Earth Day: Shared umbrellas to cut carbon footprint

Nee Soon GRC MP Lee Bee Wah at the launch of the umbrella-sharing initiative, part of a series of activities to mark Earth Day, yesterday.
Nee Soon GRC MP Lee Bee Wah at the launch of the umbrella-sharing initiative, part of a series of activities to mark Earth Day, yesterday.

An initiative that involves sharing umbrellas is encouraging Nee Soon South residents to walk when it rains, instead of taking a car for a short distance, in a bid reduce their carbon footprint.

The move was launched by Nee Soon GRC MP Lee Bee Wah during a litter-picking exercise as part of Earth Day activities yesterday.

The initiative was among a series of activities that took place over the weekend to mark Earth Day, which is observed on April 22.

The umbrella-sharing initiative encourages residents to do their part to save the earth, said Ms Lee. "It is also cheaper and healthier."

She added that "walking and taking the public transport reduce air pollution and emissions", which slows down global warming and helps to preserve our environment.

Several events elsewhere in Singapore also focused on getting people to play a part in saving the environment. These included pupils planting trees, and hotels encouraging guests to reuse towels and linen as well as rallying staff to carpool.

On Saturday, Keppel Land and Keppel Reit Management, both subsidiaries of Keppel Corporation, held a public screening of A Plastic Ocean at the Singapore Botanic Gardens to raise awareness on the urgent challenge of climate change. The documentary reveals the consequences of plastic pollution.

At the screening, individuals submitted an online pledge to do their part to combat climate change.

Some also brought their own bottles and used the water dispensers provided on-site, instead of purchasing plastic bottled drinks. Carpets made from recycled materials, such as discarded fishing nets, were also provided as substitutes for plastic mats for the audience to sit on.

At the event, Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources, said that while Singapore has taken steps - from developing measures to clean up waterways to putting in place an integrated waste management and collection system - involvement from individuals and organisations is needed to tackle environmental issues.

"Government efforts alone can neither curb excessive plastic usage nor ensure that our waters are free from plastics," she said. "We need to work together to bring about a plastic-free ocean, and address the larger issue of climate change."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 23, 2018, with the headline 'Earth Day: Shared umbrellas to cut carbon footprint'. Print Edition | Subscribe