Below Sky

A Sustainability Venture by a Group of FIB Students

Sustainable Lifestyles Sustain Lives

by Team Below Sky | Sustainability

About Owen!

Click Here to Go to My About Me Page!

Sustainability Projects to Get Involved With!

Boomerang Bags

Boomerang Bags is an international initiative to reduce the amount of plastic bags used. In school, it is present in the form of service on Thursdays. The Boomerang Bags Service primarily upcycles old fabrics into cloth bags that are circulated around the school community!

Learn more about this initiative here!

This is a great initiative to volunteer for, find out more information at the serivce office or in the above link!

 

SL2

Sustainable Living Lab (SL2), develop solutions for organizations and communities that want to grow sustainably. Through expertise in disruptive technologies, they create programmes that can navigate situational, social, and environmental challenges while maintaining core sustainability goals. And through research and prototyping, we ensure that our solutions work, so our partners stay relevant for a long time to come.

CommunityLab @UWCSEA

The Community Lab is a place for the UWCSEA community and the greater community of Singapore to work on projects that advance the cause of sustainability. It is a partnership between Sustainable Living Lab and United World College SEA.

Find out more about this venture here!

Edible Garden City

Edible Garden City have created a sustainable urban farming model called Citizen Farm. Citizen Farm is a neighbourhood collective, a community of farmers with different systems of growing, all working for the good of the community and beyond. It provides local, fresh, tasty and nutritious produce for urbanites in the city, and provides employment and income to people who have diverse abilities as well as the socially disadvantaged. 

Volunteering

Edible Garden City has volunteering sessions on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, 9 am to 12 pm at Citizen Farm (60 Jalan Penjara). Please plan to commit at least 3 hours per session. These sessions involve mainly harvesting and garden maintenance (for instance, weeding and pruning).

Find this form here!

 

Sustainable Ventures In Singapore

THE GREEN COLLECTIVE

THE GREEN COLLECTIVE is a compilation of more than 35 homegrown eco brands that have have teamed up to launch a multi-brand concept collective store. You can look forward to browse through a wide range of sustainable, eco and socially conscious products and participate in regular workshops ranging from making soaps, DIY lip balm, composting, plant swap and upcycling.

Check out THE GREEN COLLECTIVE here

greensquare

Greensquare aspires to make a positive impact thorugh increasing the recycling of textiles. Their current target is to double the percentage of recycled textiles from 7% to 14% by 2020. They provide free textile recycling services to households and organisations in Singapore.

This venture includes drop off points at the following places for certain items. 

Items and Drop Off Locations!

Check Out greensquare Here!

wt+

Shop and drop of your clothes at stores under wt+.

wt+ is collaborating with greensquare to keep textile in closed recycling loop. The garment collected will be sorted into different types and categories. The 2 main categories are:

1. Reuse:
– Good quality recyclables are sold to second-hand textiles importers (e.g. thrift shops, 2nd-hand market) in the developing countries so as to enable the less fortunate population to be able to purchase clothes, shoes, etc at an affordable price.

2. Recycle:
– Garments that cannot be reuse will be recycled and sold as industrial cleaning cloth (e.g. for automobile, shipyard, etc) depending on the material of the textiles. The usage is for cleaning lubricants.

Brands under wt+

Check out wt+ here!

UnPackt

UnPackt, a homegrown social enterprise with the mission to build a green and mindful Singapore, one community at a time.
The first zero-waste bulk store in Singapore, bringing a smart selection of food, products and daily necessities that you need to live a zero-waste lifestyle. You are encouraged to bring your own containers to reduce pacakging waste.
Zero Ways
The Zero Ways Pte Ltd is a lifestyle store, movement and an educator. Being an eco-social business enterprise, they learn from nature where ecosystems do not produce waste and every living thing complements each other.  It is also a pop-up initiative to build another zero-waste grocery and lifestyle store with a social cause. They have a Kickstarter campaign where you can donate to help them set up a permanent home for a physical store.

