Monday, December 24, 2012

A Green Earth starts at Home!

interior design, furniture, green

John Paul Oei Jun Jie, Zhonghua Secondary School, 1st Prize winning entry in The Home Look Green Home Campaign - Blog Competition


Global warming

After burning fuels for energy, carbon dioxide is produced. Carbon dioxide is the main greenhouse gas which traps the heat from the sun in the atmosphere.
As a result from man’s actions, more carbon dioxide has been produced, resulting in what we know as global warming.

Over the years, the temperature in Singapore and the world has been increasing. This rise in temperature also affects the amount of rainwater falling over Singapore. Though we can’t see the changes, we can see the effects of global warming over the years. We have to act now in order to save our home.


Some species of animals would be unable to adapt to the increasingly warm climate and would soon die of extinction. This could also affect our food production as there will be less meat for consumption.

Global warming also affects food production. Due to global warming, there are changes in the pattern of precipitation, which may cause droughts in one part of the world and sudden freak flooding in another, where crops might be grown. This shortage of food may result in famine in some countries and in Singapore, rise in food prices as we are dependent on imports.

Due to global warming, the sea level is rising as the ice caps melt. As Singapore is a low-lying land, sooner or later in a few years’ time, we would be up to our knees in our water. It would be flooding. And I don’t think anybody would want a repeat of what happened to Orchard Road in 2011.

Also, there will be changes in weather and in a worst case scenario; there would be possibilities of sudden heat waves or tsunamis affecting our neighbouring countrieswith consequences on Singapore.



1.Reduce the amount of electricity used. This should be common practice as of now we take electricity for granted. In years to come, we would run out of our main sources of fuel and would have to search for other sources to produce electricity. Though many of you know that it is important to save energy, few people actually practice this.

- Turn off the lights, fans, air-cons and other electrical appliances when you are not in the vicinity or not using them and only use them when necessary.
- Check energy label for 4 ticks.
- Use compact fluorescent light bulbs.
- Take public transport or even walk instead of using a car.
- Try to use computer more efficiently by planning and organising work to reduce wastage of electricity. Find
   other ways of entertainment instead of using the computer, such as playing outdoors.
- Open windows or use a fan instead of turning on the air-con, or set it at 24 degrees Celsius.
- Set the timer for the air-con before you sleep. Use the air-con when there are at least two people in a room.

2.Save water. Another thing anybody knows about but few people care about. The water level is rising, that means more water, so why do we need to conserve water? Well, the water from the sea isn’t fresh water and therefore undrinkable. Water could be taken to the desalination plants but there is a possibility that these could also be flooded or some equipment may malfunction.

- Turn off the tap when brushing the teeth and when not in us or when you are soaping while.
- Use a bucket of water instead of the hose when washing the car.
- Use the water from washing food to water the plants or collect the water you used after bathing or from the washing machine to flush the toilet.
- Use dual flush toilets.
- Install thimbles in to tap heads.

3.Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. We already do not have enough resources in Singapore, but the way we use them is as if that we have an infinite supply. We must learn to treasure our resources and reduce the wastage.

- Consolidate waste into separate piles and place them into their respective recycling bins for easier
   collection of resources.
- Paper would be recycled to make recycled paper.
- Try not to print too often but rather make electronic copies of work on computer.
- Use proper mugs instead of plastic cups, and the same goes for water bottles.

4.Another thing related to our natural resources which may seem off topic is food. Singapore is a small country with limited land so we rely on other countries for food. However, as a result of global warming, food production would be affected. With lesser food, countries would take care of their own people before exporting food. Food prices will soar and life will become hard.
We must also not waste food or eat too much. Food is as important as water and energy. In other countries, food is hard to come by, and the people would eat everything if they even have a chance.

- Buy locally produced food, as this saves fuel used in transportation of food from other countries.
- Finish all of our food when eating. By wasting food, you are basically wasting money.
- Try to reduce the food you buy. Make sure that there is no excess food which would have to be thrown away as it cannot be finished.



By doing all these, you’re not only saving the earth, our home, but you are also saving your own money. Do your part to save the earth.
For more information, click the links on the right, there are some websites that might be helpful:

Air Conditioner

Comparison of Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb and Incandescent Light bulb

 Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb


Dual Flush Toilet (Top-View)

Electrical Plug

Energy Label

Fluorescent Tube Light (shouldn’t use)

Incandescent Light Bulb

Public Transport (MRT/Bus/LRT etc.)

