In 2018, Green Nudge and Green Ambassadors made a last minute appearance at the Singtel-Singapore Cancer Society’s Race Against Cancer!
Held on 22 Jul 2018, we were called upon by the friendly people from Singapore Cancer Society to help out two weeks before the event. And of course we gamely took up the challenge!
While we were not able to provide our pre-events planning services due to the tight timeline and preparations made by the event organisers, we were still able to influence certain decisions undertaken by them. Key to this was the openness of SCS in wanting to make a difference. Rather than just disposing of all their waste, they wanted to explore finding way to reduce their environmental footprint in a more meaningful manner.
With that in mind, we were able to introduce many firsts in the event. This was the first time we introduce our Sustainability Corner where we situated ourselves near various crucial points of the event ground to tackle the amount of waste generated. Using visual aids, we were able to nudge runners to bin their waste with us, exactly where we needed them.
Grooming the next batch of Green Ambassadors
This event also saw us sharing our views and guidance to a group of new volunteers! Tasked to assist with the segregation of waste, these volunteers, who hail from Victoria Junior College helped to set up the Sustainability Corner and encouraged participants to properly disposed their waste at the finishing point. And rise to the occasion they did!
Renowned for their energy (this author is from VJC hehe), these first timers started singing and dancing, attracting curious runners to take a look. Their actins not just gained the attention of onlookers, but also changed the way that people were viewing waste. Not only can waste disposal be done properly, it can be done in a fun manner!
A fruitful collective effort
All in all, our brief involvement in the event managed to collect an amazing 110 kg of banana peels, and more than 15 bags of plastic bottles and metal cans. The peels were sent to community gardens to be used as compost. With the presence of the volunteers, the recyclables avoid contamination, which meant that they could be used as art materials as well as recycling. More importantly, our actions made a difference to the volunteers.
From being clueless about trash, to even being disgusted about the fact that they were ‘arrowed’ to tackle waste, our volunteers could see first hand how waste was generated, and even excessively when some runners threw away their items such as the runner medals or uneaten fruit.
As the event progressed on, we noticed a change in their behaviour as they not only took the time to properly separate the trash, but were not afraid to get their hands dirty in bagging the fruit peels. More importantly, they also gained a lesson in observing how people who dealt with trash such as the waste management were treated.
Despite getting all sweaty and dirty at the end of the day, the volunteers had no qualms in staying longer than required to tidy up the area, and even asked about the next event to participate in.
From reducing environmental footprint to starting a conversation on empathy, SCS’ RAC has been a meaningful and fun experience for all of us! We certainly hope to be able to support SCS in other ways and look forward to more collaboration in the future!