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Earth Hour 2019: Liv Lo, Paul Foster and Sezairi advocate for living an eco-conscious lifestyle in Singapore

Earth Hour 2019: Liv Lo, Paul Foster and Sezairi advocate for living an eco-conscious lifestyle in Singapore

Be the change

Text: Aravin Sandran


Image: Reebok via @livvlo

Last week, a shocking autopsy of a dead whale in the Philippines revealed that the animal had over 88 pounds of plastic in its body. If you think plastics are only wreaking havoc over marine life, you'll be wrong. Last month, an elephant died after consuming plastic left behind by visitors in Kerala, India. There hasn't been a more urgent time to take action on this global issue. In Singapore, WWF has put together Earth Hour 2019, the country's largest festival for nature to rally the local community and drive change. Buro. Singapore is proud to be the official digital media partner of Earth Hour 2019.

In an effort to raise awareness and lend our support to the cause, we are inviting you and the rest of our woke readers to donate your old tote bags. We will then share and distribute them during the event at Marina Bay Sands' Event Plaza on 29 March. All you have to do is drop off your usable canvas bags at our office (address below), and we'll do the rest of the legwork.

That's not all; in the spirit of sharing tips on leading an eco-conscious lifestyle, we've hidden adorable tiny pandas in a few of our top WWF articles — there's one hidden in this article. Here's the best part: Tell us how many pandas we've hidden and you'll stand a chance to win a beauty set from mindful skincare label RE:ERTH. Produced with natural Japanese ingredients, their Essentials set (Clarifying Cleanser & Hydrating Gel Moisturizer worth $155) and Brightening set (Calming Toner & PhytoBright worth $175) will get you that rarified "mochi-skin". Check out more details on how to participate in these initiatives below.

Who better to dish out easy and cost-effective ways we can all contribute towards this movement than Earth Hour's ambassadors Liv Lo and Paul Foster as well as concert headliner Singaporean singer-songwriter Sezairi? From Lo's free-diving encounter with a turtle to Foster's expedition in the world's oldest tropical rainforest, they share first-hand experiences in the wild and voice out key changes they would like to see in Singapore. 
Earth Hour 2019: Liv Lo, Paul Foster and Sezairi advocate for living an eco-conscious lifestyle in Singapore (фото 1)

Liv Lo is a TV presenter, the founder of FitSphere and WWF Singapore's official Panda Ambassador.

Earth Hour 2019: Liv Lo, Paul Foster and Sezairi advocate for living an eco-conscious lifestyle in Singapore (фото 2)

Earth Hour 2019 centres around three habitats under threat: the forest, ocean and the frozen world. Please share with us an unforgettable first-hand experience in any of these environments around the world.
I recently got my SSI L1 Free Diving certificate. Discovering your limits and how far you can push them underwater with only one breath of air was an incredible experience. While free-diving, we saw a turtle gliding by. I took a breath and swam down next to him. Getting closer, I noticed that the shell on top his back flipper was broken, either from a boat or some other mishap. No matter, it was lovely to see that the efforts to protect the ocean and its species enabled this injured turtle to thrive. I am glad to be onboard with WWF now. I'll be working towards fighting marine plastic pollution, establish more marine-protected areas and stop unsustainable fishing methods to protect the ocean and enable marine species like this injured turtle to thrive.

Being city-dwellers, what is the easiest, most cost-effective way we can all begin to contribute towards this eco-conscious movement?
I have an e-scooter that helps me to get around town, do errands, go to class, and pick up groceries! It saves a lot of fuel and transportation money. I try to shop in the wet-market to reduce food packaging and avoid food waste. Foods are fresher, not processed and local! Also, always bring your own reusable bags. You never know when you will need it so just have it on you all the time. Throw in a reusable coffee cup and water bottle while you are at it.

 

With regards to local attitudes towards nature, what is one change you would like to see in Singapore?
I created a petition for stores to start charging for plastic bags that almost reached 45,000 signatures! I don't think there is any way for customers to become more aware of plastic consumption than requiring them to pay for it. No, reusing the bag at home for trash is still considered single-use plastic. I hope with enough signatures I can present this to supermarkets and change the way plastic bags are handed out freely.

I would also like to see more businesses in Singapore join WWF's PACT initiative and commit to actions in plastic reduction and avoid unnecessary plastic production and waste that ultimately ends up in nature.

Paul Foster is a TV host, model, actor and an Earth Hour ambassador.

Earth Hour 2019: Liv Lo, Paul Foster and Sezairi advocate for living an eco-conscious lifestyle in Singapore (фото 3)

Earth Hour 2019 centres around three habitats under threat: the forest, ocean and the frozen world. Please share with us an unforgettable first-hand experience in any of these environments around the world.
Living in Singapore, the first two habitats are at our doorstep. I love being on and in the water, and very soon this will be happening more, which I will expand on later. I have also ventured quite often into the forests and, in our case, the jungles of Southeast Asia. Last year, I went deep into the world's oldest tropical rainforest, Taman Negara National Park that is located in Pahang, Malaysia. It is estimated to be as old as 130 million years and when you are travelling by boat down the Tembeling River, you can feel that immense dense energy. It is a magical place full to the brim with biodiversity. The jungle simply sprawls as far as the eyes can see. I was there to visit one of the oldest tribes in the world, the Orang Batek who are a nomadic people of the forest.

