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Lifestyle

Simple ways your family can live greener lives

From minimising the use of one-time plastics to using the air-conditioner less, here are some small steps you – and your children – can take to improve sustainability and help the environment.

TEXT: MELODY TAN

PHOTOS: SHUTTERSTOCK

Sustainability starts at home. After all, even small changes can have a big impact on the environment, sustainability efforts – and as an added bonus, on your utility bills.

In response to climate change, the Singapore Green Plan 2030 aims to shift the country towards a more sustainable lifestyle and economy over the next decade. To help preserve our natural resources for the next generation, consider incorporating these green habits into your household’s daily routine.

GET THE KIDS TO HELP WITH RECYCLING

By now, most Singaporeans are familiar with the blue recycling bins parked next to the green waste bins below their blocks, or outside their homes. While recycling is a core element of sustainability, far fewer are aware of the right way to recycle. Some 40 per cent of items inside recycling bins are either contaminated with food and liquids or cannot be recycled at all due to their materials.

To make the most of recycling, ensure that your recyclables are made from materials like glass, paper, plastic and metal. Avoid single-use food packaging, as it cannot be recycled. Assign your kids simple tasks like washing containers or flattening out packaging before bringing it to the recycling bin. Social media savvy teens can rely on Clean and Green Singapore’s Bloobin augmented reality filter to determine whether an object is recyclable.

SELL OR SWAP REUSABLES

Items like soft toys, books and clothing are considered reusables, not recyclables. Set aside an afternoon for kids to sort through their old belongings and decide what they want to keep, and what they want to get rid of.

Toys in good condition can be sold on an online platform like Carousell, while books can be donated to an organisation like Books Beyond Borders or Thryft. The latter allows donors to trade-in books in exchange for store credit – perfect for little bookworms who can burrow through an entire stack of books in a week.

Not only does this reduce clutter, children also learn that things don’t have to be new to be valued. They’ll also learn how easy it is to practise sustainability.

SHOP PRE-OWNED

Similarly, buying pre-loved items can be a great way to lengthen their lifespans, save resources and boost sustainability. While not everything can be bought second-hand, things like home decor, clothing and fashion accessories are in ample supply at thrift stores across Singapore.

Besides being good for the environment, second-hand goods can sometimes be of better quality than their modern counterparts. You might even luck out and find a designer knick-knack or shirt at a fraction of its original price.

Be patient – you might have to dig through a lot to find some treasure. Doing your research helps. For example, if you’re hoping to score some vintage Pyrex glass dishes, make sure you know how to identify them by the labels or embedded seals. There are plenty of online resources that teach you how to become an eagle-eyed bargain hunter.

GROW YOUR OWN FOOD AND COMPOST

You can still grow herbs like Thai basil or curry leaves even if you don’t have a garden of your own. Whether you’re placing the plants on your balcony, windowsill or in the corridor, make sure you have good sunlight, adequate water and drainage.

Children will enjoy watching the plants grow and tasting the fresh herbs once they’ve matured. The effort involved in caring for their plants will also give them a new appreciation of food and why we shouldn’t waste it.

More experienced gardeners can also consider composting, which means recycling organic waste – such as potato peelings and eggshells – into a rich fertiliser for plants. If space in your kitchen is an issue, no need to fret: There are pint-sized tabletop compost bins that can be tucked away into a corner. They also have lids so smells don’t escape.

RELY LESS ON THE AIR-CONDITIONER

Temperatures in Singapore are on the rise due to climate change. Between 1948 and 2015, temperatures here have risen by 0.25 degrees Celsius per decade.

Many families turn on the air-conditioning to beat the heat, but the energy-intensive appliance in households and buildings emits 19 per cent of Singapore’s carbon emissions – the second highest source after the industrial sector.

To cool down without contributing even more to climate change, turn your air-conditioning up to 25 degrees Celsius or higher. You can also use it to cool a room before switching to the fan and make it a household habit not to use the air-conditioning on rainy nights.

SAVE WATER

Did you know that shower time accounts for 30 per cent of your household’s monthly water consumption? The average five-minute shower in Singapore uses almost 20 litres of water. If you have four people in a household, that’s 80 litres of water in a day at minimum.

To save water, here are some habits that the family can pick up overtime. It’s good to remind your family members to turn off the shower while shampooing their hair or soaping themselves. Other than that, try brushing your teeth with just a mug of water, and not to let the tap run unnecessarily. In the kitchen, rinse fruits and vegetables in a container of water instead of under the tap, and re-use the same water to water plants.

BRING YOUR OWN CONTAINERS

Single-use plastics require energy and resources to produce, are used once, then discarded. When single-use plastics are incinerated, they produce toxic pollutants and carbon dioxide, which worsens climate change.

In addition to bringing reusable bags when you go grocery shopping, bring a tiffin carrier when you buy lunch or dinner at the hawker centre. This reduces the use of plastic and saves you money as well (that S$0.20 fee for a plastic box can add up over time).

These days, there are eco-friendly containers for everything. Kids who love bubble tea can even get a reusable bubble tea cup or bag with attached straw – perfect for enjoying a sweet treat without the environmental guilt.

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Club Buzz Featured

5 reasons to download the new HomeTeamNS Mobile App

From ease of booking facilities to accessing membership promotions, the new and improved HomeTeamNS Mobile App offers users a more seamless experience.

