What ? We kinda’ caused the haze ?

Singapore is well-known for being a green country . Approximately 15 million tourist visit Singapore annually . However in recent years , the haze conditions in Singapore has gotten worse . Straits Time reported that Malaysia and Singapore are expected to see a decline in Tourist visits due to travel warnings for haze . (http://www.straitstimes.com/business/economy/singapore-gdp-will-take-hit-from-haze-as-countries-issue-travel-warnings).

With PSI ( pollutant standards index ) reaching up to 401 , no wonder Singaporeans are complaining on how the air smells , affecting us in our daily lives . Therefore , i am interested in this question and would like to help see what i can do to help my families and other people who is affected by the haze and who is to be blamed for the haze.  But since we did not burn anything in Singapore , how did we kinda caused the haze ?

Haze

Haze is an atmospheric phenomenon where smoke or dust affects the clarity of the sky. Haze is an air pollution that can cause respiratory problems like difficulty breathing .           Facts : In October 2015 , haze have taken 10 lives and leaves 500,000 people with respiratory aliments in Indonesia. ( Source :http://news.asiaone.com/news/asia/haze-kills-10-people-indonesia-leaves-over-500000-respiratory-ailments-agency )

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So who is to be blamed ?

Haze in Singapore is usually caused by neighboring countries such as Indonesia . The practice of ‘slash-and-burn’, a farming method that involves cutting and burning of plants , is usually used to remove palm oil trees in Indonesia .When the plot becomes infertile after being used , farmers move on to a new patch of land and does the burning stuffs again , thus forming an endless cycle of burning .(Source:http://www.rainforestsaver.org/what-slash-and-burn-farming )13892886.jpg

As it is convenient and cheap to remove large hectare of forest , this method is widely used in agriculture . When the wind brings the dirty and dusty air from the burning of palm oil trees to Singapore , the people living in Singapore would get affected . As a result , many Singaporeans would say that the farmers in Indonesia are to be blamed for the haze or the government is at fault for not putting up any limits to burning of forest , etc.

However , we are also at fault . Whereas we do not burning the forest , we unknowingly use or consume products that are made up of palm-oil such as chocolate and cookies or packaged bread. Palm oil is the most used vegetable oil in the world. Half of the products in the supermarket uses palm oil including soap and detergent. When we use these products , we increase the demand of palm oil , thus resulting in more burning of forest  . (Source:  http://blog.wwf.sg/climate-change/2016/06/pm-haze-guest-blog/). Despite just being a consumer , we actually play a huge role in causing haze .

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Solutions

-LO0k out for the RSPO label logo in products. It ensure you purchase products made with certified sustainable palm oil. This label gives you the confidence that the palm oil was produced in a socially and environmentally responsible way.                                                           (Source :http://www.worldwildlife.org/pages/which-everyday-products-contain-palm-oil)

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– Informing the people around you that we can also help combat the problem of haze by simply paying attention to the things we buy and use . Help spreading the word would also be like saving yourself from the haze

– Volunteers have helped distribute mask across Singapore to help counter the haze.

 

Conclusion

In conclusion ,  I have learnt that when there is a problem , we should not be quick to blame it on others , but reflect and see how we can play our part to help solve the problem.From this , i can apply it in the future .

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