- CO2 levels in our air are at their highest in 650,000 years
- 2018/19 of the warmest recorded years are since 2001
- In 2012, Arctic summers’ sea ice shrank to a record low
- Satellite data reveals that Earth’s polar ice sheets are losing mass
- Global average sea level has risen nearly 7″ over the past century
Worldwide, the clothing utilisation has decreased by 36% as compared to 15 years ago.
Globally, more than half of fast fashion garments produced is disposed of each year.
With fast fashion as the industry’s standard, our pattern of mindless consumerism is reinforced. What we see is the clothing racks being wheeled in and out in a blink of an eye, fueling the need to constantly mirror this in our own wardrobes. The accessibility and affordability of cheap deals are just too great miss out on, isn’t it? What we do not see is the amount of energy waste generated as a by-product of our behavior. Did you know that the textiles industry currently relies on mostly non-renewable resources amounting to 98 mil tonnes in a year. The question is whether the price tag is really as affordable as it seems. Perhaps not, because someplace else, someone or something is paying the true price that we shoppers did not.
Due to high levels of humidity and heat, organic waste rapidly decomposes. Beyond just odour, this encourages the spread of pests and diseases within our environment. This requires the prompt and safe collection and disposal to ensure high standard of public wellbeing, which currently goes to Singapore’s only landfill – Semakau. However, given the current rate of waste being generated, the island is projected to be completely full by 2035. This leaves our country with 16-year time waste bomb and a compelling need to actualise into a zero-waste nation.
Though commendable that nationwide recycling efforts have climbed from 40% in 2000 to 60% in 2018, with countries like China, Thailand and Malaysia putting the brakes on waste imports, we need to step up our efforts. More can be done to not only raise this number, but also minimise overall waste production.
Singapore is a little red dot on the map. With the current land size of only 724.2km², and a population of 5,703,600, we are one of the world’s most densely populated cities. Space is a resource we severely lack. We face a multitude of competing uses for it, and when it comes to waste, it’s time to start thinking about a more efficient approach.
You may have heard that if the global average temperature increased by two degrees, Earth would see changes like never before in the last several hundred thousand years.
What does an average increase of two degrees mean? It does not sound like much, given our daily temperature fluctuations. However, the change may feel more drastic since temperature rise is non-uniform. Water takes up 70% of the Earth’s surface area, and takes a lot more energy to heat up than land.
In 2015, GHG emissions from textiles production totalled 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent, more than all of international flights & maritime shipping combined.
Many of us are experiencing the heat, and it feels much more extreme than what’s reflected in our weather apps. Have you ever checked the ‘feel’s like’ temperature and thought about how ridiculous that was?
- “Our coolest month now is as warm as what our hottest month was [within the last decade]” – Dr. Eeqmal, Senior research scientist at Centre for Climate Research Singapore
- 2100: Singapore’s rise is projected to be between 1.4 – 4.6 degrees celsius. This urban heat island effect compounds warming and worsens air quality.
Known as the Urban Heat Island effect, due to how densely populated and constructed our land is, excess heat has no place to go. Land heats up much faster than the water, which is exacerbated by how urbanisation has replaced self-cooling vegetation with heat-retaining concrete buildings and bitumen roads. On top of heightened levels of discomfort, a warmer atmosphere holds more water vapour. Combined, this presents a new level of threat to our health and way of life.
Earth Overshoot Day: 29 July 2019 — It marks the date when humankind’s demand for natural resources exceeds what the Earth can regenerate in a given year.
- Humanity is currently using up resources 1.75 times faster than the Earth’s ability to regenerate. That means need 1.75 Earths to provide for our current resource demands. If people consumed resources like how we do in Singapore, we need 3.5 Earths to meet our needs.
The impact of climate change is expected to cause widespread declines in crop yields of up to 25% by 2050.
Today, 663 people million do not have access to improved water sources (i.e. where human waste is separated from human contact hygienically).
- By 2040, almost 600 million children are projected to live in areas where the demand for water will exceed the amount available.