Published 14 August 2023 ● Last Updated on 14 August 2023

As the flagship community outreach event by Secondsguru, the Zero Waste Bootcamp was conceptualised in 2019 to align with the “Year Towards Zero Waste” in Singapore. Initiated under the NEA’s Call for Ideas Fund, this program is now powered by the National Youth Council. The Zero Waste Bootcamp aims to instil environmental stewardship amongst the youth of Singapore, while equipping them with skills and knowledge to achieve pre defined goals. Over the 16 week duration of the Bootcamp, the participants are guided and mentored to work on ground up projects that address real world challenges for project partners and create measurable impact.

Since its inception in 2019, the bootcamp has had 7 editions with 150+ alumni and it has contributed positively towards creating a future ready, resilient and sustainable Singapore. This combined cohort of working professionals as well college students has joined/organised 45+ community events, forging 60+ collaborations with a range of partners and sparking a cascading impact as they reached out to over 170,000 individuals through online and in-person reach! Find more on:

After the wrap up of each round, the teams and their projects are showcased via a ‘Travelling Exhibition‘ that moves across public spaces in Singapore. The artwork in the exhibition is the creation of a Malaysia based visual artist, Shaikh Omar Anuar. Since May 2021 to date (Aug 2023), the exhibition has ‘travelled’ to 15 venues around Singapore, including 8 public libraries, as well as 4 public spaces: NUS Central Library, Sustainable Singapore Gallery, Yuhua Secondary School and Science Centre.

The 8th Zero Waste Bootcamp

Over the years the Zero Waste Bootcamp program has panned out to become a platform that helps to harness the power of youth for the betterment of Singapore. The 8th season of the Bootcamp (ZWB8) had the stage set to bring 30 youth volunteers and 6 partners together to work on impact projects ranging from fast fashion to food security. The projects started in February 2023 and wrapped up in May 2023.

With ongoing guidance and mentoring from the Secondsguru founders, Lara Rath and Anuja Aggarwal via regular check-ins and formal reviews as well as the designated mentors from the project partners offering invaluable insights, the teams worked hard to realise their project objectives.

Want to join the next round? Complete this registration of interest form and we will be in touch with details, when the next bootcamp is ready for launch.

Here is a feature of the 6 projects from the 8th Zero Waste Bootcamp!

Team Rags to Riches

Programme Partner – Swapaholic

Taking on the business of fast fashion, 5 students worked closely with their partner to prevent textile waste, and less-than-perfect fashion from reaching the landfills prematurely.

In collaboration with Singapore Sustainability Academy, Clementi Public Library, and Coral Ris RN, the team conducted three upcycling workshops in which they taught people to renew old textiles with graphic printing,or turning them into tote bags and coasters. One of their workshops was supported by Minister Desmond Tan Kok Ming.

Team Rags to Riches

Team theNomNom Crew

Project Partner – Food from the Heart (FFTH)

Working to raise awareness about and address the issue of food insecurity through food donation drives, this team conducted four food donation drives
– 2 at The Helping Hand

– 1 at SJI International School

– 1 at Thomson 800 Condominium

This team of 3 students, 1 professional and 1 homemaker collected more than 1000 food items – including 250 kg of rice and 350 cans of food. They not only sorted the food donations received but also posted infographics on their Instagram account so as to inspire others to learn more about food insecurity, and contribute to FFTH’s food drives.

Team NomNom Crew

Team Kayaklean

Project Partner – PAssion Wave @MarinaBay

Addressing the issue of marine trash and the environmental impacts of littering in Singapore, Team Kayakclean underwent Kayak-n-Klean training before which they did a thorough analysis study on litter and waste management. Together this team of 5 including 2 students, 2 professionals and 1 full time National Serviceman created interactive eco games (both physical and virtual!) that will be used by PAssion Wave in their public outreach.

In order to test their eco games, gather feedback and educate the public on waste management, the team participated in three public outreach opportunities at NEA March Family Day, MarinAlive Farmers Market and PAssionWave @Marina Bay. This apart, they collected about 40 kg of trash during two Kayak-n-Klean sessions. Team Kayaklean hopes to continue the good work via bite-sized information posted on their Insta handle @kayakleann, and ongoing usage of their games for future Project Blue Wave booths.

