I received an email from NParks Singapore that says:
“The Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources wants to hear from you on attitudes towards littering and what can be done to get everyone to come together to keep Singapore clean. Fill in an online survey at http://bit.ly/1qzxqEn. The survey will be open from now till 20 July.”
The following are my responses in the online survey.
|1.||What are the obstacles and motivations to not litter in public places?|
The root cause of littering has to be addressed in order for the problem of littering to be adequately and holistically resolved. The consumeristic, capitalistic and materialistic mindset and pattern of the societal system has to change, and the connection between us and the natural environment needs strengthening.
|2.||What are the main influences that shape our attitudes towards littering?|
We have lost sight of our connection to Nature. People are obsessed with running the rat race and competing with one another to buy the things they don’t need just to impress people who don’t care.
|3.||What can we, the Government and the community, do to change these attitudes?|
Stop propagating the illusory dream of material wealth and prosperity, and start advocating an eco-friendly and sustainable culture to replace the buy-and-throw-away culture.
Please refer to the video entitled “The girl who silenced the world for 5 minutes – YouTube” for more information.
|To promote greater community ownership of our environment and to complement community initiatives, NEA also empowered members of the public for action against littering as Community Volunteers, who encourage their fellow residents not to litter. Based on feedback from the volunteers, they want to be able to do more. We are empowering them to enforce against littering. The volunteers could look after the cleanliness of a particular area and enforce against offenders where necessary.|
|4.||What do you think of the Voluntary Enforcement Scheme?
On top of regular enforcement patrols, islandwide blitzes have also been conducted at littering hotspots to increase enforcement pressure at targeted areas and raise awareness of the problem of littering. There was also a pilot scheme of utilising surveillance cameras to deter littering at hotspots such as McCallum Street.5.What are your sentiments towards different types of enforcement approaches?
These approaches have their place, but they only address the symptoms of the problem of littering, much like putting a band-aid over the deep wound. We need to deal with the root of the problem, and it involves going back to Nature and living a sustainable and egalitarian life that benefits both humans and the environment. Please google “The Venus Project” for reference and inspiration. Thank you.
|6.||Are there ways we can leverage social media or such online community action to bring about our desired state of cleanliness, e.g. more avenues for enforcement, reinforcing positive social norms, or others?|
It is really not about more enforcement. Having more laws only keep people in an infantile state of mind and discourage them to think for themselves. Real change begins when people learn to think for themselves and take responsibility for their own actions and not rely on outward regulations.
|7.||How can we improve enforcement methods? Should enforcement be stern or educational?|