Celebrate Earth Day in Singapore by battling marine trash @ Lim Chu Kang East (Sun 22 Apr 2018: 7.30am – 12.00pm)

It’s Earth Day on Sunday 22nd April 2018, with a focus on the battle against plastic pollution.

Join the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore volunteers on a mangrove cleanup on Sunday, 22 April 2018: 7.30am to 12.00pm at Lim Chu Kang East [see site details here].

There is transport from Kranji MRT. For registration and details, please see the Eventbrite registration page. Please register by Thu 19 Apr 2018.

IMPORTANT: please read the advise to participants and safety guidelines here: http://coastalcleanup.nus.edu.sg/participants/

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Wed 31 Jan 2018: 10.30am-4.00pm – Zero-waste Roadshow @ NUS’ The Deck canteen

This Wednesday, The Deck canteen (Arts Canteen) is hosting a zero waste roadshow – learn how to reduce disposables, and be inspired about leading a zero waste lifestyle by outreach partners, retailers and video screenings (11am-2pm).

This initiative of Tingkat Heroes Singapore is conducted in collaboration with NUS SAVE and in support of NUS Goes Lite 2018. Visit the Facebook page to learn more and get connected.

Click for PDF
Zero Waste Roadshow

Wed 08 Nov 2017: 2.00pm – Green Jobs Symposium & Networking 2017 for tertiary and JC students (registration required)

From Clean & Green Singapore:

Passionate about sustainability, but not sure how to turn it into a career?
Find out how your interests can match you up with a suitable job opportunity at the Green Jobs Symposium & Networking 2017.

Green Jobs Symposium & Networking 2017
Wed 8th Nov 2017: 2.00pm – 6.00pm
Location: thebridge – Level 1, The Metro, Ascent, 2 Science Park Drive, Singapore 118222
(Nearest MRT station: Kent Ridge)
Attire: Smart Casual.
Register here: bit.ly/gjs2017 – you will have to register with your NRIC/FIN and you will receive an infopack to prepare you for questions.

“A sustainable economy, a sustainable living environment, sustainable development for the people and international collaborations are the 4 key pillars to Singapore’s journey towards shaping a sustainable future. Discover the opportunities from within and let Green Jobs Symposium & Networking 2017 provide an inside glimpse to the industry trends. Organised by Young NTUC, BCA, EDB and NEA, the symposium is held in conjunction with Clean and Green Singapore 2017.”

You’ll get the chance to speak to representatives from companies in energy, building, environmental and other professional services.
Plus, check out career and internship opportunities that will open doors to fulfilling careers!
Head over to register now: bit.ly/gjs2017

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Symposium on Marine Pollution in Singapore and South East Asia @ LKYSPP, 25 Nov 2016

Another seeking gig, with great company!

Symposium on Marine Pollution in Singapore and South East Asia Symposium

Initiated by the LKYSPP, an overview on the current state of things around the topic of marine pollution in Singapore and South East Asia has been organized by a group of young local and regional scientists to introduce Boyan Slat and symposium participants to these important topics that affect our marine life and well being.

Boyan Slat is a young Dutch entrepreneur whose ambitious plans on cleaning plastic waste from the world’s oceans brought him to the public eye worldwide.

South East Asia is a region with important and growing economic activities that can affect the marine environment regionally and globally. It is also a very important region for plastic waste production. A symposium was organized with the goal of presenting the fields of expertise of young scientists in different institutions in Singapore and the region, with a particular focus on plastic waste.

The following are the main themes to be discussed:

  • Introduction to regional geography and physical features
  • Trace metals in the region as traceable sources of anthropogenic pollution
  • Microbiological implications of trace metals and microplastics
  • Coral reefs and Plastics
  • Harmful Algal Blooms around Singapore
  • Singapore’s marine ecosystem overview
  • Plastic waste on Singapore shores: profiles, trash removal and recycling efforts

Dr. Gonzalo Carrasco
Postdoctoral Researcher, Center for Environmental Sensing and Modeling, Singapore MIT Alliance for Research and Technology, Singapore

Symposium on Marine Pollution in Singapore and South East Asia.pdfScreenshot 527

Share your green love story (Singapore Sustainability Story II, by 08 Aug 2016)

This is a great opportunity to share stories we can all learn from, enjoy and be inspired by – and every story, no mater how small, counts. I am looking forward to sharing the repository with students, volunteers and friends

Green Living is calling for inspiring stories which they want to share through the Singapore Sustainability Story II.

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“Do you have a story to share on your efforts to go green and sustainable?”

This year at Green Living, we turn our focus on you. If you have a story on your journey towards an eco-friendly lifestyle, we’d love to hear from you. We’re calling for inspiring stories from individuals, groups and corporates to be part of Singapore Sustainability Story II at Green Living.