Fabricate

Fabricate is a home decor venture ran by Anita Verma.

From cushion covers fashioned from the drapes of a family home to aprons stitched from old shirts, her customers’ personal memories are entwined in the warp and woof of the products she makes for them.These items are not just created from any old fabric, but from pieces that have some sentimental value to the user.

Though this venture is yet to come up with a website, we thought you might find it interesting to go through therir facebook page in case you even might find youself interested in this service!

To Find Out More About Fabricate Click Here!

The Social Space Cafe

The Social Space is a socially conscious multi-concept store, featuring a Tea Bar & Café, a fair trade retail area and a nail salon, all promoting a greater awareness for sustainability, an appreciation for providence, and more accessible conscious living. 

In their Venture to reduce waste custmers may bring thier own reusable bottles to refill household cleaners & personal care products that are made from 100% natural ingredients.

To Find Out More About The Social Space Click Here!

Eco.Le

Eco.Le has a lot to offfer for those willing to partake in a sustainable lifestyle!

  • Bulk Shop

    Eco.Le offers general groceries without the packaging and refills. Bring your own container (BYOC) or purchase or pick up from the free cleaned reuseable containers that may meet your needs. If it is too heavy, they can deliver for purchases in your containers above S$50 in Singapore. 

  • Zero-waste goods

    They bring items that aid your everyday zero waste lifestyle such as reusable straws, eco-toiletries, lunch boxes, and so much more!

  • Drop Off

    Drop off  cleaned, pre-loved containers for the zero-waste community. Be it a tote bag, plastic bag, packaging bag or glass bottles.

  • Rental

    Cutlery – offer cutlery rental for that once in a blue moon occasion when you require additional plates, cups.

    Sewing machine – Offer a small basic Brother sewing machine just for rental so as to curb unessacary expenditure and wastage for petty projects!

    Other refill/mend

  • Refill pretty candle containers with soy-wax in the shop. Select the scent from essential oils available in the store or use your preferred scent for an eco friendly candle. 

    One stop for recyclables 

  • They are currently collecting pre-cleaned, segregated plastics (#2-HDPE, #5 PP) for PlastiCitySG their own local extension of the Precious Plastics movement. 

    To Find Out More About Eco.Le Click Here!

TwentyOff

This is one online grocery store making a difference: in an effort to reduce plastic bags, everything is delivered in reusable Ikea bags, customers are encouraged to buy in bulk and deliveries are consolidated to reduce car pollution. If you’re into organic, you’ll be impressed by the offering here, and there’s an excellent range of Indian products. Why the name? If you spend $150 and up, you receive a 20% discount. There’s also free delivery for all orders. Round of applause for all-round great service with a focus on sustainability.

To Find Out More About TwentyOff Click Here!

 

Avo & Co

This fantastic service preovides you with little fruit and veg box delivery service. Though some produce such as salad greens comes in plastic packaging, but as much as possible, your fruit and veg arrives unwrapped, or in a paper bag. Organic fruit and veg boxes have just been introduced too, so if certified organic is your thing, you won’t get the plastic guilts with Avo & Co.

To Find Out More About Avo&Co Click Here !

 

 

Singapore's Shocking Waste Statistics!

The issue with Plastic waste is that most of the waste generated ends up being shipped overseas- to China, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia.

At these places if it cannot be successfully sorted and processed, it is incinerated or worse, dropped into the seas.

 Interestingly, many are oblivious to the fact that for milk, soap, detergent and drink bottles to be accurately recycled, they need to be rinsed out before being disposed into the bins!

Your recycling in Singapore only works successfully to a certain extent.

The most recent NEA statistic of 2017 reflected that only 6% of plastic wastes were recycled, this is as compared to 50% for paper and cardboard and a figure close to 100% for metals.

In addition, Singapore also has a good reputation of recycling nearly 100% construction materials and waste.

Another loophole in the recycling system that many are unaware of is that disposable plates, straws, film food packets and styrofoam take-out packaging cannot be recycled.

