Without a doubt, 2020 has been a year like no other. From the fight against a global pandemic to the increasing urgency against climate change, it has been a year of changes and challenges for us and our communities.
While 2020 has been tough in its ways, we are also encouraged by the help rendered to one another during this challenging year. We applaud the essential workers who have stood at the frontlines, families who have stayed strong, and individuals who have chosen to lend a helping hand through the crisis. Against all odds, we stay united as one.
With that in mind, Geneco wanted to play our part and give back in ways that we can – for the environment, for the community. As the year comes to an end and we look to fresh beginnings, let’s look back at some of our key moments though this year.
To mark Geneco’s second anniversary, Geneco launched #ItTakes2 to celebrate this milestone with our partners and customers in coming thus far with us. It has always been in Geneco’s DNA to collaborate with like-minded partners to promote for a more sustainable lifestyle while giving back to the community, and for this campaign, we wanted to do the same. After all, it takes two to make a larger impact and to power a bigger change.
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A post shared by Geneco SG (@genecosg)
We collaborated with one of our ChangeMakers partners – The Food Bank Singapore, to spread good amid this difficult time. The beginning of COVID-19 led to the organisation seeing a 70% drop in their donations, affecting beneficiaries and low-income families from receiving the food they need. Geneco is heartened that, together with the support of our customers and Instagram & Facebook followers through comments and words of encouragement, we were able to work with The Food Bank Singapore in donating 1,000 meals to help these families in need during this period.
The implementation of the ‘circuit breaker’ measures in April caught the entire nation by surprise. Non-essential travels were not permitted, shops had to close, people could no longer gather, and working-from-home became the default approach for businesses when possible. Coupled with the daily news of the pandemic, it had been hard to cope for many. To help uplift the spirits and tide through the sudden need to stay in, #StayHomewithGeneco was born with a curated set of content across our social media platforms to ease the time spent at home. Featuring community initiatives that citizens can help and contribute even while staying at home to sharing complimentary lifestyle resources, #StayHomewithGeneco focused on doing good for both the community and our well-being.
With the opportunity of staying in with our families, Geneco took it to heart to power family time through our series of green crafts with a #PowerFamTime giveaway to encourage families to savour the time we got to spend together with our loved ones. We received an overwhelming response of more than 100 submissions from families and how they treasure family moments together through green craft activities during this time.
As the daily news continue to surround the development of the global pandemic, many have been disheartened by the pessimistic news and happenings all around the world. Instead, Geneco wanted to motivate and inspire Singaporeans to seek ways to power different qualities such as togetherness and giving despite the difficult times through our #PowerTheChange campaign.
A social campaign anchored on discovering inspiring qualities demonstrated by everyday Singaporeans – featuring a series of profiles who conveyed stories of strength and compassion – to focus on the good and unite everyone to power through.
Beyond the profile features, Geneco once again collaborated with its partners from the #ChangeMakersSG programme in supporting their various initiatives of giving back to the community. From distributing of masks with Refash and The Food Bank Singapore, to powering ComCrop’s food production efforts to meet the rising demand of local produce from COVID-19, Geneco is committed to power the change with our partners for our future generations.
As mask wearing becomes an essential part of our daily lives, the demand for them also increased exponentially among the public such that shortages of masks were witnessed, leading to many who may not have sufficient masks at home. Together with Refash and The Food Bank Singapore, 15,000 masks were distributed to vulnerable communities during this time to ensure they are well equipped and well protected whenever they need a mask.
In addition, with the COVID-19 situation, many countries have been placed in lockdown, inevitably causing a disruption in our country’s food supply chains. As a result, ComCrop is currently standing at the forefront of our country’s food production efforts to maintain our nation’s food security, while at the same time fulfilling the government’s ’30 by 30′ goal. To do our part in strengthening sustainable food production in Singapore, we at Geneco have also committed to subsidise ComCrop’s electricity bills for a year in support of their sustainability efforts.
Read here in more detail on Geneco’s #PowerTheChange campaign.
Even as we progressed through the year with the pandemic still in tow, the urgency to fight against climate change cannot be ignored as well. Therefore, we wanted to do our part in encouraging Singaporeans to lead a greener lifestyle on this special National Day.
In celebration of the nation’s 55th birthday on 9 August, Geneco marked the occasion with a campaign anchored on commemorating the decisions our forefathers had made for the nation in the past and how we should emulate the same spirit towards our nation for our future generations.
The #ToOurFutureGenerations campaign aimed to shed light on aspiring Singaporeans who constantly strive to make an impact within their respective fields, inspiring future generations to do the same for our nation.
Among our featured profiles we have Dawn Sng, Educational Experiences Designer with Cultivate Central – one of our ChangeMaker partners. Her role sees to bring families to connect with nature and to realise the importance of preserving these natural elements for the children of the future to enjoy.
To further spread our green message and our commitment towards green living for future generations, Geneco also collaborated with Cultivate Central in the distribution of 550 DIY micro-green kits to provide a hands-on experience for our customers in growing their own greens, sharing with them the cycle of life and the small acts we can do to preserve the Earth for the future.
To wrap up the year on a happy note, Geneco’s #JollyTogether campaign focused on finding joy while doing good for families, community, and the environment this festive season. Celebrating our resilience and tenacity in overcoming a difficult year, Geneco launched weekly giveaways on Instagram for our followers to share eco-friendly habits and ways we have adopted as a family to give back to our environment. These acts may be small, but we recognise the collective impact it can have in fighting climate change should we stay consistent and spread the importance of doing good for our planet.
