorations

Opening our homes to guests and loved ones is a tradition typically upheld during the festive seasons, and families would normally go out of their way to furnish their homes with brand new decor.

While it is tempting to do so, we can help mitigate waste - and the money spent, by re-using past decorations whenever possible. You can also gather your family and diy decorations out of unused red packets.

6. Sustainable fashion choices

Tradition beckons us to purchase new clothes for the season. Before you head out to the mall or make your purchases online, consider sifting through your pile of clothing for the few brand new clothes that you might have tucked away in a corner of your wardrobe.

If you really have to purchase, go thrift shopping or try clothes swapping.

7. Greener commute

A car with a driver uses 9 times the energy used by a bus, and the same car also uses 12 times that of a train on a per passenger-kilometre travelled basis.

Lower your carbon footprint by commuting in groups when driving, or consider using public transport when home visiting.

8. Rethinking angbaos

Millions of red packets are produced annually, leaving an unfavourable effect on our environment. To help resolve this issue, we should consider going digital when gifting to our loved ones. Another solution would be to use red packets from previous years that sport a neutral theme, and using “fit-for-gifting” notes.

As part of our sustainability commitment, By The Bay is providing retail shoppers with red packets that are tree-free; made out of sugarcane pulp. This further eliminates the use of papers from trees.

By The Bay's tree-free red packets

We invite you to join our zero-waste journey and celebrate sustainably.

Visit our festive-themed Zero Waste exhibition and Eco Home installation at Marina Bay Link Mall for tips and inspiration for living a greener lifestyle, ensuring that there will be many more celebrations to come.

By The Bay's festive-themed Zero Waste exhibition at Marina Bay Link Mall

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