Rechargable Batteries

Recycled Paper

Reusable Bags

Table Fan

Thimbles for Water Tap and Shower

Other suggestions:
Instead of printing out worksheets, we should encourage E-learning more as paper would not have to be used to make worksheets.

A Green Earth starts at Home!

interior design, furniture, green

Peggy Chen, Ang Mo Kio Primary School, 2nd Prize 
winning entry in The Home Look Green Home Campaign - Blog Competition

Have you ever heard your parents quarrelling about how the water and electricity bills are always increasing and wondered how you could actually play a part in helping your family to conserve water and electricity? Look no further, in less than a thousand words you will be able to understand the need for conservation of water and electricity, the pros and cons of it and how to play a part in conserving water and electricity. 

The Need For Water and Electricity Conservation:
Using too much energy as well as wasting energy actually harms the environment and it can also use up vital natural resources that are limited. By conserving water and electricity, we are saving energy and also helping the environment. The reason we conserve water is because water is actually in limited supply and the reserves are further declining due to wastage and pollution. 70% of the Earth's surface is covered with water but only about 3% of this water is fresh water. Without water, we will not be able to survive and without electricity, life will not be as convenient as it is now. So it just goes to show that we should cherish the things that we have now and not take things for granted!
The Pros And Cons Of Water And Electricity Conservation:
Conserving water and electricity does have its good and bad sides. We can't have our cake and eat it, can we? There are actually many good things about conserving water and electricity. By doing so, we can not only save money and energy, but also play a part in helping the environment. And now for the disadvantages- Cooperation is required, there are people who are very stubborn, with a capital S, and chances are, they won't change their lifestyle and help to conserve water and electricity, these stubborn people are quite a handful, aren't they? Being motivating alone isn't enough, it takes motivation, perseverance and perhaps some gentle persuasion to convince these people that conserving water and electricity does have many benefits.

Conserving Water And Electricity:
 It is actually not very hard, it only takes some know-how and perseverance, sounds easy? Oh well, action speaks louder than words. Alright, now I will be telling you how to conserve water and electricity, let us start with the former.

Conserving Water:
Do not forget the three Rs-Reuse, Reduce and Recycle. You could collect rainwater and use it to water your plants. If you own a car, you might consider using a pail instead of the hose, it saves more water that way. Last but not least, you could try sanitizing grey water. It may be a little more complex, but for your information, grey water is basically something distinguished from black water as anything not flushed down the commode. Of course, there are more tips. I've put them in point form so that it would be easier to read.
  1. Cut back on shower time, showering uses about 2.5 gallons of water per minute.
  2. Turn off the faucet when you brush your teeth, you could save up to 300 gallons of water a year.
  3. Check for any leaks in pipes and taps, repair them immediately if any.
  4. Install water thimbles in faucets and shower hoses, it saves more water that way.
  5. Install water-saving bags in cisterns to reduce the amount of water used for flushing.
  6. Buy water-efficient taps and washing machines to save more water.
  7. Only wash clothes when there is a full load.
  8. Rinse dishes in a plugged sink rather than under running water
  9. Shower instead of bathing, it saves more water.
  10. Share water-saving tips with your family and friends, the more people in the know, the better!

Conserving Electricity:
Basically, practically everything in our life uses electricity, the computer I am currently using uses electricity, the lights that light up our rooms uses electricity, the hairdryer we use to dry our hair after showering also uses electricity. So, can you see the impact of electricity on our lives? Will life be as convenient as it is now? Nope, so conserving it is a big deal. So here are some tips that tell you how to conserve electricity...
  1. Switch off all the lights and electrical appliances when they are not in use.
  2. Use an electric fan instead of an air-conditioner, it uses much less electrical energy.
  3. Do not leave the computer or television on standby modes for too long.
  4. Buy electrical appliances which are energy efficient.
  5. Use compact fluorescent light bulbs.
  6. Do not leave electrical sockets unplugged.
  7. Keep doors and windows closed when heating or when air-conditioner is running.
  8. Make use of natural sunlight when possible and do not turn on lights and lamps.
  9. Cook several food dishes in the oven at the same time.
  10. Be a role model for energy conservation, share tips on how to conserve electricity with your family and friends.
See, it's not really that hard, is it? I hope you will put this information to good use and hopefully, you will never hear your parents quarrelling about how the water and electricity bills are always increasing ever again.

 The Family Then Lives Happily Ever After,
The End

A Green Earth starts at Home!

interior design, furniture, green

James Mark Ayavoo, Ang Mo Kio Primary School, 3rd Prize winning entry in The Home Look Green Home Campaign - Blog Competition




The first step to reducing your impact on the environment, is reducing the amounts of resources you consume and use. Think twice before you buy or use anything. Do you really need it? By reducing your consumption you will also decrease the amount of waste you produce.


