How to Make Notepads Out of Old Table-top Calendars and Letterheads

March 31, 2009 by  
Filed under Insights

Thanks to Lynnette for submitting this great article (also published at Velvet Notes).

The following are steps on how to recycle table-top calendars and old letterheads into Notepads. I’ve made a number of them and have donated them to charities.

For this project, you will need:

  • Old Calenders
  • Old letterheads or paper you would like to use up (don’t use too many or you can’t fit it into the spine)
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Glue
  • Bull clip / paper clips
  • Access to a comb binder

1. Get your materials


2. Remove the spine from the calendar. Hold one side of the spine with your finger and thumb and the other with the pliers. Pull spine apart. Read more

Business Material Exchange (Under Construction)

March 23, 2009 by  
Filed under Insights

Zero Waste Singapore is in the process of creating Singapore’s first Business Material Exchange (BMX). BMX is a free, online material exchange for businesses in Singapore. Think Freecycle for business.

BMX helps your business find users for your surplus materials, unwanted items, waste and by-products that you normally disposed of. BMX may also be used by businesses, schools and non-profit organisations to find materials they need.

It’s about turning a business’s waste into a resource for another business or organisation. Remember that waste equals resources.

Keep a lookout for BMX in April.

2008 Waste Statistics and Current Waste Situation in Singapore (Part Three)

March 23, 2009 by  
Filed under Insights

Continued from Part Two, which looks at the % composition by weight of the waste output, waste disposed and waste recycled in 2008.

Just to recap, we concluded that the focus should be to achieve greater waste reduction in Paper/Cardboard, Plastics and Food Waste, as they are common in households and offices, and there exist opportunities for projects and campaigns to reduce their output.

Besides waste reduction, let’s take a look at the recycling rate of the different waste in 2008.


As mentioned in Part Two, the waste quantity of construction debris and ferrous metal being recycled are high. The recycling rate is 98% for construction debris and 94% for ferrous metal.

On the other hand, the recycling rate for plastics (9%) and food waste (12%) is much lower. The recycling rate for paper/cardboard is 48%, which means that half of the paper and cardboard waste generated ends up being burned in the incineration plants.

Clearly, more effort need to be put in to first reduce the waste output of Food Waste, Paper/Cardboard and Plastics, and then to recycle them when they are generated as waste.

Let’s look at some local and overseas campaigns and projects to find opportunities for waste reduction.

Love Food Hate Waste

Reduce food waste - Love Food Hate Waste

The Love Food Hate Waste campaign in the UK aims to:

raise awareness of the need to reduce food waste. The campaign shows that by doing some easy practical everyday things in the home we can all waste less food, which will ultimately benefit our purses and the environment too.

The website is a fun and interactive platform to learn about food waste and how to reduce them. It includes a Portion Calculator that shows you how much to cook depending on the number of people, and ways to measure it. There’s also a 2-week menu, recipes for cooking leftover, and food storage tips.

Food for All

Food for All is a youth initiative dedicated to food-related issues in Singapore.

Food for All’s mission is to encourage conversations amongst various stakeholders in the food industry – producers, consumers and everyone in between – in order to achieve the aim of creating an equitable and sustainable food system in Singapore and beyond.

Their recent Food Report 2008 gives an excellent summary on the issues of hunger, agriculture, food security, ethical food, and nutrition in Singapore. The report also looks at the gaps within the local food system requiring both immediate and long-term action.

Opportunities for Food Waste Reduction

We need a more holistic approach to reducing food waste in Singapore, and go beyond the current recycling of food waste after it has been generated. We can learn from the Love Food Hate Waste campaign on reducing food waste due to preparation, and also from Food for All’s report, which has good suggestions such as implementing Food Banks and food distribution systems.

To reduce food waste, we should look at the different food stages:

  1. Food Production (ensure that enough food is grown or imported, and that there are no excess wastage during transportation and  storage)
  2. Food Preparation (prevent food wastage through proper storage, good cooking habits, and sufficient food portions)
  3. Food Consumption (change eating habits and buy enough food to prevent wastage)
  4. Food Distribution (sell or give unsold or soon-to-be expired food and products to the needy)
  5. Food Reuse and Recycling (encourage food waste composting, or producing enzyme, and biogas generation using anaerobic digestion)

The different government agencies such as NEA, AVA, HPB and CDCs should also work together to coordinate programmes and campaigns to reduce food waste.

To be continued, watch out for Part Four.

Recycle Your Reading – Used Books Become New Reads at the Book Exchange

March 20, 2009 by  
Filed under News

Venue: The Plaza, National Library Building, 100 Victoria Street

book-exchange3 easy steps to exchange your used books for new reads:

1. Bring your used books to any Public Library from 11 to 24 April, 11am to 8pm. On 25 April, used books are accepted only at the National Library Building.

2. Drop off your used books and get a book exchange coupon indicating one-for-one exchange for the books accepted.

3. Bring your coupon to The Plaza, National Library Building, on 25 April to redeem for used books dropped off by other book lovers.

Terms and Conditions:

1. Each person can exchange up to a maximum of 30 used books. There is no age limit for participation.

2. We accept children’s and adults’ fiction and non-fiction books (eg. cookbooks, travel guides and romance novels) in any of the four official languages. We also accept used library books bought from previous Library Book Sales. Textbooks, magazines and audio-visual materials will not be accepted.

3. Used books for exchange should be in relatively good physical condition.

4. Only coupons issued with a Book Exchange stamp are valid. Please check your coupons carefully after they are issued to you.

5. Coupons issued are transferable. You may pass them on to your family members or friends to help you redeem.

6. Lost coupons are not replaceable. You are advised to keep your coupons properly till the event on 25 April.

7. Plastic/carrier bags and delivery service will not be provided on Sat, 25 April. You are advised to bring your own carrier bags and/or arrange for transportation of books redeemed.

For enquiries, please call NLB Helpdesk at 6332 3255 or email:

Note: NLB reserves the right to change the terms and conditions at any time.

Source: National Library Board.

Fun Ways to Recycle

March 20, 2009 by  
Filed under News

Venue: Activities Room in Choa Chu Kang Public Library

Fancy creating yourself a funky, multi-purpose hanger made of recycled materials that can be put on the wall? All it takes is just a little bit of innovation, creativity and fun with art! At the end of the day, you get to bring home your designers’ worth of works and place it at any nook and corners of your house. Due to limited seats, registration is required and can be made via and surf on to ‘Simply’ to reserve your seat. Brought to you by Hans Art.

Source: National Library Board

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