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Lifestyle

Recognise and rediscover all things Singapore

From music and film to art and football – these are just some of the gems that have come to embody us in some unexpected ways, right here in Singapore. 

TEXT: MORGAN AWYONG

PHOTOS: SHUTTERSTOCK

As the school holidays are upon us, what else can one look forward to besides travelling, shopping and tucking into great food with friends? Why not open yourself to more local influences – think films, music, art and football – and reconnect with all things Singapore? Here are just a few recommendations that’ll get you started on your journey of all things Singapore, and a few HomeTeamNS promotions that shouldn’t be missed.

MUSIC

While we often defer to national theme songs as a symbol of Singapore, our local music scene has been brimming with exciting talents that are expanding the island’s soundscape with an evolving identity. The new wave was led by artists like Tabitha Nauser, Shigga Shay and Gentle Bones, and these emerging acts continue to chart new grounds.

Keyana: Demonstrating Singapore as the cosmopolitan city that it is, the Ghanaian-Chinese-Singaporean songstress charms with her effortless groove in two R&B singles, Save It and Scorpio. Her honeyed vocals deliver straight-to-the-heart lyrics wrapped up in catchy rhythms, and she even rendered a soulful cover of the classic Moonlight in the City (originally sung by Mavis Hee) at Chingay 2021.

Wovensound: Aka Vinod Dass, this music producer/designer/mixer moves between genres but has settled on hip hop grooves that are hypnotic and poignant. Often working with other independent artistes, the music maker weaves rap, vocals, lo-fi and even jazz tracks into a mesmerising sound tapestry. With plenty of sound design work featured in film festivals in Melbourne, Iran, Mexico and New York, he’s finally found time to release a 6-track debut with the EP Vertigos Fulfilled.

BGourd: Don’t let his lizard-green bodysuit fool you, the chill rap numbers here hide intimate observations and references both local and nerdy that lets you know this is a Singaporean youth well and truly. He even named his latest album, Veggie Wraps, Vol. 4.

FILMS

Singapore cinema had a golden 25-year period from the late 1940s to the early 1970s, when over 300 films were produced locally by Cathay-Keris and Shaw. Screen legend P. Ramlee emerged as an iconic figure in that era, and although we have yet to recover our fame as Southeast Asia’s Hollywood, these rising filmmakers and their projects are a hopeful sign.

A Yellow Bird: K. Rajagopal’s debut feature film is as gritty and real as it gets. Extracting from his own personal experiences as a Singaporean Indian, the filmmaker’s authentic captures have been nominated for the Critics Week Grand Prize and Golden Camera in 2016’s Cannes Film Festival.

Titoudao: Inspired by the True Story of a Wayang Star: This production is the latest incarnation of the original play by acclaimed theatre director Goh Boon Teck, and as the name suggests, chronicles the path of poor girl’s journey as she rises into becoming a renowned opera star. With a lavish production and stellar cast, this series will delight those who loved seeing Singapore in the 50s and 60s.

Wet Season: After Ilo Ilo exploded as the first Singaporean feature film to win an award at the Cannes Film Festival, Anthony Chen joined the ranks of others before him like Royston Tan and Boo Junfeng in becoming bonafide visionaries in the filmic scene. His sophomore follow-up sees him returning with some cast members, and once again deeply examines the nature of bonds and relationships.

FOOTBALL

Many Singaporeans still have fond memories of watching Malaysia Cup matches at the National Stadium and the sense of pride and unity that the Kallang Roar ignited. The more dedicated among those fans even ventured across the causeway to fly the flag at away games.

Now that the FIFA World Cup season is upon us, it’s time to recreate that big-match atmosphere with your friends and family. Matches will be screened at numerous locations across Singapore, including HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok, Balestier and Khatib clubhouses, from 21 November to 18 December 2022.

HomeTeamNS members can watch the Group Matches for free. To add to the carnival atmosphere, the clubhouses will also be organising fringe activities for members and their guests. Details for entry passes to the quarter-, semi, and final matches will be announced soon.

‘Meet Your Match’ Contest: If you’re looking to score yourself a win, shoot your shot and take part in the HomeTeamNS ‘Meet Your Match’ contest for a chance to win up to S$800 worth of Adidas vouchers in total! Simply download the HomeTeamNS Mobile App, click the ‘Promotions’ tab and search for the contest under ‘Contest and Giveaways’, and share your favourite team with us. This giveaway is valid from now till 18 December 2022.

