Looking back at 2021 with Geneco

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Looking back at 2021 with Geneco

Entering into the second year of the pandemic, 2021 has come with its own set of challenges. While the year has been about continuous adapting and living with the new norms amid these Covid-19-related conversations, the topic of climate change has come to the fore, buoyed by the freshly unveiled Singapore Green Plan 2030 and recently concluded 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26). 

It is heartening to see governments, businesses and individuals alike coming together to make a difference for our planet Earth. Regardless of seemingly small actions like bringing our own reusable containers for takeaway meals or national-level movements of setting Singapore’s green targets, we believe that each effort counts in making a collective difference.  

Looking back at 2021, Geneco have also rallied our communities and partners to do good for our environment as we continued to build upon what we’ve achieved in the past year. The year has no doubt been fruitful for us as we kept true to our mission to #PowerTheChange. As the year comes to a close, let’s take a look back at some of the milestones we’ve achieved together with you. 

Chinese New Year Red Packet Recycling Bins

We kicked off 2021 with the exciting launch of our inaugural Used Red Packet Recycling Initiative. In partnership with like-minded local brands such as CRUIUIGATay Paper Recycling, and one of our Changemakers – Refash, we deployed 28 recycling bins across Singapore to encourage the public to drop off their used red packets and make a difference for our rainforests by recycling and reducing our paper waste. These red packets were then sent to Tay Paper Recycling to be pulped and made into other paper products. 

We were truly heartened by the overwhelming response from the nation, with more than 410kg of red packets collected in less than a month! As Singaporeans remain eco-conscious even amidst the festivities, we look forward to keeping this tradition alive and continue making a difference for our planet in 2022. 

Geneco’s joins NParks’ #OneMillionTrees – Plant-A-Tree Programme

As part of Singapore’s plan to transform our country into a City in Nature, the government has committed to planting a million trees across our island over the next decade. These trees play an important role by serving as natural filters and adding to the lush greenery we enjoy in Singapore. At the same time and most importantly, they contribute to strengthening our country’s resilience towards climate change. 

Achieving this ambitious goal of one million trees requires contributions from both the public and private sector. As such Geneco has pledged to plant 250 trees over the next five years and is proud to be doing our part for this nationwide effort.

Our plan was set into motion on Earth Day (22 April) this year at Windsor Nature Park, where we planted our first 50 trees together with our Changemakers – ComcropCultivate CentralThe Food Bank SingaporeGreen NudgeRefash and Repair Kopitiam – as well as like-minded corporate partner Standard Chartered Singapore. 

On the very same day, we also launched our new comprehensive and integrated solar panel solution – the Power Eco Total Home Solution, for landed residential homes.. 

These mark another of our many green efforts as we contribute to Singapore’s goal to becoming a greener and more sustainable city. 

Powering Change with our #ChangeMakersSG

Throughout the year, we were honoured to also continue strengthening the bonds with our #ChangeMakersSG partners while giving back to the communities and furthering our green message.  

In the midst of 2021 when the nation went into Heightened Alert once again for Covid-19, many organisations were impacted and our Changemaker – The Food Bank Singapore – was no exception.  

In a bid to increase their delivery efforts and distribute 1,500 food bundles to  their beneficiaries, Geneco rallied for support from our social media family, and together, we prevented more than 6,700kg of food from being wasted. 

And as the nation moved forward with the ease of safety measures in July, we partnered with And as the nation moved forward with the ease of safety measures in July, we partnered with Refash and join in the global #PlasticFreeJuly movement, to encourage everyone to #PowerTheChange and reduce their single-use plastics.

By contributing 1,300 Geneco tote bags to  Refash’s outlets, customers could redeem these tote bags for free instead of opting for plastic bags with any preloved item purchased.

Through such sustained efforts, we hope to inculcate greater awareness towards the harmful effects of plastic waste and inspire individuals to take a step towards a #PlasticFree future! 

Go Green Your Way with Power Eco Add-on

In celebration of our nation’s birthday on 9 August, Geneco launched our Power Eco Add-on, Singapore’s first-and-only green add-on for electricity plans.

