Saturday, February 27, 2010

A wasteful society

I receive many publications each month from my bank, stockbrokers, clubs, associations, investee companies and other organisations. Some of these publications are sent to several members of my family. The senders did not bother to remove the duplicates that are sent to the same addresses.

How wasteful. How many trees have to be cut down for the unncessary printing that is hardly read. These publications may be free to the consumer, but it is part of the cost of doing business. The businesses are able to levy high charges to cover these wasteful costs, and still make huge profits. How can we stop this wastefulness in Singapore?

Tan Kin Lian


C H Yak said...

I agree with your views.

The worst are the banks; particularly credit card bills. Next the utilities bills. The same brochures are repeated under separate billing from the same bank.

On my part, I collect them and accumulate them with the newspapers to be sold to the Garung-Guni man for recycling.

But I think it is more "wasteful" action to send them out this way then for me to fail to re-cycle it.

Anonymous said...

The irony is we are asking households to conserve and avoid waste, but when it comes to businesses nobody seems to want to speak out against such irresponsible acts of wastage.

No wonder some people are skeptical when it comes to calls to save the earth or switching off lights on earth day.

Change now! said...

Take ownership and responsibility for the wastage.

Inform the organisation or business to stop sending material that you do not want.

They have an obligation to send to each person in their data base. Even if they could verify that two individuals are residing at the same address, they cannot assume that one will share the material with the other. There are legal issues also.

Make it happen: take responsibility and write to them to discontinue sending publications to you.

This is one action that is within our capability, do not shift responsibility to others.

C H Yak said...

We do need the personal information like bills.

But it is the accompanying promotional brochures / advertisment materials which are "wasteful" and these are often thicker than the actual bill itself.

Corporates should have greater sense of corporate social responsibility.

Change Now! said...

They earn money by inserting promotional leaflets. They also solicit donations for charities.

We can make things happen.
This is one activity which we can have control over.
Ask for internet billing
Instruct them not to send any correspondence except urgent ones.

It is doable.

Tan Kin Lian said...

An example of wastefulness is the bidding war between Singtel and Starhub for the rights to broadcast the English Premier League soccer. It has resulted in higher cost for Singaporeans and additional cost in running duplicate wiring in our homes.

There is also the lack of cooperatiion between SMRT and Comfort Delgro. SMRT runs a bus service to bring passengers to Chinatown from Dhoby Ghaut, when this is already well served by the North East Line (under Comfort Delgro).

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr Tan,

Your examples are a good illustration of how "efficient free-market system" works in Singapore. This is only good for the owners of these large corporations to maximise their revenue and profit making. Govt likes this system because many govt entities are among the largest shareholders, such as TH, GIC, ministry funds and I won't be surprised many TC funds too.

Anonymous said...

Singapore is a wasteful society in
other aspects too. There is a block
of apartment that was only eight years old, and was torn down after
an enbloc sale, to be rebuilt into
a shopping centre at the Novena area. A waste of construction materials, manpower and time, all
for the sake of getting the pot of
gold in an enbloc sale.

Anonymous said...

Rex comments as follows,

Last week, they delivered free THICK phone books to all the houses in my neighbourhood.
It is ridiculous, hardly anyone uses phone books nowadays in my opinion. This is internet age.

I didn't even open the wrapper, it went straight to the karang guni pile with my old newspapers.
So many trees were choped down in vain, poor trees.


caver38 said...

Singapore is a wasteful and unecological society in all ways , and does not live up to its PAP reputation of being a green city.From excessive consumption to oversize cars , very old commercial vehicles and lack of insulation in buildings , Singapore pushes the excesses of a consumer society to a limit .As people have said buildings are replaced and revamped for no reason. And the so called green city is in fact not ecological at all , its is made to look green , but ecology is the last word to be used in its description , how can city dwellers even start to understand ecology .

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