#HerWorldHerStory: This 23-year-old is saving the environment, one step at a time

by Hayley Tai & Cheong Wen Xuan  /   June 29, 2020

This greenfluencer co-initiated the White Monday movement to make people recycle more and buy less

#HerWorldHerStory is a collection of 60 women sharing their successes, passions, challenges, inspirations, hopes and dreams. Together, they give a snapshot of what it is to be a woman today.

Every month from March till August, we present 10 women navigating their lives now – and in their own words. This is Woo Qiyun ’s story…

#HerWorldHerStory: Woo QiYun is saving the environment, one step at a time

I started reading up on climate change on the news when I was 13. Growing up, I became very conscious of how much my peers and I use and throw away disposable products like plastic bags and cutlery every day. Fast forward to 2018, I started by journey by first reducing and recording my own consumption of single-use waste.

I started by using an online application to log my disposable consumption to tangibly track how much waste I was reducing and producing every month. This was inspired by Shihui (@tabaogirl on Instagram) who logged the number of disposable items she used every day.

#HerWorldHerStory: Woo QiYun is saving the environment, one step at a time

This was before I set up the Singapore chapter of the White Monday movement with my friend Sammie Ng last year. We wanted to bring the White Monday initiative to Singapore, as we were concerned about Singapore’s heavy consumption of consumer goods. It’s a movement that originated from Sweden, focussed on getting people to change the way they think about their consumption.

White Monday happens a week before Black Friday, the big sales weekend in the fourth week of November, to give people time think hard about new purchases.

White Monday was supported by 10 companies and 11 influencers. During the week, we got people to share why they aren’t buying something new, how they are consuming from secondhand sources, or how they trade and repair old goods.

We hoped to combat the shopping hysteria that happens on Black Friday, and get individuals to also think about the way that they are consuming. Since the start of the year, any new clothes that I’ve bought are second-hand or traded from friends.

It may seem like a small effort, but the mindful consumption movement is growing. Ultimately, we want to spark more conversation on sustainability and build a more conscious and compassionate society.

This article was first published in Her World’s June issue.