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A Sustainable Fantasy – The Fantastical World of  |  Marina Bay  |  March 2017

The Fantastical World of by The RICE Company and Global Cultural Alliance Ltd was held in conjunction with iLight Marina Bay 2017 in March. The event was focused on festival-goers having the opportunity to visit a recycling and upcycling marketplace, an urban garden, a learning yard, a kinetic energy playground, as well as participate in a host of upcycling and green activities within these spaces.


xhebit met up with Ms. Sum Waiying of The RICE Company to find more about how they went about organising their event sustainably, and to get insight on how navigable the sustainable event industry is

“The concept of the event was to immerse festival-goers in a fun and engaging way on how to be sustainable, practice it, and adopt it as a lifestyle. Therefore, the event focused on bringing practitioners and advocates of sustainability together in one place, creating an opportunity for interaction with the public”.


What were some sustainable initiatives in place?


Reducing Plastic – No plastic bags were given at the event. Public were encouraged to use their own re-usable bags.

Composting – Visitors were shown how to compost, so they could do it at home. And apparently, it was a hit, with approximately 800 compost pots given out.

Building green wall

What were some sustainable initiatives in place?


Re-use – All plants used at the event were loaned from NParks. *Think twice before ordering fresh flowers – they are often flown in from elsewhere and die quickly


Education – How to recycle Tetrapaks, which are ubiquitously used for food and beverage packaging. Think soya bean milk from the store!


Eat that Spoon – Edible cutlery was available at the event, another way to reduce excessive plastic use

Old guitars reworked into flower holders
keychains made from leftover fabric by Hangmade by Gladys
Glass bottles upcycled into lamps

Old guitars reworked into flower holders (extreme left), keychains made from leftover fabric by Hangmade by Gladys (middle) and glass bottles upcycled into lamps (middle).

Please share your challenges, so we can learn from your experience.


1. Learning journey – Organising a sustainable event involved doing a lot of research and talking to various people and organisations. The needs of a green event are different from a regular event.


*We need to work towards a sustainable event ecosystem, where organising a green event should not be outside the norm. From sustainable services like eco-F&B to recycled/upcycled booths, these need to become more mainstream if we are to organise green events easily.


2. There was presence of trash at the event despite all the messaging.


*Behavioral change is one of the most challenging aspects for any society. Repeated messaging, campaigns and engagements with the community are essential for behaviours to take shape in a desirable manner. This requires the efforts of all events (big or small, corporate or casual) to always incorporate sustainability messages and actions, only then will change kick in.


3. Cost Matters.


*Cost should matter, it is a strong motivation to go green or not. No one wants to organize an event at a loss. That unsustainable options can be more economical than sustainable ones is true for some things BUT not all. Sustainability does present opportunities for cost savings through energy and water saving. Reducing the excess use of resources e.g. printing programme booklets or flyers also cuts costs. As more businesses offer green products, and the demand for it increases, prices will become competitive.


4. It was a challenge sourcing for sustainable alternatives.


*That’s what we are trying to change with xhebit!

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