To show our commitment towards our country’s sustainability efforts and the SG Green Plan 2030Power Eco Add-on was conceived to encourage and ease Singaporeans in embarking on a journey towards building a greener home.

With its affordable yet flexible offering where customers can choose from different levels of green – 25%, 50%, 75% or 100% – and between Carbon Credits (CC) or Renewable Energy Certificates (REC) for their electricity plan, we hope to empower our customers to #gogreenyourway and make a difference for the environment.  

We were truly heartened and encouraged by the response received within a month of the Power Eco Add-on’s launch. As we look towards the new year, we hope to continue being the catalyst towards inspiring individuals to opt for greener alternatives.  

The Jolly season to be Green

Topping off these initiatives, we also encouraged Singaporeans to embark on a green journey with monthly giveaways on our social media platforms, with two exclusive giveaways for 2,000 Geneco customers on 11.11 and 12.12 in celebration of the year end #JollyGreen season.

In total, we have distributed over 6,000 eco-friendly lifestyle items that include Microgreen Kits, Sprout Plantable pencils, 100% recyclable foldable umbrellas, collapsible water bottles, reusable straws, grocery net bags and more.  

Through these green giveaways, we aim to inspire everyone to make a meaningful change for our environment in the long-term.  

2021 has truly been a fulfilling year for Geneco despite the continued uncertainty faced around the world.

These milestones could not have been achieved without your support and we’d like to thank each of our #ChangeMakerSG partners, communities and families for your confidence in us.

As we look ahead into 2022, let’s continue to #PowerTheChange for a greener and more sustainable future. 

Before we end off, here’s a quick recap video on our green milestones for 2021:  

From our Geneco family to yours, here’s to a greener and better 2022! 


5 Eco-friendly gifts for your loved ones this holiday season

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5 Eco-friendly gifts for your loved ones this holiday season

‘Tis the season to be jolly!

As we enter the most wonderful time of the year, it’s time to embark on our holiday ritual of family gathering, feasting and the best part – unwrapping of presents! While the possibilities are endless, we all know how stressful it could be when it comes to shopping for thoughtful and unique gifts for our loved ones.

Instead of purchasing the usual chocolates or coffee mug, how about thinking out of the box with eco-friendly gifts that are meaningful and good for the planet? To spread the green message this #JollyGreen season, we’ve come up with some sustainable gift ideas that are perfect for anyone you may have in mind – whether it’s your other half, your child or even your parents!

1. Beeswax Wrap

A colourful and fun replacement to single-use plastics such as clingwrap and zip lock bags, beeswax wraps are one of the latest trends in reducing waste in our homes. Made from cotton fabric and infused with pure beeswax, organic coconut or jojoba oil and tree resin, these wraps are perfect for covering a bowl of leftovers, wrapping sandwiches or even to hold fresh fruits and vegetables.

Besides having antibacterial properties that help keep our food clean and free of germs, beeswax wraps also locks in the moisture of our food to retain its freshness and flavour. In contrast, plastic wraps typically suffocate our fresh produce leading to condensation and mould forming in the bag. When this happens, it hastens the decomposition of our food and results in food waste.

Available in a myriad of designs and sizes, check out these stylish beeswax wraps at our local green brands such as Your Sustainable StoreMinimakers and The Sustainability Project.

2. Jar of Christmas Spiced Nuts

Instead of gifting the typical box of Christmas sweets packed in plastic boxes and wrappers, how about making your own festive spiced in a beautiful glass jar for a thoughtful and delicious gift! Nuts such as almonds, cashews and pecans are highly nutritious and loaded with antioxidants – a great option for your loved ones as a yummy midday snack.

Some of our favourite recipes include Jamie Oliver’s honey-roasted nuts and these maple cinnamon spiced pecans that remind us of our favourite Christmas sweets. These recipes are also a breeze to prepare – great if you’re looking to involve your kids in your Christmas preparations!

