The Green Changemakers

These three student-led initiatives from WKWSCI are all about inspiring the community to adopt greener habits.

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Over the past eight months, several Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information undergraduates have launched eco-friendly campaigns across the campus, and beyond.

Their efforts tie in with the university’s push to become the greenest campus in the world. Back in August 2018, Nanyang Technological University President Subra Suresh shared that plans were underway to reduce energy, water and waste intensity by 50 percent over the next six years.

 

“We want to tell these people that ultimately, it’s not about how much you do, but the little steps that you take.”

Ng Xinyu (CS’19)

Choosing to be guilt-free

Beauty Uncovered, a final year campaign project by Belinda Goh Si Qian, Amanda Low Li Yi, Kimberly Teo Zhiqin and Ng Xinyu (all CS’19), strives to encourage females to engage in an ethical beauty routine. This includes being aware of the production methods of cosmetics, choosing animal cruelty-free products and reusing the packaging of beauty products.

Apart from roadshows on the NTU campus, they have extended their reach to the National University of Singapore and the Singapore Management University. They have also held weekend pop-ups at two cafes: The Social Space in Chinatown and The Plain Jane in Serangoon.

The main highlight of their booths was a beauty swap, which saw consumers bring their lightly used, or unused products to either exchange or donate.

“From our surveys, we found that most people think that they don’t have much impact on the environment as a mere individual. We want to tell these people that ultimately, it’s not about how much you do, but the little steps that you take,” said Ng.

 

Cutting down wastage with reusable cutlery

Ciao Cutlery, Bye was a project started by a group of third-year students — Joshua Ng, Jade Wong, Vanessa Tan, Esther Soh and Melissa Lee (all CS’20). After being exposed to social activism in the United States during their semestral exchange in 2018, they were inspired to start a project to empower social change.

“If you’re willing to use metal straws in place of plastic straws, I don’t think it’s that difficult to switch to reusable cutlery.”

Vanessa Tan (CS'20)

Funded by NTU’s CoLab4Good and the National Environmental Agency , the team has given out 2,000 cutlery sets to NTU students to date. This initiative shows no sign of abating, as they as they have concrete plans to distribute these sets to the WKWSCI freshmen during orientation in the upcoming academic year.

“If you’re willing to use metal straws in place of plastic straws, I don’t think it’s that difficult to switch to reusable cutlery,” said Tan.

Ultimately, they hope that people can bring their own cutlery sets from home, instead of generating additional waste from the production of reusable ones.

 

Electronics deserve a second life

Growing up in a digital age, the youth of today are hoarding and creating more electronic waste than ever before. This consists of mainly laptops, mobile phones and tablets.

Re-wired, a final year campaign project by Elyse Yap, Emma Sim, Fan Yuk Hei and Rebecca Tan (all CS’19) seeks to initiate conversation on alternative ways of handling electronic waste, through social media platforms and roadshows.

“We must all take care of our own future, do the right thing, and do more than just what we have been used to doing all these years.”

Mr Zulfiki Masagos

The campaign advocates five simple solutions, to ease the confused minds of consumers — recycling, reselling, repairing, donating and trading in.

“What we want them to think about is to be more responsible with their consumption and their disposal,” said Yap.

The team held roadshows at Hong Kah North Community Centre as part of Eco Day Out, and also at NTU, NUS and SMU.

Their outreach efforts ended with a bang when their final exhibition held at Westgate last month was featured on The Straits Times. Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Masagos Zulkifli, graced the event and joined the team in their pledge to reduce electronic waste in Singapore.

“We must all take care of our own future, do the right thing, and do more than just what we have been used to doing all these years,” Mr Masagos said.

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