8 eco-friendly ways to celebrate the Lunar New Year

Chinese New Year is a time for families to get together and celebrate. 

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Chinese New Year is a time to eat, drink, make merry and catch up with people dear to your heart.

But just because you’re having fun doesn’t mean the earth should have to suffer for it.

Making a conscious effort to be eco-friendly this Chinese New Year is not only a small step towards making the world a better place, but also lighter on your wallet thanks to lower electricity bills and fewer purchases.

Here are some tips for celebrating Chinese New Year in a way that has a lower impact on the environment and saving some money while you’re at it.

Use reusable and washable plates, cups and cutlery to eliminate use of disposables

Single-use items such as paper plates and plastic cutlery contribute to Singapore’s waste-disposal woes.

This Chinese New Year, aim to use only reusable and washable plates, cups and cutlery. The water and electricity required to wash reusable cutlery and crockery is nothing compared to the energy and resources required to manufacture and dispose of their single-use counterparts.

In fact, you can even go one step further by bringing along washable crockery and cutlery for your entire family when you visit other homes during Chinese New Year. That way, you’ll be able to avoid using disposables no matter where you go.

Reuse old red packets to make new and unique Chinese New Year decorations for your home

Don’t throw away your old red packets once you’ve removed the money inside. Used red packets can be reused to make new and unique Chinese New Year decorations for your home.

Staple or glue together red packets to create lanterns, fans, pineapples, fish and more. There are scores of videos on YouTube teaching you how to turn your old red packets into beautiful decorative items.

And of course, if you receive any red packets that close using a slot rather than glue, you can just reuse them to put money in next year.

Bring along reusable bags and containers when shopping for Chinese New Year goodies

Chinese New Year goodies such as pineapple tarts, love letters and cornflake cookies are just some of the mouthwatering treats that you’ve waited an entire year to enjoy.

Don’t forget to bring along reusable bags when you do your Chinese New Year shopping. These bags can be used in place of plastic bags and paper bags at supermarkets and shops.

Want to take things one step further? When grocery shopping for reunion dinner, bring along reusable bags made from mesh, cheesecloth or other lightweight materials. This enables you to avoid using the disposable plastic bags typically used to weigh fruit and vegetables in at supermarkets.

You can also bring along reusable bags and containers for anything that’s sold loose. For instance, when buying bak kwa, get the stallholder to put it in a reusable Tupperware rather than wrap it in paper or plastic.

Keep and reuse CNY goodie containers

Chinese New Year goodies are often sold in transparent plastic containers with an unmistakable red lid.

Don’t throw away your containers once the goodies have been consumed. They are very sturdy and can be reused for years.

Use them to store packaging-free snacks and groceries, as planters, to store leftovers from reunion dinner or to contain your own homemade CNY cookies next year.

Consolidate spring cleaning on a Sunday

Before the first day of the Chinese New Year, families all over Singapore will be spring cleaning with a vengeance.

Consolidating all your cleaning tasks on a Sunday before the Chinese New Year can save you money if you’re signed up to electricity provider Geneco’s Get Free Sundays Plan.

The plan gives you free electricity every Sunday, so that’s the day you want to do all your washing, ironing and even cooking for the upcoming festivities.

By washing only full loads, ironing big batches of clothing and cooking in bulk, you’ll also be saving electricity.

Sell or donate unwanted items unearthed during spring cleaning

Spring cleaning often throws up lots of belongings that were purchased a while ago and have since been forgotten.

Instead of hiding these unused items in the back of your closet, put them aside to sell or donate in the New Year. In fact, you can give items away for free on online platforms such as Freecycle.

Anything that’s still in good working order and that you haven’t managed to sell or give away can be donated to charitable organisations.

Take home leftovers

Chinese New Year is all about cooking and eating, but at the end of each day, it is common to be confronted with mountains of leftovers that everyone is too full to eat.

Don’t contribute to the mountains of food waste that are created every day in Singapore. Instead, send your guests home with containers filled with leftovers—recycle your leftover CNY goodie containers for this purpose. You can then pack everything that remains into Tupperware containers for your family’s consumption the next day.

If you’re spending the evening at a friend or relative’s home, don’t forget to bring along some empty containers so you can take home leftovers at the end of the night.

Use fans rather than air conditioning at home

Singapore’s hot and humid weather causes many to leave their homes air conditioned all day and night when receiving visitors during the Chinese New Year period.

Air conditioning consumes a lot more electricity than electric fans, so opt for the latter. Also leave your windows open to maximise air flow whenever the temperature inside is higher than outside. Your guests will also appreciate a free flow of iced water.

Another thing you should do to keep your electricity bill down is to sign up for an affordable plan like Geneco’s Get It Fixed 36, which costs only 17.88 cents per kWh.

For even greater savings, take advantage of Geneco’s upcoming Chinese New Year promotion from 25th January onwards. The first 888 sign-ups for the Get It Fixed 36 plan get $61.88 off their first bill. The next 2,888 sign-ups of any plan, except the Give Us A Try plan, get $31.88 off their first bill, while the next 8,888 sign-ups receive $21.88 off.

With a little bit of planning, it is totally possible to celebrate Chinese New Year in a way that not only respects the earth but is also less expensive for yourself. Happy Year of the Pig!

For more details, kindly visit Geneco’s website.

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Visit www.geneco.sg to find out more of our compelling power plans.


*Information is correct as of 28 January 2019.

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