7 habits of environmentally conscious people

Straits Times Forum 22 Apr 13;

TODAY, April 22, is Earth Day, which is celebrated globally with activities to remind us to do our part for the environment.

But do we still continue this effort after Earth Day? There are seven habits commonly found in people who are environmentally conscious that we can learn from.

One, develop a respect for nature, and renew our bond with nature and its biodiversity.

Nature has much to teach us on how to live in harmony with other creatures on earth. Without this respect and bond, there will be no desire to protect nature. Start exploring nature areas in Singapore and join guided walks to learn more.

Two, read up on local and global environmental issues. What are the current environmental trends and problems? What needs to be done? Make a commitment to learn more about these issues from channels such as websites, books, and newspapers.

Three, reduce our environmental impact by taking personal action to reduce energy and water consumption, and waste. Embrace sufficiency in our consumption, and practise the 3Rs - reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Four, spread the green message and educate family members, friends, classmates or colleagues. Share your knowledge with them and make use of social media. Influence the organisation that you belong to, whether it is a school, company, or social group, to be more environmentally friendly.

Five, participate in government and civil society initiatives for the environment. Support local environmental causes and non-governmental organisations, and join the various activities organised by the groups or volunteer your time with them.

Six, participate actively and constructively as citizens in the formulation of government policies on the environment. This could be through government dialogue sessions or feedback channels, and also through the media. Play a part in advocating green causes that you feel strongly about.

Seven, make a conscious choice to be a responsible consumer. Buy only what you need and always think twice before buying. Choose more eco-friendly, sustainable, ethical and organic products that are made by sustainable businesses.

We can all commit to adopt and practise the seven habits and do our part for the earth.

Eugene Tay Tse Chuan