Wow Wow Wednesday (World Cup Edition): From 23 December 2022, HomeTeamNS members can purchase e-vouchers for specially selected brands such as Decathlon, Nike, Grab Food, and Foodpanda, to commemorate the World Cup season! Keep an eye out for these deals every Wednesday till 14 December 2022, via the HomeTeamNS Mobile App

ART

Singaporean artists have always been dealt the short end of the stick when it comes to local recognition, even if a few like late masters Georgette Chen, Chen Wen Hsi and Chua Ek Kay made their way to our national galleries and won international fame. This new brood of artists are making their mark in exceptional ways with their brand of unique expression.

Hafiiz Karim: You might have seen his work in Funan. Working with ArtWallstreet – also a local enterprise – the NFT artist turned heads at the mall with his cheeky injection of renaissance figures in distinctly Singaporean settings. A distinguished lady meets an auntie by a HDB corridor. Another is masked up and greets commuters as a bus driver. The visionary designer is pioneering a new course for digital art that’s rich with humour.

Tiffany Loy: A graduate of London’s Royal College of Art, she embarked on this medium after completing textile weaving at Kawashima Textile School in Kyoto. Her fantastical works have been featured with partners like The Rug Makers, Uniqlo and Alma Leather, and the award-winning artist has even conducted workshops at Bernina.

Sarah Choo Jing: There are plenty of photographers in Singapore but no one that presents urban life in Singapore like Sarah. Her unique lens shares a narrative through careful orchestration of subjects and their environment, made even more evocative through surreal colouring and lighting, such as Not From Here which paints a vignette at Lau Pat Sat. Having garnered awards at 2016 PX3 Prix de la Photographie Gold Award and the 2015 Moscow International Foto Awards, the multidisciplinary artist has shown at many venues internationally, and at events like Singapore Art Festival 2022.

For the latest updates on HomeTeamNS promotions and events, visit our website and Facebook page.

Categories
Lifestyle On The Edge

Here’s why it pays to plan early for your next holiday

With demand – and therefore prices – for tickets surging and extended passport processing times, here’s why your holiday preparations should begin now. HomeTeamNS is offering a colourful range of  promotions to keep your holidays fuss-free!

TEXT: MELODY TAN

PHOTOS: SHUTTERSTOCK, THE BOATHOUSE PHUKET

If your holidays in the last few years were spent on staycations (or just staying at home), it might be time to dust off your luggage and head to the money changer.

As the world settles into the endemic phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, more people are hitting the road. A recent survey found that in the next 12 months, eight in 10 Singaporeans intended to travel for leisure, with most of them heading to Japan, Malaysia and Thailand. 

So if you want to put your passport to work during the end-of-year holidays, it’s best to plan ahead – so that you can spend your vacation relaxing (and eating, and shopping, and exploring).

CHECK THAT PASSPORT

After all that anticipation, you definitely don’t want to get to Changi Airport only to realise that your passport has less than six months’ validity.

In August, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) reminded Singaporeans who want to travel during the December school break to submit their passport applications as soon as possible, to ensure they get their passports renewed on time.

To save hassle, submit your passport applications online via the ICA website or MyICA mobile app, and collect your renewed passport from one of the 29 designated post offices. When taking your photograph, don’t forget to refer to ICA’s photo guidelines. A photo that needs to be resubmitted can delay your entire passport renewal timeline.

DON’T SKIMP ON TRAVEL INSURANCE

Due to the combination of pent-up travel demand and lack of manpower, airports around the world are experiencing higher rates of flight cancellations and delays compared to pre-pandemic days. Buying travel insurance will ensure that even if your holiday gets off to an unexpectedly late start, at least you get back some cash in return for the trouble. Most travel insurance policies cover delays starting from the six-hour mark.

Tip: Make sure to read the terms and conditions of a travel insurance policy before you buy it – some policies exclude flight delays caused by operational issues, for example, so it’s best to check before purchasing.

HomeTeamNS members enjoy a 20 per cent discount off Singlife Travel Insurance (Single Trip), with an additional 30 per cent discount for MHA Group Insurance members. All you have to do is download the HomeTeamNS Mobile App to retrieve the promo code and enjoy this perk. This discount is applicable for a single trip travel insurance only, and is valid till 31 July 2023. 

