我在打着什麼仗?

這一年在前線,我每天目睹的血肉橫飛,現已習以為常。
在後防,我許多同仁每日的作業,就是『傳達訊息』:將戰情宣告天下,藉此希望各方大力支持我軍。

當然,後防也很重要。要是沒有人支持戰事,前線亦會節節敗退。
後防為我們吶喊助威,招兵買馬,儲備彈藥,少了什麼都決不成事。

然而,在我等兵力微薄的前線士兵揮汗灑血,耗盡分分秒秒努力扳回戰情時
我竟瞄到他們在後防施施然的,叫著他人支持戰事,自己卻什麼也不做。

我們環保人士本着明知必敗也要豁出去的心態,打着無把握的仗。
我自己喜歡親自帶來影響。哪怕只是多一間公司轉變經營策略,多一個人決心以後少吃肉,於願足矣。
但其實極大部份的環保工作都沒能直接對環境有幫助
這些工作可能是宣傳,教導,推廣,搞活動,拍照,寫文章… 都是警世的作業。
無非都是為了喚醒更多人,令大家愛惜環境,別再做破壞大自然的事情。

不知怎的,我越來越發覺這些專業環保人士竟然非常不注重環保,
令我又驚訝,又難過。簡直幻滅。
我們不是要其他人加入,愛惜環境的行列嗎?
然而這是什麼榜樣?!
『偶然間無所謂啦。他們也是人,生活還是要過的嘛。』大概有人會這麼勸道。
其實70億人也都只是偶然間破壞環境而已,沒有人故意24小時都在破壞的。

這令在前線預備拋頭顱,灑熱血的我感到乏力。
我究竟在拼個什麼?

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Bending the Curve

Many of us wonder what happened to our planet over the years
Why are the seasons and weather all messed up?
Why are there more and more threatened and endangered animals?
Why is it getting unbearably hot?

Since 1970, WWF has been releasing the Living Planet Index
In a nutshell, it reflects how the planet is faring

Looking at this graph of the Living Planet Index, and
even though I’m not a professional analyst or mathematician,
I think it looks like the a big “uh-oh”
This means our planet isn’t doing well

There is no doubt that the planet is in dire need of immediate reversal
At WWF, we are working hard to “bend this curve”
Through different practices and key drivers, we devote all we have to turn this around
We are choiceful in what we work on and how we work
Because there is no time to spare

At 33% of the health in 1970, our planet cannot wait for an eventual revival
We need instant gratification
Ironically, it’s something like the kind of instant gratification that plagued the world,
And trashed our planet

No luxury, no convenience and no instant gratification is worth destroying our planet for
Start today. Bend the curve with us now
Together, it’s still possible

bend the curve

The hard path

To all my fellow advocates for the environment

It is not going to be the most popular job, you see
Being a conservationist or environmentalist, you’re bound to face critics
Yup, I should mind my own business and leave the world alone,
albeit in shambles at its current state
Yup, I should just stop being so bossy and let everyone live the way they want,
even though we’re consuming more than what could be made
Yup, I should “get a normal job” and stop being an outcast

I know
I’ll never receive a single word of appreciation from the wildlife and environment that I vow to help
I’ll never get rich
I’ll probably be bumming around when everyone is retiring in mansions

What matters is I know I’m doing the right thing
I know it so well that I cannot ignore it
It is in me and I cannot get it out
This mission – it must be fate!

tindale_trans_NvBQzQNjv4BqOgTBaXjU4JPktt1PcqAKMrCrWFB1WFQ-t3C18Nvv6AA

Today I heard about what happened to Mr. Stephen Tinsdale,
the late former executive director of Greenpeace,
who took his life after battling with depression

It is a long, hard road he has taken to fight for the environment
On this road he has walked so, so far
I am sometimes weary that this road may be too hard for me
But I rest assured, because

I know it is a road teeming with folks like you
You know who you are
Like-minded, warm-blooded, sometimes hot-headed,
Advocates for the environment

It’s great to have met you on this path

overcome.jpg

m.

Sea – food = ?

Imagine a sea without food

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) held their big event in Singapore today. They are turning 20 this year!

The WWF and the MSC go way back. We still work very closely as well.

As a sustainable seafood vegetarian (pesco-lacto-ovo vegan) I’ve always been a fan of this certification system to promote and identify sustainable seafood.

Why is sustainable seafood even a thing anyway?

Picture the following case of the tragedy of the commons:

A group of 10 fishermen fish from a single lake daily. With individual fishing lines, they catch 10 fish per day on average per person. One day, one guy bought a big fishing net and started catching 100 fish per day. Others saw this and of course were outraged. So they went to buy nets as well.

Now the rate of depletion of fish in the lake has changed from 100 fish per day to 1000, but the reproduction rate is not catching up.

What do you think happens if the fishermen did not step down their game?

This is in fact becoming our reality. We may soon be left with seas without seafood.

Commons are resources available to all, but managed and provided by no one in particular. When the resources are exhausted, nobody wins. Not even that first guy who got the net before it was cool.DSC_0110

Next time you purchase seafood, look out for MSC (caught) and ASC (grown) certified seafood. The MSC and ASC are there to make sure we have food in the sea in the future. We have these institutions to literally manage the commons.

The MSC and ASC ensure that the way the fisheries and aquacultures are run are sustainable, and that fish stock and oceans are kept from irreversible harm.

