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Recycling starts at home

Recycling starts at home
Image source: NEA

Have you got your blue, I mean Bloobox yet?

Thanks to an NEA initiative, you can now have your very own mini recycling bin in your home.

The free foldable box can hold up to 5kg of recyclables and has a tip sheet on what can and cannot be recycled, as well as a removable divider so you can create a separate compartment for small e-waste items.

Whimsically called Bloobox, after the ubiquitous blue recycling bins that you see scattered around Singapore, it can be collected from vending machines in various locations, including community clubs, bus interchanges and in HDB estates.

Much like the free facemasks given out during Covid, you just need to scan (or key in) your IC or FIN card at the vending machine to collect your Bloobox.

You can check on availability here. Some vending machines in popular estates are out of stock already.

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The thing I like the most is that this project was a collaboration with a team of students from the Singapore Institute of Technology.

This is exactly the kind of thing that our younger people can take the lead on.

Gen Zs are vocal about the causes that they care for, and sustainability is a passionate topic for many.

Sustainability carnival at Teck Ghee

Sustainability carnival at Teck Ghee
Image source: Bishan – Love Thy Neighbour

Talking about enthusiastic Gen Zs, if you’re in and around Ang Mo Kio this Saturday (Mar 25), head to the central stage next to Block 712, Ang Mo Kio Ave 6 for a mini eco festival organised by Event Management students from ITE Central.

The event is called Love Thy Neighbour: Eco Together and is part of the school’s efforts at serving various communities around them.

These students have been busy – they have been knocking on doors to ask Teck Ghee residents for their recyclable items, which would be upcycled into bags, drink holders and bowls to be given away at the event.

mini eco festival organised by Event Management students from ITE Central
Students sorting out the donated items for upcycling. Image source: Bishan – Love Thy Neighbour

Lecturer Charlotte Toh told The Pride: “Community outreach has been an insightful experience for the students. We were pleasantly surprised when residents invited us to their houses for drinks. They encouraged our efforts and promised to share our messages to neighbours who were not in! Some of them even wanted to sign up to continue to contribute to recycling efforts with us! You can really feel the kampung spirit here.”

The carnival will have game stalls and a bouncy castle and national mascots Singa the Kindness Lion and NEA’s Captain Green will also make an appearance.

You can even collect a Bloobox at the event!

Climate change report

Climate change report
Image source: BigStockphoto/ photodreams24

These small steps towards sustainability is important, after the United Nations released a stark warning on climate change this week.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s sixth report said that the world is set to cross the 1.5 degree Celsius mark in a decade if we don’t do something to limit climate change activities, such as greenhouse gas emissions.

Passing this mark will have dire consequences on humans and ecosystems across the world. For example, at 1.5 deg C of warming, 14 per cent of land species could face the risk of extinction. If temperatures rise to 2 deg C, 99 per cent of warm-water coral reefs – home to a quarter of marine life – will die.

Nevertheless, the IPCC’s key message is that while humans have driven the planet to the precipice of climate catastrophe, there is still time to steer global temperatures to within relatively safe limits.

In other words, there’s still time, but we need to act now!

Happiest countries in the world

Happiest countries in the world
Image source: BigStockphoto/ Grisha Bruev

More in global news that affects us, the World Happiness Report was released on March 20 – International Happiness Day.

The report, now in its tenth year, looks at six key factors in countries across the world to explain how we see ourselves as happy. These factors are social support, income, health, freedom, generosity, and absence of corruption.

Said US economist Jeffrey Sachs: “The happiness movement shows that well-being is not a ‘soft’ and ‘vague’ idea but rather focuses on areas of life of critical importance: material conditions, mental and physical wealth, personal virtues, and good citizenship. We need to turn this wisdom into practical results to achieve more peace, prosperity, trust, civility – and yes, happiness – in our societies.”

Peace, prosperity and happiness… hmm, where have I heard a similar phrase before?

Of course, being Singaporeans, we need to compare, right? Finland is top of the list (again, for the sixth year) and many of the countries in the top 10 are from Europe. New Zealand was #10 and Australia #12, while the US (#15) and the UK (#19) also made it into the top 20.

Singapore was ranked #25 – which sparked off some disgruntled grumblings from netizens, who questioned the survey and asked if we deserved to be that high on the list.

Dropping Kids at School Singapore
Image source: Shutterstock / Anuphone Sakoolchai

If you ask me, happiness is really a matter of perspective. If you have your basic needs met – food, shelter – then everything else is relative. A Charles & Keith bag may bring joy to someone but that same bag may spark off sour comments over whether it is “branded” or not.

Similarly, in the course of my work, I have met people who have relatively little financially, yet find joy in the simplest situations – a walk in the park, helping others, finding a piece of fruit.

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Of course, we shouldn’t brush off genuine concerns about our livelihood and we should raise issues on housing, quality of life and cost of living expenses. We should speak up on true injustice in society.

But let’s not be so quick to fall into negativity and comparisons. Everyone is trying to get by, same as you.

Kindiness in wet weather

Talking about the kindness of strangers, a TikTok user wesmybike posted a video asking for people to find a kind driver who helped him when he skidded on the road in rainy weather.

@wesmybike tiktok, help me find this legend so that i can reach out to him!! was deeply moved by this man’s heart to help me, a stranger 🙏🏻 (i hate when it rains 😵‍💫☔️) #bike #biker #motorcycle #gopro #sgtiktok #sgbikers #yamaha ♬ I Think I Like When It Rains – WILLIS

As wesmybike tried to recover his composure after falling, a driver stopped his car to go back to check on him. The anonymous driver even helped pick up his bike and move it to the side of the road before leaving, prompting a grateful wesmybike to thank him profusely.

Said a user on Reddit, referring to the Good Samaritan: “This guy was definitely once a rider. He can understand the pain of skidding in the middle of the road. Props to him.”

Actor’s death sparks online tribute in Destiny 2


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A post shared by Lance Reddick (@thereallancereddick)

You might not have heard of him, but actor Lance Reddick – who appears in the latest John Wick movie, which coincidentally opens in Singapore today – passed away on March 17. He was 60.

Reddick was also a voice actor and he played key characters in several triple-A computer games, such as Commander Zavala in Destiny 2 and Sylens in Horizon Zero Dawn.

His death prompted an outpouring of support on Destiny 2, an online first-person MMO shooter with role-playing elements. All over the world, gamers have been logging into the game to pay tribute to Commander Zavala. In game, Commander Zavala stands on a balcony, impassively looking over a massive cityscape while players spend time in silence behind him, bowing or taking a knee.

The video speaks for itself.

@moomoonop♬ cry – ✿

This spontaneous act of online love prompted his wife Stephanie to post on Instagram saying: “Thank you for all your overwhelming love, support and beautiful stories shared on these platforms over the last day. I see your messages and can’t begin to express how grateful I am to have them.”

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