We all know the state of our planet right now, whether it’s the lessons we learn in school as students, the signs we see as we commute, or the campaigns that have been birthed to make our plans for a minimal carbon footprint, a reality.
In recent years, we’ve heard of so much devastation surrounding Mother Nature – Amazon forest fires in 2019, Australia Bushfires between 2019 and 2020, and so much more. Now more than ever, our time has come to protect our planet from further destruction.
Hence, in honour of Earth Hour 2021 and the message to protect this planet we call home, it’s time to come up with our own ‘Singapore Kosong Plan’!
WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) Singapore wants to take Earth Hour beyond just switching off our lights for an hour. This time, it’s about making a long-term plan as individuals, organisations, and businesses alike to become a low carbon, climate-resilient Singapore, with the aim to achieve a zero-carbon footprint by 2050!
But what’s the Kosong Plan about in the first place? We all know that Kosong means zero in Malay, as we often hear it and use it as we order our favourite drinks with zero sugar. The Kosong Plan refers to ‘living with less’. Hence, using a colloquial word connects with Singaporeans to prove that this solution is central to us and our environment’s wellbeing.
The Kosong Plan touches on five core areas that our community (yes, that’s you!) can make a difference in:
- Eating Consciously
An example would be to consume meat more consciously, and transition towards a plant-based diet. We may not be aware of this, but cattle ranching does contribute significantly towards greenhouse gas emissions, which increases our carbon footprint. Or you could consume more of local produce instead, as importing of produce also leads to the emission of harmful greenhouse gases and contributes to global warming.
- Shop Responsibly
There are many ways you can shop responsibly, whether it’s the type of products you purchase or the method of shopping. Before making your purchases, be sure to do your research and only purchase from sustainable and ethical businesses and organisations. For example, only buy FSC-certified paper and pulp products. You could also indulge in thrift shopping, or shopping for second-hand clothing, instead of fast fashion. Fast fashion retail is nowhere near ‘sustainable’, and clothes do contain plastic. Hence, by thrifting, you’re reusing and recycling clothes to their entire lifespan before they’re made to sit in landfills for hundreds of years or simply set on fire, which, as you’ve guessed, leads to climate change and, ultimately, global warming.
- Travel Sustainably
This one is simple: take public transport instead of your private vehicles. The more cars on the roads, the more greenhouse gases are emitted. If you need a personal vehicle or are in a rush, go ahead and hire a cab instead. With the new Blue SG electric car-sharing platform, you have more options! For businesses, they can choose to import their products in bulk or reduce quantities to ensure fewer vehicles are used for product transport.
- Choosing Renewable Energy
This is more relevant to businesses and organisations. We use electricity generated by finite natural resources, which means one day, we won’t have them anymore. Hence, we need to find more sources of renewable energy and use them. One way would be to use solar panels that convert energy from the sun to usable energy that powers our homes and offices. Wind turbines are another way electricity can be generated.
- Restore Nature
Trees and plants are our sources of oxygen. Through a process called photosynthesis, plants remove carbon dioxide and release oxygen. When we remove these plants and trees via deforestation, we are technically depleting our oxygen supply. The solution? Plant more trees. Today, this effort may not have the most considerable impact since trees take so long to grow and mature. But many years along the road, as more deforestation occurs, these trees we plant today will make an impact. Simply growing some plants at home or in your workplace makes a difference as well!
You can steal some inspiration for your own Kosong Plan from WWF Singapore’s video series too! In this series, filmmaker Eileen Chong meets up with different people to find out more about climate change and what we can do as individuals! The guests in this series are:
Joshua Goh, 11 years old, living the Net Zero lifestyle
He keeps ants as pets, and he has a burning desire to protect his environment. Mind you; he’s just 11.
Robin Rheaume, Administrator of Facebook Group ‘Journey to Zero Waste’
She has so many tricks and hacks up her sleeve about how you can create zero waste from home!
Nichol Ng, Co-founder of the Food Bank Singapore
Affectionately known as the lady, who gives food a new lease of life, she shares about how we can move towards the zero-waste future we all dream of.
They share about what they do to play a role in saving our planet from the destruction Man has been inflicting upon it. All of them have a story, and they want to share it with us.
With The Green Plan 2030, the Singapore Kosong Plan is for us individuals, organisations and businesses to craft out our own goals on ways we can make our dreams of becoming a climate-resilient nation a reality. If all of us can put in the effort to do even one thing from our plan religiously, we are already on our way to making our dreams come true.
To become a country with net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, we’re all going to have to work together. It’s not going just to take the effort of one person or just 100 people. For a future all six million of us can enjoy, all six million of us will have to work for it.
Hence, this digital campaign will drive conversations among schools, businesses, and organisations alike because we are all in this together. All our actions will combine to shield our environment from further ruin.
Remember when we used to be at the mercy of Mother Nature? But oh, how the tables have turned. The all-powerful and mighty force of nature, one of growth and life, is now at our mercy. Doesn’t everything about this just scream ‘wrong’? We have to right this wrong, and making your own ‘Kosong Plan’ is the first step.
It’s time to brew your own Kosong Plan too, while it’s still hot.
Visuals courtesy of WWF Singapore.