Dispose of e-Waste in NUS any day – or during the “e-Waste, we-Recycle” festival in September (there’s ice-cream!)

Recycling e-waste was not convenient a decade ago and schemes were episodic, often in response to something like Earth Day. Then in 2012, Starhub provided a dedicated e-waste recycling (RENEW) and I was finally able to recycle my laptops from the 1990’s!

Funan chipped in two years later so we have even more locations around Singapore. The NEA page on e-waste recycling has a longer list.

Well, it’s time to make a trip to an e-waste recycling bin again, as I have accumulated a hefty pile of small e-waste items like cables, unused plugs and spoilt bicycle lights which have not recovered despite years of hope (happily some did).

This time though, I needn’t travel far – NUS’ Office of Environment Sustainability has an informative and well organised webpage reflecting the initiatives that have cropped up on campus in recent years. And this includes e-waste recycling bins which are located at:

  • Kent Ridge Campus: Central Library, Hon Sui Sen Memorial Library, Medical Library, Science Library and Ventus Building
  • UTown: Stephen Riady Centre (inside Office of Admissions)
  • Bukit Timah Campus: C J Koh Law Library

How convenient!

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If you want a festive air with ice-cream rewards, there is an annual e-waste collection drive – “e-Waste | we-Recycle,” which will be held on Friday 11 Sep 2015. I will support this excellent cappingcampaign by reminding my department staff (Department of Biological Sciences) and some 500 undergraduates in the modules I handle – LSM1103 Biodiversity, LSM2251 Ecology and the Environment and GEM1917 Understanding and Critiquing Sustainability.

The NUS OES page also has information on paper recycling in offices and recycling for glass, ink & toner cartridges, light bulbs, banners, clothes, name card boxes, pens and canteen waste reduction – and that’s just the section on waste!

Grace & Joys Tan agree – everything is better with ice-cream! 2014 E Waste recycling

Interns for wildlife documentary team filming Singapore’s wildlife (1 – 3 months)

Claire Clements from Beach House Pictures who made Wild City is looking for a couple of interns for their latest wildlife documentary filmed here in Singapore about Singapore’s wildlife. She says,

Beach House Pictures is offering a paid internship (1 – 3 months) working on our latest wildlife documentaries!

This is a great opportunity for young nature lovers to get involved, have input and get some great experience in a very niche industry.

Please note if you are studying and cannot commit to full time but would like to be involved we could potentially hire you as a part term intern. This is a unique opportunity to join a small team following Singapore’s wildlife.

The ideal candidate will want to gain experience in working in the field – duties will include:

  • helping to track wild animals,
  • assist with carrying equipment,
  • assist with planning of shoots
  • potential camera experience depending on skill levels,
  • some office duties such as research and planning.

There are potential of night shoots, over night camping shoots, early starts. You will likely be seeing parts of Singapore that most people don’t!
This is a role where hard work and enthusiasm will be rewarded with increased opportunities and responsibilities and you will really get a chance to be part of the team.
You don’t necessarily need any prior experience but preference will be given to people with a experience/enthusiasm for wildlife and TV documentary.
Must be based in Singapore. Start date immediately.

Please contact the Production Manager at shalini@beachhousepictures.com with a CV and cover letter.

Want to reduce smoking? John Oliver lets rip about what tobacco companies did in Australia, Honduras, Uruguay, Togo, Namibia, Solomon Islands

“The host of ‘Last Week Tonight’ led an 18-minute segment to expose tobacco companies’ use of litigation and bullying tactics to stop countries from removing their brands on tobacco products.” – Joe Landau, NY Daily News (Feb 2015) link.

The Australian plain packaging case isn’t over, however, and hearings are happening right here in Singapore!

“Australia’s legal bill for defending its cigarette plain packaging legislation is set to hit $50 million as it battles to contain a case brought by tobacco giant Philip Morris before a tribunal in Singapore.

And that is just for the first stage. If in September the three-person extraterritorial tribunal decides Australia has a case to answer, the hearing will move on to substantive matters and the bills will become far bigger.”

See: “Australia faces $50m legal bill in cigarette plain packaging fight with Philip Morris,” by Peter Martin. Sydney Morning Herald, 28 Jul 2015.

A cycling-friendly city where no one looks like a cyclist! (UK’s Chris Boardman gawks in Utrecht)

British Cycling policy advisor Chris Boardman detours from tour de France to comment on the evolution of a cycling city in Utrecht in The Netherlands – an evolution because it didn’t happen overnight. The catalyst of the shift from a motor to bicycle-centric design of urban spaces include road fatalities especially that of children and the 1973 oil crisis.

So the people-first policy is decades years in the making. The liability laws (stronger protects weaker), giving way on turns and keeping safe by providing enough space, commuting at low speeds, the supportive laws and citizen familiarity with cycling from an early age are really some four decades in the making.

So there the bicycle is an everyday tool, for regular folk.

We need’t be wistful. I see more of this being addressed and emerging in Singapore. Admittedly, while I can cycle safely and enjoyable from Holland Village to Marina Barrage, cycling next door to Ghim Moh might kill me!

LTA says wait for it – it will come. And by their enthusiasm, I think we won’t have to wait 40 years.

Enoka Kudavidanage frowns at plastic in the sea

22 Oct 2010 – At a LSM1103 Biodiversity practical at Changi Beach, Enoka fishes out a plastic bag from the seine net and holds it aloft in disapproval. Her message is clear – plastic doesn’t belong in the sea. Some eight million tons are dumped in our oceans every year.

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Now lecturing in environmental sciences at Sabaragamuwa University, Sri Lanka, NUS students with the Department of Biological Sciences at National University of Singapore were lucky to have Enoka Kudavidanage as their Teaching Assistant back then. An excellent educator, she taught in LSM1103, LSM2251 and LSM3261.

Missing you, Enoka!