Earth Hour to rally Singapore around action on plastics
Earth Hour, the landmark movement by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), is back with a festival highlighting the global plastics crisis. By helping people understand how plastics impact the natural world, Earth Hour 2018 will rally support for the actions and solutions needed to address plastic waste in Singapore.
Plastics are a mainstay in everyday life, but excessive usage is impacting ocean health and biodiversity. By 2050, there could be more plastic in the ocean than fish by weight.
The use of fossil fuels to manufacture plastics further worsens climate change. 3 million plastic bags and bottles are sold every 60 seconds around the world. In Singapore, a person uses 13 plastic bags a day, amounting to 27 billion plastic bags every year.
“A mindset overhaul on plastics is due in Singapore. Plastics can be a resource, but a staggering amount is used and produced today. Having individuals understand the issue and more importantly, take action to reduce their plastic use, is key to a lasting solution. Earth Hour aims to drive this change right here in Singapore,” said Elaine Tan, Chief Executive Officer of WWF-Singapore.
People in Singapore are asked to support the Earth Hour movement with a #uselessplastic commitment: to reduce plastic use, and to refuse “useless” or unnecessary plastics such as straws, bags and stirrers.
To drive home the message, Earth Hour will be a plastic-free event. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own reusable bottles, and no single-use plastics will be provided by participating vendors.
Earth Hour 2018 Activities
Earth Hour is held in conjunction with i Light Marina Bay, which encourages sustainability through a showcase of 22 light art installations. The 10-day festival from 16-25 March will feature interactive experiences, art and family-friendly games at the Earth Hour Village. The annual 60+ Countdown Bash will take place on 24 March, with the Singapore skyline going dim at 8.30pm.
Date: 16 to 25 March 2018
Time: See below
- Journey through nature (16-25 March): A Panda Dome with a 360° projection transports viewers to lush nature settings, following a protagonist who is plagued by plastic waste.
- Art installations by LASALLE College of the Arts (16-25 March): A collection of four art installations, made from used plastics, by LASALLE Diploma and BA (Hons) Fine Arts students will also be on exhibit. Each installation captures a different aspect of the issue, from single-use plastics to microplastics.
- Great Panda Quest (16-25 March): A kids-friendly game where visitors can spot WWF’s Pandas along Marina Bay and complete a series of tasks for a chance to win exclusive prizes.
- Earth Hour Marketplace (23-25 March): Features sustainable F&B options and lifestyle merchandise from eco-friendly businesses such as VeganBurg and Charles & Keith.
- 60+ Countdown Bash (24 March, 6-10.30pm): The line-up of performers include Singapore’s biggest acts such as Tacit Aria, Jack & Rai, Dru Chen and Jukuleles.
Through an online platform called Connect2Earth, WWF aims to spark conversations around nature and biodiversity around the world. The social data gathered through the hashtag #Connect2Earth will be used to identify current environmental topics based on geographical locations.
Earth Hour is supported by CHARLES & KEITH, FairPrice and StarHub, as well as media partners Blue Ant Media and Outdoor Channel.
- Earth Hour Village: 16-25 March, 5pm – 9pm
- Earth Hour Marketplace: 23-25 March, 11am – 10pm (10.30pm on 24 March)
- 60+ Countdown Bash: 24 March, 6pm – 10.30pm
Environmental impact of key actions
- The air-conditioner is a major contributor to the amount of electricity consumed in the typical household. Using the air-conditioner in energy efficient ways can reduce its impact on the environment and your electricity bill.
- The air-conditioner takes up 30 percent of the typical household electricity bill.
- Air-conditioning should be set at 25 degrees Celsius, and not below 24 degrees Celsius.
- When set to this optimal temperature, the air-conditioner will not need to use up so much energy to cool the environment around you. This, in turn, results in lesser fossil fuels burnt to power the air conditioner and less heat released into the atmosphere, hence reducing the impact on the environment.
- Every one degree increase in the air-conditioner temperature helps you save a minimum of S$25 annually. We can save a minimum of $150 million annually in the total electricity bill for Singapore if all Singaporeans take this up.
- LED lights offer greater energy savings than traditional incandescent lights. Most of the energy LED lights use goes into making light instead of heat. Most incandescent lights, for example, produce anywhere from 5-20 lumens (a measure of brightness) per watt, whereas compact fluorescent bulbs put out about 40-70 lumens. By comparison, LEDs range from 20 lumens up to 100 lumens.
- 3 billion plastic bags were used in Singapore in 2011, needing 37 million kilogrammes of crude oil and 12 million kilogrammes of natural gas to make.
- Each kg of plastic bags requires 1.2 kilogrammes of crude oil, according to a study done by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research.
- Globally, each year, more than one trillion plastic bags are used around the world, less than two percent of which are recycled. The rest end up in landfills – where they can take up to 1,000 years to break down – or as litter.
- Please refer to www.zerowastesg.com/2012/04/27/plastic-bag-production-an-environmental-worry-news
- Nearly 50 percent of the water used in the homes in Singapore goes to showers and kitchen sink washing. Showers generally take up 29 percent of an average family’s monthly water consumption.
- People can save nine litres of water per minute in the shower by taking shorter showers.