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Single-use plastic ban, food waste and local produce top priorities in Centara’s 2019 Sustainability Plan.

SOURCE: TRAVEL DAILY NEWS

The elimination of single-use plastic items is part of the “Centara Earth Care” programme. It is aimed at encouraging Centara hotel guests and tourists to be proactive about energy saving, waste reduction and sustainable environmental tourism. Read the full article here. 

Written by Theodore Koumelis 

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“In Nature, nothing exists alone” – Rachel Carson, 1962

Earth day is near! Monday, April 22nd is the day to celebrate Mother Earth and to remind us that Earth and its ecosystems are what provide us with ‘life and sustenance’. Earth Day represents the collectiveness of us, and the need to find a harmonious balance with nature for today and for future generations.

Issues like climate change, deforestation, wildlife trafficking, poaching and pollution amongst others are well known outcomes of human impact on the earth. On this Earth Day, why not try one of the following:  

  1. Host a fundraiser for a local conservation organization!
  2. Start a Green Team in your office! Read more here.
  3. Write or update your sustainability policy and show a commitment to conservation and/or the community!

There is no limit on ways of getting involved! Do your part by investing in a charity or donating surplus food to a food redistribution organisation. Make green thinking a part of your company culture! Visit Earth Day Network to see how else you can help!

“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” – Jane Goodall 

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Incentivizing your office to drink responsibly

Categories: Green Tips
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Milk. We serve it in our office for coffee, we serve it in our restaurants and use it in many dishes. But have you thought about the environmental impact of this one small, but ubiquitous ingredient?


Source: Geo-grafika / shutterstock.com

As mentioned on other Green Tips, products derived from animals are usually less sustainable than those derived from plants or cereal. Different studies suggest that the production of dairy products results in larger amounts of carbon emissions than any other milk alternatives.

This guide can help you consciously choose a dairy alternative:

An eco-friendly substitute is almond milk. It does not need wide extensions of land in order to be produced and it’s the alternative that releases less carbon emissions into the environment. On a negative note, it will still require more water than the rest.

Although coconut milk is not as nutritious as other alternatives, it is low in calories and in water consumption. Not to forget that coconut trees filter out carbon dioxide, which is great for battling greenhouse emissions.

Another efficient alternate may be oat milk as it doesn’t require big amounts of water usage or land use and it does not cause a problem for air pollution with its carbon emissions.

Hemp milk is considered to be one of the most maintainable derivations. Hemp derived products is a growing trend throughout countries in South East Asia like, for example, in Thailand.

Rice milk is one of the least eco-friendly alternatives, but it still kindles less carbon emissions than diary milk.

And last but not least, soy milk may favor you in your goal of creating a minimal environmental footprint in your office. It barely needs water and land to grow.

 If you are still not ready to go dairy free, goat milk can be your answer. Goats have a lower land usage needs and produce less manure, making them less environmentally harmful.  

To learn more read this BBC news article.

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Credit: Shutterstock

A recent research from The Ocean Cleanup shows that the Great Pacific Garbage Patch comprises an estimated 1.8 trillion pieces of rubbish and is more than 16 times bigger than previously thought. With 8 million tons of plastic leaking into the ocean every year, all litter in our oceans harm over 600 marine species. Publicly taking a pledge to reduce plastic by saying “NO” to plastic water bottles or single-use straws in order to help the environment is a good start, however many of us struggle to go the extra and most important step: consuming accordingly!

With these apps, refusing and reducing plastic in your daily life is made easy, even when you are travelling:

1. WeTap

About: Thirsty? Ditch the plastic bottle with this drinking fountain app. WeTap allows you to find public water fountains easily. You can also assist other by adding new ones to the public database. Utilising and appreciating tap water – both the quality and access – is an important step in ensuring our water remains safe, tasty, and protected. Download the app here.

Where you can use it: worldwide

2. RefillMyBottle

About: Be it a hotel, a shop, warung or retreat business, a group of sustainable businesses on Bali have teamed up to offer travellers the opportunity for a bottle refill of clean water from a gallon or Nazava water filter. RefillMyBottle is a great showcase of the tourism industry’s commitment in preserving Bali’s eco-system. To map the initiative, RefillMyBottle has published an easily accessible Google map of all the places where you can refill your water bottle. Check the map to find the location of the nearest refill point or look for the RefillMyBottle sticker in the window of the establishment to refill your bottle! Download the app here.

Where you can use it: currently in Indonesia, expanding to Thailand and Vietnam

3. Zero Waste Home

About: Find, add and rate bulk locations near you and throughout the world using Bulk Finder. Shop without needless plastic wrappings and packaging. On the Zero Waste blog, you can further find information about living a Zero Waste lifestyle. Download the app here.

Where you can use it: worldwide

Another map (website-based) that provides a directory of packaging-free shops, borrowing shops and other facilities that promote a more environmentally-friendly and sensible consumption is the Zero Waste Map. The map is primarly for use in in Central Europe, however you can also enter new locations for relevant categories, upload your own images and exchange ideas in the forum with other interested members.

You can also learn more about plastic in our oceans with the MY LITTLE PLASTIC FOOTPRINT APP (Beta Version). This app provides fun facts on how to reduce the use of plastic. You can play an interactive quiz, use a Plastic Footprint calculator and learn how to adopt healthy habits regarding plastic consumption. The app also lets you spread awareness among your friends.

 

Interested in more apps that can help you embrace a sustainable lifestyle? Check out three more here.