TEXT: ADLINA ADAM

PHOTOS: HOMETEAMNS

A new version of the HomeTeamNS Mobile App has been launched, offering members greater convenience and a more user-friendly experience.

A preview event was held at HomeTeamNS Khatib on 17 Feb 2022, before the app’s official launch on 21 Feb 2022. The event was attended by HomeTeamNS President, Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, who is also the Minister of State, Ministry of Home Affairs & Ministry of National Development; Ms Agnes Eu, Chief Executive of HomeTeamNS; and HomeTeamNS volunteers.

The previous version of the HomeTeamNS Mobile App housed on the GetKaki platform was launched in May 2020. It garnered over 99,000 downloads, 35,000 monthly logins, and 64,000 active users over two years, clearly showing that there was demand among HomeTeamNS members for a fuss-free, seamless digital experience.

From left: Ms Agnes Eu, Chief Executive of HomeTeamNS; Commissioner Eric Yap Wee Teck, Vice President of HomeTeamNS; Assoc Prof Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Minister of State, Ministry of Home Affairs & Ministry of National Development, and President of HomeTeamNS; and AC Puvenesveran K, General Secretary of HomeTeamNS, officially launched the new and improved HomeTeamNS Mobile App on 17 February 2022 at HomeTeamNS Khatib.

The new version of the app introduced new functions to provide a more fulfilling user experience. It is also now easily searchable and downloadable from Google Play and Apple App Stores.

“We are delighted that many of you find our app useful,” shared Assoc Prof Faishal. “To further enhance the membership experience, the newly-improved HomeTeamNS Mobile App will deliver more services through an improved user-friendly and responsive interface with additional personalised interactions such as location-based recommendations, bookings management, targeted push notifications, and chat support functions.”

Here’s why the new HomeTeamNS Mobile App is a download-worthy addition to any HomeTeamNS member’s mobile device.

1. IT’S A TRUSTY AND HASSLE-FREE DIGITAL SIDEKICK

To make the members’ experience more seamless, the enhanced app features a range of upgrades. Now, members can use it to book villas at HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok, clubhouse events, and even courses. Like any faithful digital assistant, the app sends reminders to users as their booking date approaches.

And here’s a lifehack for those hanging around the vicinity of any HomeTeamNS clubhouses! Browse the Mobile App to explore recommended facilities near their location.

2. IT HAS 24/7 CHAT CAPABILITIES

Have a burning membership question in the wee hours of the night? Strike up a conversation with HomeTeamNS’ Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered chatbot, Irene. Simply type in any question concerning membership perks, facilities and activities, and you’ll get a handy response. Irene even lists commonly asked topics in the chat to get the conversation started.

Alternatively, members can converse with the Association’s live agents from 10am to 8pm daily.

3. YOU GET FIRST DIBS ON MEMBERSHIP PROMOTIONS

A digital ‘one-stop shop’, the app serves as a hub for all things membership-related. Members can access their HomeTeamNS Digital Membership Card in the app, which enables them to flex their membership entitlements conveniently at any of the participating outlets in the clubhouse or partner merchants nationwide. Get promo codes, redeem over-the-counter deals and find out more about those prime perks. From Burger King’s $5 Cheeseburger Value Meal to 1-For-1 movie tickets and $5 F&B Combo by Cathay Cineplexes, members have access to a range of promotions at their fingertips.

4. LET THE STORIES UNFOLD

The Mobile App is also a library for HomeTeamNS updates, where members can scroll through their favourite Frontline articles on clubhouse happenings, lifestyle tips and more. Members can also access the latest stories featuring NSmen from the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), Singapore Police Force (SPF), and volunteers from Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), anytime, anywhere.

Find a story worth shouting about? Members can also instantly share the article to their social media pages like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, or messaging platforms such as Telegram and WhatsApp, at the touch of a button.

5. ALL FOR ONE, ONE FOR ALL

Unlike the older GetKaki version, this app is also open to anyone registered under the HomeTeamNS Family Scheme. This means family members get their very own account to explore the various features for themselves.

At the launch of the enhanced Mobile App, Ms Agnes Eu, Chief Executive of HomeTeamNS, shared: “We hope that the HomeTeamNS Mobile App will transform how our members maximise the usage of our membership perks and privileges at our clubhouses. This is the first of many steps towards HomeTeamNS’ strategy to be mobile-first across all platforms.”

As the saying goes: ‘As one door closes, another opens.’ The former GetKaki HomeTeamNS Mobile App will cease operations by 31 March 2022. To continue to stay up to date with the latest membership features and news at your fingertips, download the new and improved mobile app now!

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Lifestyle

5 things you probably didn’t know about water in Singapore

We look at Singapore’s efforts to make every drop of water count.

TEXT: MELODY TAN

PHOTOS: HOMETEAMNS, SHUTTERSTOCK

World Water Day recognises the importance of water and raises awareness of the challenges those without access to clean water faced.

This year’s World Water Day theme is groundwater, which refers to the fresh water found in underground aquifers (geological formations of sand, rock and gravel). Groundwater supplies rivers, lakes and springs, eventually flowing into the ocean.

Singapore has made great strides in achieving self-reliance in water, but conservation is still an important part of our approach to this resource. Singapore has set a target of reducing its water consumption from 154 litres per person (measured in 2020) to 130 litres per day by 2030.

Here are five interesting facts about water in Singapore and how we are working to ensure water sustainability.

