My journey with Soap Cycling Singapore started out in early 2018……through Google. I was searching for a sustainability-related organisation that I can be involved in, long term. At that time, Soap Cycling was starting out in Singapore and I was drawn to its simplicity and scalable nature. I believe that creating impact does not need to be rocket science – keeping it simple allows for quicker scalability.
I wrote in and subsequently joined my first student internship briefing as a mentor. I guided the interns during their brainstorming meetings, in budgeting, creating a business plan and nudging them towards sustainable practices, e.g. not using branded stickers but to use an ink stamp for packaged soaps. My most memorable experience was scraping soaps with our ex-interns, Dora and Jing Wen on a bench at the National University of Singapore (NUS) on a Sunday. It was not the most conducive setting and we were rushing to prepare a batch of soaps for collection by a NUS student group in the afternoon. I was touched by their commitment as they showed resilience and perseverance when resources were leaner then.
The issue of waste has become a hot topic in Singapore. With 2019 set as the Year of Zero Waste, there has been a slew of government initiatives aimed at encouraging private sectors and the public to reduce waste. While the limelight has been on food waste and plastic waste, hotels in Singapore can also take action to reduce soap waste, be it solid or liquid, by working with SCSG. This is because hotel soaps are mostly of good quality and through a simple recycling process, they can go on to benefit needy communities, after serving their purpose of creating the perfect staying experience for hotel guests.
There is something wrong in the equation when we take from nature, create items that are of a short life span and then destroy them, when they could have been channelled to disadvantaged communities. As an individual consumer, we can start to adopt zero-waste habits and educate ourselves in discerning the “shade of green” of the companies we support. ~ Tracy Yeow