Friday, 28 August 2009

What a waste (2) – Ice cubes

I notice that in Singapore, whenever we order a cold drink at a hawker centre or food court, it’s a common practice to get much more ice cubes than we really need. Much of this ice is simply discarded later. Overall, this results in tremendous amount waste of energy and water for our country; not just to produce the ice, but to transport it and preserve it.

With the ongoing concern for the environment and efforts to go ‘green’; I think we can do something to reduce this wastage. For example:

1) Launch a campaign to persuade Singaporeans to take their drinks without ice. Often when we order canned drinks, they already come chilled anyway. Why not save yourself 10 cents and help save the earth?

2) Launch a campaign to educate drink stalls to serve less ice. I suspect that in some cases, such as fruit juices, they give you more ice so that they can cut down on the amount of juice they serve.

3) Come up with a practical way to recycle the ice cubes. Of course I do not mean to re-use the ice cubes for drinks. One area I can think of is to re-sell it to the fish mongers at nearby wet markets who require large amounts of crushed ice. Here’s how. Every food court and hawker centre should be equipped with a large ice box. The cleaners should rinse the leftover ice cubes and store them in the ice box. The next morning, if it is a hawker centre next to a wet market, the fish mongers can help themselves to the ice. Maybe they can be charged a nominal fee.

In fact, last month I put forward this suggestion to Reach. They relayed it to the relevant ministry which then gave me an acknowledgement and a promise to look into it. It’s been more than a month and I have not heard again from them. I doubt I will ever hear from them again :(