GO BLUE FOR SINGAPORE

Singapore may have achieved self-reliance in water, but conservation is still a crucial to safeguard this resource.

Thanks to its reputation as a Garden City, Singapore is often thought of as a green city – but between 19 to 22 March, it’s turning blue instead to honour World Water Day.

Landmarks like Marina Bay Sands, Gardens by the Bay, the Singapore Flyer and more were bathed in a serene blue glow last year as part of PUB’s City Turns Blue initiative, which returns this year to remind Singaporeans of our need to conserve this precious resource. Water advocacy has always played a major role in Singapore’s efforts to imbue a conservation mindset in both young and old, starting with the very first water conservation campaign in May 1971 during a prolonged dry spell.

If you’re out and about downtown during the campaign period, don’t forget to snap a photo and share your photos on social media using the hashtag #GoBlue4SG. You can also wear blue, make blue drinks or food, or decorate your space in blue to show solidarity with Singapore’s national water movement.

A SEWAGE SUPERHIGHWAY

We’re used to Singapore’s extensive network of roads and expressways, train lines and tunnels. But there’s a hidden superhighway deep underground that very few Singaporeans will ever encounter (which is probably a good thing).

The Deep Tunnel Sewerage System (DTSS) conveys used water to three treatment plants that are strategically located along the coastal areas of Singapore, so that it can be treated and purified into NEWater. With its second phase set to be completed in 2025, the DTSS frees up land that would otherwise be occupied by intermediate pumping stations and conventional water reclamation plants. It’s energy-efficient, as well: The water is moved entirely through the force of gravity along the tunnels.

THE FISHY BUSINESS OF INNOVATION

What do mangrove plants and fish have to do with cutting-edge water technology?

Current desalination technology uses reverse osmosis, which involves deploying membranes to filter salts and minerals from seawater – a highly energy-intensive method, in Singapore’s four desalination plants. Singapore is welcoming its fifth desalination plant in 2023, intended for testing new technologies.

These technologies include more energy-efficient ways of desalinating seawater, such as electro-deionisation – using an electric field to pull dissolved salts from water – and biomimicry, which copies the way mangrove plants and fish extract freshwater from seawater. While still in their infancy, these exciting technologies could revolutionise freshwater production in Singapore.

POWERING THE TECH SECTOR

Most of us would wince at the thought of dropping our smartphones in a swimming pool, or spilling coffee over our laptops. After all, water and tech devices just don’t mix, right?

In fact, water is essential for the tech sector. It takes up to 30 litres of water to manufacture a single microchip for a smartphone, tablet or laptop. In Singapore, water is a key part of our journey to becoming a global tech hub with a growing number of semiconductor firms and data centres. Data centres in particular require huge amounts of water to cool their servers.

To balance Singapore’s tech goals with our need to conserve water and energy, the government has announced that any new data centres must meet an array of environmental sustainability standards before receiving construction approval.

IN CELEBRATION OF WATER

PUB mascots Water Wally and Water Sally visited HomeTeamNS Khatib on 12 and 13 March.

Although Singapore has a circular water economy – which means that we are able to endlessly recycle our water by collecting, treating and reusing it – this doesn’t mean that we can let it go to waste.

To help spread the importance of water conservation, popular mascots Water Wally and Water Sally are scheduled to appear at HomeTeamNS-JOM Balestier on 26 March from 12pm to 2pm.

To redeem a small gift, just follow these few steps: Wear blue to any HomeTeamNS clubhouse, snap a photo with the mascots, and post it in the comments section of the World Water Day post on the clubhouse’s Facebook page. Show your post to the HomeTeamNS staff to receive your gift.

If you’re staying home, you can still participate in World Water Day. Simply log on to HomeTeamNS-JOM’s Facebook page between 9 to 30 March to show off your trivia knowledge and win prizes by taking part in a series of online water-centric quizzes.

On World Water Day, let’s remember how precious this essential resource is – and make an effort to ensure every drop counts in Singapore.

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Close Up Featured

Championing the environment — and his NS commitments

Here’s how the Singapore Police Force’s DAC (NS) Mulyadi Ahmad upholds his responsibility to the nation’s security and sustainability.

TEXT: KEENAN PEREIRA

PHOTOS: DAC (NS) MULYADI AHMAD

By day, DAC (NS) Mulyadi Ahmad oversees the environmental public health operations of the western region of Singapore, in his capacity as a Deputy Director of the National Environment Agency. “This entails a range of environmental matters, from littering and smoking   enforcement to sanitation and environmental hygiene,” explains the 46-year-old.

His duty as an environmental champion doesn’t stop at the end of a workday: It also continues at home, where he is the “environmentalist-in-chief”. “I want to remind my five children, aged five to 20, about the importance of sustainability,” he says. “Through my work, I am keenly aware of the growing waste problem we have and how our landfills will eventually run out of capacity. All of us must play our part — and I want my kids to play theirs.”

SMALL STEPS TO A GREENER FUTURE

To instil this responsibility, he limits the number of times that the family can use food delivery apps. The rising popularity of such apps during the COVID-19 pandemic has unfortunately flooded our landfills, incinerators and even oceans with more plastic containers, utensils and bags.

“I’m not always successful in discouraging the use of disposables, but at least the kids think about their actions,” he admits. “Whenever I can, I’ll just go to the coffeeshop with my reusable containers to buy food for the whole family, so we can cut down on waste together.”

