Join The Campaign! Take The Pledge!

Sunday, 18 October 2015

A Guide to becoming an Eco Customer



1. Avoid products that use non sustainable palm oil. 

- Use sustainable Palm Oil Products

- A website published by the RSPO (RoundTable Sustainable Palm Oil) gives a variety of sustainable palm oil products to use as alternates.

-  The Greenstore is an online shopping website where you can find all types of products that are non toxic, fair trade and use sustainable palm oil.  Please check out this website and buy items from here:

- Use this site to find palm oil free products:

- Reduce usage of edible oil like frying oil. 

2. Use FSC Certified Paper

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) ensures that paper, wood and stationary products provide certification and make sure companies are responsible by maintaining the conservation of trees. Check Out the Website:

- Reuse Paper, save paper! Check this website for paper tips

Some FSC Certified Stationary Products to use are: Forest Choice, Greenviron Eco, The First Green Store, Everyday and Business.
The WhiteList Paper (Sustainable Paper)

Join the Campaign! Sign The Pledge!

- Sign the Pledge!  Pledge

- If at doubt, look at these websites and contact companies. Ask whether or not they use sustainable palm oil in their products.  

- Email me! (Gauri Shukla)

 -Take the initiative to make a change!

- Look for these logos on products

Causes of Haze

Last Year's Haze

Last year’s appalling haze crisis in Indonesia and its neighbours in Southeast Asia was the result of around two million hectares of land in flames in order to clear land for palm oil plantations and pulpwood production. A stark example of the environmental impact of this regular land clearing is that one century ago, there were approximately 315,000 Sumatran orangutans but today there are less than 60,600. But not only has the rich biodiversity of Indonesia been adversely impacted, the fires also exposed 50,000 Indonesian citizens to air pollutants that caused respiratory illnesses. Let alone the damage to the economy caused by disruption to business and services in Indonesia and neighbouring countries such as Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. And while the worst of the effects of the haze have subsided, the underlying problem has not been solved. An annual event since the 1980s, the haze has progressively worsened as the demand for products containing palm oil has increased.
Image courtesy to Ulet Ifansasti / Greenpeace. Image from PM Haze

The Main Causes of Haze


The clearing of land allows dry gas and dry fuels above the ground to spread fires faster and easily.  

Farmers mostly use the 'slash and burn' technique to get rid of forests. Burning forests is the easiest and fastest way of getting rid of crops. The land is then used for palm oil plantations and pulp wood productions.

Indonesia is the 5th most largest Greenhouse gas emitter. If Indonesia continues like this till 2050, then 169 million tons of carbon dioxide will be released into the air.

Indonesia has lost 840,000 hectares of forests, which is roughly the amount of 1 million football fields.

- Drainage of Peatlands

Peat Lands are huge pieces of land covered with peat. Peat is a type of soil that consists of decomposed plant matter,(e.g. twigs, roots, stem and leaves). Peatlands are found in swampy areas and waterlogged areas. Peatlands are crucial to balance the ecosystem as they stabilise climate conditions and control pests.

Due to excessive drainage of water in peatlands, the organic material sinks and dries out.  Dry peat can burn underneath the ground for a very long time. This can make a severe impact on the world around us.

- El Nino Effect

- The El Nino Effect is an abnormal warming of the tropical pacific ocean which is associated with severe droughts. As it makes environmental problems worse by creating a dry session. 

- Conflict between farmers

Conflict between farmers is very common in Indonesia, as many farmers do not have legal land certificates to prove that they can burn a certain piece of land. Due to lack of legal land, groups of farmers may claim a piece of land to themselves. This leads to conflicts and fire being used as a weapon to burn land. This mismanagement causes more forests to be burnt and the haze to occur.

Sources used on this page (Bibliography)

"Overview of Causes." PMHaze. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Mar. 2016. <>.
"Open Statement: Should We Be Complacent About the Haze?" WWF. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2015. <>.

"WWF: Singapore's Haze Underscores Need for Action Against Irresponsible Companies." WWF -. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Sept. 2015. <>.

"The Haze." WWF -. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2015. <>.

Fogatry, David. "Indonesia Set to Be World's No.3 Air Polluter." The Sunday Times [Singapore] 18 Oct. 2015: A6-A7. Print.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

SOS (Students Of Singapore) Campaign Against Haze

My campaign
I have launched the SOS campaign to educate people about the causes of the haze, and help them find ways to reduce their usage of products from unsustainable sources.
Click image to see enlarged photo
This blog that I launched contains information on the causes of haze, links to information on sustainable palm oil and paper products, and alternatives. There is a ‘pledge page’  where to date 232 people have committed to using sustainable palm oil products. In invite you to join us by pledging to address the root cause of the haze by taking action to change your consumption. Read More at:
Checkout my iMovie that I Made:

The purpose of this campaign
The haze is our problem to solve too. Although the haze is temporarily absent, we can’t wait for governments to take action, or for someone else to make the change. All of us need to pitch in to work towards sustainability, by addressing the crux of the matter. By changing the products we use, and switching to sustainable palm oil products certified by the Roundtable Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), and by using paper certified by the FSC, we can get one step closer to our ultimate goal: sustainability. The more I learn, the more passionate I become, the more ideas I have for my project. I invite the UWCSEA and Singapore community to come together and help end Southeast Asia’s most pressing humanitarian and environmental issue.

- Gauri Shukla