Using a plastic bag while grocery shopping at NTUC and shredding used scraps of paper at work is part of a daily routine for most of us. Especially with the added convenience of refuse bins in our homes, throwing away unused objects seems to be second nature. But have you ever pondered upon how much trash do you toss away in a day? Even though it’s been drilled in our heads that we should recycle our trash, truth be told, we are simply lazy.
According to Zero Waste Singapore, the amount of waste disposed of increased about 600%, from 0.5 million tonnes in 1970 to 3 million tonnes in 2013.
Each person disposed about 0.87 kg of domestic waste per day in 2013. That’s more than 300kg of trash generated a year!
The top 3 waste types include:
1. Plastics (26%)
2. Food Waste (23%)
3. Paper/Cardboard (19%)
Why should we be concerned about trash?
When trash is disposed, it:
– ends up in an incinerator
– burnt to be converted to other forms of energy
– or in a landfill taking up space
This pollutes and contaminates the environment. In fact, there’s a correlation between landfill & global warming. Most of the gas released in landfills consist of methane, which is 20 to 25 times more powerful in trapping heat as compared to carbon dioxide. So if you always complain about how hot Singapore is, think about how you’ve been contributing to it all this while!
So what is Zero Waste Movement all about?
The Zero Waste Movement is a way of living to minimise the discard of materials. Zero Waste maximises recycling, minimises waste and reduces overall consumption. This ensures that products are either reused, repaired, or recycled. All in all, it helps to save the environment!
How can you start participating in the Zero Waste Movement?
Other than recycling, you can opt to reuse items to reduce waste. Here are 5 simple handmade DIY ideas to repurpose your old items. What’s more, you can sell these items for some extra cash on the Thinges app 🙂 Will you refuse to refuse today?
5. Side Tables
Repurpose your old magazines. Best thing – you don’t need any other materials!
1. Stack your magazines on top of each other.
2. Place whatever objects you want on the top. Like a lamp, or even to hold your mug.
4. Newspaper Pots
If you have green fingers and no idea on what to do with stacks of old newspaper other than selling them to the Karung Guni man, this project is for you!
1. Tear a single sheet of newspaper in half and fold into a third.
2. Wrap newspaper around the empty can. Leave about a quarter inch from the top of the can unwrapped.
3. Fold bottom edge in, and secure with tape.
4. Slip off newspaper from can and you’re ready to use these newspaper pots.
3. Enhanced Leaves
Looking for a unique piece of decor in your room or for an event? Why not consider using elements that can be found in nature instead of purchasing a brand-new item? All you need are fresh leaves, newspaper, crayons and scissors to recreate Autumn in the tropics.
1. Place leaves on a flat, dry surface.
2. Cover leaf with a piece of newspaper
3. Rub crayons gently over leaf.
2. DIY Plastic Bracelets
Innova Crafts shares about how to make colourful bracelets from recycled plastic bottles. It’s easy, fast to make, plus it makes for a great customisable gift! All you need is a plastic bottle, tape, scissors, iron and nail polish or acrylic paint.
1. Tape the bottle around twice.
2. Cut out the portion being marked by the tape to get a rim of plastic.
3. Switch on the iron. Remove steam and put medium temperature. Heat the plastic rim at the top and bottom.
4. After it cools down for approximately 1 minute, use nail polish / acrylic paint to colour the bracelet.
1. Plastic Bag Coasters
A group of Singaporean schoolgirls share about various ways to reuse plastic carriers. Deeply concerned about the environment, they hope to influence consumers to think twice before disposing plastic bags after only using them once.
1. Take 3 plastic bags of similar size. Cut off the handles and bottom of each plastic bag.
2. Lay a piece of plain paper on the ironing board and base.
3. Layer the plastic bags. Make sure the layers you want to see are at the top & bottom respectively.
4. Paste a piece of plain paper on top of the plastic.
5. Set iron to medium heat. Iron each section of plastic from 8 to 10 seconds.
6. Once plastic bags have fused together, leave to cool for approximately 1 minute.
7. Trim off the frayed edges.
8. Trace out any design you like. Use a scissors to cut out the shape.
Find this post useful? Do share it and pass along the message about how we can work together to reduce waste.
If you try these projects out, do leave a comment and share your results, we’re excited to check them out 😀
PS: Any avid Pinners out there? If you would like to collaborate on a shared #Upcycling board on Pinterest, do leave a comment as well and we’ll send an invite your way!