#SeastainableStories is a series by Seastainable to feature amazing ocean conservationists and advocates! We believe that everyone can play a part in contributing to healthier and happier oceans.
This week, we are featuring Joline Tang, founder of The Sustainability Project (TSP), one of Seastainable’s consignment partners in Singapore. The Sustainability Project is a Singapore-based business which aims to encourage and inspire the adoption of low or zero waste lifestyle in your life. This is done through its three arms: Educate, Transform and Inspire. From what started as a blog in 2017 to a zero-waste shop in 2018, TSP has since then conducted numerous talks, workshops, and educational trips to make a difference in her community.
Read on and get to know more about the one-woman team of The Sustainability Project:
What sparked your interest in conservation?
My passion for sustainability started in 2011 when I first started collecting papers that were being used on one side by my friends. Since then, I became what they called the garang guni girl haha. It caused me to think about the amount of waste we create as individuals and I started to recycled more avidly. Also, I kept items which I think would be useful in the future, that I did not want to throw away (which are still with me!). In my community, I started new projects, ran an environmental club in my school, did an internship in sustainability reporting, and worked in a sustainable start-up. Through these experiences, it always felt right for me to do work related to sustainability--there was a spark. It's been a long journey of 8 years and counting!
Why do you think it is important to pursue conservation?
As cliche as it may sound, we only have one earth to live in and if we do not treasure it, I believe we are being very foolish and ignorant to ignore the harms we are making to the environment.
What/Who inspired you to start your organization?
TSP started as a blog during my internship as I wanted to share more about sustainability in Singapore itself. I felt that there weren't many places spreading awareness on how to be sustainable in Singapore and because I love reading and writing, I decided to start this little passion project - The Sustainability Project.
The shop portion was mainly inspired by Lauren Singer as she started a packaged free shop in the US. The reason why I started the shop was that I wanted to provide our readers with an avenue to make that switch and I wanted zero-waste products to be more accessible to Singaporeans.
How did you meet the members of your team?
TSP is actually a one-woman show. I am fortunate to have many people sign in to be a volunteer with us at the start. Subsequently, we got interns, too! I meet them mainly through Instagram as that is where we connect with like-minded individuals.
Give us a fun fact about yourself!
Oh no! I do not think I am fun enough to have a fun fact! 😅 I guess one fun fact is that I can eat pasta every day and not get sick of it 😋
What is your advice to people who want to pursue a career in conservation, but may not have the ‘conservation’ e.g. science/research related background?
Take a leap of faith and try it out because there is no harm trying, right? But you must always be prepared physically and mentally on the hardships that will come along the way.
A piece of advice you would like to give to our readers about the future of our planet?
Never underestimate your power to do something for Mother Earth.
What are the next steps that you want to take to save our ocean?
For me, sustainability is about everything--the oceans, the trees, the land, the air, and the animals! We should try to be as broad as we can so we don't have a particular area that we set for now but maybe more TSP X Seastainable collaborations!
Like to read about our other inspiring youth? Check it out below!