What’s more, with these glass jars, you can also encourage your loved ones to reuse them for storing other foods or even repurpose it as a mug or vase. This gift also serves as a great conversation starter to encourage them to visit zero-waste grocery stores and fill up their empty jar with the mouth-watering goodies available. Some of our favourite stores include Scoop Wholefoods, an Aussie-owned supermarket that can be found in multiple locations like Tanglin Mall and Great World City, and Unpackt, a homegrown social enterprise that offers an array of delicious snacks such as its Zesty Maple Glazed Nut Mix.

3. Edible Indoor Gardening Kit

Have someone in mind who enjoys putting meals together at home? An edible indoor gardening kit might be just the perfect gift for them! Besides bringing a pocket of green into their homes, these nifty gardening sets can also bring a splendid harvest and help your loved ones embark on a more sustainable food journey.

Best of all, these kits are easy to use even for those who have had zero experience in gardening! Available in a variety of options such as Basil, Kang Kong and Chye Sim, these planting sets are a gift that keeps on giving, and in a nutritious way too!

Check them out at our local brands like Root Farm and Super Farmers, where they  offer microgreens sets that can easily be grown in small spaces (perfect for HDB dwellers) and only takes a week to harvest!

Gift the gift of experiences

While the above presents can certainly be meaningful, gifting an experience can also be equally or even more special! In addition to creating lasting memories with your loved ones, gifting an experience is also usually more sustainable as there is no physical gift that requires additional wrapping or packaging, thus eliminating unnecessary paper or plastic waste.

4. Treat your loved ones to a zero-waste spa session

Instead of going to the spa, where products used typically contain chemicals that are bad for the environment, how about transforming your home into a blissful sanctuary and indulging your loved ones in a zero-waste pampering routine? Best of all, you can even join in and get some much-needed TLC as we wrap up the year!

Step 1: Set the Mood
Light a scented candle like this one from Pass It On. These candles are not only made from eco-friendly materials but encourages zero-waste practices by allowing you to repurpose your empty candles into planting pots. They even come with seed paper for you to sprout a modest produce after!

Step 2: Mix your very own concoction of homemade avocadoes hair and face mask

Mix your very own concoction of homemade avocadoes hair and face mask for that au naturel experience. A buttery fruit that is rich in vitamins, avocadoes are extremely nourishing as they not only high levels of minerals that would keep our loved ones’ hair smooth and shiny, but also compounds that help to protect their skin from sun damage – especially useful given that we live in sunny Singapore!

For a hydrating hair mask to lift those dull strands, mash an avocado with two ripe bananas. If you like to bring it up a notch, drip a few drops of rosemary and tea tree oil for that soothing scent. Then, slather the mixture from the tips of your loved ones’ hair and working your way up to their scalp, leaving it on for a good 20 minutes before rinsing off thoroughly.

And for a purifying mask to brighten up your skin, pit half a ripe avocado, add a tablespoon of solid coconut oil, and a teaspoon of honey and water. Gently massage this creamy concoction on their face and leave it on for 15 minutes to absorb all the nutritious goodness. While the avocado moisturises the skin, the honey and coconut oil can help to fight minor acne and inflammation.

Step 3: Rejuvenating body scrub experience

Finally, give them a full rejuvenation with a natural homemade sugar scrub that can easily be put together with ingredients found in your kitchen in less than 10 minutes. Simply combine equal portions of brown sugar and coconut or olive oil, mix them thoroughly and voila; you’re done!

For those of us looking to gift a more luxurious experience, our Changemaker Cultivate Central has the perfect recipe right here that is infused with floral botanicals like Citonella, Lemon balm and Globe Amaranth flowers. The wonderful scents from these herbs also provide mood lifting and stress relieving properties! Give these DIY recipes a try to make your skin feel incredibly soft and hydrated in no time.

