Green world rising
Do better than just saying no to plastic
The Mall Group has begun charging B1 for each plastic bag to coincide with the International Plastic Bag Free Day on Jul 3. Shoppers at The Mall, Emporium, EmQuartier and Siam Paragon are being encouraged to bring their own bags for all their shopping needs. It's a small but significant step towards the city's progress in reducing the use of plastic like many other places in Thailand. Even Central Group has stopped handing out plastic bags to shoppers. Additionally, they will not provide plastic bags on the 1st, 4th and 16th of every month reminding shoppers to bring in their reusable bags.
It is always good to see big groups taking steps to make the Earth a little more greener. Whether it involves reducing waste or being eco-friendly, it is a continuous wake-up call for all to take action. In order to continue the fight against this ever-growing problem, Guru has compiled a bunch of efforts that organisations, big and small, are doing to help make the world a little better step by step.
Central Group & HomePro
Central Group have stopped giving out plastic bags to shoppers in all their department stores, including Central, Robinson and Zen, as well as specific stores such as Super Sports, Office Mate, Power Buy, etc. Their supermarket chains, however, will only stop giving out plastic bags on Tuesdays and the fourth of every month. The policy change towards their use of plastic is part of Central Group's massive 'Central Love the Earth -- Say No to Plastic Bags' campaign where they hope to become plastic-free across all their stores by the end of 2020. Elsewhere, HomePro has also begun charging one baht per plastic bag across all their branches.
The B2S chain of bookstores is encouraging people to say no to plastic bags when you buy books from them. Members can gain five points each time they say no to wrapping your books with plastic covers (although TBH we love covering our favourite books with extra protection) and another 10 points by saying no to plastic and paper bags.
More info: fb.com/B2SThailand
Ecotopia @ Siam Discovery
Siam Discovery has an eco-friendly shopping area on the 4th floor -- Ecotopia -- where you have a vast selection of over hundreds of environmentally-friendly products whether they are stationery items and gadgets to clothes and make-up as well as healthy superfood for the healthy-minded eater. Just this past week, the shop recently held an Eco Fest pop-up market on G floor where shoppers can buy organic and recyclable products as well as attend workshops such as cooking and embroidery.
Environman is a platform that aims to introduce effective methods for society to adopt a zero-waste lifestyle. Their mission, which is to "empower man for environment", teaches those interested to use alternative resources for everyday items. They sell products through their Line account, as well as on Shoppee, which includes soaps, shampoos, egg cartons, bottles and many more. Head to their social media pages to check out their various products and tips and tricks.
More info: fb.com/environman.th
Fast Retailing Group
Fashion is also taking the fight against single-use plastic. All of Fast Retailing Group's stores, which include Uniqlo and GU stores, will be charging eco-friendly paper bags this September. The group's switch to a friendlier alternative will not only apply within all of Asia, but around the US and Europe, as well. If you're a fan of the clothing line such as Heattech and AIRism, you will be happy to know that they are planning to find alternative packaging instead of the usual plastic. All stores will begin charging for the bags from September.
Food delivery has never been so convenient today where we have a lot of choice from various restaurants and eateries. However, one thing that has been problematic is that your delivery may come with plastic cutlery, ready to be thrown away as soon as you are done with your meal. Thankfully, some restaurants through Foodpanda include an option to opt out of the cutlery so you can just use your own in the kitchen (or use your hands if need be). We are hoping more restaurants would embrace this option.
Little Big Green
Formed by a small group of people living the green lifestyle, Little Big Green acts as a resource of information for people who are eager to maintain a green lifestyle under their concept of "As Green As You Can". Whether it's reducing plastic use (duh) or carrying recyclable materials for everyday use, their goal is to simply raise awareness. Their Facebook page, while relatively new, will be offering tips and guides on living that green lifestyle, including blog entries on various "going green" topics, as well as vlog entries on their YouTube channel.