Extra side perk: with all the falsification emerging in the market, you can rest assured that MSC and ASC certified seafood are what they claim to be with traceable provenance.

m.DSC_0109

Filling those gaps in our hearts with holes in our wallets

November 11 is coming up.
Those of you in retail, especially in Asia, certainly know what this means.

Alibaba raked in 17.8 billion USD on Nov 11, 2016 alone.
See for yourself in the infographic below on what behemoth of a day of consumerism Nov 11 will be.

After the customary gifting on Valentine’s, Mother’s and Father’s Days,
Just when you were probably wondering “what will they think of next”,
“Singles’ Day” is another forged day to epitomize materialism by riding on the loneliness and bitterness of being single.
You see, it’s got at least four 1’s in the date, rubbing the one-ness in.

Singles’ Day is now celebrated as the ultimate e-commerce sale day.
In one single day, unfathomable amount of sales are made in all Chinese online shopping sites.
Neighbouring regions are eyeing this opportunity to adopt this online tradition for the extra ka-ching.

The more lonely you are, the more you should treat yourself with expensive purchases of merchandise to ease the pain, they say.
Does this sound right to you?
Unnecessarily hoarding cheap trendy goods with poor quality, a “planned obsolescence”, just so that you feel better from the miseries of life.

If we end up destroying the planet because of overpopulation and the entire human race’s survival, it couldn’t be helped.
How would you feel if we end up trashing Earth because of purchases of extra power banks, diet pills and this season’s high heels, just because we are lonely?

m.

Image source: visualcapitalist.com
Image source: visualcapitalist.com

本末倒置的世界

今天新加坡環境工程學會安排了一堂課,澳洲工程學教授講的『生命週期工程』(Life-cycle engineering)
生命週期工程其實是什麼東東?

譬如你用的洗髮水產品,生產商會先購入原材料,再製造產品及包裝,然後按照合約零售商的需求量出貨,你從零售商處買入成品,再置於家中使用,用完丟掉包裝,完。

事實卻未完。韓戰亦未完。我們以為很多眼看不見,已完結的事情其實還未完

生命週期工程(製造業的話)就是由產品的最基本原材料採集開始,一直去到產品的所有部分被徹底毀滅為止,從『搖籃』到『墳墓』
將產品製作的所有過程中涉及的能源,廢料排放及影響等,一早就算入工序中
這些數字必須少於環境的可負荷程度,萬一環境不能承受或處理,斷不能繼續以此方案生產

我們沖下渠道的洗髮水泡沫,丟進垃圾桶或回收箱的塑膠瓶子,也是生命週期的一部分
渠道究竟通向哪裡?污水處理廠會不會把它淨化才排放出河流和海洋?
要是問我們的父母,他們應該會答:『人家科學家們一早計算好的,設計時已經考慮過啦』

錯。任職過於零售與生產業巨擘逾十年的我可以透露,絕大部分根本沒有

假如你只有三塊紙黏土,怎麼用也可以,但只有三塊,你會怎用?
當然小心翼翼使用,希望用完可以還原,循環再用於下一次,不然用過就沒有了

我們捨棄的即棄用品,竟是正相反
幾乎所有產品都猶像資源無窮無盡的被製造着,售賣着,獲利着
我們完全無視自然環境的限制,本末倒置

而地球縱是有9369092469029582塊紙粘土,可是亦有7294602946810個人啊!
而且已經持續了百多年的大量生產了,我們越做越快,越做越多

我們在地球鎖得死死的,信不信由你,目前仍然未有方法去別的星球吃,喝,拉,撒
那麼,怎麼解決?

身為製造商的,要將資源循環使用,設計好環形生命週期
這世界根本沒有『丟棄』一回事,只有『挪到貧窮且不可發聲的人們住的地方放置,由得有毒物質影響他們,總之不是我們』,還有『死掉魚兒,好過我們不方便不整潔』

身為消費者的,亦要考慮到需求問題
不需要的,不必買,少了我們每一個人的需求,製造商也不會造那麼多
如果有產品宣稱環保概念,可以調查一下究竟是什麼,才因應需要購買

而我,我會繼續促使企業選擇更環保原材料,生產程序及生命週期管理

保護地球,交給我,交給我們每一個。

m.circular-economy

The “worst offenders”

Our recent project with the hospitality industry in Singapore was praised… and ridiculed.

The Marina Bay Sands is the largest hotel in Singapore and boasts 45 million visitors annually – that is 10 times the population of Singapore.
WWF Singapore is now partnering up with the biggest fish in the sea to curb the overfishing of fish in the sea.
At stage 1, our mandate is to help them transform their seafood procurement by creating sustainable aquaculture (fish farms) that gives them a stable supply.

Mainstream media has been reporting – and commending – the MBS’ effort in going green.

Now this news article has captured it in a slightly different light. Behold.

Capture

“Worst offenders”. The article goes on further in attempt to uncover more skeletons.

This reminds me so much of how whenever someone or some business claims to be sustainable, they get challenged and grilled incessantly about every. single. issue. pertinent. to. the. planet.

Just like how if you proclaim to be a Christian, you will get things like:
“But you used to smoke”
“But you didn’t recycle your plastic cup”
“But you never volunteer your time”

I will not defend Christians or the Marina Bay Sands.

I just want to remind you, that being a Christian means that we have admitted we are sinners, and that we are striving to do better and walk God’s path.

Similarly, by partnering up with environmental NGOs, businesses are trying to be more sustainable.

And yes, we want the “worst offenders” – the most, in fact – come forth and let us help you.

m.