If you live anywhere in Southeast Asia, there’s a very high chance that you’ve experienced haze at some point. Watch/read the news and you will learn that the main cause of the haze is forest fires  in Indonesia. From this, it is easy to put the blame on Indonesia for causing this atrocity. But is Indonesia the only one who should be blamed?

According to https://webreathewhatwebuy.com/haze/, forest fires are caused by clearing forests (through burning) to produce palm oil and paper. Such materials produced in such a way is considered to be “unsustainable” as it causes long-term damage to the environment and people. By purchasing products that use unsustainable palm oil and paper, we are, in a way, “paying” to make the haze worse. In other words, we are also at fault as we indirectly worsen the haze through the products we buy.

Fortunately, it is not too late for us to change. Here are some ways for us to stop the haze :

  1. Reduce the consumption of edible oil.   


Picture from : (http://www.healthambition.com/healthiest-cooking-oil/)

  •  Try not to buy excess food & use less oil when cooking. This is because most food products use palm oil. Several products could be using unsustainable palm oil. It’s not that palm oil is bad. It’s the source that matters. By reducing the consumption of edible oil, less trees will have to be burned to produce unsustainable palm oil.
  • By using less oil when cooking, you will also be able to have a healthier diet.

2. Do not waste paper.


Picture from : (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paper)

  • Use both sides of paper.
  • Practice the 3 Rs when using paper – Reduce, Reuse & Recycle.
  • Lesser paper wasted = Lesser trees being burnt. ‘Nuff said.

3. Support local produce.


Picture from : (http://modernfarmer.com/2014/09/farm-confessional-sold-non-local-produce-farmers-market/)

  • By supporting domestically produced items (products made in Singapore, such as vegetables, fruits etc.), lesser fuel will be used to transport imported items. This results in a decrease in the amount of harmful fumes being released into the environment. This ensures that the water cycle is healthy. A healthy water cycle leads to more natural cycles of rainfall, which reduces forest fires.

4. Look out for brands that are more environmentally-friendly.


Picture from : (https://www.123rf.com/stock-photo/eco_friendly.html)

  •  Use 100% recycled pulp and paper options or Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified products (https://ic.fsc.org/en/certification).
  • Promote the growth and use of certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO) by patronizing brands that use sustainable palm oil. A list of such brands can be found here : (https://webreathewhatwebuy.com/haze/ , under “What can you do”)

(Reference taken from http://pmhaze.org/be-a-haze-fighter/5-ways-to-fight-haze/http://thesmartlocal.com/read/fight-the-haze)