Category Archives: Green in Singapore

Want to prevent myopia? Head outdoors.

I’ve done a couple of posts on the apparent health benefits of exposure to nature

In case you missed it, Australian researchers have just completed a study that concludes that exposure to sunlight is a major factor in the incidence of myopia.

Comparing six and seven-year-old Chinese children in Singapore and Australia, they found that 30 percent of the Singaporeans were myopic, against just 1.3 percent of the Australians. The differentiating factor was the amount of time spent outdoors – 30 minutes for the Singaporeans versus two hours for the Australians.

“What we would suggest,” said the researchers, “is that what’s happened in east Asia is that they have got the balance totally out of kilter.”

What an indictment.

You can read more here:
Red Sports – Spending time outdoors in the sun stops myopia
AFP via Yahoo News – Sunlight can help children avoid myopia

Freecycled Home For the Froglets

I joined the Singapore Freecycle Network a few months back. It’s basically a community that aims to connect people with things to give away, with people who want those things. It’s been fun (and heartening) to read the regular mailers describing things that people are giving away.

Anyhow, Athos has Show and Tell next week and he’s decided to bring the froglets to school. Rather than spend money on something I only needed temporarily, I thought I’d see if the Freecycle Network would have anything to offer. So here is the request I put up: Continue reading


I encountered the term “freecycle” a few months back but never got round to looking it up. Thanks to Alternative Mom‘s comment on my previous post, I was reminded and went to look it up.

The Freecycle Network began a couple of years back in Arizona, USA and now has 4,221 groups and 4,335,000 members around the world. The idea is basically to connect the people who have things to give away, with people who want those things. I am completely sold on the idea.

And the great news, my friends, is that Singapore has its own Singapore Freecycle Network! An excerpt from its Yahoo Groups webpage:

Whether you’re looking to discard or acquire an item, you’ve come to the right place. Computers, furniture, clothing, magazines – no item is too big or too small. (That said, we request that you keep in mind that this is not intended to be a Christmas wish-list. Asking for LCD TVs, XBox’s, PS3s, etc., is a bit over-the-top.) Since this is a Freecycle list, ALL items must be 100% FREE and not subject to exchange or sale.

As of this writing, it has over 4200 members. I have just signed up as member #4211 – will you consider being #4212?

Join the Singapore Freecycle Network.

Too. Much. Stuff.

After hosting 6 multi-family garage sales, it’s become painfully clear to me that we are living in a consumer society in which we often buy things we don’t really need, or in quantities that we don’t require. (True of the Pilgrim family too, by the way.)

Which is why I was struck by what’s going In The Trenches of Motherhood. This mother of seven is taking one year off buying anything other than essentials, and writes some great posts about (non-)shopping at Target and Ikea. And then today, a friend sent me the link to The Story of Stuff, a compelling (though somewhat long) video about the crisis of our materialist economy. Watch it, if only for the superb graphics.

What will you do about it?

A Red-Hot Multi-Family Garage Sale

The Pilgrim family loves garage sales. As a seller, it’s a great way to keep your home free of clutter, and to give unwanted items a new lease of life. As a buyer, garage sales present an opportunity to save a lot of money, and to uncover wonderful treasures.

We’ve hosted regular multi-family garage sales for a few years now, and we are having our 6th this weekend! We usually have between 15-30 donor families/individuals, so there’s a huge variety of stuff. We price our items to sell (my dad calls it “ridiculously cheap”), and ALL proceeds go to charity. We’ve done this so often we actually have regular customers, ranging from expatriates to families to domestic helpers and foreign workers, to bargain-loving Singaporeans. Some even come back several times in one day!

Anyway, the details are as follows:

Date: Sat and Sun, 1-2 December 2007
Time: 9am to 5pm
Items: Electronics, books, toys, clothes, household items, fixtures and furnishings, decoratives and lots of other stuff
Venue: Email pilgrimmom[at] for address

Do drop by!

And God blessed the seventh day…

Upper Pierce Reservoir


A 6-Year-Old Muses On the Law

The Pilgrim family has been working on reducing our carbon footprint, and one of the things we’re talking to the kids about is to walk wherever possible. Which then led to an interesting conversation with Athos this morning:

Athos: Mommy, does Singapore have a government?

Pilgrim Mom: Too much if you ask me. Yes of course.

Athos: Then why can’t the government make a law to tell people to walk to nearby places?

I was stumped for an answer, and our subsequent discussion touched on crime and punishment, enforcement, and what the law is for. I am pretty sure very little of it made any sense to him.

So how would you have responded?