5. Experience nature’s gifts

If you’re still looking for a great gift for your kids, how about bringing them closer to nature with an outdoor tour with EcoTrail that casts a spotlight on the everyday ecosystems in Singapore? This 1.5 hour-long guided tour includes multiple stations with activities such as chicken feeding, planting organic fruits and vegetables, and even learning about how solar plants and incubators work! Immerse yourself in the beauty of our local nature and relish the fresh air, lush greenery and clear blue skies in this private farmland – it’s a great gift to quench the curious minds of our little ones while showing them the beauty of our Mother Nature.

Alternatively, check out The Sundowner’s rooftop farm experience that is great for adults and children alike. Enjoy an organic farming class where you learn all the secrets of creating a healthy soil for the freshest harvest, come up close and personal with honeybees, and delight in a farm-to-table honey tasting to round it all up! Best of all, take in the beautiful sunset as you enjoy this one-of-a-kind rooftop experience in Singapore. This is one hidden gem that will be the perfect gift for any loved one!

This holiday season, go beyond embarking on your own green journey to encourage your loved ones to take the first step. Be it a physical gift or experiences, what matters is the thought that counts!

Here’s wishing you and your loved ones a merry and #JollyGreen holiday!


How to make your own tea blend

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How to make your own tea blend

Tea is the most popular beverage in the world, placing ahead of other well-loved beverages such as juices, beer and even coffee. This is unsurprising since there is a tea perfect for every occasion – whether an English Breakfast as a perk-me-up in the morning or a calming chamomile as part of your nightly wind down routine.  

Besides being as a tasty drink to sip on, tea is also known for offering plenty of health and wellness benefits. According to HealthHub, tea contains high antioxidant levels which helps in high antioxidant levels which helps in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

In addition, studies have also shown that teas can help in boosting our immune system, fight off inflammation and even minimise the likelihood of cancer and stroke.

For those of us weary and stressed from working from home, brewing a quick cup of lavender or mint tea can also introduce a little pocket of zen into our daily routine and serve as a great stress reliever! 

However, while you can easily purchase tea blends from stores, high quality tea blends may be relatively costly. Some manufactured blends may even make use of artificial flavourings, which may be bad for our health in the long run.

The many benefits of making your own tea blend

Instead of buying pre-packaged tea, how about choosing to make your own custom tea blend? By purchasing loose tea leaves and herbs, it not only ensures a fresher and more robust taste but also promises for you to benefit from its higher nutritional value.

Beyond the taste and health advantages, brewing tea from loose leaves is also better for the environment! Often, teabags contain a small amount of plastic as manufacturers aim to enhance the durability of tea bags in hot water. When seeping our teabags, these micro plastics get broken down where we end up consuming them. Over long periods of time, this may result in many health issues. With its plastic contents, teabags also cannot decompose completely – just like plastic bags or plastic utensils – which makes them harmful to the environment.  

So how can we make our own homemade tea blends? Here are three simple steps for you to do so, which can be easily customised to your personal nutrition goals and flavour liking. To ensure a well-balanced tea profile, each herb is measured in teaspoon proportions and can be brewed for 2-3 cups of tea.

Step 1 – Choose your blend bases

To begin, start off by identifying the purpose of your tea blend.

Are you looking to craft a blend that gives you a midday brain boost or to serve as a soothing end to your day? For those of us who experience bloating after a heavy meal, certain teas can also aid our digestion and help our bodies metabolise our food to reduce the discomfort. 

Once we’ve identified the purpose of our tea, it’s time to choose the base herb! Some of the more commonly used base herbs include chamomile, which is known for its calming quality, peppermint that promotes alertness, and rosemary, which helps in improving our cognitive function. As this blend base builds the foundation of your tea, include 3 teaspoons for sufficient flavour. 

Step 2 – Identify your complementary herb

Next, you’ll need to choose your second-most dominant herb in your tea recipe. Depending on your blend’s base, this complementary herb can either help tone down the intensity of the main tea base or enhance its flavour and add to its profile complexity. 

For our health junkies looking to make the most out of each cup of tea, you can also choose a complementary herb that offers additional health benefits! While there are no limits to which herbs to use as a complementary option, some of the more common choices are floral notes such as lavender, rosemary and elderberry. A few examples of this would be common favourites such as Jasmine Green Tea or Osmanthus White Tea. For this, add in 1 to 2 teaspoons into your tea blend. 

