By now you’ve probably heard that we are heading for a climate catastrophe in 12 years. It’s now time for individuals, organisations and the government to rally together and take massive action to secure a sustainable future. We were (and still are!) thrilled to see that global movement Green Monday hit Singapore shores last week, furthering the movement towards a plant-based diet for the masses.
Green Monday makes low-carbon and sustainable living simple. The movement originated in Hong Kong, where there are now 1.6 million people adopting plant-based choices at least one day a week. Their venture arm, Green Common, furthers the mission by bringing plant-based dining and food products accessible to a mainstream audience – including innovative meat-alternatives such as Beyond Meat, Omnipork, JUST eggless egg products.
The Grand Hyatt Singapore was the first to launch these products in South East Asia, where the Beyond Burger, for example, has outsold the beef burger 3 to 1 since hitting the menu. We’re big fans of Jerome Pagnier (the F&B Director for the property), who wanted to bring a disruptor and a mindset shift into Singapore; something that would make people look differently at plant-based options. We had a chat with him about JUST eggless eggs and more.
Who’s going Green on Mondays in Singapore?
We’re inspired to see that over 20 restaurant groups (with over 80 outlets on the island) have made the commitment to have more vegetarian and vegan options on their Singaporean menus! These include the hospitality groups Grand Hyatt Singapore, Mercure Singapore on Stevens, Novotel Singapore on Stevens, Plaza Premium Lounge and The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, as well as restaurant chains Cedele, PizzaExpress, Prive, SaladStop! and Whole Earth. Even fast food joints Hello Baby and Wolf Burgers have joined in, along with independent eateries Carvers X, HRVST, Open Farm Community and Original Sin.
You too can get your hands on some of these innovative food products soon – Beyond Meat will be available for sale at the Four Seasons Organic Market, Habitat, honestbee and RedMart later this year, while Omnipork will be hitting the shelves early next year.
David Yeung, the Founder of Green Monday, is an environmental advocate, recent awardee of the Social Entrepreneur of the Year by World Economic Forum and a 2018 GITNB Green Warrior. His address had us inspired to do more. Here is a summary of some of the main takeaways (!) from the launch.
Why should we join the plant-based movement and go Green on Mondays?
Climate change is not fake news.
Climate change is real, getting worse and happening on a daily global basis. You don’t need to look far to see or experience it. The super typhoon Mangkhut in Hong Kong and South East Asia in September, or London (typically known for their grey skies and perpetual rain) going through the longest dry spell in 40 years earlier this year- these are both of these prime examples of the effects of climate change. These are not natural tragedies; they are man-made. It is not just about raising awareness, knowing and talking about it anymore, we have to take action. From plastic reduction, to transport changes, to energy saving – we need to embark on a holistic shift. The major piece of this shift that is missing and is surprisingly often overlooked, is food.
We are running out of food.
Today there are 7.6 billion people on the planet, and we are fast approaching 9-10 billion. At current rates, we are simply running out of resources to feed the world, we are running out of food. Normal healthy food. Which is why industrial farming is full of antibiotics, chemicals, and inhumane practices. It’s not just a climate urgency crisis but also a health urgency crisis. For example, take the current Swine Flu breakout in China. Or how when you go to health food stores, you see labels saying ‘free from this, free from that’, where the ‘freer from’ = the healthier. It’s not something that we can be bystanders on and expect someone else to do something, or wait for governments or big corporations to take care of it.
You don’t need to become vegan tomorrow.
Livestock is a major source of greenhouse gas. Reducing meat isn’t a personal choice anymore- it’s something that everyone needs to participate in. This doesn’t mean that you need to convert to veganism tomorrow, but it doesn’t mean that meat eaters and vegans are on opposite sides of the battlefield, either. Instead, we need to create an inclusive platform that everyone can embrace. If everyone can shift 10-20% of their diet towards a more plant-based diet, it would have a significant impact in terms of saving carbon, saving water, saving lives and using land resources much more efficiently in order to feed the planet.
Vote with your food choices.
We are all part of the problem and we all need to be part of the solution. In Asia, we have 4 billion people, which is about 58% of the world. We’ve got to fix the problem here. And that’s why Green Monday was started here. Whether it’s one day a week, two days a week, green breakfast, green dinner, whatever you like. In this region, its common for us to share dishes, and if 3 out of 5 dishes are plant-based, then the whole family eats 60% plant-based.
Be the change agent at your company.
Change is amplified when we come together and real big impacts happen when companies get on board. If cities like Berkley in the US can make the shift one day a week, you can be the green leader to make this change in your office too. Rally the troops and help your team and companies go green one day a week. Singapore is a major hub that can spread influence all around the region.
We’re all on the same team. Team planet earth.
Everyone can make a difference. Going green one day a week is just the beginning, it is just one step. Don’t just stop here, every part of our lifestyles can make a difference. Start with yourself and vote with your food, dollars, time. Be part of team earth. Be the change you want to see in the world.
Let’s all make Green Common today, join Green Monday Singapore!
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