Comment: Sending e-angpows to loved ones is no less sincere than giving physical angpows or hampers

More environmentally-friendly.

Zhangxin Zheng | January 15, 2022, 04:17 PM

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Festive seasons like Chinese New Year are when we get together with friends and families.

CNY is also a season of sending appreciation and greetings to one another to start the year on an amicable note.

While the intention is great, you may receive the same item more than once or items you do not really need. More often than not, festive seasons have also become a season of waste as a result.

So what do we do? E-gifting may be a more environmentally-friendly alternative, and you can send love from a safe distance during this period with Covid-19.

No less sincere

For your immediate family members or good friends, this Chinese New Year, you can surprise them with an e-angpow via DBS PayLah!.

This is especially useful if you are not able to visit them due to Covid-19 restrictions.

E-angpows can deliver the surprise and formality of this gesture, but with everything done at your fingertips.

Take eGift on your DBS PayLah! App, for example.

The money will be “packed” in a red packet that you choose before it is sent out to your recipient via DBS PayLah!.

Here it is:

You can be creative with the sum (like S$6.88) and even customise the angpow by leaving a message, choosing the animated sticker, and including a photo.

To be honest, it can be a lot more thoughtful than just slipping cash into angpows.

Can save up to 330 tonnes of carbon emissions

E-angpows are also more environmentally-friendly because they reduce the need to produce new notes each year.

Many of us may feel “paiseh” to slot crumpled or stained used notes into the red packets.

A gift should be good as new, that’s entirely understandable, but we shouldn’t ignore the carbon footprint of printing new notes if you care about the environment.

According to the Monetary Authority of Singapore, a large portion of the 100 million new notes produced annually for Chinese New Year are subsequently destroyed as it far exceeds normal circulation demand.

That's about 330 tonnes of carbon emissions generated each year, as reported in 2021.

Among all things we can do to reduce carbon emissions, doing without new notes is probably one of the easier ones.

Red packets are hard to recycle

E-angpows can cut down the need for physical red packets too.

Some red packets have a velvet texture, decorated with gold ink which makes it difficult, or even impossible, to recycle.

Many red packets are also designed according to zodiac signs.

That makes it about 12 times harder to reuse these red packets.

If you can't shake the habit of giving physical red packets, the DBS QR gift card is an alternative.

What’s the difference, you may ask?

The QR-code gift cards are FSC-certified paper and can be easily recycled.

Time for a quick crash course on what FSC means!

FSC-certified items are products made from wood that have met the high standards set by an international non-profit called the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

FSC was established to promote environmentally responsible and socially beneficial forestry globally.

Okay, back to the QR-code gift cards.

If you are interested, DBS can mail these gift cards to you for free if you place an order from now till Jan. 16.

The gift cards are also free at DBS/POSB branches, as well as Sheng Siong supermarket outlets starting from Jan. 17.

Quit giving presents, gift your loved ones some quality time

If you are also thinking about buying hampers or physical gifts but are unsure if the recipients really need or like all the items in it, why not just opt for sending eGift or giving QR-code gift cards?

Your recipients can use the money to buy what they need and want, whenever they wish to.

Instead of gifting, you can also focus on spending some quality time over this CNY break to catch up and interact with your loved ones.

Additional perks of using eGift on DBS PayLah!

To inject some fun into CNY, DBS users who receive or give eGifts can also play TapLah! for every transaction of at least S$6.

Here’s how to play the game if this is the first time you’ve heard about TapLah!:

It’s not fun without some friendly competition, so there is also a leaderboard:

This could be a good conversation starter or a way to break the awkwardness at any CNY gathering.

We can all start the Year of Tiger by leaving fewer carbon footprints by cashless gifting!

This article was made possible with the support of DBS Bank.

Through this partnership, we hope to inspire more people to take small but important steps towards a sustainable lifestyle, and raise awareness of purpose-driven businesses and individuals that are leading the way in driving positive change.

Discover more about DBS Bank’s sustainability initiatives here.

Top image by CHUTTERSNAP/Unsplash and DBS/Facebook