Don't link mobile plan renewal with latest phones

It is heartening to see many Singaporeans coming together to pledge to reduce their carbon footprint (Over 303,300 people, groups make climate action pledge; Oct 25).

The problem of rising temperatures is extremely worrisome for Singapore as there are many low-lying areas in the country.

Therefore, it is crucial for Singapore to move from educating to engaging people to help reduce the effects of climate change.

There are many ways the Government can engage people in the local community.

First, it can consider introducing more events, campaigns or activities to demonstrate convenient ways for people to reduce their carbon footprint at home. This can be targeted towards the elderly in particular, as they are more likely to refrain from doing so out of convenience.

Second, the Government could also consider having more monetary incentives to encourage people to use public transport or carpool.

Third, there is a need to emphasise the importance of reusing our old items. For example, with the temptation of getting newer and more in-trend electronic gadgets, people tend to overlook the large carbon footprint that results from the manufacturing and distribution processes.

Perhaps telecommunications companies could stop tying the renewal of mobile phone contract plans with the latest phone models, so that people will not feel the need to change their phones with each new contract.

Fourth, we can adopt the "carbon diet" challenge to encourage behavioural changes needed to address climate change.

We all have a role to play. If everyone steps up to start reducing his carbon footprint, we can all help to prevent the damage before it becomes irreversible.

Choy Ting Yi (Miss)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 27, 2018, with the headline 'Don't link mobile plan renewal with latest phones'. Print Edition | Subscribe