 

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Getting rid of habits and changing behaviour to embrace a more sustainable lifestyle on a personal level can be challenging. Let’s say you have noticed that you throw out a lot of food because it has gone bad before you’ve had the chance to eat it and you want to reduce the amount of food wasted in the future. more » Read more

The paperless kitchen challenge

Categories: Green Tips, Planet
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The paperless kitchen challenge

Have you ever considered the potential positive impact to the environment and to your pocket of a paperless kitchen? We all use paper towels for cleaning up those little culinary mishaps; we use paper napkins at the dining table, and many of us carry our snacks to work in paper bags.

Take up the challenge of going paperless in your kitchen.

Why have a paperless kitchen?

Most paper towels cannot be recycled. Many are made of recycled paper and the fibres are at the end of their life cycle. Used paper towels also harbour bacteria and this not only raises concerns about hygiene but could also damage, potentially, other perfectly recyclable materials.

N.B. : Used paper towels, napkins and tissues are compostable

Adopting a paperless kitchen is a simple switch to reduce your kitchen waste and paper costs!

Making the switch

Getting started can be a challenge – but in developing this positive approach you can make a huge difference to your lifestyle.

Top tips:

Photo credit: The Linen Works

Photo credit: The Linen Works

1. Set a timeline

A slow yet steady transition is the best course. Remember to use a cloth whenever possible and you can gradually reduce the dependence on paper towels. Set yourself a deadline for dispensing totally with the paper alternatives!

2. Buy natural-fibre fabric

Invest in new towels and napkins before you run out of paper napkins and paper. Choose eco-friendly natural-fibres for your napkins, dish towels or hand towels whenever possible. Browse sites such as PaperlessKitchen.com to find your perfect natural cleaning cloths.

3. Replace paper towels with reusable rags

Look around your house for items such as old bathroom hand towels and cotton t-shirts. Cut them into manageable sizes for use around your home. Learn how to turn old t-shirts into rags.

4. Develop a system that works for your kitchen

Make the switch to a paperless kitchen easy to implement. For example, use colour coding for all your cloths in the kitchen and bathroom. When your whole family is on board, going paperless is possible.shutterstock_308344490

Check out these useful links:

•   Clever Ways to Store Your Kitchen Linens

•   Declutter Kitchen Towels & Dish Cloths

5. Laundry

Worried about the extra laundry? Soak the cloths in warm water with baking soda or vinegar to remove any grease before washing and rinsing as normal.

Being paper-free in your kitchen can be a challenge. It needs dedication and commitment and it does require a little extra work – the rewards are found in the cost savings and the benefits to our environment.

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For some people, using reusable bottles and bags are not enough. There are those who are so committed to reducing their carbon footprint that they live in such a way that many consider to be extreme. While you may never choose to adapt to any one of them fully, hopefully some of these ultra-sustainable lifestyles will inspire you to incorporate some of their practices into your own life.

Here’s a quick run-down on the subcultures of sustainable lifestyles.

Minimalism
Minimalism is probably the oldest subculture of sustainable living and the Japanese are known to be naturally inclined to it. This may be a result of the widespread influence of Zen Buddhism plus the average size of most apartments in the country.

Joshua Fields Milburn and Ryan Nickodemus, founders of the popular blog, The Minimalists, define Minimalism as “a lifestyle that helps people question what things add value to their lives. By clearing the clutter from life’s path, we can all make room for the most important aspects of life: health, relationships, passion, growth, and contribution.” Their philosophy is that “a life with more time, more money, and more freedom to live a more meaningful life.” Simply put, less is more.

Click the photo below to see a beautiful photo essay on Japan’s minimalists. And check out the #1 New York Times best-selling book, ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing’ by Marie Kondo who is one of Time Magazine’s ‘100 Most Influential People’ in 2015.

Sustainable Japanese minimalists

4 March 2016. Tokyo, Japan. Reuters/Thomas Peter

Dumpster Diving
Dumpster diving, also called totting (the UK), binning (Canada), or skip dipping (Australia), is the practice of going through the wastes of major supermarkets, restaurants, bakeries, residential areas, offices, etc. in search of edible or usable items. Although dumpster divers used to be people who did it because they needed to, these days, even those who can afford three meals a day and have roofs over their heads do it as an act of environmentalism or protest against excessive consumerism.

Dumpster diving has gained so much popularity that there are documentaries  and TV shows about it. There’s also a wealth of information online on how and where to dumpster dive, as well as meet-ups with fellow divers.

Sustainable dumpster diver kitsie

The author with her dumpster dived, French artisanal bread. Melbourne, Australia. 2011.

Freeganism
Freeganism is a close relative of dumpster diving, but is taken to another level. Initiators of this movement, such as Food Not Bombs, are strongly anti-capitalist, whose practices are sometimes described as forms of anarchism. Freegans are almost always vegans or vegetarians, hence the name.

Sustainable foodnotbombs flyer

Food Not Bombs Flyer

The Freegan Philosophy:

‘Freegans practice strategies for everyday living based on sharing resources, minimizing the detrimental impact of our consumption, and reducing and recovering waste and independence from the profit-driven economy. […] Freegans believe in living ethical, free, and happy lives centered around community and the notion that a healthy society must function on interdependence’.(click here for the full text)

sustainable freegansim-illus-2

Illustration from Buzz Magazine

Browse through the links below for more on the subcultures of sustainable living:

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