HAVE A PLAN B

The days of playing it by ear are sadly, not yet back. Due to the pandemic, tourist attractions and services globally have been affected by shortages in resources and manpower – meaning that your travel experience might be affected by circumstances outside your control. Hotels may struggle to prepare rooms in time for check-in and restaurants might be slow to prepare and serve food.

There have also been numerous closures of beloved tourist institutions. For example, the Ferris wheel in Tokyo’s Odaiba waterfront has shut down. Iconic restaurants, bookstores and theatres have all not been spared.

In addition, airline ticket prices have gone up by an estimated 25 per cent due to a variety of factors. You might find that your dream destination is no longer as affordable as before.

To avoid frustration (and disappointment) on your holiday, keep an open mind and have a Plan B ready. Plan your first choice of destination, accommodation or attraction, but research what’s nearby as well, just in case your original plans fall through.

KEEP YOUR HOLIDAY FUSS-FREE, FOR MORE FUN

Don’t want the hassle of planning and packing for a two-week itinerary? For a truly relaxed holiday option, consider a nearby getaway in Malaysia, Indonesia or Thailand.

Located in the heart of the city, Concorde Hotel Kuala Lumpur is offering HomeTeamNS members promotional room rates that start from RM250. The package includes breakfast for two persons and WiFi access.

If you enjoy driving, take an easy three-hour road trip to nearby UNESCO World Heritage Site, Melaka. Hotel Casa del Rio, which means ‘Home by the River’ in Spanish, is located in the historic town centre for convenient access to Melaka’s heritage attractions and scrumptious food offerings. HomeTeamNS members enjoy an additional 5 per cent off the hotel’s best available rates and selected room packages, as well as 10 per cent off the restaurant’s à la carte menu.

Otherwise, you can live that #beachlife over at Casa del Mar Langkawi, which is set on Instagram-worthy Pantai Cenang beach. Casa del Mar, which means – you guessed it – ‘Home by the Sea’, is a Mediterranean-style resort only 10 minutes away from Langkawi Airport, so you can start your vacation ASAP. When the sun goes down, don’t forget to check out the array of restaurants and the night market located nearby. For stays between 1 November to 15 December 2022, HomeTeamNS members enjoy 10 per cent off the best available rates.

Overlooking Kuta Beach, The Boathouse Phuket is offering HomeTeamNS members 10 per cent off the best available room rates, till 23 December 2022.

For luxe living by the sea, The Residence Bintan is offering HomeTeamNS members 15 per cent off room rates with complimentary ferry to resort land transfers from Sundays to Thursday (excluding public holidays) and 10 per cent off recreational activities.

If you’re itching to go further afield, there’s always Hard Rock Hotel Bali in the beating heart of Kuta, which is synonymous in Bali with shopping, eating and entertainment. Check out the exclusive room rates for HomeTeamNS members ranging between IDR 1,225,000 per night for a Deluxe Room to IDR 1,475,000 per night for a Deluxe Premium Room. Great accommodation deals also await HomeTeamNS members heading to Hard Rock Hotel Penang and Hard Rock Hotel Pattaya.

With a little bit of preparation, you can ensure that your year-end holiday is lots of fun – and has none of the fuss.

For the latest updates on HomeTeamNS promotions and events, visit our website and Facebook page.

Categories
Lifestyle

5 reasons to make Bedok Reservoir your new hang out spot

Bedok Reservoir has lots to offer, whether you live in the east, west or somewhere in between.

TEXT: MELODY TAN

PHOTOS: SHUTTERSTOCK, SUM DIM SUM

Playing tourist in Singapore doesn’t have to mean going out to Sentosa or wandering around the Orchard Road mall strip. The suburbs can be a great way to spend the weekend, if you’re willing to explore off the beaten path.

One up-and-coming destination in the East is Bedok Reservoir and its surrounding estates, which are home to hidden gems like an inline skating venue and indie cafes serving up quirky fare like charcoal waffles with ice cream and salted egg sauce.

And if you’re enjoying yourself too much to go home, visit HomeTeamNS Bedok Reservoir’s soon-to-be-launched East Villa for a weekend staycation surrounded by greenery, water and nature. As you admire the view, you’ll find yourself agreeing that the East side might just indeed be the best side.