But sometimes, DAC (NS) Mulyadi knows that the use of disposable plastics is inevitable. One of his family’s beloved pastimes is dining at hawker centres together, with the East Coast Lagoon Food Village being their favourite. “When you go there, the stallholders give you styrofoam plates and utensils, even when you’re eating there. What can you do?”

The pandemic, he adds, has helped his family overcome the dilemma. “Because we’re a household of seven, we haven’t been able to dine out for a few months since safe distancing measures were heightened.”

MAKING ECO-FRIENDLINESS A HABIT

Contaminated recycling bins are another cause for concern for DAC (NS) Mulyadi. He still feels helpless when he brings down the family’s recycling bag down to the recycling bin, only to find that it has been contaminated by non-recyclables like food waste. Never one to give up, he feels that one should continue to try to educate and influence the people around them.

DAC (NS) Mulyadi is proud that his children have embraced the values of sustainability, but he admits that they still sometimes need a nudge from him. “To them, it may seem easier to just throw away the plastic drink bottle but after I remind them about the right thing to do — which is to clean and recycle it — they do it. It’s about constantly reminding those around us and making eco-friendliness a habit.”

MAINTAINING STANDARDS

DAC (NS) Mulyadi is the NS Commander of the Airport Police Division where he oversees 1,300 Police NSMen.

Another cause that DAC (NS) Mulyadi feels strongly about is National Service. As the NS Commander of the Airport Police Division, he oversees the operations, deployment and welfare of 1,300 Police NSMen (PNSMen) under his charge. Together, they upkeep aviation security and safeguard Changi Airport’s reputation as a safe and secure travel hub. “It has been a quiet two years because of the pandemic, but that also poses a unique challenge: How do you keep the men warmed up and on their feet? We cannot let standards slip because of a dip in passenger movements.”

To tackle this, DAC (NS) Mulyadi and his team engage in regular recalls, sometimes as often as once a week, to keep his men on their toes. But he also balances the need for operational readiness with respect for his men’s careers and personal lives. “NS is a commitment, but it’s not their only one,” he acknowledges. “These men are pilots, business owners, physical trainers — they each have their own commitments and we must respect those as well.

The solution, he says, is to lead by example and adds that on some days leading up to a recall, NS commanders like himself can end their days at 11pm. “Everybody puts in the effort to achieve our common goal.” And when he ends a particularly gruelling day or work week, he turns to his loved ones to get recharged. “We don’t have to go out to enjoy each other’s company,” says DAC (NS) Mulyadi, whose latest pastime is watching Korean movies and dramas on Netflix with his family. “At the end of the day, it’s the company that matters.”

HIS GREATEST CHEERLEADER

Back in 2013, when DAC (NS) Mulyadi was offered the appointment of NS Deputy Commander in the Airport Police Division, he initially hesitated to take up the appointment because of family commitments. But his wife, Mdm Nur Aini, encouraged him to accept it, saying: “If you are the one selected and if your service is needed by the nation, you should take the opportunity to contribute.”

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Lifestyle

New experiences, great deals for HomeTeamNS members

Schedule a staycation, sign up for fun classes or simply feast with the family – with these great HomeTeamNS deals.

TEXT: MELODY TAN

Whether it was tasting a new cuisine, learning a new sport or trying a different hobby, when was the last time you did something to break out of your routine?

With many of us still working from home or balancing hybrid work arrangements, it’s important to open ourselves to new experiences. Doing so can benefit your mental health and help stimulate creativity, among other benefits. From fitness courses to cooking classes and staycations, these HomeTeamNS deals, activities and offers are a good starting point to help you break out of the humdrum.

FROM AIKIDO TO ZUMBA, FITNESS FOR THE SOUL

St Teresa Taekwondo Studio teaches the finer points of this martial art to young kids and teens. Photo: St Teresa Taekwondo Studio

Keen to start a new fitness routine? Enjoy 20 per cent off the second course sign-up at the HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok clubhouse for the following courses: Aikido, Taekwondo, Karate, Yoga, Zumba, Piloxing and Wing Chun. Simply drop an email to courses@hometeamns.sg for the promo code.

St Teresa Taekwondo Studio at the HomeTeamNS-JOM Balestier clubhouse teaches the finer points of this martial art to young children and teens. Quote “HTNSHOLIDAYDEALS” or show the promo image when you sign up to receive a free Kicking Pad worth S$35. HomeTeamNS members will also receive an additional free pouch. The free gifts are redeemable upon payment of the registration fee and three or six months’ fees. The promotion runs from 1-31 March, 2022.

ART, MUSIC, BAKING – AND EATING

Genius R Us lets your kids rock their inner master chef and learn to make a variety of treats. Photo: Genius R Us

Over at the HomeTeamNS-JOM Balestier clubhouse, a cornucopia of deals awaits.

If your child prefers to rock their inner master chef instead, head to Genius R Us where they can learn to make cookies, cakes and other goodies. First-timers enjoy a special Bake Out promotional rate from March to April 2022. HomeTeamNS members pay S$35 per child or S$50 for one parent and one child, while non-members pay S$38 per child or S$53 for one parent and one child.

To qualify for the promotion, children must be aged between three to 12 years old and parents should quote “HTNSHOLIDAYDEALS” or show the promo image when they sign up via WhatsApp.