Unfortunately, due to modernisation and deforestation, their way of life is slowly becoming extinct. The sad truth is that if this is happening to the human race, imagine what is happening to nature itself. Did you know that three football fields of forests are lost every minute for palm oil, pulp and paper?!

It's not all doom and gloom. There is hope if we take action now. I am glad WWF is working to help us protect forest habitats, disrupt wildlife crime in transit hubs and strengthen laws in Singapore and around the region.

 

Being city-dwellers, what is the easiest, most cost-effective way we can all begin to contribute towards this eco-conscious movement?
It starts with making a lifestyle choice to change or at least limit our own personal carbon footprint. We have all fallen into the convenience of the modern world because this is what we know, but the impact of this over the last few decades has pushed us over the tipping point. We need to be aware that single-use plastics, supporting brands and products that abuse palm oil and wasting food all contribute to the destruction of our environment.

We are all part of the problem, but it's about time we become part of the solution. Start by taking little steps when possible, like carrying a reusable bottle around and refilling it with water instead of buying a plastic bottle of water from a store.

With regards to local attitudes towards nature, what is one change you would like to see in Singapore?
I am on a personal crusade against plastics, so I would like to see some huge changes against single-use plastics and how we as a country recycle plastics. Singapore produces 700 million kilograms of plastic waste per year, with only 10% of this being recycled! This statistic needs to change on both counts. We have to start with everything from bottles, straws, bags and containers that we can effectively live without or at least limit the use of. Granted there are times when I myself forget to ask for no straw with a drink or buy takeaway food and it comes in a plastic box, but I genuinely feel guilty when this happens. The more conscious you become as an individual, the more you will be able to change that behaviour and create a new consciously sustainable habit! I have metal straws that I carry with me, I use a refillable multi-use bottle and I try to limit taking a plastic bag if I can. I don't take plastic utensils when I buy takeaway food and I am looking into bringing my own container or a tiffin carrier for the food I buy.

I have also just launched my very own Plastics Clean Up Initiative too, which focuses on cleaning rivers and coastal waters. My long-time friend has actually been cleaning the coastlines of Singapore for the last two decades as one of the contracts of his shipping business, so we have partnered up to start doing this in "plastic hotspots" around the region. We have identified three hotspots to clean this year, with the first being the Ciliwung River in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Sezairi Sezali is a singer-songwriter. He will be headlining the Earth Hour 2019 concert on 30 March.

Earth Hour 2019: Liv Lo, Paul Foster and Sezairi advocate for living an eco-conscious lifestyle in Singapore (фото 4)

Earth Hour 2019 centres around three habitats under threat: the forest, ocean and the frozen world. Please share with us an unforgettable first-hand experience in any of these environments around the world. 
An unforgettable moment that has left a deep impact on me was when I was on a small fishing boat with some locals in the Maldives and hanging out with dolphins in the wild that were only about three or four metres away from us. We should never downplay the significance of physically being with animals in the wild and understand that we share this world with all of them. As beings with more capacity to help, we should take care of them as much as we can. 

Being city-dwellers, what is the easiest, most cost-effective way we can all begin to contribute towards this eco-conscious movement?
The most effective way is to cut down on meat consumption. A lot of people don't know this but animal agriculture is the largest contributor to greenhouse gasses. The amount of land and water that it takes to rear one cow is huge. Multiply that by how many burgers are being shovelled down around the world per minute and you start to get a sense of how impactful that can be. I strive to eat meat products only twice a week or less. I'm not saying we should all be vegan (more power to you if you can), but I'm saying that we should be aware of the consequences of our consumption.

With regards to local attitudes towards nature, what is one change you would like to see in Singapore?
We could separate our trash into waste, plastics and recyclables. Many countries have a culture of doing this and we need to start as well. Educate our youth on the impact of single-use plastics and recycling. We need to start from the ground up.

Earth Hour 2019 takes place from 29 March to 31 March at Marina Bay Sands, Event Plaza. Buro. Singapore is proud to be the official digital media partner of Earth Hour 2019.

To promote reusing and recycling, Buro. Singapore is collecting old tote bags from now until 25 March. Collected bags will be shared with festival-goers at Earth Hour. Send your bags to Buro. Singapore, 1 Syed Alwi Road, #02-02 Singapore, 207628.

Tell us how many hidden pandas there are in our top WWF stories and stand a chance to win RE:ERTH beauty sets. Reach out to us at heckyes@buro247.sg with your answer and full name by 31 March.

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