Sometimes “community” can seem like a big word, but building it starts with the smallest of actions.
“If you talk about community within the neighbourhood. We may not have a strong one. Because yet we cant blame anyone, because that is what life is like in the city. Time is all committed to work. Even when we enter the lift, we stand next to each other be we are just staring at our phones. Sometimes, all it takes is to just look up and smile – the day already starts better. But it takes two to build relationships. We have to let others know that they can count on us if they ever need help. Knowing that others think of you and look out for you will really give you that sense of belonging. It’s the first step to building a community.”
“I’ve been living here here for about 2 years. For a long time, I had no idea who my neighbours were. It was just like going to a hotel – just checking in and checking out every day. But after you meet face to face, things feel different. It’s as if we already know each other so much more. It finally started to feel like I had neighbours and that I was’t alone after all.”
“Most people nowadays like privacy. We live in high-rise buildings just a door away from each other but we prefer to just be left alone. I think we forget that at the end of the day, the thing that builds the neighbourhood is the people.”
In this increasingly fast-paced society it is easy to forget that we are surrounded by people, who like us, appreciate simple friendly gestures, being treated with kindness that will better our daily lives. Building relationships goes a long way, and for the residents of Boulevard Residence, it is a necessary step for the creation of a sense of belonging among themselves. With a small effort from each of the residents, they came together to begin a community, to make their homes a better place to live in, and ultimately, to care for the people who are in the closest physical proximity to them in their everyday lives.
The environment is something that is talked about a lot now. But many of us still have a skewed perception about caring for our environment. There are so many parts to environmental sustainability that we tend to overlook the simpler things, like how the items we purchase can actually affect our world. In my own daily life, I try to live sustainably in a fun way by making my own things like soap, shampoo, or body-care items. I also love thrift shopping and clothes swaps! For me, there are so many little ways to demonstrate care. Even as an individual, your choice matters. I think it is really about opening up our minds to understand the circularity of the product and our role as consumers. And that is what I kept in mind when we first started Biji-biji Initiative. We started with a vision of building our own eco-community where people can get involved. We decided to start small and explored reusing waste materials that already exist. That’s how we ended up with our bags that are made out of recycled seatbelts, as well as various everyday products we developed. But our end goal is to ultimately tackle the waste issue, which starts with our consumption. So before we rethink what waste can be, we can reimagine our own consumption – how we use, what we use and why we use what we use. Because that’s how change starts. I truly believe when we realise that it’s the little efforts that will make a difference in the world we live in, we can spark change. Are you willing to join me and give up the little conveniences for a bigger purpose?