I remember listening to my teachers talk about global warming in primary school, and it filled me with a sense of horror and urgency to solve this issue.

When I was ten, I owned a plant, Bryophyllum daigremontianum, or Mother of Thousands. This hardy succulent can propagate quickly from little plantlets grown on the rim of every leaf. I used to collect these plantlets from my plant, drop them into my neighbours’ flower pots and the park below my home. I would then watch with glee as they took over their given space, thinking I could help reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere through the succulents’ photosynthesis process. Though I laugh now when I think back on my naive ideology, I still try to reduce my carbon footprint by recycling paper, eating less meat and using reusable water bottles.

I think the mere act of visiting nature reserves helps us connect to Earth and consider environmental issues. It is sometimes hard to connect to nature in a city. Hence, I often bring friends and family on hiking trips in Singapore’s nature reserves. I believe once they see the brilliant blue flash of a kingfisher flitting through trees, the meandering hops of mudskippers on mangrove mudflats, or the majestic flight of a white-bellied sea eagle in an open sky, they will understand that nothing can replace the beauty our planet offers.