There are also many other ways to reduce your waste. The opportunities are nearly endless. Here are just a few ideas.

  • Think before you print or photocopy! Print and copy as little as possible.

  • Edit on screen, not on paper.

  • Use e-mail to minimize paper use.

  • Send and store documents like necessary papers and business proposals electronically instead of on paper.

  • When you must print or copy, do it double-sided.

  • Circulate documents instead of making an individual copy for everyone.

  • Change the margins on your Word documents. The default margins on the documents you print are 1.25 inches on all sides. Simply changing the margins to 0.75 inches will reduce the amount of paper you use by almost 5 percent.


There are so many ways of optimizing your energy consumption

  • Turn off unused or unneeded lights.

  • Use natural lighting instead of electric lighting whenever possible.

  • If you have a desk lamp, make sure it uses fluorescent bulbs (instead of incandescent bulbs).

  • Dress appropriate to the season

  • Select cold water for washing clothes

  • Keep windows and doors closed in heated and air-conditioned areas.

  • Turn off computers when they are not in use.

  • Turn off printers, especially laser printers, unless printing.
  •  Don’t use power strips to turn on all computers and desk equipment at once. 
  •  When purchasing computers and peripherals, buy low wattage equipment.
  •  Minimize use of screen savers and instead enable power management feature.
  •  Purchase only energy-efficient products.
  •  Move your refrigerator. Leaving space between your refrigerator and the wall increases air circulation around the condenser coils, allowing the fridge to operate more efficiently.


  • Drive Efficiently -  If you must drive, buck the trend toward more wasteful vehicles and drive a fuel efficient car, i.e. one which gets more miles per gallon, and don’t drive it more than you really need to!

  • Park your car in the shade. Gas evaporates from your fuel tank more quickly when you park in the sun. Parking in the shade lowers the temperature in your gas tank by up to 7 degrees, significantly reducing fuel evaporation.


Plastic containers can become food storage, paper can become wrapping paper. The ways in which to reuse things are unlimited. All you need is to be creative. If being creative is not your thing, here are some other ideas:

  • Reuse envelopes by placing a new label over the old address.

  • Designate a box for scrap paper and use it for printing all drafts or unofficial documents.

  • Reuse plastic bags or better get a reusable canvas bags.


When buying any type of product, see if it is available with post consumer recycled content.

  • Wrap presents in gift bags. Once you tear the wrapping paper off a holiday gift it ends up in the recycle bin, but gift bags can be used over and over again.

  • Production of recycled paper uses only half the water and 3/4 of the energy than new paper

  • Every ton of recycled paper saves almost 400 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space and seventeen trees. 

  • If you recycle soda cans, the energy used and air pollution created, is 95 percent less than if the cans were produced from raw materials. 

  • You could operate a TV set for an estimated three hours with the energy saved by recycling just one aluminum can
Thinking green means being aware of our interconnectedness with the world and reflecting on the unintended damage we cause nature in the daily course of our lives. Thinking green leads to acting green - taking corrective action to make environmental responsibility a reality.

Friday, December 21, 2012

How to Clean Your House in 30 Minutes | At Home With P. Allen Smith

30 minutes to a clean house! From cleaning the bathroom to getting rid of clutter in the living room, your home will look well-maintained and inviting to guests!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Easy Holiday Flower Arrangement | At Home With P. Allen Smith

Whether on a dining table or for home decoration, these floral arrangements are a great way to freshen up any space.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Personalized Mugs for Thanksgiving | At Home With P. Allen Smith

Personalised mugs as gifts! All you need are solid coloured coffee mugs and craft pens that contain ceramic paint. Once you've decorated your mugs, stick it in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Chinese Lantern Wall Decoration | GHC In-Depth With P. Allen Smith

Allen Smith shows how grouping of dried Chinese Lanterns (Physalis) blooms into a bouquet. Just secure the arrangement with a ribbon and it is ready to hang on the wall!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Choosing Bed Linens | GHC In-Depth With P. Allen Smith

Tips on how to mix and match bed linens and pillow colours to create a warm and matching bedroom. Simply build a colour palette around a favorite object or the wall colour.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Homemade Fire Ant Solution | At Home With P. Allen Smith

This video shows a quick home remedy for getting rid of fire ants. Mixing equal parts borax and sugar, and apply a small amount to the fire ant nest. Safe, easy and effective, this pest control solution is a great homemade cure!