Why We Should Care About Sustainable Consumption

May 25, 2021 3 min read

sustainability consumption keep our planet green

We are all familiar with the saying ‘you are what you eat’ but what if we tell you that the impact of our consumption extends far beyond us?

The idea of sustainable consumption.

Firstly, it is important to highlight that sustainable consumption and production is about systemic change, applying a lifecycle thinking approach, taking into account all phases of resource use in order to do more and better with less.

Our world is designed to maximise consumption - as Singapore became more affluent, our consumption also ballooned and so does our throwaway mentality. Large scale reforms can only be achieved by policy makers and businesses.

Ok, so why should I bother?

Because we are in an environmental crisis: biodiversity loss, plastic pollution, deforestation, air pollution, global warming, food and water insecurity, public health crisis just to name a few.

We are also the last generation with a real opportunity to do something.

shore plastic pollution sustainable consumption

As humans we gravitate towards maximising immediate benefits and convenience for self. Sustainable consumption involves understanding the impact that our choices have longer term consequences on other people and our planet.

Studies show that as humans we make a whopping 35,000 choices per day. Imagine the change we can drive if some of these choices are made with sustainable consumption in mind.

With limited time & resources, what should be my priority?

These are the most impactful things you can do to help the environmental crisis and sustainable consumption.

what we can do to push for systematic change in sustainable consumption production and environmental crisis

Educate yourself.

Understanding impact of sustainable consumption and environmental crisis helps change our attitude and behaviour. It enables informed decision-making, adoption of sustainable lifestyles, and being part of the conversation.

Join the conversations.

Engage in dialogues with our policy makers (through focus groups and public consultations) to drive meaningful systematic change. Talk to your friends & family about sustainable consumption and the environmental crisis at hand so they too can join the conversations. 

What are other ways I can practice sustainable consumption?

While this will unlikely drive systematic change, making small decisions in our own lives can still make a difference.

Shop local, plastic free, farm to table

Eat plant-based.

Limit consumption of red meat, they require excessive amount of water, land & energy to farm and produces a significantly large amount of greenhouse gases, contributing to global warming. Plant protein is sufficient for our needs.

Shop local & plastic free.

Buying fresh produce from wet market supports local businesses, enable us to shop plastic free and buy only what we need. It’s also an opportunity to challenge ourselves on how we shop for food, buy ugly.

Read the label.

Know our ingredients and their sources. Do we know whether they are sustainably & ethically farmed, paid fair wages, organic, responsibly made, energy efficient?

Singapore is running a Climate Friendly Households Programme encouraging households to take climate actions to reduce energy and water consumption. If you live in a 1-3 room HDB flat - you are eligible to receive e-vouchers.

Cook at home or opt for reusable takeaway containers.

Cooking at home allows us to better manage food storage & waste (root to stem cooking, cook only what we can eat) and compost our food scraps. If cooking is not an option, opt for reusable takeaway containers when packing our food.

Recycle rightly.

Know what we can and cannot recycle (don’t contaminate the blue bin), what is actually recycled (are there demands for these materials?), and where can we recycle.

Be accountable.

Share our commitment to sustainable consumption with others so we can motivate one another and keep the conversations going.

Did you know that at Minimakers, we practice sustainable production – read our commitment to reduce, reuse, and recycle here.

If you enjoyed this article, please like, share, and follow us on Instagram @minimakers.sg.

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