Looking to tap into your inner artist? SmartArtz Studio has a first-timers’ promotion that could help on your journey. Photo: SmartArtz Studio

If you’re the artistic type, SmartArtz Studio has a Craft Out promotion for first-timers running from March to April 2022. HomeTeamNS members pay S$32 per child (aged between three to 12 years old) or S$42 for one parent and one child, while non-members pay S$35 per child or S$45 for one parent and one child. To redeem the promotion, quote “HTNSHOLIDAYDEALS” or show the promo image when you sign up via Whatsapp.

Musically inclined little ones should visit Nozumi Musictopia, which has an opening promotion for its parent-accompanied Junior Group Class intended for toddlers aged between 12 to 14 months.

Kiddies will be introduced to music, movement and instruments, and gain a solid foundation for progressing onwards to the one-on-one ABRSM class syllabus. Quote “HTNSHOLIDAYDEALS” or show the promo image when you sign up or enquire at 9654 3386 to enjoy a 15 per cent discount on the Junior Group Class between May to June 2022. HomeTeamNS members still enjoy a 15 per cent discount on sign-ups after the promotion period. Still, you shouldn’t delay – the first 10 sign-ups will receive a goodie bag worth S$50.

GET OUT AND ABOUT

One-for-one movie ticket offers on weekends and weekdays make it easy for HomeTeamNS members to catch up with the latest releases. Photo: Shutterstock

Singapore may be small, but it has plenty of places to explore as a family.

Movie buffs will want to take advantage of the one-for-one movie ticket offer at any Cathay Cineplexes theatre, on both weekends and weekdays. Simply flash your HomeTeamNS digital membership card when you make your purchase at the counter. The offer is limited to one pair of tickets per member per day, and only 30 pairs of tickets can be redeemed in total each day.

Dinosaur devotees will want to drop by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum, which is offering 10 per cent off admission fees until 31 December 2023 to HomeTeamNS members who present their digital membership card over the counter. Tickets are limited to a maximum of five per cardholder per day.

Crossing over to Sentosa just became easier thanks to discounts on round-trip cable car sky passes on Mount Faber. Photo: Shutterstock

Head into the clouds with 35 per cent discount on round-trip cable car sky passes on Mount Faber, valid until 31 March 2022. To get the promo code, download and open the new HomeTeamNS Mobile App.

STAYCATION NATION

With dedicated indoor and outdoor facilities made for the family, embrace the escape to a lush sanctuary at Shangri-La Singapore. Photo: Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts

If your kids love the beach, treat them to a staycation they won’t forget. Till 26 May 2022, the Shangri-La Rasa Sentosa Singapore is offering HomeTeamNS members 15 per cent off online room rates for its Deluxe Seaview Room, Panoramic Seaview Room and Deluxe Poolview Room.

For those who prefer a more central location for easy access to shopping and eateries, the Shangri-La Singapore has special rates applicable for HomeTeamNS member bookings until 26 May 2022, depending on the day you choose to stay.

From Monday to Thursday, enjoy the following rates:

  • Garden Wing Deluxe City View: S$298++
  • Garden Wing Deluxe Pool View: S$318++
  • Valley Wing Deluxe: S$488++
  • Tower Wing Family Deluxe: S$358++

From Friday to Sunday (Weekends):

  • Garden Wing Deluxe City View : S$438++
  • Garden Wing Deluxe Pool View : S$458++
  • Valley Wing Deluxe : S$558++
  • Tower Wing Family Deluxe : S$478++
Enjoy a beach getaway with the family at Shangri-La Rasa Sentosa, Singapore, with your family. Photo: Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts

From 14-17 April, 1-3 May, and 15-16 May, the weekend rates will apply instead.

The rates include breakfast for up to two adults and two children (below 12 years of age), as well as an extra bed for one child, subject to hotel availability. Kids will also enjoy a complimentary single session of playtime at buds by Shangri-La and a complimentary single session of playtime at the newly launched outdoor Splash Zone.

Both promotions at the Shangri-La Rasa Sentosa Singapore and the Shangri-La Singapore are subject to availability and are not available on blackout dates. To make reservations at Shangri-La Singapore, quote “SLGRP21” via email at reservations.sls@shangri-la.com, or call 6235 1666. For Shangri-La Rasa Sentosa, make your reservation by quoting “HOMETEAMNS” via email at reservations.sen@shangri-la.com, call 6371 1088, or visit the website.

Download the new and improved HomeTeamNS Mobile App for the latest promotions and membership perks! 

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Lifestyle

Fun family options for the March school holidays

Get back to nature, try a new sport, appreciate the importance of upcycling – there’s plenty of scope for family fun during the week-long March school holidays.

TEXT: MORGAN AWYONG

PHOTOS: SHUTTERSTOCK

The school holidays are here again, but with just a one-week break, it’s important to plan a family itinerary that makes the most of everyone’s time. Activities that get everyone out of the house while experiencing something make for memorable moments.

Thankfully, Singapore has many family-friendly attractions to offer. From more educational options to those that will keep thrill-seekers satisfied, here are our picks for some holiday-inspired fun.  

EVERY DROP COUNTS

Water Wally and Sally mascots made an appearance at HomeTeamNS Khatib clubhouse on 12 to 13 March.