E-collection Drives, Projects and Recycling Tips

1) E- Waste Recycling Projects

 

  • The Singtel x SingPost E-waste Recycling Programme

 

Called ReCYCLE, the programme provides the means for people to do their part for the environment by recycling their mobile and internet related electronic waste such as mobile phones and chargers, laptops and tablets, modems and routers, and other related accessories like lithium batteries and cables.

 

These unwanted devices can be dropped off into the ReCYCLE bins at selected Singtel Shop and Singtel Exclusive Retailer outlets and Post Offices.

 

 

This programme reduces waste as it ensures that the valuable metals and components the devices contain get recovered and a new lease of life. Otherwise, e-waste that is thrown away, including all the precious metals that it contains, will be incinerated and landfilled at Semakau Landfill.

 

http://recycle.sg/

 

  • RENEW (REcycling Nation’s Electronic Waste)

 

StarHub sources for locations interested in having a RENEW bin, and engages a supplier to produce and provide bins to these locations. DHL manages the logistics of collecting and delivering the e-waste from all the bins to TES-AMM’s e-waste recycling facility. TES-AMM then recycles the e-waste. To date, over 14.8 tonnes of electronic waste have been collected for recycling.

 

You can recycle almost any electronic product in the RENEW bins. However, all recycled items must be able to fit through the bin’s 470mm x 120mm slot.

 

Note Batteries: All batteries bought in Singapore can be discarded with regular household waste to be treated at the waste-to-energy incineration plants. As for Lithium-ion batteries, hand them over to this RENEW program for safe disposal.

 

Locations of Bins:

 

 

RENEW

 

  • City Square Mall E-waste 
2) Furniture Disposal
  • JUNK TO CLEAR?
Singapore’s leading waste management and bulky waste disposal company, JUNK TO CLEAR?, offers full-service waste removal and furniture disposal for your residential or commercial needs including offices, retail, relocations, buildings and product disposal, 7 days whole year round.
  • IKEA’s Remove and Recycle

Ikea’s removal and recycling services make it easier to live sustainably. Swap your old mattresses, furniture and white goods and dispose of them in a sustainable, environmentally friendly way at minimal cost to you.

Remove and Replace

3) 2nd Hand Stores 

The Shop is managed entirely by volunteers, some of whom have been volunteering with New2U for many years. The shop sells pre-loved clothing, accessories, household items, ornaments, books and etc. All goods are donated, and, proceeds from the store go towards Star Shelter and the various SCWO Initiatives.

To Find Out More About New2U Click Here!

4) Go-to Green Resources! 

Note: These are Extremely handy

  • Database of where to recycle, freecycle and donate in Singapore

This is a link to a largely extensive and organised database of where to donate in Singapore.

Where to freecycle, recycle and donate

  • Your go-to top tips database!

This is a link to a largely extensive and organised database of all the questions you may ever need answered in context to Singapore.

Journey to Zero Waste SG

  • Maps

E-waste Recycling Center Map:

This is a link to a map of all the E-waste Recycling services in Singapore! Remember to chose the nearest location!

E-waste Recycling Near You

Cash For Trash Map:

This is a link to a map of all the Cash for Trash services in Singapore!

Cash For Trash Locations Near You!

Lighting Waste Collection Points Map:

This is a link to a map of all the lighting Waste Collection Points in Singapore!

Lighting Waste Collection Points Map

 

Click Here to Know more About The Recycling Label

Plastic bottles for recycling, Tel Aviv, Israel

There are many perfectly recyclable items that do not find its place as they have been contaminated by food waste or liquids, so always ensure that you rinse your waste before tossing it in!

The best way to ensure that your plastic waste will find a better place is to check for the triangle symbol that symbolises that the plastic is recyclable.

Green Paw Practices for Your Pets

Don't Flush Cat Feces Down The Toilet, Here's Why!

Cat waste, never flush it down the toilet as their feces can also enter waterways and affect marine life, Andrew Wetzler, NRDC’s deputy chief program officer, explained in the post. “While some cities have water treatment plants that cleanse the water, not all programs are designed to screen out some of the things that are contained in dog or cat poop,” he said.

