#Day 19 :
Good day folks! How are you guys coping?
This week, our Singapore government had announced an extended “circuit breaker” till 1 June 2020. As much as I was shocked by the 1 month extension (so shocked that I fell asleep at 6am the next day) I believed that our leaders had thought thoroughly to make this difficult decision. I have been meaning to write, however I was also feeling under the weather the past few days (must be the heat!) I am much better now and I hope everyone is well and fine at your side.
Dr. Jane Goodall’s Masterclass and the Netflixes I watched
During the start of “Circuit Breaker”, I had caught “Our Planet” and “Minimalism” from Netflix which made me rethink about our current lifestyle and its impact on our climate. Icebergs are melting and the habitat has taken a drastic change in the eco-system. There were many phenomenons that us in Singapore cannot experienced first hand, but that does not mean that is not happening on another side of the world. Luckily with Netflixes and great documentaries like “Our Planet”, we get to see it.
My friend Ryan, had been encouraging me to use Masterclass lately. I did, at first to catch Anna Wintour and Sara Blakely. I have to say the line up for Masterclass is brilliant. However, the class by Dr. Jane Goodall was an incidental find that changed the game for me (and I highly recommend her class!)
Dr. Jane Goodall, is known to the world as an anthropologist and scientist for her study of Chimpanzees in Gombe, Tanzania during the 1960s. During her masterclass, I was greatly inspired by this remarkable person for her love and heart to all sentient beings and life. Dr. Goodall reiterated all these facts from the Netflixes I watched and brought up clearly that humans are a part of this habitat and everything on earth has its interconnectedness and interdependence. I was particularly inspired when she spoke about the use of fossil fuels that disrupted our environment and deforestation.
Why inspired? Because I realise that Singapore is a cosmopolitan and as a small country with no natural resources, and we import almost ALL raw or ready materials. We also have easy access to the wide variety we see now, either through retail or purchasing them online. Thus, I felt that for us, it is really important to make good and right decisions on our choices.
I am guilty.
I am guilty to shop mindlessly and is wasteful in the past, now I felt regretful of my habits. I have to be honest that I am attracted by the packaging and branding more than the function of the products and felt that products made and shipped from the further side of the world to be better. But, they may be not be as the carbon footprint needed to produce and ship them here is high and we may not entirely know its source of production. Simple things like cotton from the tee-shirt that I am wearing now, it is cheap but was it ethically sourced? Was the fabric cotton sustainably harvested? Was the worker producing this tee paid fairly? Was land cleared deliberately for this harvest and trees and plants replanted once it is harvested?
At one part, Dr. Goodall also spoke about water conservation. I was surprised to learn that the world is slowly running out because in Singapore, all we need to do is just open our taps – and we have clean, safe and fresh water running down. And it felt like as long as you can pay, there will be endless supply of them.
We can all do better
On the hindsight, I am glad that I can be part to make a better change because of my work. Buying 2nd hand is a great way to mitigate mindless consumerism and be more environmentally friendly. However, there are many times which I reject an item offered to me because I felt that they are not made of good quality or it is simply not economically salvageable. It is time to re-set my own principles. I guess, there can not be a 100% total solution and what we can do is the make the best of of it, to suit our lifestyle and the effort we can do for this earth.
Some reminders for myself:
- Buy 2nd hand wherever I can
- Do not be wasteful
- Cut down purchasing food ingredients imported from Europe or US and support local sources instead. Another 1 thing I must do when I get back to work is to check if the timber we sourced are from sustainable timber companies whom will plant back the trees after cutting them down.
- Cut down air travels for at least the next 1.5 years
- Do not drive to get takeout, walk!
- Spend mindfully. Sometimes online clothing retailers do post up attractive clothings, check if the source of their fabric is sustainably sourced and their staff are paid fairly.
- Try to get as much cotton, linen fabric for the upholstery fabric as much as possible, and minimise the use of polyesters
- Does cheap > ethically sourced? What is the value of it?
Lastly, another good takeaway I had from Dr. Goodall’s masterclass is : to listen with a non-judgemental heart (sometimes I am guilty to speak without hearing the other person out). And it is good to cultivate a calm and loving kindness attitude. We should try to understand the problem of others and ask them what they are thinking so that we can start a change. Only by connecting the heart with brain + hope and harmony, then we can bring about a positive change. Remember: I think we can’t achieve 100% but let’s do whenever and wherever we can. We can always hope too!
Till then, take care and stay safe! 🙂