Step 3 – Finish off with an accent herb

Finally, to round out the tasting notes of the first two ingredients, choose an herb that offers that delightful pop of flavour. Again, there are no boundaries as to which herbs you can use. You may choose either one of the aforementioned herbs, or even pick a personal favourite spice like nutmeg or cinnamon. For those who enjoy floral teas, wild rosebuds work perfectly for that delicious aftertaste.  

For this accent herb, mix in just ½ to 1 teaspoon so that it does not overpower the overall tea flavour. 

And there you have it! Your very own tea blend made for any occasion. As with any DIY, this is very much a trial-and-error process, and we encourage you not to be disheartened if you do not nail the yummiest blend on your first try – it’s perfectly normal! 

If you’re looking for some tried-and-tested recipes as a first step, feel free to check out some delicious blends here! However, if you’re one of the more adventurous amongst us who’d prefer to experiment, here’s a tea blending template that we hope will help you along your DIY tea blending journey.  

As we #PowerTheChange one cup of tea at a time, check out the range of herbs and loose tea leaves available at Unpackt, one of Singapore’s zero-waste grocery stores! Reduce unnecessary plastic packaging by bringing along your own reusable containers, such as airtight glass jars, to store the ingredients you need and keep them fresher for longer periods of time!  

You can also spread the #JollyGreen spirit by making your own tea blends for your loved ones which not only serves as a great conversation starter to encourage them to go green for our environment, they are also thoughtful gifts to nudge them on a health-boosting tea journey! 


3 easy twists to spice up your vegan dishes

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3 easy twists to spice up your vegan dishes

World Vegan Day was recently marked on 1 November where individuals around the world celebrated all things plant-based and the benefits of a vegan lifestyle. This year, it coincides with the beginning of the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), where leaders across the world came together to discuss how to mitigate climate change.

According to research published in 2019, it uncovered that animal agriculture is responsible for 87%1 of greenhouse gas emissions and is the leading cause of climate change. Greening your diet is also the most effective way to reduce emissions.

As conversations surrounding global warming continues heating up, this timing serves as a fitting reminder as to what we can do through our everyday diets to combat climate change.

Going beyond the daily recycling and plastic-free efforts and in celebration of World Vegan Day, we’ve listed three easy ways you can give existing plant-based recipes a little twist when whipping up some vegan-friendly meals to share with your loved ones and get them onboard the green movement. Not only does this do good for the environment, it brings us numerous health benefits as well!

1. Swapping for a tofu patty into your sandwich

While one may often think of simply excluding a meat patty to keep our sandwiches vegan friendly, how about swapping it for a tofu “patty” to spice things up a little? These tofu patties are a great source or proteins and amino acids, which makes them a good and flavourful substitute for our regular meat patties! 

To make these tofu patties, simply squeeze the excess water out of your block of firm tofu before marinating it with a combination of salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder. Then, coat each piece of tofu evenly with all-purpose flour and pan-fry them over medium heat until golden brown.  

To make for a nutritious meal, assemble your sandwich with an array of vegetables – lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers are our favourite!  

Take a step further on your sustainability journey by supporting local vegetables producer such as our Changemaker – ComCrop, for their range of locally grown produce, which includes the freshest Ruby Red and Emerald Green Lettuce – perfect additions to your sandwich. 

You can also check out this tofu patty sandwich recipe – a perfect option if you’re looking for an easy meal on-the-go or for an outdoor picnic!  

2. Switching up regular pasta for zucchini noodles

Hands up if you’re a big lover of pasta! As one of the easiest meals to whip up and easily personalised to our own liking, it’s no surprise that pasta is one of the world’s most well-loved dishes.

While we can easily opt for an all greens no meat pasta, how about switching things up and making zucchini noodles instead? This tasty alternative is not only a lighter option to carb-heavy pasta, but also a great source of vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium and iron. What’s more, its high-water content means it will keep you feeling full for a longer period of time, and it’s a great way to get those extra veggies into your diet!