The NRDC also suggests choosing cat litter that does not contain sodium bentonite, which is often obtained via environmentally harmful strip-mining. Alternatives include litter made from wood, corn, wheat or newspaper.

Unless your city has a robust compost program where pet waste is accepted, your best bet is to actually throw the poop in the trash. For my dog, I like Earth Rated‘s compostable bags that are made of vegetable starch.

Green toys, Green Paws!

Many companies offer toys, beds, and other supplies that are made of reclaimed or sustainable products.

Instead of buying new,  rummage through thrift shops to see what pet gear people have donated. The children’s section at Goodwill might have stuffed animals that your pooch would love—just remove any hard plastic buttons, eyes or ribbons and dvoid toys that have those little polystyrene beads and other potentially harmful stuffing.

To help pay it forward, donate all your gently used pet toys to an animal shelter or to other pet owners.

Additional Info

2017 study found that the 163 million dogs and cats in the U.S. eat about 25 percent of the country’s total calories derived from meat, contributing to greenhouse emissions equivalent to 13.6 million cars

We all know the harmful impact of plastic on the planet, so limit the number of pet toys or accessories that contain the material. Plenty of companies offer toys, beds, and other supplies that are made of reclaimed or sustainable products. 

Check out these links:

Fly Green Skies

Trees For Travel UWCSEA Carbon Offsetting

Did you know that our UWCSEA has a project to plant trees in order to nullify our carbon footprint upon flying?

 

The initiative is known as Trees For Travel. 

 

Every time we fly we are also increasing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. UWCSEA has identified a carbon-offsetting and tree-planting programme which benefits our longest-standing Global Concern community, Lamdon School in Ladakh. The plan is to plant up to 12,000 Poplar trees. These will be felled and used as structural timbers in traditional Ladakhi houses. 

 

One tree will absorb well over 300kg of CO2 as it grows, approximately equivelant to that generated by a 1000 mile flight of 2 hours. So for example, 11 popular trees would help offset the emissions of a 13 hour return flight to London and back.

 

Once they mature, the trees will provide a major source of income for Lamdon School, year on year helping to secure its charitable status and provide a first class and free education to those who cannot afford to pay.

 

If you would like to compensate for the CO2 generated from your air travel you can calculate how much you would need to donate to UWCSEA Trees for Travel by clicking the Ladakh Tree Calculator*. Once you have calculated your required compensation if you would like to make a donation, you can make a cheque payable for that amount to UWCSEA, adding your postal address and ‘Trees for Travel’ on the back.

 

The Ladakh Tree Calculator is an excellent tool!

 

Find Out More on their official page Here!

Find out more info here as well! 

Why is CO2 so bad?

Aeroplanes emit various particles and gases, including carbon dioxide (CO2), into the atmosphere. In this article, we focus on CO2 because it makes up 65% of global greenhouse emissions.

CO2 is one of several greenhouse gases that occur in the atmosphere. When functioning properly, greenhouse gases regulate the earth’s temperature. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), human activities are responsible for almost all of the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere over the last 150 years. When excess greenhouse gas exists in the atmosphere, heat becomes trapped and the planet warms.

Why Should You Use Carbon Offsets?

Purchasing carbon offsets ahead of time (or after) is another way to take the extra step toward conscious travel and making a difference in the environment. Carbon offset credits are purchased by you through an organization or third-party who has researched, selected, and verified a variety of renewable energy projects where your carbon emissions will be “offset” by these other projects elsewhere. So while you’re flying, you can rest assured that your carbon emissions from your flight will be offset by a project such as a hydroelectric grid plant in another state.

 
 
 
Shut the Shades

Lowering the shades or the vents while you fly helps keep the aircraft cool. When all passengers help out and do this, the aircraft can be 10 degrees cooler. This hence reduces the cooling load, saves energy and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

Fly on a Newer Plane

Given a choice between an older aircraft and a newer, more fuel-efficient aircraft, book the modern aircraft.

