Quietly, bit by bit, I have been starting my own little green movement. I’ve stopped using the plastic bags at the supermarket. I reuse my plastic take-away containers and try not to use the disposable hotel slippers when I travel.They are small gestures, but important ones, nonetheless. I am working on reducing my carbon footprint by taking a bus home instead of a cab, but I stop at sleeping with the windows open and no air-conditioning. (I can’t—I’ve tried but the city sounds are just too loud.) I even have potted plants around my homely box in the sky, if that’s any help at reducing carbon dioxide. I am proud of the fact that our late Minister Mentor, Lee Kuan Yew, had this farsight back in 1963 when he started planning the “greening” of Singapore with a tree-planting campaign. It was his vision to cultivate greenery to soften the harshness of the metropolis. More than an aesthetic movement, it was an active step towards incorporating nature and preserving it in our daily lives.
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Ironically, Singaporeans, by nature, are not the world’s most environmentally conscious lot. But with nurture, we slowly can be. In this issue, which celebrates flora and fauna, I wanted to explore the beauty of plants, flowers, insects and animals. Yes, it’s an aesthetic vision to beautify our pages, but also, in a small way, to appreciate what Mother Nature has given us. We went back in time to explore the beauty of illustrations. Our style and fashion pages are literally blooming with flowers. Jewels and watches take the form of petals and insects with coloured stones and dazzling diamonds. We sample some of the most ancient healing remedies in our extensive “Spa Awards 2016” which blends the best botanics. We even have floral colouring books for adults. Saving Gaia can be such a beautiful art form; I am doing my little bit to preserve it for generations to come—so that this issue on flora and fauna is not a thing of the past.
—Kenneth Goh, Editor-in-Chief