It seems like the world will never run out of problems to confront at this point, and Singapore is no exception, despite being a first world country. Here are some of the problems that Singapore shares with the other countries that I feel strongly for, even though I can acknowledge that there are many more other pressing issues.
The elderly – social isolation
Interacting with elderlies has always been interesting to me, as I personally have a very close relationship with my grandma back at home. Singapore itself is a rapidly aging country so it is not surprising to find that many of the elderlies are not getting the help that they need. Suicide rates seems to be on a rise among the said community with the increasing number of elderlies inflicted with dementia, depression and financial instability. Even though there are many solutions drawn and implemented by the country to support the elderlies in many areas, social isolation; often sited as one of the root causes for the ensuing problems for the elderly, still remains rampant despite such efforts. As such, I would want to focus on the families and community to find more effective ways to provide a stronger system of emotional support for the elderlies in need.
Financial instability : https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/cnainsider/ploughing-on-the-faces-and-insecurities-of-singapore-s-elderly-8824490
Isolation : http://theindependent.sg/singapores-elderly-and-their-desperate-battle-with-isolation-loneliness-and-depression/
Suicides : https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/more-than-1-in-3-suicides-committed-by-elderly-as-singapore-population-ages
Animal rights – living conditions of sheltered animals
Animal cruelty cases runs from not only pets but to livestocks as well all over the world, where the latter has even less protection than others. It is still a hard case to crack, as they are never investigated thoroughly enough or are not made known to the public. I tend to easily forget about this issue as I can afford to walk around freely without seeing the acts in front of my eyes, but animal cruelty and strays are still a prevalent problem even in Singapore. I also got the chance to visit the Tengah lodge during the holidays thanks to my friend, and thus the recent relocation of the Tengah lodge and the issues that the animal welfare groups were facing at the moment were brought to my attention. Therefore, I believe that encouraging volunteers for these groups would be a great focus.
Animal Abuse: https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/animal-cruelty-facts-and-stats
Stray problems in Singapore: https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/environment/joint-effort-to-manage-stray-dog-population-in-singapore
Living conditions of sheltered animals: https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/understaffed-animal-welfare-groups-tengah-lodge-seek-authorities-help-hire-foreign-workers
Food Wastage- ordering
Food waste has increasingly been on the incline and it is not that surprising when I still see a great amount of leftovers without failure in places that I dine often or even at home when stocked food that has gone past its expiration date is simply thrown out into the trash. Eventually this food waste will pill up and take up space while emitting greenhouse gases as it decomposes. In order to slow this down, I think perhaps targeting and changing the way we order food might be a good place to focus.
Recycling – Proper Education
Waste management is becoming a bigger and bigger issue as we start to run out of land while accelerating the speed of global warming. Efforts have been made in Singapore to counter that; by now we can almost find the blue recycle bin near each flat and e-waste bin at shopping malls. However, recycling is still quite a puzzle to many of us, when we are not exactly pushed to learn how to recycle correctly. I myself did not really know that not plastic are recyclable on my own accord, and am still learning how to correctly recycle. As such, I believe that educating the public on recycling and pushing the people towards being more conscious about buying and throwing things, would be a great area to focus.
After narrowing down these issues, for now I feel that proper education about recycling would be a good topic issue to focus on as I believe that proper education is a step closer towards integrating recycling as part of our lives just as the Japanese have done so where they are able to recycle about 1/5 of their products. It is evident that the push might be all what we need to be a more sustainable nation as lack of education on the correct recycling methods might be the reason why 7 in 10 people in Singapore do not know what plastic to recycle.
Plus, it is also an area that I myself am trying to get myself to be better at. I think it would also help me out in the long run to be more conscious about the materials that I use in the line of my work.
I feel that targeting the current generation of adults would be the most effective way as I find that it is at homes where there is a lack of understanding for proper recycling since I find that schools do carry out many educational programs with regards to recycling and generally does a great job at inciting interest and responsibility for recycling at least in my experience. Since home is where a huge variety of wastes are generated, I feel that targeting those who are often at home would be a great start as without proper knowledge; as then there would be a much lower chances of contaminating perfectly recyclable objects as well. I also felt that creating a better connection between the general public and recycling companies so that would also be another interesting area to look at which can perhaps pave way to more incentivised initiatives.
Trashify (App Concept) / Olga Radzikowska / 2018
Since my current focus now was the education of proper recycling, I thought that incentivised apps would be a great way to do so, especially with the success of the recent healthy 365 app.
I thought that this particular concept’s clean and simple to navigate interface would be a great fit for a general audience to make use of the app. Plus, the virtual reward of growing you virtual plant also seems to add a fun element for all age groups as well. If we add general education of proper recycling, along with these incentive measures, I think it people would be more willing to be proactive.
Here are other interfaces I found that is also related to recycling.
Saving The Planet Is More Than Just A Game, As New Re.Group Educational Experience Explains
An interactive virtual reality game would be able to create an immersive learning experience that would be able to let the people practice the correct ways to categorize the right way and also gain an insight on the behind the scenes of recycling companies.
Here’s another interactive proposal I found (unfortunately it’s in italian?)
What Goes Around Comes Around (3D) / Cabeza Patata Studio / 2018
Even though this was a series of posters, I thought that it would also be a fun 3D project. I really liked how the thought provoking the campaign was while being really colourful and fun at the same time.