Green, long-haul choices include Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner and the Airbus A350. New versions of 737s and A320s/A321s operate shorter flights on many leading airlines. “Just by virtue of being the youngest airline in the U.S., Virgin America is greener over an aging Delta 757,” says Mayerowitz, adding that American Airlines also has newer planes. “A great choice would be to fly a 320 instead of a 757 for the same exact flight.”

Fly During the Day

Flying during the day is better for the environment, so book your travel to fly from dawn to dusk if possible. Contrails caused by your plane will reflect some sunlight away from the Earth in addition to securing warmth in the atmosphere. Contrails add to the greenhouse effect, according to researchers. This happens more at night.

Calculate your carbon emission

Estimate Your Carbon Footprint 

A good place to get started atn with your carbon offsetting journey is with a rough estimate using a carbon footprint calculator.

Offsetting the carbon produced by your flights

Here is a link to a detailed article on the carbon offsetting services by each airline!

 

The Gold Stanford

The Gold Stanford is a service that allows users to buy carbon offsets for various projects not limited to airlines. Their projects are numerous in range and have shown successful results. It has a user-friendly platform and is an extremely interesting venture. 

Check it Out Here!

Choose Your Seats Wisely

The next time you’re searching for a flight take a look at a few of the results you’re considering on SeatGuru.com’s Seat Map feature. For instance, ou will discover that JetBlue’s A320 flight has 150 seats while Delta’s Boeing 717 has 110 seats; the 40-seat difference—combined with the fact that Delta’s older aircraft is less fuel-efficient, according to Matrix—means a person will emit twice as much CO2 if they choose the Delta flight.

Top Sustainable Airlines

Air Canada

Air Canada began reducing the use of single-use plastic on all of its flights in 2019. The airline started by eliminating plastic drink stirrers with wooden drink stirrers, which will get rid of 35 million plastic drink stirrers yearly. 

In addition to this, the airline has set itself a goal to reduce landfill waste from its offices and airport lounges by 20% by the end of 2020. Air Canada also invested in a $10 billion CAD fleet modernisation which has helped improve its fuel efficiency by 43% from 1990–2019.

Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines shows great transparency with regards to their CO2 emmissons and other steps they are taking to improve their impact on the environment. They are always looking for innovative ways to reduce the environmental impact of their services, and steps that they have taken so far have included going strawless, composting grounds from coffee served in flight, and using avionics to use the ‘Greener Skies’ approaches in order to cut fuel consumption.

The airline has also formed a partnership with the Port of Seattle and Boeing with the aim to power all flights by all airlines at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport with sustainable biofuel.

 

Flybe

In February 2018, Heathrow Airport named Flybe the most environmentally friendly airline using Heathrow. The use of the Bombardier Q400 aircraft is the quietest aircraft in the world, with a noise footprint almost seven times smaller than single-aisle and wide-body aircraft. They are also as fuel efficient as an eco-friendly car, producing emissions that are 30-40% lower than other aircraft.

 

British Airways

British Airways strives to conduct business activities in an environmentally friendly manner, and does this by committing to preventing pollution as much as possible, reducing pollution impact to be as low as possible, protecting the natural environment, reducing carbon emissions per passenger, reducing noise per flight, and minimising wasted through increase of material re-use and recycling.

 

Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic‘s top environmental policy is concerned with aircraft fuel and reduction of carbon emissions, alongside aircraft waste and noise, combined ground operations, and supply chain work.

 

Etihad

Etihad Airways are partnering with the Abu Dhabi Waste Management Center on a project to explore how municipal waste can be converted into jet fuel. One of the aims of the project is to use the final jet furl on Etihad Airways’ flights. This shows the commitment that the airline has towards cutting-edge environmental advances, and reducing the airline’s dependency on fossil fuels.

 

China Airlines

China Airlines offers ‘ECO TRAVEL Carbon Offsetting’ — a service that gives passengers the ability to partake in carbon offsetting and reduce the carbon footprint and emissions during their flight.

