Humans of Sunseap - Special Edition
By Hui Xian
April 29, 2021
As we look back at some of the activities around this year's Earth Day, the underlying message which runs across all levels of engagement is plain and simple. Whether is the enforcement of environmental laws by government agencies, or the adoption of sustainable policies by corporations, everyone has a part to play. This applies to the things that you can do as an individual in your everyday life.
And in recognizing the ways that one person can make a difference, this is a special edition of Humans of Sunseap. Say hello Yeong Hui Xian, our colleague from the Legal Department.
How long have you been with the Sunseap Group?
I joined Sunseap during early 2019, so slightly more than 2 years.
Can you share how your journey to sustainability started? What were some of the first things you started doing in the ‘early days’ of going green?
I guessed one of the easiest things that I started doing in the "early days" would be reducing hard copies documents whenever possible at home. There have been initiatives from banks or agencies as well where they stopped producing hard copies (statement, etc.). I am on board with this as keeping hard copies is not efficient in any way. We would still need to dispose of these copies a few years later.
And today, I would say that most of my household products are labelled eco-friendly, and eco-friendly products are my first priority when I go grocery-shopping. I believe eco-friendly products, or those which are highly degradable, minimize pollution and thus benefits our planet.
Was there a single moment which led you to making this decision?
I have watched videos about global warming and earth pollution since I was young. It is disheartening to see how our earth has gone from a "green and blue globe" to "a brown and grey globe". When I was pregnant with my firstborn, I thought a lot about my children being able to grow up in a clean environment with fresh air. While I cannot control how other people behave and react, I am grateful that I can do my part, at the very least, to be environmentally- and socially responsible.
Can you share how your views on sustainability have evolved over the years? Do you set aside time every week / month to focus on activities around sustainability?
Although I may not be able to set aside specific time for activities around sustainability, I believe that such ideas can be embedded in our daily lives. This could be as simple as throwing our disposables into the bin, recycling materials that we no longer require, and turning off the tap when we are brushing our teeth.
For someone who wants to learn or contribute in some way, can you suggest some online resources or groups which might be a good place to start?
With the advancement of technology today, social media is a useful platform to impart sustainability ideas and incorporating it in our daily lives. Many people may have the misconception that going green involves huge costs but that's not necessary. It can be as simple as reducing waste, and I have come across many videos on Facebook about recycling used materials.
Beyond that, large corporations such as Tesla, Apple, Facebook and Google are moving towards sustainability as a business goal, instead of the traditional pure profit maximization theory. Even in their day-to-day products and services, these corporation are promoting and marketing sustainability. Hence, it is quite difficult for us to miss all this information on sustainability.
What are some of the ways that you incorporate sustainability in your daily life?
Buying eco-friendly products! And also making it priority to go for energy-saving electronic appliances. I have to confess that at first, I found it particularly difficult to reduce usage of plastic bags when I shopped. Along the way, we learn and now, we bring along shopping bags and cartons to carry loose items as a substitute to plastic bags.
Oh, and another thing - I recycled my firstborn's clothes for my 2nd child. 😁
What's been the most interesting thing that you've discovered or learned (about yourself or some common practices) as you’ve become more educated in the movement?
I realized that people tend to pay lesser attention when sustainability is not compulsory. It is not surprising to hear feedback such as "Aiya, no use one la, the rest do not do also."
However, this is changing today. It is becoming compulsory for corporations to make organized efforts and issue integrated reports which feature sustainability prominently. That's a good move as it reminds and influences everyone else on Earth to play a part towards making this world sustainable for the future.
What would be your blue sky (no pun intended!) goal in what you would like to do or achieve in the space of clean energy/ sustainability / living responsibly?
In many aspects of what I do, there is a legal requirement to have original, wet-inked hard copy documents. This is in fact one of the biggest contradictions, as I see it. It has been a bit of a moral dilemma for me. I work in a renewable energy company and there are daily reminders that printing x number of pages equals to the killing of a corresponding number of trees. However, I am required to print many sets of documents for the official approvals to execute contracts and agreements. This is the main thing that I wish can be changed in my career lifetime, that digital copies will become acceptable for any processing.
In your view, what's the easiest way to start towards a path of living a sustainable life?
The easiest way is the self-discipline to carry out sustainable actions. Also, you are a role model to the next generation – you impart daily life lessons and encourage good habits on sustainability. By doing this, you are influencing the next generation, and these practices can continue to inform the generations to come.
Thank you, Hui Xian! We encourage everyone to look at how you can start making changes to the future by the actions that you take today.
#gosolar #sustainability #humansofsunseap