It’s all too easy to take basic needs for granted when you live in an affluent country like Singapore.  As such it’s good to remind the younger generation that we are ultimately a small island with limited natural resources. With World Water Day (March 22) upon us, HomeTeamNS is organising some activities at all the clubhouses to spread awareness.

Bring the kids to meet Water Wally and Sally, the friendly mascots of PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency, at HomeTeamNS Tampines (March 19), Bukit Batok (March 20) and Balestier (March 26) clubhouses and learn more ways to inculcate water-saving habits. Be sure to dress your family in blue and post your best snapshot on the clubhouses’ respective Facebook pages — you’ll score a chance to bring home gifts like laundry bags, tote bags and adorable soft toys!

And while you’re at the clubhouses, why not make the most of your day? Explore T-Play, HomeTeamNS’ indoor-themed playgrounds at Bukit Batok or Khatib, or swing by the Villas for a chalet escape filled with console fun and barbecue dinners.

FEEL THAT ADRENALINE

Skyride offers a scenic adventure above Sentosa’s tropical forest.

If a day of adventure best suits your family, head to Sentosa’s Hydrodash during the school holidays. Situated over the waters of Palawan Beach, Singapore’s first floating aqua park has stations for every shade of thrill-seeker.

Quarter pipes, action towers, twist or target – there are various challenges the entire family can take on. Life vests are standard issue, so just hop, clamber or hold on tight while tackling on the obstacles – or take a refreshing dip in the lagoon’s cooling waters.

To add to the excitement, try an indoor sky-diving session at iFly or speed down a man-made course at the Skyline Luge. For a more relaxed activity, the Skyride offers a scenic adventure above Sentosa’s tropical forest with a bird’s eye view of Singapore’s skyline and the South China Sea.

But if sea water’s not your thing, there’s always Adventure Cove Waterpark, with attraction like a hydro-magnetic coaster, high-speed water slides and the chance to snorkel with marine life.

SAIL AWAY

If you enjoy being out at sea, a cruise out into the endless blue on board Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas is another option to explore.

This all-inclusive cruise offers attractions for everyone, from stationary sky-diving and surfing simulators for those who prefer some high-octane action, to fun water slides, bumper cars and gaming rooms for some light fun. Movies and performances keep the entertainment going, but we’re guessing the views from your room balcony or the raised North Star glass capsule for guests will also occupy your time. The biggest decision you’ll have to make is which of the 18 restaurants onboard to eat at during your 3 or 4-night stay.

If you’ve signed up for the HomeTeamNS Family Day Sea-nic Cruise, don’t forget to share your photos on Instagram to stand a chance to score an Instax camera!

ISLAND NOSTALGIA

Pulau Ubin is home to scenic trails. Visitors can rent bicycles on the island, or bring their own bicycles over on the ferry ride to the island.

Pulau Ubin is very much a living museum – a time capsule of people still enjoying the kampung life. It’s a laidback environment where everyone knows everyone. The best way to explore the island is by cycling, where you can visit Ubin’s many attractions from a butterfly garden and Tibetan temple to hilly trekking routes. For the more adventurous, Ketam Mountain Bike Park offers a variety of trails, rated from beginner to advanced-level, built to International Mountain Bicycling Association standards.

The mangrove boardwalk stretching out to Chek Jawa is particularly scenic, and don’t forget to head up the watchtower along the way for a breathtaking view of the forest and ocean beyond. For something similar inland, the Punggol Waterway Park is a great cycling trail that takes you past natural mangroves, abundant greenery and some pretty bridges including the Kelong bridge. 

THEME PARK PLAY

For the young and young-at-heart, don’t miss the Pop-Up Disney! A Mickey Celebration at Suntec City.

Transplanted directly from the Downtown Disney District of the original resort in California, the exhibition features seven themed rooms. It’s definitely one for the shutterbugs, with plenty of stations designed to bring you into Mickey’s world through clever cut-outs and artistic installations. Hidden surprises await in sections like the Mickey Loves Singapore room, where one can test their trivia knowledge and stand a chance to win special gifts.

If that’s not enough, Superpark is just in the next tower within the mall. This boasts an array of facilities for children to skate, climb or just bounce on a trampoline, and develop their motor skills in the process. If you wish to leave it to the hands of experts, there’s a Day Camp option where your children can pick up seven unique skill sets, while you sip a leisurely cup nearby.

GET A LITTLE CRAFTY

Craft workshops are a good indoor activity, especially if the weather puts a damper on outdoor plans.

If you prefer to stay indoors or need some a wet-weather backup plan, then sign up for some crafting workshops. It will be a good opportunity to spark a new interest or discover a hidden talent. A family member could be a natural at pottery while another has the perfect eye to paint – finding out is half the fun.

Klook offers lots of workshops to choose from, with opportunities to turn socks into soft toys, wax into realistic macaron candles, and twine and soil into a bonsai. Parents can accompany and help out, or sign up for a slot to join in the fun.

Keen to do good at the same time? HomeTeamNS-JOM Balestier is having an upcycling class on March 26, so sign up to get creative and find out what fantastic items one can make from recycled materials.

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Categories
Club Buzz

7 ways to plan a great family day at HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok

HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok clubhouse boasts myriad activities to entertain and bond with those closest to your heart.

TEXT: MORGAN AWYONG

PHOTOS: HOMETEAMNS

Hybrid work arrangements may grant us more time at home, but are we really spending quality time with those nearest and dearest to us? Binge-watching your favourite shows in front of the television may offer everyone something to talk about, but it doesn’t really compare to spending time outdoors with the people who matter most.