ECO TRAVEL Carbon offsetting lets China Airlines passengers track the emissions from their flight and — through UK company ClimateCare — gives them the opportunity to offset the carbon footprint with environmentally friendly carbon reduction projects.

Delta Airlines

Delta is taking steps to improve their environmental impact – largely with regards to their fuel emissions, but also with regards to water waste, hazardous waste, and implementation of a recycling program.

The airline invests in carbon offsets – in 2017 alone they invested $2.5 million, and they have developed a proprietary flight weather app to allow pilots to better predict where they can burn less fuel. On Earth Day 2019, Delta made clear its intentions to continue to invest in carbon offset by buying around 50,00 carbon offsets. This was estimated to offset the emissions generated by flying over 300,000 people.  

Delta is also in the process of removing all single-use plastic items from their flights. This includes items such as stir sticks, wrappers and utensils. In total, Delta is estimated to remove over 300,000 pounds in plastic waste each year. 

 

American Airlines

American Airlines has committed to invest in modern, more efficient aircraft – whether this be investing in brand new aircraft, or upgrading planes not yet ready for retirement. The airline looks for innovative ways to reduce costs and emissions, including installation of winglets to wing ends, shaving weight on aircraft, paperless cabins, and implementation of one-engine taxiing.

 

Jetblue

Jetblue is committed to improving the airline’s environmental impact, and is proud to be transparent with regards to the steps taken in doing so.

The airline committed to moving away from using diesel and petrol for ground based electric equipment as bag tugs and belt loaders. In 2013, Jetblue introduced an onboard recycling program, alongside a partnership with Dunkin’ Donuts, Jamba Juice and Royal Waste Services to compost food waste at JFK Airport’s Terminal 5.

Jetblue is also committed to the company’s environmental impact beyond the airport. The Jetblue T5 Farm at New York’s JFK Airport is the world’s first blue potato farm based at an airport, and the T5 Rooftop is the only post-security outdoor space at a New York airport. The airline has also used smart building techniques at their Terminal 5 home at JFK Airport, and their Long Island City Support Centre.

 

United Airlines

United Airlines is committed to a number of processes to ensure that the environmental impact of the company is as low as possible. This includes fuel efficiency and emissions reduction, using sustainable products, investing in sustainable fuel sources, and creating and maintaining partnerships to promote sustainability and protect the environment.

 

Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific endeavors to ‘be the world’s best airline’ and focuses particularly on the following environmental issues: climate change, waste, air quality, noise, water, conservation, and biodiversity.

The Cathay Pacific ‘Fly Greener’ programme gives Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon passengers the opportunity to reduce the carbon dioxide generated from air travel in a simple, credible way. Customers are able to purchase carbon offsets for their journeys, and the airline offers a online carbon offset calculator which allows passengers to work out what their journeys will use, and what they can buy to help to offset this.

 

Ryanair

Ryanair classes itself as ‘Europe’s greenest, cleanest airline’, and was the first airline to commit to being plastic free by 2023.

The airline’s commitment to sustainability includes the following priorities: offering customers to offset the carbon cost of journeys, investing in new Boeing 737-MAX-200 aircraft, operating only point-to-point routes with industry-leading load factors, conducting operational effiiciency, adding winglets to wings, and using single-engine taxiing between the runway and terminal.

Fly In Coach

According to a study from the World Bank, the emissions associated with flying in business class are about three times as great as flying in coach.

In business class and first class, seats are bigger, so fewer people are being moved by the same amount of fuel. The study estimates that a first-class seat could have a carbon footprint as much as nine times as big as an economy seat.

 

Pack Light

Try a carry-on backpack that extends into an overnight bag, or one suitcase. The more baggage you bring, the more baggage the plane has to accommodate which can burn more fuel and thus more carbon emissions. Why? Because the heavier a plane is, the longer it takes to land and take off. An average of 50% of TOTAL carbon emissions come from takeoff and landing!

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