Convenience stores are fuss-free when you need something on-the-go, but one new zero waste exhibition is taking a different approach to the concept. The [Not-So] Convenience Store isn’t actually a shop, even though it looks just like one. It’s more of an interactive, easy-to-understand way of raising awareness about the world’s increasing waste problem.
Created by the newly-opened Temasek Shophouse, a co-working space run by Temasek’s philanthropic arm, the tiny shop is filled with sustainable alternatives of daily necessities. According to the team behind the showcase, Singapore mainly generates four types of waste: electronics, food, household products, and plastic. In 2017 alone, our amount of waste added up to more than 7.78 million tons, enough to fill up 15,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
Apparently, Singapore produces about 60 million kg of electronic waste each year, and more than 12 percent of our waste consists of plastic.
To subvert our culture of convenience, the store shines a spotlight on how our single-use plastics and constantly changing electronic gadgets contribute to global warming and climate change.
Inside, you’ll find the wares of local eco-friendly businesses and social enterprises such as Bamboo Straw Girl, Cloversoft, Good Dog People, Live Love Luna, The First Green Store, The Green Collective, and Trove of Gaia. Goods on display include handy stuff like reusable coffee capsules, grocery bags, menstrual cups, metal and bamboo straws, tooth powder (to replace toothpaste), bars of soap and deodorant, cutlery sets, books on how to live the zero waste lifestyle, and more.
You can’t make purchases on the spot, but the store will do you one better. Just scan the QR codes for each item and they’ll link you to the respective product pages so you can get ’em online and have them delivered to your doorstep. It’s convenient, perhaps more so than an actual shop with bags that you’ll have to lug around.
While you’re in the heritage shophouse, stop by Foreword Coffee for a quick cuppa or light bite. The brand, which trains and provides employment opportunities for persons with disabilities and special needs, strives to reduce its carbon footprint by only bringing in coffee beans from around the region, axing plastic straws, and encouraging customers to drink out of reusable cups.
And there you have it. A small step in the start of a zero waste lifestyle.
The [Not-So] Convenience Store exhibition is on from June 7-July 31 at Temasek Shophouse.
Weekdays 8am-9pm, weekends 11am-5pm. Free entry.
MRT: Dhoby Ghaut