S'pore firm aims for 1M green acts by end May

Local environmental non-profit company pushes green movement in Singapore by launching online campaign with aim to gather a million green actions by end of next month.
Written by Liau Yun Qing, Contributor

SINGAPORE--In conjunction with Earth Day, local non-profit organization Environmental Challenge Organization Singapore (ECO Singapore) has partnered with government agencies and companies to launch an ambitious online campaign. The aim: to drive the green movement in the island-state.

At a press event Thursday, founder and president of ECO Singapore Wilson Ang announced the launch of "Million Acts of Green Campaign". The online campaign aims to "start small" by gathering a million submissions of environmentally friendly actions from local residents and businesses by the end of next month.

Ang believes green campaigns should go beyond pledges to show tangible actions.

He acknowledged that the local campaign was inspired by the "Billion Acts of Green", initiated in the United States by Earth Day Network to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. However, Ang said the Singapore campaign is different as it gathers tangible actions, not just pledges.

"I can pledge but it doesn't mean that I have done something," he added.

Support has been forthcoming, with Salesforce.com providing technical expertise such as building, maintaining and powering the Web site, said Ang.

Government agencies such as National Environment Agency, Building Construction Authority, InfoComm Development Authority and other civil societies have also given a hand, said Ang, adding that ECO Singapore is looking to collaborate with local Internet service providers as well to spread the message.

To join in the campaign, participants can visit millionactsofgreen.sg to send in their "acts of green". The site also allows them to broadcast their submissions to social networking sites Facebook and Twitter, which the campaign will "leverage exclusively" on to increase awareness, said Ang.

Examples of green acts for the public would comprise taking public transportation over driving and supporting an environmental organization. For businesses, these would include implementing an environmental policy and educating its employees to go green.

An Apple iPhone application for the campaign was also submitted to Apple App Store on Wednesday, said Ang who hopes to have the application ready for download in the next few weeks. With this, iPhone users will be able to post their green acts directly from their handset.

Founded in 2003, ECO Singapore is a non-profit environmental body run and managed by volunteers. It targets youth aged 17 to 35, with the aim of creating opportunities for active involvement by Singaporean youths and instilling a sense of commitment and awareness of environmental issues within society.

According to Ang, at the time the organization was set up, Singaporeans' attitude toward environmental issues was "don't know, don't care".

While that attitude has matured to "want to know, need to care", Ang thinks this still needs to progress to "knowing, caring and taking action".

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