PP Mary Kwok with 2023-24 President Ambaree Majumdar

By Ambaree Majumdar, 2023-24 President, RC Marina City, Singapore

On July 22, 2023, our Singapore Club held a climate-friendly installation for our new officers.  Here’s how we did it, and how our members responded to this teachable moment.

Singapore Club's Climate-Friendly Installation

Two of the luscious vegan entrees

1. Climate-Friendly because we had a completely plant-based menu.

As far as I can tell, this was the first time that a plant-based menu was featured during my club’s installation. When it was announced that the menu was completely vegan (which was before dinner was served), there were quite a few sighs of disappointment. However, when the food was ready to be served, we had EVERYONE saying only good things about it. 

  • “I wouldn’t know this was plant-based, if it wasn’t mentioned.”
  • “Who did the catering? I want to bring my friends there.”
  • “If this is how plant-based food tastes, I do not mind eating it.”
  • “I was very sad when I heard it was plant-based. I am glad I tried.”
  • “I thought there would be a lot of processed mock meat. I am surprised it has almost none.”

2. Climate-friendly because there was no food waste.

Because it was a buffet and although many of the guests had enjoyed their second and some their third serving, there were some dishes which were left behind. We had carried reusable boxes which we gave away to all the guests to pack whatever they would like. Within minutes of making this announcement, all the food was gone into boxes. 

Club Treasurer Priya Ranganathan decorating with fresh greens

3. Climate-friendly because single-use plastic was very close to zero.

The event was held at a club house of a condominium. We made sure that decorations and supplies had no plastic in them. We used only natural and biodegradable decorations like real leaves, branches and twigs Also, because we were not holding the event in a hotel ballroom, we rented reusables from the caterer instead of using disposable cutlery. This cost us a few dollars extra but was totally worth it. As far as I saw, the only plastics that were used were the dessert spoons and 2 bottles of drinking water because suddenly that had run out. I had to ask my husband to run down to the supermarket next door for that. 

Try this with your club.  ESRAG’s Plant-Rich Diet Task Force has a wealth of recipes and insights on why this is a incredibly powerful climate action.

Ambaree Majumdar is co-chair of ESRAG’s Plant-Rich Diet Task Force and co-chair of ESRAG’s Southeast Asia Chapter.