REASON #1: CAFES TO SUIT EVERY TASTE

Why cafe-hop in town when the area around Bedok Reservoir is home to a wide variety of chill-out spots? It has something for everyone, from those who crave something wildly different (youtiao and soymilk ice cream from FATCAT Ice Cream Bar, anyone?) to Refuel Café. Located a short trot away from Bedok Reservoir itself, diners can swing by for brunch after jogging, cycling along the reservoir park, or take a leisurely stroll after dinner to watch the sunset.

The HomeTeamNS Bedok Reservoir Clubhouse will also be home to some notable eateries, that will have you calling your buddies to hang out, or even have a hearty feast with your family. 

If you’re looking to unwind after a long day of work, Georges Bar would be the place you want to be. Soak in the Balinese concept bistro, as it offers a decent variety of homemade snacks and Western grill as well as a wide range of international alcoholic beverages.

For a stuffing meal, families and friends can dine at Sri Bistari, a halal eatery that’s made a name for itself with its famed Nasi Ayam Penyet. Other offerings include Western and barbecued dishes. 

Sum Dim Sum will also be opening a new outlet at the waterfront-facing clubhouse that will continue to serve handmade dim sum delights.

REASON #2: TAKE GAMING TO NEW, AUGMENTED HEIGHTS

Craving a new spot to play with your friends and family? Anticipate the arrival of Action Motion, a digital active experience arena that will soon be open at the HomeTeamNS Bedok Reservoir Clubhouse.

The facility will feature Digital Active Experiences such as an Augmented-Reality (AR) Bouldering Wall, an AR Trampoline Game as well as a Multi-Level Obstacle Course, Climbing Walls and Net Maze fitted with a gamifier system.

The gamifier system records participants’ timing and activity scores and displays them on a leaderboard in the Arena offering an enhanced, interactive experience.

REASON #3: HIT THE BOOKS

After all that eating and adventuring, it’s time to slow things down a little. What about paying a visit to Bedok Public Library?

While you might have fond memories (or not) of studying for exams at your local National Library Board (NLB) branch, the two-storey Bedok Public Library will change your mind about libraries in general with its fun, design-oriented approach to reading.

Created with a soothing natural vibe in mind, the library has Instagram-worthy reading corners filled with plush benches and organic curves, a Story Circle in the children’s area for performances and activities, and senior-friendly features such as electronic magnifiers and keyboards with large alphabets – making it perfect for a multigenerational family outing.

Fun fact: Bedok Public Library is home to an especially large curated collection of Malay titles, as well as books on topics like Malay culture and architecture in languages other than Malay – so that everyone can learn more about Bedok’s rich history and heritage.

REASON #4: TAKE A DIP AND A RIDE

The highly anticipated HomeTeamNS Bedok Reservoir clubhouse is scheduled to open from December 2022 – and one of the most exciting features to look forward to is the clubhouse’s Indoor Water Adventure Centre, Aqua Adventure.

As befits a waterfront-themed clubhouse, Aqua Adventure consists of two levels of wet and wild fun. The first and largest indoor water adventure facility in Singapore will showcase the longest indoor water slide, a laze pool and Urban Climbing Walls for those who can’t decide whether to climb, or chill.

Have your kids’ birthday party there or throw a pool party that your entire graduating class will remember. The best part? It’s all indoors – so rain or shine, your day out in the water won’t be affected.

REASON #5: ENJOY WATERFRONT LIVING

You can sip your coffee while basking in the greenery and serenity of Bedok Reservoir, all from the comfort of the upcoming HomeTeamNS Bedok Reservoir’s East Villa.

A relaxing getaway from the stress of daily life, the villas are perched on a hill slope with the Premier and Deluxe Waterfront Villas overlooking the gently lapping waters of the reservoir. Unwind solo with a book on the breezy roof balcony or get the family together for an evening of barbecue grilling and chilling in the villa’s ample outdoor space.

With so many things to explore in and around Bedok Reservoir, one night at the Waterfront Villas will soon stretch into two – and you’ll want to come back for more. 

For the latest updates on HomeTeamNS Bedok Reservoir, visit our website or follow us on the official HomeTeamNS and Bedok Reservoir clubhouse Facebook pages.

