Smart consumption for the environment | WWF

Smart consumption for the environment

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Oecophylla sp. Tropical ant. Silhouette of a line of ants on green leaf.
© WWF / Chris Martin Bahr

Save Paper

Paper is too valuable to waste - around the world we use 1 million tonnes of paper every day. Too much of this paper usage is wasteful and unnecessary and puts huge pressures on the environment. Here are some easy steps you can take to reduce your carbon footprint.

  • Ask yourself the golden rule of saving paper: Do I really need to print this?
  • Use both sides of the paper. Set your printer or copier’s defaults to double sided. Select one-sided printing only when really needed.
  • Avoid printing out single line e-mails or unnecessary copies of documents
  • Recycle the paper you have and ask for recycled paper products
The WWF Guide to Buying Paper is a great source of information for purchasing paper from sustainable sources for offices and homes.
 
	© WNS
I can save paper!
© WNS

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

As individuals living in a city, we can tweak our lifestyles to reduce our environmental impact. Following the 3Rs can help cut down on the amount we consume and the waste we generate.
  • Ditch disposables, bring back the lunchbox! Using reusable containers, mugs and cutlery when taking away food cuts down on waste generated.
  • Bring your own reusable shopping bags to reduce the use of plastic bags.
  • Choose items with less packaging.

Recycle everything you can’t reduce or reuse. Apart from the traditional paper, can and bottle recycling, electronic waste such as phones, cable modems and print cartridges can be recycled too.

Shop Responsibly

 As consumers, the daily choices we make have an impact on the environment. To start off, think about whether you really need something before you buy it and think about where it comes from.
  • Invest in good-quality, long-lasting items that don't need to be replaced frequently
  • Buying second-hand furniture, clothes, accessories and books reduces the need to create new products
  • Use cleaning products that are biodegradable so they don't pollute our waterways
  • Choose cosmetics that contain only natural and organic ingredients and are not tested on animals
  • Choose apparel made from sustainable materials such as recycled PET bottles and organic bamboo
  • When buying gifts, avoid getting cut flowers as they take up a lot of resources in production and transportation. Consider a practical, living gift like a potted plant or fruit basket instead.
 
	© WWF / Richard Stonehouse
A shopping trolley containing many typical products at a supermarket
© WWF / Richard Stonehouse

Eat Wisely

Think about where your food is from and how it is produced. Cutting down on meat products and buying local and sustainably-produced food will have a positive impact on the environment.

Use the WWF Singapore Seafood Guide to enjoy your seafood sustainably.

Food wastage is unnecessary and expensive. Buy, cook or order just enough food and you won't have to throw the excess away.

Eat less processed food as they tend to be more resource intensive to produce and often contain high levels of sugar, fat and salt.
The Singapore Seafood Guide 
	© WWF Singapore
The Singapore Seafood Guide
© WWF Singapore

Travel Light

Travelling by any form of transport that uses fossil fuels for energy contributes to climate change. So the best best solution is to avoid such travel where ever possible.

  • Instead of popping out every day in the car to run an errand, could you wait and do several errands all at once?
  • Could your business meeting could be replaced by talking over the phone or using video conferencing?
  • Could you take your vacation closer to home?

Of course, travel can't always be avoided. Consider your options and choose the most environmentally friendly form of transport you can.

Try to drive less. Could you walk or cycle instead of driving, or use public transport? If you do have to drive, what about car pooling or joining a car-share scheme?

One way to be fuel-efficient (and save on petrol) is to drive smoothly and plan your route to avoid peak periods and traffic jams. 

 
	© WWF / Katrin Havia
Riding a bicycle, Finland. Eco-tip: ride a bicycle when ever you can instead of driving a car - and save the planet. Cycling is an environmentally friendly way to move.
© WWF / Katrin Havia

Choose Good Wood

One of the main causes of forest lost is illegal logging which is fed by high demand for timber. When you buy tropical timbers without the FSC logo it is likely that you are contributing to forest destruction.

You can help stop this!

Businesses will ultimately listen to their customers. If you stop buying timber that comes from forests that are badly managed, or even perhaps that has been illegally produced, then the suppliers of this timber will have no choice but to change as well.

Make sure you only buy timber products with the FSC label. If you can’t find FSC-certified products in your local store, please ask the store manager to supply them.


 
	© WWF/GFTN
FSC Logs
© WWF/GFTN
Look for the FSC label on wood and timber products, for everything from building materials and furniture to paper and even toilet tissue

Phantom energy and your electricity bill

All appliances, whether switched on or off, will consume phantom energy right from the moment they are plugged into the socket. This standby power can account for up to 10 percent of your home electricity usage.

Demand for electricity in Singapore is growing as the population and number of households increase, putting pressure on Singapore’s fuel mix which mainly uses natural gas, a non-renewable resource that comes with a cost to the environment.

The more electricity you consume, the more non-renewable resources we are consuming. And it also means a higher, more expensive electricity bill for you.

Click here to download energy saving tips for your home!
 
	© WWF-Singapore
Handy energy saving tips
© WWF-Singapore