Glaciers are shrinking. Forests are burning. Some species of animals are on the brink of extinction. It’s about time we all make a pact to save the environment – and you can make a difference in your daily choices.
If you’ve been doing your part like bringing reusable bags when grocery shopping or separating cans and bottles for recycling, good job! Now, it’s time to go beyond the basics. Don’t know where to start? There are apps and Telegram groups that help you seek out more ethical shopping opportunities to play a part in saving the environment and small businesses, or combat food wastage. Read on for some of our favourites.
Food waste is a major problem in Singapore. In fact, the amount of food waste generated has been growing by around 20 per cent over the last 10 years. Treatsure is an app that provides an alternative solution that addresses food wastage, while linking up merchants to everyday consumers. Dubbed as “Singapore’s first food-saving app”, its mission is to get consumers to treat food as treasure.
Treatsure started as a takeaway buffet-in-a-box concept, where users can pack food from participating hotels or restaurant buffets in the last 30 to 60 minutes of the buffet time from $10 per box. But since the suspension of self-serve buffets, the app has expanded its services to offer surplus grocery delivery. Through the app, you can find surplus, blemished or expiring items such as fruits, vegetables, eggs, snacks and drinks, delivered to your doorstep. Some of their grocery partners include Unilever, F&N Foods, Atasco, Unpakt and Re-Foods.
OLIO is another app that aims to combat food wastage by encouraging users to share unused items or excess food products instead of throwing them away. It could be anything from unopened cans of baked beans, clean egg whites, extra cough syrups and even leftover plastic cups from last weekend’s party.
It’s easy, too. Simply take a photo of the items you want to share. People nearby who use OLIO will then get an alert and message you if they’re interested. You can also browse items your neighbours are willing to share, such as food, cleaning products and other miscellaneous items.
OLIO also features an in-app challenge that makes being sustainable more fun. It has a “goals” section where every goal you swipe right to goes to your to-do list. Read a book about the effects of capitalism on the climate, or do a kitchen clearout every week and earn points while at it.
It’s not as if we needed more reasons to make eco-conscious choices – but there’s an app that can help you turn your actions and purchases into points, cashback and donations to local charities. Enter: susGain, a sustainability rewards app that partners with over 90 local sustainable brands to reward shoppers with cashback.
This makes making sustainable choices easy, convenient and affordable. Earn 10 points when you bring your own container and utensils to hawker centres, or get a cash rebate when you shop at participating sustainable stores. And hey, you can also choose a charity of choice to support: such as Mercy Relief, Zero Waste SG, ACRES and SCWO.
Fashion – especially fast fashion – harms the environment more than you think. Singapore generated 205,800 tonnes of textile and leather waste in 2019, of which only 6 per cent was recycled. We’re not kidding: These are actual statistics from the National Environment Agency (NEA).
While we can’t stay away from buying clothes completely, we can make better choices such as buying and selling pre-loved clothes to extend their lifespan and reduce waste. Bhabie’s Market has created an online marketplace (and community) on Telegram that makes upcycling clothes more convenient.
UglyFood Fresh Produce
A lot of us are guilty of this, but sometimes we end up throwing away fruit and vegetables that are perfectly edible just because there are blemishes. UglyFood Fresh Produce aims to reduce food waste by offering imperfect but still delicious food, as well as surplus fresh produce at highly discounted prices. Shop online and get produce delivered to your door – and you can get more for the same price you’d pay at the supermarket.
To keep yourself updated on their best deals, join their Telegram channel to find out more.
Do you use any apps to help save the environment? Share them with us at email@example.com!