It has been great fun exploring local past and present green pursuits online. For one, Twitter is a definite place to follow and catch up on creative and genuine efforts to reduce, reuse, and recycle wastes in Singapore.

Check out the people and groups I am following here; they never fail to bring refreshing insight to sustainable living. One of my personal favourites include inhabitots – a really cute online “guide to green parenting, eco baby and green kids”.

As promised in one of my earlier entries, I would like to share some insights I had during my trip to Olive Ventures, Singapore’s first eco-store. I had intended to go there to see if they had any products that could help or enhance the current composting efforts that my fiancé and I are currently undertaking.

With the help of my mobile phone’s GPS, I managed to easily find my way there from Chinatown MRT. It was about a 10-minute walk. You will have to look a little harder when you are just about to reach the store front though, because the surroundings are quite overcrowded with road stalls.

Upon reaching the shop’s main entrance, you’ll have to climb a short flight of stairs. The familiar slogan “reduce, reuse, recycle” is imprinted on them. I happened to be the only customer there then, so I had plenty of time to talk to the friendly shop attendant who was familiar with my composting questions and needs.

I went straight to the shelf which held some compost-related products – biodegradable trash bags (about $8 for 20 bags if I’m not wrong) and tabletop composting bins (about $10 each). Each trash bag could fit snugly into a tabletop composting bin, which mainly takes the form of a porous container with the standing height of a regular thick Oxford dictionary – I can’t find any other way to describe it!

Side note: I didn’t dare to take any pictures and I was too ‘pai seh’ to ask 😛

The aforementioned pairing of biodegradable trash bag and tabletop composting bin allows one to conveniently dump all raw food wastes in one compact location during food preparation in the kitchen. The bin could sit comfortably at the sink because of its small and portable size. After that, you could remove the biodegradable bag from the bin and place it in a compostable environment (e.g. bury inside your garden soil or a proper compost bin). Personally, I did not need the biodegradable trash bag and tabletop composting bin, as my food wastes are usually disposed in a simple porous grate to drain off liquids (kitchen wastes are usually wet!), and then carried over to my compost bins outside my house.

On the other hand, I particularly enjoyed checking out the vermicomposting bins that enabled food waste to be broken down by worms. This is the next project which Joe and I are very keen to start on. The complete set (vermicomposting bin, worms, rake etc) sells for $90 for the smaller system and $300 for the larger one. It was very pricey for me, and Joe and I prefer to build things by ourselves. This way, we could save a lot of money, especially when we are tight on finance. Of course we will have to look and research enough to construct a functional vermicompost bin. The main bulk of money which we will have to invest on would be the compost worms.

Lastly, the shop sells recycled fashion accessories, and quirky utensils that encourages sustainable living. One of my favourites was Spork – a combination of a spoon and a fork – and the colourful durable food containers that are meant to be an alternative to disposable plastic and styrofoam containers. Another sight caught my attention – a shelf stacked with recycled mineral water bottles that were filled with bright yellow liquid. Upon first glance, they looked yummy enough to drink (I thought they were lemonade!) but they were natural non-toxic liquid that could clean several surface types.

It was fun exploring the range of items they had, and the shop smelled “green” too. It might have been the natural wooden furnishings and the well-maintained recycled materials on display. So if you are looking for some green alternatives or a place to get your green brain juices going, you could pop by at their shop for a quick visit!

But I’d have to warn you: immediately upon leaving the quiet and serene shop, the outside Chinatown crowd, buzz, noise and smoke might leave you a lil dizzy-headed 😉

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