For most of us, Chinese New Year is always one of the most festive occasions of the year-it is a time of heart-warming family reunion, bursting red packets and (maybe) more importantly the sweet drinks and pineapple tarts that await our grumbling stomachs. Our stomachs may not be the only ones grumbling though-it could be faint, but if you listen closely you might probably hear the Earth grumbling under the weight of those discarded tetra packs and aluminium cans in the bin, waiting for their turn in the incinerator. Chinese New Year may be an occasion of happy celebration, but the fact that waste is also being generated by us at this period of time most certainly does not excuse us from the horror and mortification of human-induced global warming.
The issue of global warming is probably nothing new to all of us, but it is definitely an area of immediate concern that has called for more attention in the recent years. The rate of global warming has reached an unprecedented peak that has stunned both politicians and activists worldwide-according to the World Meteorological Organisation, the global average surface temperature in 2015 was the highest on the historical record, and had mainly been a direct consequence of strong El Nino events as well as human-induced global warming. The unpredictable fluctuation in surface temperatures due to global warming has already resulted in numerous tragic natural disasters around the world, such as the severe heat wave that struck India in May 2015 and took away the lives of at least 2,500 people, as well as Cyclone Pam which made landfall over Vanuatu as a category 5 cyclone in March 2015 and destroyed important infrastructure in the area. Singapore might be safely sheltered from the dangers of Mother Nature that has wreaked havoc in the homes of people from other countries, but we do not have to be rocket scientists to realise and understand the fact that global warming is inevitable going to become a harsh and irreversible reality for all of us if we continue to neglect the importance of good recycling habits and contribute to global warming with our pollution.
How then, can we save ourselves from the horrors of global warming? The answer comes right out of the mouths of most people before they even know it-reuse, reduce and recycle. As everyone knows it, the three Golden Rules are always the unequivocal solution to rescuing our planet Earth from our own mess and whether we can rescue Earth really depends on our personal decision to adopt positive green habits as a common part of our daily lives. Just bring those tetra packs that you have been collecting during Chinese New Year to the recycling bin, and you will already be helping a couple of polar bears live in a cool and comfortable igloo of their own without the worry of it melting. Some empty tetra packs or plastic bottles might seem insignificant to most of us, but it definitely can go a long, long way in making planet Earth a much better environment for not only us but also the future generations to come.
So, what are you waiting for?
Calista Lo (4L)