The Singapore Sustainability Story II seeks to showcase initiatives through story telling by individuals, groups and corporates. The shortlisted stories by our curation committee will be featured at Green Living and the best 3 stories (people’s choice) will be given a prize of $100 shopping vouchers.

What kind of stories are we looking for?

  • Individuals who commit to greening their homes and leading a sustainable lifestyle
  • Children who help to spread the message of green
  • Small groups that opted for sustainable lifestyle
  • Community groups that do things in a sustainable way

Every story counts. If you have a story to tell, no matter how small it is, we will record it in this journey and seek to share with everyone.

Go ahead, share your story!

First rule of coastal cleanups – be safe!

This morning, Ivan Kwan reminded Toddycats on our LINE chat to be careful when picking up trash. Our shores are host to venemous animals and they can be nestled anywhere. Coastal cleanup veterans Quek Kiah Shen and Amy Choong responded with memories not of animals but of “sharps and needles” and syringes in Buloh and Lim Chu Kang mangroves in the north-west of Singapore.

Typically during September’s International Coastal Cleanup, volunteers remove 30 –150 syringes a year, but these are mostly from our recreational beaches at East Coast Park and Changi and not from mangroves. Around the world, cleanup organisers warn participants to be careful at beaches, because of the recreational drug users who litter. Even if syringes are empty and washed out so not a hygiene threat, briefings emphasise safe handling and disposal.

However, we are finding instances of numerous syringes in bags, on our north-western shores. These we suspect were dumped offshore. In 2014, this was highlighted at the pre-National Day mangrove cleanup at Lim Chu Kang, where we found, sitting on the shore, a bag of hypodermic needles.

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A bag of hypodermic needles on Lim Chu Kang by Chua Li Shan (2011)

Ria elaborated about the larger issue of indiscriminate trash disposal and the presence of numerous offshore fish farms in the Johor Straits. The trash causes a lot of impact to ecosystems, and costs a lot of money to cleanup. Addressing the issue at the source would be great way to prevent senseless damage – read her post which summarises the issue.

Finding a bloody syringe, though, is uncommon, In 2011, Kate Thome reported one from a cleanup at Kranji mangrove. It was rare enough for the ICCS founder leading that cleanup to send me this photograph below. Years of earnest, pre-cleanup safety briefings was put to the test!


The bloody syringe at Kranji mangrove by Kate Thome (2011)

Well, the safety preparedness paid off for the students who found the syringe calmly kept a distance and called an adult over. It was photographed and disposed in hard plastic, so that no garbage worker would be accidentally pricked on its way to incineration.

I tweeted that image and reporters Jalelah Abu Baker and Kimberly Spykerman picked up the news and wrote an interesting story for a general audience. We circulated it to Organisers as a reminder to be prepared and vigilant.

Registration for Organisers for September’s data gathering International Coastal Cleanup has begun. As coordinators prepare Organisers, we suggest they adopt ICCS’ “Advice for Participants” and by circulating the pdf early and covering the points during the on-site briefing, just before their cleanups begin.

Just like we will do so at Operation We Cleanup Up on Sunday 8th May 2016.

The Advice for Participants can be read off a handphone, and include these statements, which have been made more explicit over the years:

  • Place your feet carefully on the ground – beware of broken glass, fishing hooks, syringes and other sharp objects which may be present on beaches. Fish such as stingrays and catfish have sharp spines.
  • Examine items carefully before picking them up – sharp objects can pierce your gloves.
  • Do not use your feet to kick or feel objects.
  • Dispose of glass and sharps (e.g. syringes) responsibly – pad them well with numerous empty plastic bottles and dispose these separately in canvas trash bags – workers who transport trash bags later to waste incineration sites must be protected from accidents. Alert your Organiser.

In the months leading to the cleanup, we will emphasise safety above all else. We tell Organisers every year that it doesn’t matter if they mess up data collection, or report late, or forget to take photos, or are unable to eliminate the trash (there are other cleanups), the first rule of coastal cleanups is and has always been – be safe!

How green is your coastal cleanup?

Joys Tan (ICCS-IKEA Intern 2016) and I met up with a representative from a corporate group intending to initiate coastal cleanups in Singapore. Although new to the operational side of things, they were familiar with the outlook. So it was easy enough to explain the idea behind coastal cleanups.

When we discussed the green-audit of their cleanup and other events, we highlighted that every act would translate to major reductions of waste generation, given the large number of individuals they were inviting to the event.

How green is your cleanup

To follow up, I will email this painting by Becky Lee (ICCS-IKEA Intern 2015). It succinctly conveys the suggestions from our Organiser’s Workshop and final email to Organiser’s. The language on the poster was kept mild but the email to Organisers is a little more persuasive.

Including a green audit in any event is critical, especially environmental ones. It is really sad if a group generates more waste (even with proper disposal) than they managed to clear from the beach! I will incorporate that question into the registration procedure for the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore this year.