Saturday, May 30, 2020

10 Activities To Do While You Are Home | Eco Kids Column June 2020

  1. Make art out of your trash and then have an art show at home. 

  1. Make plantable seed paper from old paper scraps.

  1. Draw pictures of your favorite animals that need greater protections, such as bees, sea turtles and orcas. Post the pictures to social media and tag your elected officials.

  1. Write a letter to your school district asking them to adopt electric school buses.

  1. Organize a family litter patrol. Get gloves and/or pick-up tools and pick up trash if you go on walks at a nearby park.

  1. Watch The Story of Stuff and clean out your junk and look for treasures. 

  1. (My favourite) Make your own solar oven from a pizza box and find out how using solar power could make your community healthier and cleaner. I managed to boil an egg in the oven! 

  1. Write a letter to your State Assemblyman  asking him or her to raise the issue of plastic pollution in Parliament to:

(1) Stop accepting plastic waste from other countries. 
(2) Shut down illegal plastic waste recycling plants and regulate and monitor licensed plastic waste recycling plants.
(3) Stop businesses from giving out free plastic bags and using single-use plastic products such as disposable drink cups, straws, and cutlery.

Make Your Own Face Mask | Eco Kids Column May 2020

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

How to make natural paints out of flowers and plants | Eco Kids Column March 2020

How to make natural paints out of flowers and plants 
  1. Pick out a variety of colored flowers and plants.

I had, Bunga Telang (Blue Pea Flower), Pandan Leaf, Hibiscus, Bunganvile, Kunyit Root (Turmeric) and I also went to the forest and took some random berries, leafs and flowers I found on the floor. The colours came out wonderful! 
  1. Remove any stems from the plants/flowers and cut the plant/flower in small pieces

  1. Smash the plants/flowers into paste with rocks, a pounder or a blend it with a blender

If the plant is too hard like a beetroot or mangoesteen shells recommend boiling it before smashing it. 

  1. Dilute with a bit of water

Add in drop by drop at the time. Your paint should look something like this 👇🏻
  1. Use the paint! Here are some inspiration down below. 

Believe it or not! Plastic Bags Were Meant To Help Save The Planet | Eco Kids Column Feb 2020

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The Fashion Industry: A Quick Factsheet

Compiled and edited by Wong Ee Lynn <>

We rarely think of clothing as an environmental problem. After all, fabrics are not seen to end up in the oceans or harm wildlife the way plastics do, and they are not seen to emit pollution during use. Consumers and shoppers believe that they can always donate the clothes they no longer wear to those less fortunate than they are, and this would keep clothing in use and out of landfills.

However, the reality is that the fashion industry has a massive carbon footprint. Here are some facts that highlight just how damaging the fashion industry can be, and what is being done to make the industry more sustainable:

1.      The apparel and footwear industries together account for more than 8% of global climate impact – the equivalent of 3,990 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2016 - greater than all international airline flights and maritime shipping trips combined. Total greenhouse gas emissions related to textiles production are equal to 1.2 billion tonnes annually, according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

2.      To make just one pair of denim jeans, 10,000 litres of water is required to grow the one kilo of cotton needed for the pair of jeans. In comparison, one person would take 10 years to drink 10,000 litres of water.

3.      Cumulatively, the fashion industry produces about 20% of global waste water. Textile dyeing is the second largest polluter of water globally. Washing clothes also releases half a million tonnes of microfibres into the oceans every year.

4.      An estimated two-thirds of the emissions in the fashion industry come at the raw materials stage, so improving the way we produce polyester and cotton could have a huge impact. Synthetics, mainly polyester, make up 65% of all fabrics produced today. Cotton makes up around 21%.

5.      Polyester, as a plastic, is made from oil, and extracting and processing the raw material to make it is highly energy-intensive. 46.1 million tonnes of polyester were produced in 2014, releasing 655 million tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere – around 40% of total fashion industry emissions.

6.      As an agricultural crop, cotton’s carbon footprint is lower than that of polyester, but fertiliser use releases nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas with 300 times more warming power than CO2.

7.      Currently, less than 1% of garments are recycled into new clothes, with only 20% of fabrics being recycled at all. 85% of textiles go into landfills or get incinerated. This is made worse by the fast fashion trend of recent years. We are buying more clothes than ever before, wearing them fewer times, repairing them less, and throwing them away sooner.

8.      In December 2018, a group of leading fashion brands and NGOs launched the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action, under the auspices of the United Nations. The Charter sets out a series of commitments, including a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 30% by 2030 and public reporting of emissions.

9.      One of the ways fashion brands can reduce the adverse impact of fashion is by switching raw materials. Switching from virgin polyester to recycled material from plastic drink bottles or ocean plastics can reduce the carbon footprint of polyester by 40%. Likewise, switching from conventional to organic cotton can cut harmful emissions by 46%, as the nitrogen waste from fertilisers is eliminated. Currently, only approximately 1% of all cotton produced is organic.

10.   The fashion industry is working with NGOs and United Nations agencies to come up with more sustainable and ethical manufacturing practices. Adidas are Ecoalf are manufacturing shoes out of ocean plastics. Patagonia has been producing fleece jackets using polyester from recycled bottles since 1993, encourages shoppers to buy only what they need, and mends and recycles older items. H&M and Guess have launched garment collection and recycling programmes. Clothing swap and rental programmes such as Rent the Runway, Girl Meets Dress and YCloset encourage shoppers to rent or swap rather than buy clothes that they will wear only once or twice.

11.   The fashion industry can also reduce their carbon footprint by making energy savings along the value chain. When Hugo Boss analysed the carbon footprint of their transport operations, they realised that switching from air to rail freight could cut emissions by 95%.

12.   Ultimately, for the fashion industry to make a positive impact on the climate, the culture of fast fashion needs to change. We need to buy fewer things, shop only when absolutely necessary, wear our clothes longer and keep things in use longer. We need to stop thinking of clothes as disposable, and adopt circular fashion principles that treat the life cycle of garment as a closed loop.

1.      Fashion industry’s carbon impact bigger than airline industry’s:
2.      Can Fashion Stop Climate Change?
3.      UN Helps Fashion Industry Shift To Low Carbon: