What does doing good mean to you?
“Doing good seems to suggest that there has to be some kind of tangible positive outcome, but the nature of doing good is inherently in spirit.”
In Li Seng’s opinion, doing good is an act with the intent to help or improve lives without expecting anything in return. It is about acting solely from the space of giving and is a genuine and unconditional act of kindness.
Li Seng is the founder of Green Nudge, an initiative that aims to tackle the generation of large amounts of waste at mass and sporting events. What many may not know is that half of the recyclables collected in Singapore are contaminated, making them un-recyclable. Contamination happens when recyclables come into contact with food or other organic waste and is a reason why recycling in Singapore has not been as successful as it should be.
Being unable to see its immediate adverse effects, it is no surprise that many fail to see the issue of unsuccessful recycling as an urgent one. If we keep at the current pace of recycling, more land will have to be used for landfill, creating less land for other purposes such as housing or leisure. Although this may not have a direct impact on us, it does affect the livelihood of future children and generations.
Li Seng knows that something has to be done to improve the way we treat our home. As a result, he left his role in the public sector to join the local social enterprise, Society Staples, to learn about its operations. The enterprise aims to build an inclusive future where people with disability can maximise their potential and be integral members of society. Eventually, he geared towards the juggle between working at Society Staples and building up Green Nudge.
A takeaway he got from this experience is that you never have to fight battles alone. You should also make an effort to find and treasure those who care and support you.
“I have learnt that if you have friends like them, you better treasure them properly!”
There were times where Li Seng felt utterly lost and stressed. However, with the support and guidance of the founders of Society Staples, Debra and Ryan, he was able to develop the ideas for Green Nudge. Through his persistence, Green Nudge got to where it is today.
Awareness programs are part of Green Nudge’s initiative, and they include spreading the word on the waste management process in Singapore. Li Seng recalls an experience so heartfelt that it still remains edged in his mind. In one of the cleanup activity at Yishun Dam, participants collected over 40 trash bags filled with rubbish weighing nearly 180 kg. After which, the participants were genuinely keen to learn more about what they can do to impact the environment positively.
Knowing that Green Nudge has the power to inspire individuals to kickstart efforts towards a positive environmental change serves as a sign of success and motivation.
“We live in an era where there are many paths to success so don’t be afraid to take the less trodden path if you are clear about it.”
Everyone has their own definition of success but before chasing success, understand what it really means to you. It is important to push the pause button on life and take a step back to understand what is it you really want to do. Give yourself some time to find out what interests you and widen your perspectives by speaking to people who are outside your usual social circle. If somehow along this process you find something that calls out to you, that might be something that you could look to deepen with time.
Don’t forget to live a life that you call your own.
Everyday Heroes is an online series that captures stories of youths creating impact and embracing possibilities to build a more positive community in Singapore. Most importantly, they help stand as positive reminders that doing good doesn’t have to look a certain way!
#EverydayHeroes #TheHiddenGood #sgyouthcares #nycsg