Design and Make Sustainable Products

August 8, 2012 by  
Filed under Insights

Are you a designer interested in designing more sustainable products? Is your company looking at green product design? This article explores the various sustainable design principles that have been developed over the years, which designers can adopt and apply in their work.

Designers and manufacturers can design and make sustainable products and packaging that are durable and non-toxic, use less materials and resources during its entire life cycle, and which can be reused, repaired or recycled.

To eliminate the concept of waste means to design things – products, packaging and systems – from the very beginning in the understanding that waste does not exist. – Jonathon Porritt, Capitalism as if the World Matters

Several sustainable design and product principles have been developed over the years and we look at some of them below:

  1. Biomimicry
  2. Cradle to Cradle
  3. Design for the Environment
  4. Life Cycle Assessment
  5. The Natural Step
  6. Other Resources

If you’re a designer or manufacturer, learn and adopt these sustainable principles in your product or packaging. Read more

Leave No Child Inside

April 26, 2012 by  
Filed under Insights

Nowadays, our children growing up in urban Singapore are having less contact with nature. There should be more opportunities for them to learn about nature and biodiversity. Bring your children out from the house to the local nature areas and show them the wonderful biodiversity of flora and fauna in Singapore. Leave no child inside.

To find out more about the nature areas in Singapore, visit the National Parks Board and Wildsingapore websites for information on our nature areas, including: Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve; Pulau Ubin and Chek Jawa; Labrador Nature Reserve and Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.

Guided walks are conducted for some nature areas and we would recommend you to bring your children for such walks to gain more knowledge about the particular area. Some people are mistaken that Singapore is too small to have any nature areas worth visiting, but the biodiversity in these small areas are still an eye-opener if you are willing to spend some time there.

Sign up today for a guided walk to a nature area with your children, and make a commitment to visit at least one nature area every month.

Green Your Transport

May 8, 2009 by  
Filed under Insights

According to the National Climate Change Strategy report, transportation accounts for 19% of Singapore’s total carbon emissions in 2005. You can play a part to reduce your carbon emissions from transport in the following ways:

Public Transportation

In Singapore, we enjoy a wide range of public transportation such as the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), Light Rail Transit (LRT), buses and taxis, which provide services covering the entire Singapore at reasonable fares. You can choose to take public transport and do away with cars. Visit PublicTransport@SG or to find out how to get around Singapore and plan your journey.


Walk and Cycle

You can choose to walk for short journeys or cycle to your destination and workplace. It’s a good way to exercise too. Check out the mrbrown’s Quick Guide to Bicycle Commuting in Singapore.

Foldable bicycles are now allowed on trains and buses (Mon to Fri: 9.30am-4pm and 8pm to end of service; All day on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays). Check out this comparison chart of foldable bicycles that are available in Singapore.

The Park Connector Network allows you to cycle through the parks in Singapore and enjoy the greenery.

Shop Online

There are more companies providing online stores where you can do your shopping at the comfort of your home. Shopping online saves time and reduces your need to drive and travel. You can also save money if you buy in bulk and reduce impulse buying.

Park and Ride

trainPark & Ride (P&R) is a scheme that allows you to drive to a selected site near an MRT station, bus interchange or bus stop, park your vehicle there and continue your journey by bus or MRT. You can enjoy attractive season parking rates at designated sites as well as avoid the high parking fees in the Central Business District (CBD), and also avoid the ERP charges during peak hours. This helps to save you fuel and money, and also reduce traffic congestion and carbon emissions.

Carpool and Carsharing

Carpooling is the shared use of a car between someone who has a car and those who wants to share the ride. For carpool opportunities, check out Carpool King, CabCorner, and MyRideBuddy.

Carsharing allows you the freedom of using a car as and when you want it, without the worries of car ownership. You can book the car and collect it at selected locations. Check out these carsharing schemes: Car Club, KahShare, and WhizzCar.

Fuel Efficient Vehicles

felsFrom 1 April 2009, registered suppliers of motor vehicles must affix a Fuel Economy Label (FEL) on the vehicles. The FEL shows the fuel consumption of the vehicle, which indicates how much fuel is needed for traveling a certain distance (L/100km, kg/100km or Wh/km). For cars with similar engine capacity, a higher fuel consumption means that the car is less fuel efficient. When you’re buying a new car, remember to look at the FEL and choose a fuel efficient car.

Green Vehicles

When buying a new vehicle, choose a green vehicle such as hybrid cars, CNG cars or electric scooters. Owners of new hybrid, electric and CNG cars will enjoy the Green Vehicle Rebate. The rebate is equivalent to 40% of the car’s Open Market Value (OMV) that can be used to offset the Additional Registration Fee (ARF) payable at registration.

Good Driving Habits

Practise these good driving habits to reduce fuel consumption:

  • Plan your car trip early
  • Maintain your car regularly
  • Keep the tyres properly inflated
  • Avoid excess weight in the boot
  • Avoid sudden braking and acceleration

More tips can be found in the Singapore Environment Council’s Green Transport Guide.

Fly Less

You can make a conscious choice to fly less. Instead of flying off for a holiday, you can stay in Singapore and visit local attractions or natural habitats. Check out our local nature areas and discover the wonderful multitude of flora and fauna. You can visit wildsingapore for information on the various nature areas and the biodiversity found there.

Instead of taking the plane to visit someone overseas, you can always chat online and make a video call using Skype or Google video chat. It’s free!


Image credit: Rail System Map via LTA; anjsand; Fuel Economy Label via NEA.