Together, we have received over 500 green tips from our giveaways, encouraging families to remember to be eco-friendly whenever they can even during the holidays!
As arduous 2020 may have been, it was truly an unforgettable year for Geneco. We would like to thank the community and families as well as our ChangeMakers for constantly supporting Geneco this year and the various opportunities to journey through and stand together amidst uncertainty. From our campaigns, partnerships with organisations and participation from the masses, we have seen that as a united community, we can go to greater heights and realise our green vision as one body.
From our Geneco family to yours, here’s to a greener and better 2021!
by Alvin Chong
Beyond the city sights and the tall skyscrapers, there is certainly more to Singapore than just its iconic urban architecture. While we might not be blessed with tall mountains, the City in a Garden is true to its name with scenic trails and green corridors to discover all across the country. There are plenty of nature reserves and trekking trails filled with lush greenery and rich biodiversity to soak in some fresh air and be one with nature.
From trekking the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve to taking a boat ride to Pulau Ubin, here are some trails in Singapore that will let you escape the bustle of the city and get in touch with our green roots. Grab a friend or two and strap on your walking shoes, as we bring you our favourite hiking trails for you to set foot and discover a whole new side of Singapore.
Chestnut Nature Park is in fact the largest nature park in Singapore. Located near Bukit Timah on the fringe of the Central Catchment Nature Reserve, this nature park spans across 81 hectares and is larger than 110 soccer fields. There are three hiking trails available for trekkers to explore the park and even includes a mountain biking trails for cycling enthusiasts. The scenic trails at the nature park are never dull with routes of various difficulty and it being a hotspot for bird watchers. You may even get a glimpse on some of Singapore’s rarer birds on your hike!
Click here on directions on how to get there.
With Singapore being home to four nature reserves, the Central Catchment Nature Reserve is the largest one out of the four and spans over 2000 hectares. The nature reserve is well known as the country’s green lungs with a forest like no other. Take a trek through the reserve with its specially designed nature trails across the four reservoirs within it. The MacRitchie Reservoir Park is a great starting point for the 20km network of trails and boardwalk for hikers of all levels. Don’t miss out Jelutong Tower in the heart of the forest; be rewarded with a sweeping view of the Central Catchment Nature Reserve and the waters of MacRitchie Reservoir after climbing up the seven-deck observation tower!
Undoubtedly one of the most popular local hiking spots in the city, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is the tallest natural hill with one of the most diverse species of plants, animal, and insect life in Singapore. For those who are geared for a good workout, the steep trek up to the summit will leave you wanting more. Due to the popularity of this trail, we suggest heading there during off peak hours to full enjoy the green experience this nature reserve has to offer.
Home to panoramic views of the city, the Southern Ridges is a great option if you are looking to challenge yourself and conquer five parks (Mount Faber Park, Labrador Nature Reserve, Hort Park, Telok Blangah Hill Park and Kent Ridge Park) at one go! The entire trail spans across 10km and is definitely not for the fainthearted. But with every step you take, you can expect to be rewarded with a unique outdoor experience and to look forward to a stellar view of the harbour from Henderson Waves.
A bird lovers paradise, don’t be surprised when you spot rare bird species such as eagles or owls at Coney Island Park. Visitors will be surprised to know that there are about 80 species of birds on this mangrove habitat and the park serves as a sanctuary for migratory birds!
The rustic green space in the North-East part of the city focuses on conserving energy and water and retaining the natural elements of the park. The Casuarina Exploration playground within the park is constructed out of recycled Casuarina trees, creating natural wooden bridges and log fences for kids to enjoy and soak in the nature vibe! Whether you are opting for a breezy walk or a cycle around this picturesque island, a trip on the island is great family time for an afternoon of fun.
Transport yourself back in time as you take a glimpse of what Singapore was like during the 1960s at Pulau Ubin. The little island is a 20-minute bumboat ride away from the main island and a gem in the east. Exploring the island on foot is very much possible with much to see!
Take a 40-minute trek to Chek Jawa Wetlands, an intertidal zone rich in biodiversity. The boardwalks meandering within the mangrove forest and the coastline brings you closer to the surrounding flora and fauna. Crabs and other living organisms unique to the mangrove and coastal habitat can be spotted as well, which makes a great learning experience for the entire family!
If a challenge is what you are looking for, take a hike up Puaka hill, the highest peak of Pulau Ubin. We guarantee a breath-taking view of the quarry awaits at the end of the steep hike!
As we take time out of our busy schedules and enjoy the health benefits brought about from trekking on these scenic trails, let us not forget the importance of preserving these green spaces for future Singaporeans.
Protect these natural landscapes with eco-friendly habits such as bringing your own water bottle for the hike and leave no trace behind by not littering and properly disposing your trash and recyclables. The green spaces that we enjoy today are through the conscious efforts of maintaining and advocating the importance of green in our day-to-day, and hence a trait we should pass on to future generations.
You can also do your part for the environment even in your daily life with your choice of electricity plan! Geneco’s Get it Green plan allows you to do so with 100% carbon-neutral electricity, so find out how you can power a more sustainable world here!
Image Credits: Nylon Coffee Roasters
Source: The Sustainability Project