Staying active helps improve mood and mental well-being while maintaining motor skills. Planning a fun-filled day out with the family is a surefire recipe for fun, laughter and lasting memories. And if you take advantage of the myriad activities on offer at the HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok clubhouse, it could even help you discover some hidden talents and interesting traits (Who’s the sharpshooter? Who’s the strategist?).

1. PACE YOUR PLAY

HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok Playpen

With its extensive library of board and console games, the PlayPen will easily keep the entire family entertained. Classic board games like Cluedo and Risk show your children what entertainment was like before the Internet. These also present fun ways to teach them about strategy. And to prove that you too have serious gaming cred, take them on in console favourites like King of Fighters 6 and FIFA 2020 on the PlayStation, or Mario Kart Deluxe 8 and Overcooked 2 on Nintendo Switch. The best part? You can book your slots for the console or board games by the hour to fit around any other activities planned for the day.

2. HAVE SOME KNOCK-OUT FUN

HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok StarBowl
HomeTeamNS President Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim (left) and HomeTeamNS members hitting the bowling lanes at StarBowl.

While bowling typically feels like an activity reserved for adults, it’s actually a good way to help the juniors develop coordination and spatial awareness. StarBowl offers a comfortable air-conditioned venue and is also a great rainy-day activity. And starting from just S$2 a game, it’s an affordable option as well. If you’re an experienced bowler, you can teach your children the finer points of bowling posture and form. If you’re new to the sport, practising together – or learning through YouTube videos – can make for a memorable experience.

3. BECOME A SHARPSHOOTER

HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok Paintbal Arena

If your troop is a little older (14 years and above), a paintball session is a great way to expend some of that energy. The Paintball Arena features state-of-the-art equipment and unique terrain to offer all players a safe, exciting time. Take out other players from your perch in Sniper Mode or put your tactical combat skills to the test in the Ultimus player-versus-player mode. For a different challenge, shoot at targets while navigating obstacles in a specially-designed course.  Instructors are always present to maintain protocols, and protective gear is supplied to everyone so you can be assured of safety. Your family will quickly appreciate the importance of communication and teamwork — and get a great workout to boot!

4. SPEND A DAY AWAY

International borders are re-opening but many travel protocols are still proving a little daunting for some. Why not opt for a relaxing day away from home in the spacious comfort of the newly-revamped HomeTeamNS Villas at Bukit Batok?

Whether you book the Superior, Deluxe or Premier Deluxe Villa, your family will get to escape into a peaceful green zone. And if you’re looking for more to do, the clubhouse and its facilities are always nearby. Multiple rooms allow everyone a space to call their own, but don’t forget to gather in the evenings for a delicious barbecue at your very own pit. Better yet, make it a two-night affair and get 30-per-cent off standard rates.

5. ADOPT A LASER FOCUS

HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok Laser Quest

This game of laser tag shares some similarities with paintball. At Laser Quest, up to five players battle it out in an arena with atmospheric lighting and music. The goal? For players to “shoot” other players’ target vests without being shot themselves – racking up points and wins in the process. The room includes three distinct zones for dynamic, fun play. It won’t take long to discover who’s the most artful dodger, who’s the best shot and who expertly uses cover to their advantage. Instead of an age limit, this indoor arena is open to players who are at least 1.2m tall, so younger players can also join in the fun.   

6. HAVE FUN IN MOTION

T-Play Bukit Batok

Introduced to the Bukit Batok clubhouse in 2015, T-Play is a multiple award-winning (crowned Top Indoor Playgrounds in Singapore 2020 by MediaOne and BYKidO’s Top Voted Indoor Playground) augmented playground that’s designed for younger children. The brightly-decorated, 390sqm arena boasts a transportation theme. Stations include trampolines, ball pits and slides. These encourage the development of motor skills and spatial awareness. Special programmes are available on some weekends, so no two visits will be alike. All ready to board?

7. GRAB SOME GRUB

Refresh your palate with Greek-inspired dishes at HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok's Greek restaurant, Ela.

Play hard, eat well. Members won’t have to leave the comfort of the Bukit Batok clubhouse if they ever get peckish. There’s delicious dim sum and a Chinese menu over at Swatow City, and hearty skewers, burgers and pasta over at Ela. Can’t decide between cuisines? Select Gourmet Kitchen has Cantonese, Thai and Vietnamese fare under one roof. For fast food, there’s KFC and Starbucks, or if you’re just looking for a kopi break, Heavenly Wang is a great spot for some toast and local snacks. If your taste buds are craving Zi char-style seafood dishes, don’t miss out on Pinxin Catering with your family.

Whether you’re planning an intense game of paintball or laser tag, slowing things down with a staycation or just looking for an enjoyable meal, the HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok clubhouse offers plenty of options for the entire family to connect and bond.

Plan your day out to HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok in advance using our new and improved HomeTeamNS Mobile App! Have the upper hand and secure a slot at your favourite facilities through the mobile app before heading to the clubhouse.

Categories
Lifestyle

Simple, heartfelt ways to show your appreciation for the women in your life

Mother, sister, grandmother, wife, teacher – odds are, there’s a woman who’s played a significant role in your life and still continues to do so. As International Women’s Day approaches, here are some ways you can say “thank you” to them.