To make zucchini noodles, simply use a spiralizer to slice your zucchini into long ribbons.

Pro tip:  When choosing your zucchini, opt for one that is slightly firm and has a glossy finish on its skin to prevent the zucchini noodles from turning out too mushy.

Thereafter, toss it in your favourite tomato-based pasta sauce and voilà! If you’re looking for a healthier pasta sauce alternative, you can also check out Comcrop’s delicious pesto rendition, made from the freshest basil grown locally!  

If you prefer making your pesto from scratch, check out this zucchini noodles pesto pasta recipe, that includes a step-by-step guide to making your own fresh pesto. Delicious! 

3. Grated cauliflower in replacement of rice

If you lean towards an Asian palate, how about trying your hand at cauliflower fried rice? Instead of using regular rice, grated cauliflower is a yummy alternative that is not only healthier but hearty enough to serve as a main course.

In addition, these florets pack a load of vitamins and minerals. Being high in fibre, it not only promotes feelings of fullness but also helps to feed the healthy bacteria in your gut. To make cauliflower rice, start by washing them thoroughly before chopping it up into large chunks and grating them individually with a grater.

Quick tip: Use a medium-sized hole grater to achieve pieces that best imitate the texture of cooked rice.  

Then, simply sauté them over medium heat with the rest of your ingredients like how you’d normally do when preparing regular fried rice. Lightly stir-fry till the cauliflower is slightly crispy on the outside but tender on the inside. Click here for the full recipe that also offers some vegan alternatives to our usual fried rice ingredients! 

For a refreshing garnish to your fried rice, we’d highly recommend throwing in some microgreens. Though miniscule in size, these tiny greens pack a nutritional punch and delightful flavour. Best of all, they can be easily grown in small spaces, are easy to care for and only takes about a week to harvest! To learn how to grow your own microgreens, check out another of our Changemakers – Cultivate Central, for their tips to get started!  

We hope these three suggestions help inspire you to recreate some of your favourite dishes so that they’re not just yummy but also better for Mother Earth. As we approach the year-end holidays, let’s #PowerTheChange and be #JollyGreen together by challenging ourselves to brainstorm some tasty vegan recipes for a greener year in 2022! 


References:

  1. 1 (2019) Climate Healers, Animal Agriculture is the Leading Cause of Climate Change – A Position Paper https://climatehealers.org/the-science/animal-agriculture-position-paper/ 

4 lesser-known trails for your next green adventure

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4 lesser-known trails for your next green adventure

Singapore has a multitude of parks and nature reserves hidden amidst our concrete jungle. With more than 350 nature spots and a variety of forested hills and swampy wetlands, there is no lack of options to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse in the natural beauty of our tropical island. 

However, as we continue exploring these scenic routes in Singapore, are we ensuring that we are hiking sustainably? For our little red dot, each pocket of nature is carefully managed to conserve the area’s natural state, providing us much needed respite from our daily lives. We all have a part to play to preserve these green spaces for our future generations in the years to come.  

One simple way to be eco-friendly is by visiting lesser-known parks and nature reserves to minimise the issue of overcrowding. By doing so, we reduce the stresses the more popular nature trails face and allow them more opportunities to regenerate.  

As we approach the school holidays, we’ve put together four lesser-known nature walks in Singapore for your next adventure, together with easy tips to hike more mindfully and sustainably.

1. Tampines Eco Green

Tucked away in the heart of Tampines is a sprawling 36.5-hectare green sanctuary known as Tampines Eco Green. Resembling a rustic savannah with marshlands, secondary forests and freshwater ponds, the park is home to over a hundred species of birds, butterflies and dragonflies – perfect for those who enjoy spotting wildlife! 

Tampines Eco Green prides itself as an ecologically conscious park that features an eco-toilet, vegetated swales, and bird hides. Everything from its sign boards to park furniture are made from recycled and eco-friendly materials! With three different trails – Diversity Trail, Forest Trail and Marsh Trail – to choose from, you’ll be sure to discover something new with each visit.  

