The Great Singapore Sale (GSS) is upon us again, and this year, I’m trying a positive attitude. (As opposed to sulking while the wife soldiers on through the throngs).
For me, a positive attitude includes ‘going green’ – and I don’t mean what your face looks like when you finally get your credit card bills.
Global warming is real, and if we’re going to do anything about climate change, I reckon the Great Singapore Sale is one event where you can put environmentally friendly habits into practice.
I know it’s a little hard to balance what are apparent opposite principles and ‘buying only what you need, and not what you want’ might dent the success of the GSS, but there are some things we can do to be environmentally conscious while shopping till we’re unconscious.
You could, for instance, look through your wardrobe before hitting the sales to see what clothes you don’t or can’t wear anymore for reasons such as a change in fashion eras or in your size, and then do a little research to see what charity organisations might be in need of hand me downs.
Looking through your bookshelves to see what tomes you might want to sell to the 2nd hand bookstore might also clear some clutter in your house, and in my case, reduce the fire hazard in my living room.
For the menfolk who act as shopping-bag-and-credit-card carrying escorts for your spouses and partners, it may serve you, and planet earth, well if you suggest a few other changes to this season’s shopping spree:
Take public transport
Why clog the roads and pay even more in parking and ERP charges? Plus, have you seen the traffic during past GSS seasons? I call it the Great Singapore Snail!
So I say, tell your partner you’re leaving the car at home to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while saving yourself a bundle in on-road expenses as well as the fact that, without a car, you can’t carry as many shopping bags.
Yes, we all know bus waiting times are long, as are the journeys. But think about it, guys – the more time spent waiting and travelling, the less time spent spending.
If however, the MRT and buses aren’t the way to go, seeing as you need your hands for your bags while also holding on to the rails, spending a little on taxis is alright.
I hear there are eco-friendly taxis which use LPG fuel, but I think it’d be a bit hard to just pick out LPG cabs while standing in a 20-odd passenger long queue.
So if you really want to assuage your green-guilt, you could just ask your friendly cabbie to turn off the air-con and wind down the windows – an environmentally friendly solution that might just be necessary if your friendly cabbie isn’t so hot on deodorants.
So the Bring Your Own Bag scheme at supermarkets didn’t go down too well with customers, but if you dig out your old Gucci, Ferragamo and Prada paper bags and bring them down to Orchard Road, not only will you save the trees, you’re also likely to get better customer service from sales staff who’ll think you’ve got greater than average spending power.
Apart from that you could also try telling your partner that you’re leaving the plastic at home and bringing only cash, because paper’s bio-degradable, but I think that’d be pushing it a little.
Mr Miyagi aka Benjamin Lee has been entertaining readers at his eco-friendly blog, http://miyagi.sg, for over three years