5 Eco-friendly Ways to De-clutter your Life
Is your home full of things that you don’t need or can’t bear to throw away? Here are a few easy tips that can help you de-clutter the eco-friendly way.
In 2010, the World Wildlife Fund named Singapore as having one of Asia-Pacific’s largest ecological footprints per capita—which translates to the substantial pressure that human demand is placing on nature. In other words, the amount of land and water that we generally need to produce the resources we consume (e.g. food), provide the land for infrastructure, and absorb the carbon dioxide we generate are putting an enormous strain on our natural resources. While the government is taking steps to reduce the impact, there are ways that we can contribute as individuals too. One of the most effective ways is to de-clutter your home and reduce the amount of unnecessary items at home. Here are 5 eco-friendly tips to lighten your carbon footprint and perhaps, give your wallet a breather!
1. Borrow or Swap
If you’re a bibliophile like me, then the touch and smell of books in your very own library at home are a must. No doubt there are e-books and digital devices, but they can never replace the awesome feels that you get when you see your shelves filled with your beloved tomes. The real problem comes when you start buying more books than you can read and the bookshelves look like World War 3 just broke out. Save the trees by making full use of your nearest National Library, or conduct regular book swaps with your fellow bibliophiles. This can apply to other items such as clothes too.
2. Go Paperless
If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to go paperless with all your bills. Set up your bills to be paid via credit cards or Giro, and view your bills online so that it saves on paper and ink. This keeps your table nicely neat, and you’ll never have to worry about missing out another bill again!
3. Cut the Junk
Hate how much junk you’re receiving every day? Opt out of the nasty business of having to sort out the important letters from the advertisements by calling SingPost at their hotline 1605 or contact them via their query page at www.singpost.com. This applies to unaddressed mail, educational pamphlets from the government or advertisements that SingPost delivers as part of their service to companies. However, do note that you may miss out on furniture catalogues (like IKEA) and food coupons. You can also avoid other types of junk mail by setting up the anti-junk mail catch on your letterbox.
4. Rent & Earn
The first company to provide a peer-to-peer renting platform for individuals and companies, Rent Tycoons (www.renttycoons.com) allows you to rent out household items that are sitting around in your storerooms and make money at the same time! Absolutely great for people who can’t bear to throw their things away, and yet can’t decide what to do with them.
5. Donate to a Worthy Cause
Give away your unwanted belongings for a good cause! If they’re still in good condition, then do consider donating them to other people who need them more. Charity organisations such as The Salvation Army (www.salvationarmy.org/singapore) resell donations-in-kind at their Family Thrift Stores to support social programmes. Another note-worthy initiative is Pass It On (www.passiton.org.sg), which re-distributes unwanted household items in working condition to Voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWOs).
These steps may be small ones but as the saying goes: “little drops of water make the mighty ocean”. Every little effort by us will eventually pay off.