P.S. Do plan your visit earlier in the day as the park is not lit at night to minimise disturbance to the wildlife in the park. 

Click here for directions on how to get there. 

Green Tip: Stick to established trails when hiking

While we may be tempted to go off-trail and explore an untouched area of the park when you spot or discover something interesting, it is important to remember that we should still keep to the designated paths to avoid causing damage to the natural environment. 

By being a non-intrusive hiker, this will not only help to protect the various species of flora and fauna but also minimise any unnecessary disruption into the lives of the wildlife.

2. North-Eastern Riverine Loop

Meandering through the Punggol district is the North-Eastern Riverine Loop that boasts beautiful views of glittering reservoirs and waterways. With a variety of birds, animals and plants that call it home, this park connector is an undeniable delight for nature lovers. 

Spanning 26km, the North-Eastern Riverine Loop is perfect for anyone looking for a full day of exploration! What’s more, check out the various picturesque spots that can’t be missed including the Lorong Halus Bridge, Punggol Promenade Punggol Point Walk and Kelong Bridge. If you prefer to cycle, we’d recommend beginning your journey at Punggol Park where bicycle rentals are available. 

Click here for directions on how to get there. 

Green Tip: Do not feed the wildlife 

While we may want to feed animals that we come across during our hikes out of compassion, doing so actually does more harm than good. Feeding wildlife alters their behaviour and may lead to them associating humans with food. This often results in undesirable consequences such as the animals grabbing food from passing individuals and losing their natural ability to hunt in the wild.

In more serious situations, these animals may gradually be viewed as pests and pressure may be put on the authorities to cull them. So, the next time you spot a cheeky macaque or colourful hornbill, refrain from feeding and simply admire them from afar. Better yet, a more sustainable option is to avoid bringing food along during your hikes. Not only will this help in reducing packaging waste, it will also minimise any potential unpleasant situations with the animals. 

3. Jurong Lake Gardens

A tranquil lakeside destination, Jurong Lake Gardens is perfect for visitors to enjoy various natural landscapes including an expansive grassland, a freshwater swamp and of course, a freshwater lake.  

If you’re an early riser, head down to the Jurong Lake Boardwalk just after the break of dawn to be rewarded with a charming sight of mists over the glassy lake.  

Prefer to head down to the park later during the day? Take in spectacular views of the park on Rasau Walk that meanders over the water’s edge or immerse yourself amongst the towering Lalang-like grasses at the grasslands. For the latter, there is even a dome-shape structure where you can rest and observe nature in action! If you’re up for some water sports, check out PAssionWaVe @ Jurong Lake Gardens where a myriad of exciting water activities, such as paddle boating and kayaking, are offered. 

Click here for directions on how to get there. 

Green Tip: Keep your trash with you

The negative impact of littering goes beyond making our parks look unsightly. Litter, especially plastic, endangers our wildlife as they may mistake these items for food and consume them. By making an effort to not litter even the smallest items like a banana peel, we are keeping these green spaces a haven for our wildlife. 

To go a step further, you can even bring along some trash bags and gloves to pick up any litter that you see while hiking. Not only does this help us do good for Mother Nature, it also makes for a great workout! 

4. Kranji Marshes

Along the north-western shore of Kranji Reservoir lies Kranji Marshes, a rustic freshwater marshland spanning the size of 60 football fields. This unique sanctuary covers a range of habitats including a freshwater marsh, woodland and grassland. Here, it is home to over 200 species of wild residents as well as a rich variety of flora and fauna – a promising treat for any visitors!

If you’re feeling up for it, climb to the top of the Raptor Tower to enjoy a brilliant bird’s eye view of the surrounding marshes. Between the months of November to March, keep your eyes peeled for migratory species such as the Black Baza and Japanese Sparrowhawk, or spot nationally endangered species such as the Purple Swamphen.

Click here for directions on how to get there. 