Categories
Lifestyle Uncategorized

Fun ways to celebrate Deepavali

This Deepavali, brighten up your household with these joyful activities for the Festival of Lights.

TEXT: MELODY TAN

PHOTOS: SHUTTERSTOCK

Despite the grey, drizzly monsoon season, there’s something bright to look forward to – Deepavali, which takes place on 24 Oct this year.

Known as the Festival of Lights, Deepavali comes from an ancient Sanskrit word meaning “a row of lights”. The holiday marks the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness, and is celebrated with gatherings of family and friends, colourful decorations and a smorgasbord of food and sweets. 

Here are some activities to make this Deepavali special, whether you’re celebrating it with loved ones or just looking to add a little light into your life. 

SWEETEN THINGS UP IN THE KITCHEN

When visitors come by at Deepavali, it’s traditional to welcome them with sweets that are often made with milk, nuts, spices and jaggery (unrefined sugar). You could visit Little India to buy mithai – the Hindi word for sweets – and arrange the different varieties on a platter to serve up.

To really impress your guests, though, why not make your own? For an easy recipe that kids can help with, try making peda, a type of sweet milk fudge comprising only four ingredients: milk, milk powder, sugar and ghee. Finish off each peda ball with a decorative slice of chopped pistachio, edible silver leaf or a piece of dried fruit.

DIY YOUR OWN DECORATIONS

In the spirit of sustainability, you can look around for recyclable materials to make colourful and festive Deepavali decorations.

Get the kids to paint used cardboard and cut it into shapes like flowers, leaves and peacock feather motifs, then punch holes and make a garland using string or ribbon. Add sparkle with glitter or sequins left over from other art projects. Hang your finished garland on a door, or wall.

Got a bag of expired flour? Don’t throw it away. This recipe shows you how to use flour and water to make an oil lamp known as a diya. Once baked and painted, you can pour oil into them and add a cotton wick. Presto, a little light for Deepavali!

If you’d rather not get messy at home, head on down to HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok with the little ones for a Sand Art Rangoli activity on 22 and 23 Oct 2022, from 11am to 5pm. Also known as kolam in Tamil, the kid-friendly activity sees participants creating beautiful and traditional floor decorations with coloured sand. Rangoli kits are limited to two per member, and slots are reserved for the first 250 HomeTeamNS members daily.

VISIT THE INDIAN HERITAGE CENTRE

The Indian Heritage Centre is hosting its annual Deepavali Open House, an extravaganza of events, workshops, performances and more, till 23 Oct.

Take part in a Mandala dot painting workshop, watch a Deepavali cooking demonstration (yes, food samples are provided), enjoy an interactive storytelling session and even come together to create a community LEGO mural based on a classic kolam (a floor drawing made from coloured flour) design. On weekends, admission is free.

For the latest updates on HomeTeamNS promotions and events, visit our website and Facebook page.

Categories
Lifestyle

HomeTeamNS-inspired walking trails in Singapore

Explore the great outdoors – and learn more about Singapore’s rich heritage, with these walking trails that bring you to Home Team landmarks of the past and present.

TEXT: MELODY TAN

PHOTOS: HOMETEAMNS, SPF & SCDF

From HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok to the upcoming clubhouse at Bedok Reservoir, the HomeTeamNS clubhouses are full of exciting attractions, shops, eateries and facilities. But if you’re itching to experience the great outdoors – and the same old parks and cycling routes are getting a little stale – why not try a walking trail with a HomeTeamNS-inspired twist?

Completed in 1909, the Central Fire Station, also known as the Hill Street Fire Station, is Singapore’s oldest surviving fire station.

As you explore Singapore on foot, you’ll get to enjoy scenic nature and the bustling urban landscape, plus learn more about Home Team history as you pass landmarks like the former Hill Street Fire Station and the Old Police Academy at Mount Pleasant.

Best of all, you’ll start at HomeTeamNS clubhouses – the perfect places to fuel up before embarking on a trail. (Don’t forget to bring your umbrella and a water bottle!) These trails range from easy 2km walks to more challenging routes of up to 11.7km, so you can choose to bring along the kids, gather your buddies or simply go solo on your own HomeTeamNS walking adventure in Singapore.