More info: fb.com/littlebiggreen
You may have seen people riding on orange scooters in the city. That is no coincidence and no, orange isn't the trendy colour that you aren't aware of as far as trendy scooters are concerned. They're Neuron e-scooters and they're here to help ease your transportation woes with a sense of convenience and fun. Riders can sign up through the app on their phones in order to rent the scooters placed around the map. All it takes to unlock these e-scooters is to scan a QR code and voila! Transportation times are go! The e-scooters will cost B20 to rent and will charge B2 for every minute you ride them. Now if we can just do something about the uneven sidewalks to make travel even more comfortable...
More info: fb.com/NeuronThailand
Precious Plastic Bangkok
Started in the Netherlands by designer Dave Hakkens, Precious Plastic Bangkok is a community-based, global movement that offers a plastic recycling solution -- easy-to-build machines that is used to recycle plastic and make unique products out of them which include baskets, bowls and plant pots. Blueprints for these machines can be printed out from their website. Chiang Mai-based Bope Shop, a store that sells unique tiles and coasters made from plastic bags, utilises these machines to create their products. Additionally, the community also offers video tutorials for you to get started into becoming a recycling hero. So, before you throw out such items, think twice about saving them as they can be used for other things.
More info: fb.com/PreciousPlasticBKK
Recycle Day Thailand
We've previously mentioned Recycle Day Thailand a few issues back with its accessible approach to recycling. People can download the Recycle Day app for their phones where they can view a list of recyclable items that show how much are they worth per kilogramme. You can then head to one of their many pick-up points where the Recycle Day team can come to pick up your materials. Getting paid for recycling? Sign us up!
We've mentioned Refill Station time and time again, but their goals and services continue to inspire other similar ventures by doing the same to support the fight to become eco-friendly by offering refill stations. You can find products such as detergents and soaps, as well as healthy food ingredients. The store, in On Nut, recently launched their Plastic Free July campaign by encouraging shoppers to stop using plastic. Bring your reusable containers and cloth bags and fill 'em up here. And once you're done feeling proud of making a change, head down to their Moon Cafe for a job well done.
More info: fb.com/refillstationbkk
Samui Trash Bins
The way of the recycle warrior is to well.... um.... recycle! Thailand is home to beautiful beaches and islands therefore, it is quite a sad sight to see pristine sands covered in lots of waste. A community of artists in Koh Samui have banded together to spread the word and bring awareness to this trash pollution by producing artful and colourful trash bins. Hotels and restaurants willing to help donate towards their cause will be provided with a unique trash bin produced by the artists. Hopefully, the next time you're on vacation in Samui, you may find colourful trash bins spread about the island. Kudos to their mission.
More info: fb.com/samuitrashbins
Scholars of Sustenance
Food waste is an increasing problem throughout the world, especially food that can be saved for others in need. International charity organisation Scholars of Sustenance are combating food wastage by managing and donating surplus food to communities that are less fortunate. Every little bit of food helps.
Second Chance Bangkok
If you live around the Klong Toey area and have extra essential second-hand goods and items to donate, head over to Second Chance Bangkok where these items will receive a new lease on life for residents around the area. The shop also hires local residents, which means that not only are they donating items but also providing employment to those in need.
Swap Til You Drop
An event concept first formed in 2014, Swap Til You Drop is all about trading your items with others. The swap meetings, which is a collaboration with The Home BKK and Soledad Designs LLC, provides a space for all to swap and reuse clothes instead of throwing them away and buying new ones. Consider it an easy way to extend your wardrobe. Additionally, the events also hold a revamp service where attendees can repair and restyle items.
More info: fb.com/swaptilyoudropbkk
Trash Hero Thailand
To throw away plastic is to create more trash. To create more trash means more pollution for our ever-giving Earth. Community-based project Trash Hero Thailand picks up the trash to make the world cleaner. They promote sustainability with their projects that help remove waste. You too can be a hero should you decide to join up and volunteer in one of their 27 chapters spread around the country.
Zero Waste Thailand
Created from a concern towards pollution at marine conservation sites, Zero Waste Thailand, as one can tell from their name, is set to one mission: to reduce single-use plastic and find sustainable alternatives. They have an online shop selling reusable products ranging from cotton and string bags, bamboo, metal and steel straws and even natural beauty products made from coconut oil, beeswax and even baking soda.
More info: fb.com/th.zerowaste