Archive for September, 2014

the idea of Pre-cycling

This idea of ‘Pre-cycling’ brings in the concept of being Eco-friendly and Environmentally-concious to a whole new level.

I read with interest about the German brand/ shop, Original Unverpackt, which has queues of people lining up with their own cloth bags, tupperware containers and other methods of storage… The shop started by 2 German women who were tired of packaging overdose, decided to set up the shop where “shoppers bring their own containers and can take as much or as little as they like of each food and drink.”


1411377834810_wps_35_Original_Unverpackt_press 1411376553389_wps_7_Original_Unverpackt_press

My mum on hearing me read out the news article, commented that it is like how shops of the past used to be like. That’s when I remembered watching those period television dramas (one of my few sources of history for everyday life of the past) where neighbours would come to provision shops to buy goods with marketing bags in toll. The shop-keeper would weigh out the required amount of beans, rice, preserved vegetables by the kati, before pouring it into the shopper’s bags or wrapping it in old newspapers. does this show that as our society has gotten more advanced, we have also started to do more harm to the environment?

(all photos taken from Daily Mail)

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recently, a fellow classmate from my yoga class brought in a stack of spiritual books from her own home collection to share with anyone else in the class who wanted to take them to read. I remarked that the leftover books can go to the ‘book-exchange’ corner in the Toa Payoh Library. that’s when I realised that no one else in the class knew about this new corner! so yes, this post is to share about this wonderful new eco initiative that encourages people to share books they have bought and reduce waste.

When was the last time you lent a book to friend/ borrowed one from a friend? It was something I used to do in primary school through to secondary school! there on the front page we would have our names in a messy scrawl so we always remember who to return the book to once we are done reading. but nowadays, we don’t even pick up a physical book that often anymore, i know because i am guilty too.

Anyhow, these book exchange corners “allow people to drop off books and pick them up on bookshelves for free.”


currently there are book exchange corners at these libraries in Singapore: Ang Mo Kio, Woodland Regional, Bedok, Geyland East, Marine Parade, Tampines Regional, Bukit Merah, Jurong Regional, Jurong West, Queenstown, Bishan, Central Public Library, Toa Payoh Library.


The book exchange corners remind me also of the Singapore Really Really Free Market which just had their last event during the Night Festival. I quote: 

“The Really, Really Free Market (RRFM) movement is a non-hierarchical collective of individuals who form a temporary market based on an alternative gift economy. The RRFM movement aims to counteract capitalism in a non-reactionary way. It holds as a major goal to build a community based on sharing resources, caring for one another and improving the collective lives of all.” That is, nothing is for sale and everything is shared free at our events. Anyone with stuff or skills to share are welcome to, and if you find something you want, you’re welcome to take it.

I really love the idea and it makes me think about our excessive consumption of goods and increasingly ‘disposable-culture’ where we purchase so much items so easily which eventually ends up in the dumps!


This idea of book exchange is also happening with the Little Free Library which is a movement that began in the US but it spreading worldwide! I love that with the Little Free Library, it brings the idea of a personal library with people in your immediate neighbourhood and end up being another avenue to get neighbours to start interacting with each other. maybe we need to be doing something like this in Singapore’s latest campaign to promote neighbourliness! it will bring back the kampong spirit if only we stop looking down at our smartphone screens and start flipping real pages!


also check out how beautiful these Little Free Libraries look on their pinterest here: http://www.pinterest.com/ltlfreelibrary/libraries-of-distinction/


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