Team Kayaklean

Team AM Haze

Project Partner – PM Haze

Palm Oil offers greater yield at a lower cost of production than most other vegetable oils, the reason for the global production of and demand for palm oil increasing. To meet the growing demand, tropical forests that are critical habitats for many endangered species including humans are being axed.

4 students and 1 working professional together set out to understand the impact of Sustainable Palm oil production and how protecting peatlands can help contribute to an overall haze-free future with PM Haze. The team conducted four outreach events in Bukit Canberra Community Lawn and Community Plaza, at MarinAlive Farmers Market (over 2 days) and at Bukit Canberra Community Lawn and Community Plaza to engage members of the public through interactive games and much loved video content created by them. The resources created by the team will be used in PM Haze’s future events, presentations and workshops.

Team AM HAze

Team Bob the Builder

Project Partner – Repair Kopitiam

Team Bob the builder consisting of 2 committed individuals- 1 student and 1 working adult- worked extensively on replacing the buy, use and throw culture that has become rampant by instilling a culture of repair and use.

After the team underwent training at 7 Repair Kopitiam workshops over 28 hours on a cumulative basis, they conducted a workshop by themselves at Victoria Junior College to share basic repair techniques with the students. They also created memes on the use of WD-40, a lubricant, rust preventative, penetrant and moisture displacer as a fun way to educate the public on the ease of repair. These memes were posted on Repair Kopitiam’s social channels and got very good traction for them.

 Team Bob the Builder

Team Sloth Fashion

Project Partner – Fashion Revolution

It is common knowledge that fast fashion has a high carbon footprint. Team Sloth Fashion comprising a student and 6 working professionals and 1 student was looking to break the chain of buying cheap and throwing after single use(in most cases)! They undertook the challenge to cultivate the culture of #slowfashion within the community to reduce textile waste and advocate for sustainable fashion.

In preparation for their slow fashion journey, the team learnt basic mending techniques, with support from Fash-O’s digital repair guidebook put together by Team Fash O from ZWB 7. Following which they spearheaded two community workshops one at The Mercure Singapore on Stevens, in collaboration with Fashion Parade and at the second at Sengkang Public Library for the purpose of knowledge sharing. They have also started a digital campaign on a Telegram channel to raise awareness on the detrimental environmental effects of fast fashion.

Team Sloth Fashion

About our Project Partners

Fashion Revolution Singapore, a non-profit organisation campaigning for a clean, safe and fair fashion industry. It weaves together the love stories of our clothes with the wearers and makers of fashion.

Food from the Heart is feeding the needy through its food distribution programme. Established in February 2003, it has expanded from 120 to over 10,000 volunteers by the end of 2019, reaching 53,700 beneficiaries across Singapore.

PAssion Wave is an integral part of the People’s Association [PA] that bonds people and bridges the communities through water sports and waterfront lifestyle activities.

PM Haze, People’s Movement to Stop Haze (PM Haze) focusses on outreach, research and advocacy on the transboundary haze crisis. Their mission is to drive a global movement to stop the haze by empowering communities with knowledge, means and values. They do this mainly through steering consumption patterns towards sustainable palm oil and paper, as well as assisting Indonesian and Malaysian farmers to create sustainable livelihoods.

Repair Kopitiam brings the community together through repair, to combat the throw away culture for a sustainable world. Powered by the Sustainable Living Lab as part of the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint 2015, it operates as a community repair meetup on the last Sunday of every month to equip individuals from all walks of life with repair skills.

Swapaholic, a social enterprise that empowers one to be circular with their fashion choices. You can swap, sell and buy preloved fashion across their events, Swap Shop and online platforms.

Are YOU 18-35 yrs old, a resident of Singapore, keen to be a changemaker and lead the nation towards a future ready world? Join the next round of the Zero Waste Bootcamp! Just complete this registration of interest form and we will be in touch with details, when the next bootcamp is ready for launch. 


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