THE CENTRAL ROUTE: HOMETEAMNS BALESTIER-JOM

HomeTeamNS-JOM Balestier clubhouse
Old Police Academy
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Easy version: 2km (30 minutes)

Medium challenge: 6km (1.5 hours)

Your walking trail starts here at HomeTeamNS-JOM Balestier (31 Ah Hood Road), where you’ll make your way down the same road and stroll through the pleasant green patch of Zhongshan Park to enter the busy stretch of Balestier Road.

Turn right and head west past Balestier’s famous array of eateries and shops until you reach the junction. Cross over to the other side of Thomson Road or continue walking north until you see a traffic crossing (the area is currently affected by construction for the North-South Corridor, so crossings may be rerouted).

Head north on Thomson Road before turning left onto Mount Pleasant Road, where you’ll pass by the grounds of the Old Police Academy. Dating back to 1931, the Senior Police Officers’ Mess (153 Mount Pleasant Road) is still in operation as a social club, so be sure to keep an eye out for the imposing building constructed in the Tudor Revival style. At this point, you’ll have walked an easy distance of about 2km (around 30 minutes).

For a longer, more challenging 6km loop (1.5 hours), continue down Mount Pleasant Road – while admiring the serene greenery dotted with black and white bungalows once home to senior colonial police officers – before turning right onto Gymkhana Avenue and then right again onto Jalan Mashhor. Following the road will take you back onto Thomson Road, from which you can retrace your steps to the HomeTeamNS Balestier-JOM clubhouse (and indulge in a well-deserved cold drink).

THE WESTERN ROUTE: HOMETEAMNS BUKIT BATOK

HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok clubhouse
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Easy version: 1.4km (20 minutes)

Easy-medium challenge: 4.3km (one hour)

For a child-friendly route that stretches through a 1.4km-long trail (20 minutes) from HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok (2 Bukit Batok West Avenue 7), cross Brickland Road towards the HDB blocks of Bukit Batok West. Follow the pedestrian path leading into Bukit Gombak Park, which will take you into the landed enclave of Pavilion Park.

Continue left and westward along the outermost road of Pavilion Circle, exiting on Bukit Batok Road. Turn right and walk on until you reach the Bukit Batok Fire Station (80 Bukit Batok Road), which is also the headquarters for the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF)’s 4th Division. Bukit Batok Fire Station, which replaces the former Bukit Timah Fire Station, has been in operation since 1956.

If your walking companions are up for a longer trek of 4.3km (around an hour), turn north all the way up Brickland Road, passing underneath the Kranji Expressway. Turn left onto the Old Choa Chu Kang Road and walk past the farms and nurseries in the area.

Once past the Chinese Cemetery, you’ll see Home Team Academy (501 Old Choa Chu Kang Road) on your left. The Academy is also where you’ll find the Home Team Gallery, where you can learn more about the Home Team’s role in major events such as the Nicoll Highway and Hotel New World disasters and Operation Ferret, a successful large-scale joint operation that severely reduced the supply of heroin in Singapore in 1977, marking a turning point in Singapore’s fight against drugs.

THE NORTHERN ROUTE: HOMETEAMNS KHATIB

HomeTeamNS Khatib clubhouse
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(Very) easy route: 600m

Medium challenge: 6km (1.5 hours)

With HomeTeamNS Khatib’s (2 Yishun Walk) idyllic location amidst the greenery of Yishun Park, you won’t be hard pressed to find a pleasant walking route around the ORTO hub just next door, or across both Yishun Avenue 2 and 1 to reach the lush environs of Lower Seletar Reservoir Park about 600m away.

But to see a piece of Home Team history, you’ll have to go further – 6km (1.5 hours), to be precise. From HomeTeamNS Khatib, turn left and go up north Yishun Avenue 2, turning left again onto Yishun Ring Road. At the junction, turn left onto Yishun Avenue 3. At the next junction, you’ll turn right onto Sembawang Road – towards the famous Chong Pang Nasi Lemak – and continue up north, past Sembawang Shopping Centre. Continue straight when you reach another junction, this time onto Canberra Road.

At the final junction of Canberra Road and Admiralty Road West, cross straight over to North Road, where you’ll find the former Sembawang Fire Station (68 Scharff Road) which dates back to the 1930s. Located now in Sembawang Shipyard, the art-deco style Fire Station was once part of the colonial-era Sembawang Naval Base, survived the Japanese Occupation and was awarded conservation status in 2007.

