Do you dream of saving the planet, but feel that it’s too big a task? Don’t worry; you can still do your bit. In fact, it can be as simple as choosing your grocery items wisely. These guidelines from the book “A Slice of Organic Life” (edited by Sheherazade Goldsmith) can help lessen your impact on the environment.
Where is the item from?
Do a background check on the products you’d like to buy. How many miles did the product have to travel to hit the shelves? The longer the journey, the more money spent and the more pollution emitted by ship or plane for it to get to you.
Your best bet: Produce sourced from farms in your area, or at least closer to Singapore. So think twice about picking tomatoes flown from far away, when the veggies from nearby may actually be a fresher and greener alternative.
Was it made fairly?
Shop ethically and buy fairly traded goods as much as possible. This means that the people who grew the items were paid adequately, thereby allowing them to maintain their livelihoods and continue to produce them. Think of it as good karma all around.
What packaging does it come in?
According to “A Slice of Organic Life”, the average person in the West disposes rubbish equivalent to his or her own body weight every three months. This alarming statistic fuels a chain reaction: More trash means more trucks needed to travel to homes to pick up waste and deposit them into landfills – which leads to pollution problems.
Try this: Buy fruits and vegetables loose, and choose products in packaging you can reuse or recycle. For example, the glass jars that once held spaghetti sauce can be used to hold earth-friendly gifts like homemade jams.
Is it organic?
In Singapore, more health-conscious individuals are going organic – and with good reason. Organic growers are only allowed to use seven natural pesticides, while commercial farmers may use as much as 450. But don’t be swayed by labels such as “organic”, “organically grown” or “made with organic ingredients”. To be sure you’re getting excellent quality, pick products that are “certified organic”, and which bear the “USDA Organic” label. There’s one catch, however: Organic products tend to be more expensive. But it could be a small price to pay for the planet, and for your health.
The truth is in the label. If the contents include any of these words —hazardous, corrosive, inflammable, warning, caution, danger and irritant — it may render harm to you and your family’s health. While we don’t encourage having a filthy house, you can clean up with natural products too. Make your way to the condiments aisle and get a big bottle of vinegar. When mixed in with some liquid soap, it makes an excellent and natural floor cleaner.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and several Cabinet members have increased the pressure on Indonesia to take control of the haze situation.