What? We Kinda’ Caused the Haze?
I chose this blog activity because annually, Singapore faces haze problem which causes health, economic and environmental issues, but we simply attribute it to the deforestation happening in Indonesia. I wish to bring light to what we don’t know is that we are indirectly causing the haze by the consumption decisions we make. For example, palm oil and paper are produced in a unsustainable way as it causes long term harm to the environment and people. In 2014, Singapore produced 1.27 tonnes of paper and cardboard waste!
Palm oil is environmentally friendly as it requires less fertilizer and pesticides and has high yields per hectare. However, the way we produce it is unsustainable, therefore the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil was established to promote and use of certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO).
What we can do as individuals is to use FSC or 100% recycled pulp and paper options when buying wood-based products. For palm oil, look out for brands such as IKEA, Tesco, Johnson & Johnson, Nestle and Unilever which uses certified sustainable palm oil.
We also can reduce consumption of edible oil by cooking with less oil or eating less fried food which is also beneficial for your health! Other than that, we can use an air fryer which requires no additional oil being added to the food.
Other than that, we also can reduce our usage of paper by using both sides of the paper. reusing scrap paper and recycling. This will ensure that less trees are cut down in order to make paper.
To combat the haze issue, Singapore adopted the usage of the enacted Trans-boundary Haze Pollutant Act in 2014. In 2015, Singapore has taken legal action on 5 companies and sent a team comprising of 40 Singapore Armed Forces’ and Singapore Civil Defence Force officers in an effort to fight forest fires in Indonesia.
In conclusion, I feel that we should do our part as Local and Regional Citizens to help combat the haze issue that is currently affecting the region. Even ordinary citizens like us can make a great impact by choosing what products we use and the amount we use.