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Green is the new black
GLOBAL warming is serious. In fact, it's such a big deal that Leonardo DiCaprio felt it worthy of a mention during his first-ever Oscar acceptance speech earlier this year. So if you, like the baby-faced Titanic star, are concerned about the impact of your carbon footprint, the upcoming Green Living exhibition at Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre is for you.
First conceptualised last year, the festival is organised by Reed Exhibitions. Karen Leong, its project director, says: "We believe that going green isn't the responsibility of one party but requires the joint effort of government bodies, private corporations and other industry stakeholders, as well as the end consumer."
And as the end consumer, "you must be involved to collectively make a positive impact on the sustainable eco-system", she stresses.
One way to be involved, and a pretty easy one at that, is to head down to the eco-friendly festival that runs from Sept 9 to 11.
Ms Leong explains: "As a lifestyle event, we hope to build a bridge between consumers and companies by promoting the usage of green products and providing visitors with a variety of sustainable living options."
She adds: "Singapore's a great place to hold something like this because there's a focus on promoting the adoption of eco-friendly lifestyle practices to its citizens. The past few years have brought about an increasing emphasis by the government on sustainability and there are many more community groups with the same message."
This year's theme is based on the book Cities of Love, written by Tai Lee Siang and Valerie Ang. The book itself will make its debut at the festival. Its focus is on the 12 core "ingredients" that can make a city a more sustainable place to live in.
These ingredients include Family Oriented City, Edible City, Smart Device City and Garden City, and each of these will be represented by a different zone at the three-day event.
Ms Leong notes: "The exhibition will actually be set up in the form of a city, complete with roads for e-scooters and pedestrians."
Just like last year's edition, Green Living 2016 will feature more than 100 brands of products to demonstrate how easy it actually is to access these items now, a stark contrast to the way it used to be.
Ms Leong says: "There are so many products out there which meet modern aspirations and needs while minimising the negative impact of our consumption on the environment and society."
Some of these products will be featured at the Eco-Market Place which will have many pop-up booths.
The merchandise available includes items like furniture fashioned from wooden pallets, cruelty-free make-up brands like Ayelli as well as eco-friendly baby clothes and toys from Bebe Bamboo and "Mumpreneurs" by GardenAsia and Mums@Work for those who want to start their kids off early.
Promoting the sustainability message at a young age is also something Green Living focuses on. Ms Leong points out: "Starting the green education young is a really good way to push the sustainability movement further."
To that end, the festival's supporting partner SEC will be presenting a Recycling Bin Design Competition, which is targeted at schools to propose innovative designs that can be used in classrooms or homes.
The six finalists will be showcasing their prototypes at the festival, which aims to see about 12,000 visitors this year, which would be a 100 per cent jump from last year's attendance figures.
Along with about 40 workshops and seminars, a new feature of the festival will be two showrooms featuring designs by Ikea, Daikin, Bosch, Lutron and others that reflect sustainable and smart homes respectively.
Ms Leong says: "The aim of these is to demonstrate how a typical home unit in Singapore can easily embrace a more eco-friendly lifestyle, and tours will be conducted so people can see how simple it can be to go green."
Another highlight this year will be a collaboration with the World Wildlife Federation (WWF) Singapore which will be using Samsung's Virtual Reality technology to showcase a day in the life of a park ranger and their role in protecting national parks and animals within their habitats. Fifty per cent of the proceeds of an auction by Reborn, which uses old bottles to make lamps, will also be donated to WWF.
The biggest challenge of organising such an event for Ms Leong and her team was in choosing a focus, as sustainability isn't a narrow topic.
With the theme of "Cities of Love" in mind, they managed to narrow down their message into key areas which are "the basic components that affect our daily lives".
The annual event hopes to leave visitors with more than just an affinity for the colour green.
Ms Leong adds: "We hope people can learn and experience the ease of picking up a habit that can help save our future, and that sustainable practices can be both inexpensive and fun!"
- Green Living 2016 will be held at the Marina Bay Convention Centre Hall D on Sept 9 to 11. Admission is free. For more information, please visit www.green-living.com.sg