Most eco-warriors have a sustainability hero. For Joline Tang, it’s Lauren Singer, the zero-waste guru of Trash Is For Tossers. (Lauren’s ethos: “Zero waste means that I do not produce any garbage. No sending anything to landfills, no throwing anything into a trash can, nothing.”) Joline was so inspired by this that she decided, in 2017, to turn her personal blog The Sustainability Project into a business to spread the green word and sell green products as well.
“I wanted to bring this [notion of sustainable living] to Singapore because not many people knew about it then,” she says.
And she walks the no carbon-footprint talk: All the packaging she uses to send out her popular items – rose-gold reusable straws, beeswax wraps, reusable cotton pads, DIY toothpaste mixes – consists of excess envelopes and used boxes she collects from friends, family and customers.
Her website and Instagram dispense tips on becoming zerowaste (“Being An Environmentally Conscious Pet Owner” is one of the posts), and the green products her online shop sells “are either handmade or ethically produced, so the prices are definitely not as competitive, especially because I get the items locally or from Australia – but you’re actually saving more”. She cites the example of using one metal straw as opposed to hundreds of plastic ones.
Still, the no-waste lifestyle takes time, and Joline suggests starting small: “I started by learning how to recycle properly during my polytechnic days. It’s shocking, but most people don’t actually know the right steps for recycling.”
Time, maybe, to get schooled again.