What is Sustainable Living and Why it Matters to You and I (Session 2 – 24 August 2021)
This conversation, co-organised by the National Youth Council (NYC) and Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College Central, was held on 24 August 2021 via Zoom, involving close to 40 youths from ITE College Central and the following invited speakers:
- Mr Desmond Ho – Senior Assistant Director, Comms & 3P Partnership, Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment
- Ms Melissa Low – NYC Council Member and Research Fellow, Energy Studies Institute
- Mr Ho Xiang Tian – Co-founder of the environmental advocacy group, LepakInSG
Hosted by Charlotte Mei – Nutritionist and advocate for living consciously
Here are the key insights of the conversation raised by the participants:
Strengthen green efforts in schools
- Start young to ensure Singapore’s sustainable future – Participants said that even though youths generally cared about the environment, their understanding does not necessarily translate into actions. They said that green habits should be cultivated from young, and lauded the move towards strengthening green efforts in schools, which would help develop a strong sense of responsibility for the environment.
Take aim at overconsumption:
- Overconsumption is a key contributor of waste – Participants said that online shopping, which made it easy to buy things, could have led to overconsumption of products, leading to excessive waste. They suggested that people should be encouraged to buy only what they need and avoid the temptation of buying things on impulse.
- Simple actions to reduce waste – Participants said that individual actions, such as using reusable food containers when buying “takeaway” food could go a long way to reduce waste, but was deemed inconvenient by youths. Continual efforts should go into encouraging people to reduce the usage of single use plastics by bringing one’s water bottle, straws, food containers and tote bags for takeaways and shopping.