THE EASTERN ROUTE: HOMETEAMNS BEDOK RESERVOIR

HomeTeamNS Bedok Reservoir clubhouse
Paya Lebar Fire Station
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Medium challenge: 4.2km (one hour)

Tough challenge: 11.7km (three hours)

When HomeTeamNS Bedok Reservoir opens later this year at 900 Bedok North Road, be sure to check out its waterfront view of Bedok Reservoir, complete with waterfront villas for a memorable family staycation. But if you prefer walking to watersports, try this trail which will bring you past not one, but two Home Team landmarks.

From HomeTeamNS Bedok Reservoir, turn south onto Bedok North Road and then right at the junction onto Bedok Reservoir Road. Continue straight onto Kaki Bukit Avenue 1. At the junction, cross towards Ubi Avenue 2 but continue north-west on Eunos Link. Turn left onto Ubi Avenue 3, then turn right onto Ubi Road 2. Finally, turn left into Ubi Avenue 4 and you’ll see the SCDF HQ and Paya Lebar Fire Station (91 Ubi Avenue 4). Built in 2002, the modern HQ was a personally-overseen project of retired SCDF Commissioner James Tan, who realised that a replacement for the original headquarters at Bendemeer Camp was urgently needed (after all, Bendemeer had been in operation since 1951).

Continue down Ubi Avenue 4 and turn left onto Ubi Road 1, then right onto Ubi Avenue 3. The medium-difficulty hour-long 4.2km-long trail ends here, at the Traffic Police HQ (10 Ubi Avenue 3) where in 1999 the Traffic Police moved their headquarters from the neo-classical building at 28 Maxwell Road, which is today’s Maxwell Chambers Suites.

To enjoy the contrast between old and new, seasoned trekkers can take up the challenge of walking an additional 7.5km (slightly less than two hours) to reach Central Fire Station and the old Hill Street Police Station at 62 and 140 Hill Street respectively. (Of course, you can reach both landmarks more easily from HomeTeamNS-JOM Balestier, but where’s the fun in that?)

From the Traffic Police HQ, exit onto Paya Lebar Road and continue south, turning left onto Circuit Link and left again onto Circuit Road. Cut through the HDB estate and follow the canal south, using the Pelton Canal park connector, before turning left onto Aljunied Road. Turn right onto Sims Avenue, cross the Kallang River over to Kallang Road and cross over to Victoria Street.

At the traffic light, cross to Hill Street. You’ve made it! Be sure to take a selfie with the iconic red-brick façade of Central Fire Station, as well as the rainbow array of window frames at the old Hill Street Police Station (now the Ministry of Communications and Information). After all, having walked 11.7km (three hours) from HomeTeamNS Bedok Reservoir, you’ve come a very long way – just like the Home Team itself.

55 JALAN HOMETEAMNS

As part of NS55, HomeTeamNS is celebrating all generations of our National Servicemen (NSmen) by learning more about them and their National Service (NS) journey all these years through the 55 Jalan HomeTeamNS Trail!

Between 14 September to 31 October 2022, venture across four of our clubhouses at Balestier, Bedok Reservoir, Bukit Batok and Khatiband learn facts about NS through interactive trail markers. On top of that, stand to win any of our five grand prizes worth a total of more than $2200! From a two-day, one-night staycation at HomeTeamNS Bedok Reservoir Villas to a Prism+ X340 Pro 165HZ (34-inch Monitor), don’t miss out on these stunning prizes! The trail is open to both HomeTeamNS members and public.

Please visit our website to find out how to participate in our 55 Jalan HomeTeamNS Trail.

Categories
Lifestyle

The five best spots to catch the National Day Parade fireworks

If you’re an avid fan of pyrotechnics displays, here’s a handy guide to the five best spots to catch the National Day fireworks.

TEXT: MELODY TAN

PHOTOS: SHUTTERSTOCK

Whether you’re five or 95, fireworks are always a special sight. For many Singaporeans, they’re also a much-anticipated highlight of the National Day Parade (NDP) every August 9th. This year’s celebration is extra-special, as it marks our return to regular NDP programming since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you’re planning to catch the fireworks live this year but missed out on parade tickets – and don’t feel like forking out on a five-star hotel room with a view – check out our list of the five best spots to watch the annual spectacle in the sky.