Green Tip: Opt for eco-friendly sunscreens and insect repellents

Did you know? Sunscreen and insect repellents contain many chemicals that are harmful to our environment. While these chemicals may not have an immediate impact on the trails that you are hiking on, they do cause harm to the natural world in the long run when we wash them off and the water returns our water bodies. For sunscreen and insect repellent sprays, they are also notorious for containing CFCs that destroy the ozone layer.  

As such, we would recommend opting for eco-friendly sunscreens and insect repellents such as Sigi Skin’s cruelty and paraben-free sunscreen and Three Star Brand’s Mozzie-Free insect repellent that is made from natural ingredients.

As you embark on your hiking adventures during the end of year holidays, we hope that these simple tips will help you #PowerTheChange and contribute to the preservation of our green spaces. Every effort counts, and we can all make a difference to protect our precious floral wildlife and fauna for our future generations to enjoy! 


4 Top tips to help you embark for a zero-waste kitchen!

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4 Top tips to help you embark for a zero-waste kitchen!

It is no secret that Singaporeans are well-known foodies. As we continue to stay home more amid dine-out restrictions, most of us may have tried our hands in whipping up sumptuous meals, and even baking, in the kitchen.  

While cooking at home is typically a healthier and more sustainable alternative than ordering in or eating out, are we really reaping the eco-friendly benefits that home cooking brings? According to the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment, food waste makes up about half of the average waste disposed of by each household in Singapore daily. Of the food waste, more than half could have also been prevented, with staples such as rice, noodles and bread being the most commonly wasted food items. 

In conjunction with World Food Day on 16 October, how about challenging yourself to adopt a zero-waste kitchen, by leaving behind as little food and packaging waste as possible when cooking and dining this month?

There are many ways we can reduce waste in the kitchen and #PowerTheChange. Here, we’ve put together four easy tips to help get you started! 

1. Make a weekly meal plan

Always catching yourself staring at your fridge while you ponder over what to cook for dinner? How about breaking the cycle by putting aside an hour during the weekends to plan out your meals for the following week? This will not only help you take stock of what you currently have in your kitchen, it also streamlines the ingredients you require!

For instance, if a whole chicken is sufficient to be spilt across meals for your family, you can plan different dishes that incorporates the entire chicken for the week to reduce any wastage. If your children have their own food preferences, you can also rope them in to brainstorm on what they’d like to have during the week to make meal planning more fun! 

By doing so, this ensures that you do not buy any items that you already have in your kitchen, which saves you money and prevent food – especially perishables – from being unnecessarily wasted.

And while you’re at it, keep your loved ones healthy by making these meals a balanced and wholesome one too! Check out these easy guidelines by the Health Promotion Board, where they list down examples of nutrients and the recommended servings needed each day!  

2. Purchase from zero-waste grocery stores

In recent years, Singapore has seen a rise in zero-waste grocery stores that offer everything from pasta to tea leaves and soy sauce, sans the plastic packaging seen in regular grocery chains. At these stores, shoppers are encouraged to bring their own reusable containers and fill them up with the groceries they’d like to purchase.

Besides the benefit of reducing the amount of plastic waste generated, it also allows you the flexibility to purchase as much or as little as you need, minimising the amount of food wasted! In addition, these stores, such as Unpackt and Eco.Le, usually source from eco-conscious and socially responsible suppliers, which promises that you’re supporting meaningful causes through your buys.  

If you’d like to go a step further and go green for your kitchen cleaning products as well, some of these stores also have eco-friendly dishwashing liquid and biodegradable dishwashing sponges! 

3. Try growing your own fresh produce

Contrary to popular belief, you do not actually need a lot of space or even a particularly green thumb when growing fresh produce from home! For fruits and vegetables such as cherry tomatoes, chilli peppers and kangkong, they fit perfectly in small spaces (perfect for HDB-living) and thrive under abundant sunlight and the sweltering Singapore heat.  

Growing your own produce allows you to harvest the amount you need, instead of purchasing an entire packet from the grocery store and only utilising a portion of it, which would lead to unnecessary food waste. In addition, the process of growing your own produce also deepens the appreciation you have with food, thereby encouraging