This Year, I Resolve To... Give The Earth A Break
Instead of committing to lofty New Year’s resolutions, how about focusing on our planet for 2023? It’s high time Mother Nature received our gift of mindfulness and eco-friendliness.
Using your own bags at the supermarket or keeping a reusable cup handy for your next Starbucks order are some of the things many of us already do, but here are some local businesses that can help us level up our mission to be more environmentally friendly and to live sustainably:
All the ugly veggies nobody wants in the supermarket contribute to food waste in Singapore - a whopping 817,000 tonnes in 2021 alone! Confetti knows that these unusual greens still pack the same taste and nutrients, so they upcycle such unwanted produce into delicious snacks you can check out here. They also work with global humanitarian missions to distribute snacks in the poorest parts of the world.
Insectta is another local company tackling the food waste crisis. The first urban insect farm in Singapore is turning trash to treasure by rearing black soldier flies to feed on 8 tonnes (8,000kg) - about the weight of eight cars! - of food waste per month. The bugs then become pet food or plant fertiliser, sold on Shopee.
But this start-up is going one step further, by extracting high-value biomaterials from the byproducts of these larvae. This includes “chitosan”, an antimicrobial substance with antioxidant properties used in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products.
Imagine if the greasy disposable chopsticks from your sushi dinner could become your new WFH tables. Instead of heading to Semakau Landfill, ChopValue SG collects thousands of used chopsticks from restaurants, hospitals, office buildings and hawker centres in our city-state. These are recycled into really chio standing desks, wall decor sets and coasters.
The Plastic Project
Did you know that only 6% of Singapore’s plastic is recycled? The Plastic Project aims to change that. They have transformed more than 500kg of plastic waste into coasters, wall hooks, and even Christmas ornaments. Run by volunteers, The Plastic Project also hosts beach clean-ups and workshops for the public to learn about plastics and recycling in Singapore.
Fact: 90% of our food is imported, and shipping it here contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. Local produce travels a shorter distance, making it fresher and better for the environment.
Located at our island’s northwest is a thriving sustainable urban farm growing nai bai, kai lan and water spinach. Netafresh; an affiliate of Netatech, farms pesticide free veggies with lower costs, less labour, and higher crop yields using drip irrigation and rainwater harvesting. Their tech is also found in other skyrise greeneries and urban farms in our concrete jungle.
Check out Netafresh produce at Cold Storage and RedMart (Red Dot Farm).
Growing food from cells sounds like something straight out of a science fiction novel, but it is happening right here on our Little Red Dot. By tackling the issue of overfishing, Shiok Meats is catching the wave of sustainability as the world’s first cultivated crustacean meat company. Cell samples are taken from healthy crabs, lobsters, and prawns, then grown in a lab to become meat - just like how you would grow plants. How absolutely crab-ulous! Expect to see Shiok Meat products later this year.