I am Yasmin a second-year business studies student from Ngee Ann Polytechnic and the president of BA Green (an environmental club under Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s School of Business and Accountancy).
During my free time, I like to volunteer with different environmental organisations, attend environmental talks and events. When I took over BA Green, I decided to change the direction of the interest group as I am motivated to inspire business students to learn about the importance of sustainability in business and hopefully, when they step out of the workforce in future they would be able to walk the green talk and be environmental advocates for their company by influencing their company to make responsible decisions. This is why at BA Green, we organise company visits every semester to companies to learn about their Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives.
If you ask me what sparked my interest in environmental issues? Honestly, I can’t recall when I fell so deeply in love with doing environmental work.
Since young, I love to seek comfort with nature. My official environmental journey started when I was in secondary school. I am lucky to have come from an environmental niche secondary school- Bukit View Secondary School (BVSS) where I joined the environmental club. I was given many opportunities and exposed to many environmental programmes, events, and competitions. My involvement in BVSS’s environmental club made me realize about the different pressing environmental issues and unknowingly ignited my passion to care for the environment.
Role of youths in achieving a sustainable Singapore
As youths, age should never be a barrier to how much we can achieve, we are actually very powerful in our own ways. We can start small by taking baby steps like refusing plastic bags by bringing a reusable bag when we go shopping and educating people around us.
Just like Matt Bevin once said, “While it may seem small, the ripple effects of small things is extraordinary”.
Our actions are able to influence and impact the people around us like our family and friends. When our family and friends see that we care for the environment, they will be curious to find out more, be influenced by our actions and be motivated to take climate action.
For example, my family developed the habit of bringing our own bags for grocery shopping because of my constant reminders. I came to realize how many plastic bags we consumed when one day we ran out of plastic bags to throw our trash! My best friend was also inspired by me to join the environmental club in her junior college. I am really proud that she’s making a difference at her school.
With our actions, we will be able to influence people around us to take climate action regardless of their age and with more people doing their part, this will become a norm and we will be able to motivate even more people to take climate action and make Singapore a more sustainable city.
Taking climate action is important for Singapore
Taking climate action is important especially in Singapore. As a low-lying island, any rise in sea level due to climate change will pose an immediate threat to Singapore, which will put our survival at stake. Singapore imports 90 % of our food and climate change results in extreme climate conditions which will potentially cause food depletion. Any depletion in food will adversely affect our food supply.
Another impact of climate change that we are experiencing is the hot weather in Singapore recently. Did you feel that the weather in Singapore is getting hotter and hotter in recent years? The extreme weather we are experiencing is because of our actions which has resulted in climate change.
Advice for youths starting out on their Climate Action journey
Don’t be afraid of how people think or judge you, take the first step forward, start small, explore and enjoy the journey. Even if you are alone, don’t fear as you will eventually meet many like-minded supportive friends. Soon, you will realize that this journey is a rewarding and fulfilling one.