TEXT: MELODY TAN

PHOTOS: HOMETEAMNS, SHUTTERSTOCK

International Women’s Day is on 8 March – but it’s a day not just for women, but for everyone to celebrate with the women in their lives.

After all, you might have heard the saying that “women hold up half the sky”. Women all over the world have played an integral role in contributing to the economy and moving society forward, often while caring for their families at the same time. International Women’s Day celebrates their achievements and raises awareness of the need for equality and greater visibility.

To show appreciation to the women in our lives, we can start with some simple, heartfelt actions that include making time for them to relax and enjoy a well-deserved pampering treat.

PAMPER HER BODY AND MIND

A spa day isn’t just good for one’s physical well-being — it also destresses and calms a busy mind, especially if your mum or wife constantly juggles work and family commitments. If scheduling is an issue, you can book her an hour-long massage after work or on weekends for a quick refresher. If she has more time to spare, some spas have packages that offer treatments from the top of her head to the soles of her feet.

Tip: Choose a spa in a setting that she’ll like — some are in bustling shopping malls (perfect for some retail therapy afterwards) while others are tucked away in quiet garden enclaves for a truly relaxing retreat.

A GIFT FOR HER EVERYDAY NEEDS

If you’d like to get a gift for her but can’t think of what to buy, why not observe her daily routine
and see how you can make it better? For example, if your mum enjoys going on morning walks, you could buy her a pair of well-cushioned shoes to support her feet better.

If your wife enjoys listening to music on her commute, she might like a new pair of wireless earbuds. And if she’s into fragrances but has very specific tastes, buy her a body lotion, soap or shower gel that comes from the same line as her favourite perfume.

CARDS AND LETTERS OF APPRECIATION

Whether you’re showing your appreciation for a former teacher, a workplace mentor or a loved one, a heartfelt, handwritten note or card is always welcome. If it feels awkward to pen down your feelings, start by recalling a specific incident or act that moved you. Sum up what it was and how she helped you, before expressing your gratitude in a few simple lines. Beyond the personal message, your recognition of her effort goes a long way in shining an appreciative spotlight on the invisible work women often do day-in and day-out, in the workplace and at home.

HELP HER PURSUE HER HOBBIES

In hectic Singapore, it can be tough to detach oneself long enough from work and personal responsibilities in order to pursue hobbies or self-improvement. But taking time off for hobbies has long been associated with better physical and mental health.

If you know that she’s been wanting to try a new fitness routine, encourage her with the gift of classes in yoga, Pilates or even hoop fitness. If she’s into watercolours or scrapbooking, she’ll enjoy a gift of art supplies, or a voucher to her favourite craft store. Your thoughtful gift will also remind her to slow down and make time for her own personal development.

DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT

TactSim, the indoor airsoft area at the HomeTeamNS Khatib clubhouse is hosting its first Ladies Night.

Are the same old date-night choices getting boring? If travel is still not on the table, be a tourist in Singapore instead. Take her on a journey to prehistoric times, but in air-conditioned comfort at the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum. In addition to housing an extensive collection of Singapore’s natural heritage, it also holds a herbarium — which will be of interest to avid gardeners — and a collection of preserved zoological specimens. Until 31 December 2023, HomeTeamNS members get 10 per cent off a maximum of five admission tickets per day when they present their membership card at the counter.

But if fossils aren’t her cup of tea, see Singapore from a different angle on the Singapore Cable Car Sky Network. By presenting their membership card, HomeTeamNS members enjoy 35 per cent off the Cable Car Sky Pass, which offers round-trip access to all six cable car stations on the Mount Faber and Sentosa Lines. The promotion ends on 31 March.

For a unique day out, TactSim, the indoor airsoft area at the HomeTeamNS Khatib clubhouse is hosting its first Ladies Night. It will be open only for female players on 9 March 2022, from 5.30pm to 10pm. Players enjoy a 30 per cent discount on Player Vs Player and Target Shooting at the range.

SPEND QUALITY TIME TOGETHER

Indulge Teppanyaki and Grill is known for serving up traditional western food with a fusion twist, in the form of Soba Bowls, Pastas, and more.

Thanking your mum or grandmother for being there for you can sometimes be as simple as scheduling a chat over a meal or a cup of coffee, or simply give her a call to ask how her day went. Providing a listening ear has been shown to lower the risk of dementia for elderly family members — a risk that is very real for women, as they are more likely to suffer the disease. If your grandmother or mother enjoys reminiscing, ask them about their childhood and encourage them to see how far they’ve come since those early years — a momentous journey worth celebrating, this International Women’s Day.

If they’re fans of teppanyaki, you’re in luck. At Indulge Teppanyaki & Grill House at HomeTeamNS-JOM Balestier, every dine-in teppanyaki set comes with a free dessert of either a chocolate banana cake or cheesecake from 5-8 March 2022.

If seafood is their cuisine of choice, JOM Makan Seafood at HomeTeamNS-JOM Balestier offers a wide selection. From 7-11 March, dine-in guests who spend a minimum of S$100 will enjoy 1 complimentary mocktail for each woman at the table.

To enjoy these special treats, simply flash the promotion upon ordering at the counter.

Find out more about HomeTeamNS members’ deals and treatsLike our stories? Subscribe to Frontline Digital newsletters to get your bi-weekly dose of updates on new stories!