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Girls Unite #7 : "An Eco-Blogger's Dreams for a Greener Singapore"

“But what can just one person do?” This is a question that all of us have asked ourselves at some point in our lives. Tammy, an eco-activist and a blog-writer at Green Is the New Black has an answer. In sharing her story, we hope to prove that it does not take a truckload of money or considerable clout to make a difference. 

Tammy, eco-activist from Singapore

Tammy's Instagram page, social media account

Tammy Gan, 21 Year Old Eco-Activist. Source : Instagram

As a blog-writer, Tammy writes articles for a social enterprise, Green is the New Black and manages their social media accounts. Tammy is passionate about sustainability issues and wishes to do her part by making sustainability knowledge more digestible to her followers. Having amassed over 7000 followers, Tammy successfully disseminates useful tidbits of sustainability-related knowledge to a wide audience through her personal Instagram account. These posts are widely shared by her audience, extending her reach further. 

Official website of Green is the new Black

Screenshot of Green is the New Black Website

So you might wonder, how did Tammy’s journey start? During her first year in
Yale-NUS
, she observed her friend regularly bringing his own cutlery around campus, trying to do his part to use lesser plastic. This sparked her interest in sustainability and motivated her to read further on this issue. When she ventured into eco-activism online, she formed strong connections with other like-minded individuals who believed in the same cause as she did and shared the same burning desire for a better, more eco-friendly world. Through conversations with these newly acquired friends, she discovered how privileged Singaporeans are. Countries who are disproportionately affected by the impacts of climate change face crises such as food shortage and natural disasters. This is a far cry from our current situation here in Singapore. Protected by our ideal geographical location and anchored with a stable government, we are well-taken of. It seems as if our privilege has made us partially blind to the urgency of the climate situation. 

 

Forest Fires in Indonesia, April 2020

 Forest Fires in Indonesia, April 2020. Source : The Guardian

When discussing sustainability, Tammy shared: “In Singapore, it’s almost as if it’s an interest, but in other parts of the world it’s a way of life. It’s impossible not to integrate it with your lifestyle”. She’s not wrong; when confronted with the devastating consequences of climate change, people have no choice but to change their lifestyle accordingly in an effort to mitigate the effects. We, in Singapore, have more of a responsibility to get started and do our part. We have the resources, but are lacking the attitude and urgency. Armed with knowledge, conviction and a self-built social media presence, Tammy is determined to make a difference, in whatever way she can. 

Tammy firmly believes that change begins with us. Acknowledging the fact that the majority of us might feel as if our individual efforts might not be significant enough, she emphasises that change is not far away if everyone were to be a part of the sustainability scene in Singapore. There is indeed power in numbers and cohesively working towards a common goal should be the strategy moving forwards. In Tammy’s words, “The more we think that change is far away, the further it gets”. 

A youth-led climate rally in Singapore

A Youth-Led Climate Rally in Singapore. Source : Youth.Sg

In Tammy’s view, on top of adopting a  “can do” mindset, we need to take concrete and substantial actions to work towards a more sustainable Singapore. It can be as simple as being proactive in sourcing for platforms to voice our opinions. For example, we can attend meet-the-people sessions to connect with our MPs and bring up environmental sustainability issues in Singapore. Actively participating in such conversations will allow our MPs to understand our concerns better. If all of us were to collectively voice out about environmental issues, we will be able to push for greater changes. 

Tammy recommended a few ways on how individuals can educate others about their privilege and what we can do to better our sustainability efforts. Firstly, we can hold conversations with our loved ones such as family and friends; make them understand the seriousness of this issue. Secondly, we can leverage on social media by sharing articles, posts and videos that raise awareness about how climate change is putting vulnerable communities at risk. Utilising our platforms to the fullest extent, no matter how small they may be, will surely create a ripple effect in cultivating a more environmentally aware society.Tammy and her friends in an environmental event

Tammy and her Friends during an Environmental Event. Source : Instagram 

“If I could start from not caring about sustainability to becoming a sustainability activist within a span of a year, that’s something everyone can do to make the world better”

- Tammy 

As an eco-activist and someone who genuinely wishes for the movement to reach greater heights, Tammy emphasises that everybody can come on board with sustainability since it is related to everything; it is the crux of human life on earth. She mentioned that: “If I could start from not caring about sustainability to becoming a sustainability activist within a span of a year, that’s something everyone can do to make the world better”. Undoubtedly, there is still a lot of work to do. While Tammy radiates positivity in continuing her eco-activism, she hopes that more of us will start to believe that we too, can spearhead the change we want to see.

 

Tammy in discussion with her group members

Tammy in Conversation with Fellow Environmental Enthusiasts. Source : Instagram

 Girls Unite is a blog series by Charlye & Co. which aims to inspire and empower young girls by sharing stories of inspirational women across all industries. If you are someone who has a story to share, you can email hello@charlye.co.

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