BAY EAST GARDEN AT GARDENS BY THE BAY

The quieter end of Gardens by the Bay has become a bit of an open secret among National Day fireworks enthusiasts. Popular with joggers and cyclists during the rest of the year, Bay East Garden becomes alive with families and children on August 9.

With sprawling green lawns looking out on Marina Bay, you’ll want to bring along a picnic mat and some provisions while waiting for dusk to fall and the fireworks show to begin. Bonus: you can park conveniently at the Bay East Garden Carpark and take a leisurely stroll to the waterfront area.

Gardens by the Bay East will also host HomeTeamNS members to a National Day Picnic by the Bay, at the Promenade Lawn, on Aug 9 from 5pm to 9pm.

Priced at S$15 per person for admission, members can take in the spectacular live fireworks up close at Marina Bay and watch a livestream of the National Day Parade on a big screen. Registered guests can enjoy exciting games, free gifts and snacks (for all registered guests).

JUBILEE BRIDGE

There are four bridges to the left and right of The Float @ Marina Bay, but only two are reserved solely for pedestrians. Nevertheless, they’re all popular venues for fireworks-watchers, so be sure to get there early to ‘chope’ your spot.

While the Helix Bridge is closer to The Float @ Marina Bay, its twinkling array of DNA-inspired lights can be distracting – especially if you’re peering through them. For a barrier-free, pedestrian-only area with ample space for large groups, the Jubilee Bridge across the river can’t be beat. Not to mention, its design was inspired by the water spray of the Merlion – a fitting symbol for an event in celebration of Singapore.

MARINA BAY CRUISE CENTRE CARPARK

For those who drive and have family members who can’t walk too far (or don’t want to jostle with crowds), here’s a little hack: go up to the third storey of the carpark at Marina Bay Cruise Centre for a view of the fireworks over the downtown skyline.

According to those in the know, lots 85 to 89 are where you’ll want to be. The only downsides are that you’ll have to go into the Cruise Centre itself to use the toilets, and there are no dining options – so if you tend to get peckish while waiting, remember to bring a snack and drinks.

STADIUM RIVERSIDE WALK AT SINGAPORE SPORTS HUB

If you want to watch the parade as well as the fireworks, head over to the OCBC Square and Stadium Roar at the Singapore Sports Hub for a live telecast – almost as good as being there yourself. To add to the festive atmosphere, the Sports Hub will also be handing out NDP Packs and old-fashioned local snacks on a first come, first served basis.

Once the parade is winding down, make your way to the Stadium Riverside Walk for a breezy, relaxing view of the fireworks. Talk about having the best of both worlds!

ESPLANADE ROOF TERRACE

There are plenty of fancy rooftop bars and restaurants in the vicinity of The Float @ Marina Bay, but if you’re not in the mood for cocktails (or their hefty prices) and just want a high vantage point, the Esplanade’s roof terrace will fit the bill.

While waiting for the fireworks to begin, admire the manicured landscaping and watch the sunset from the sculptural circular bench. If you change your mind and decide you want a drink, there are numerous cafés just a level or two below. But don’t stay away too long – you’ll want to be in prime position when the fireworks go off! 

There’s so much more in store for you this National Day. For more happenings with HomeTeamNS, check out our website.

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Lifestyle

The Dad life: How to barbecue like a champion

It’s no secret that learning the ways of the barbecue is one of the keys to fully unlocking the powers of being a father. Here are some tips and tricks for a better grilling session.

TEXT: MELODY TAN

PHOTOS: SHUTTERSTOCK

It’s safe to say that while many dads are great cooks in the kitchen, far more dads fancy themselves kings of the barbecue pits. After all, many of us have memories of our dad manning the barbecue at family gatherings at chalets – and have grown up to carry on the proud tradition of serving up grilled chicken wings, hot dogs and prawns on disposable plates.

But if you aren’t quite confident of your skill with the grill – or are looking for more ways to wow your hungry audience – check out the following tips and hacks for a better barbecue.

PLAN YOUR BARBEQUE TRIP AND BOOK EARLY

If you want a getaway but don’t want to deal with passport renewal queues or increased airfares, why not book a villa at HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok? You’ll enjoy the use of a barbecue pit during your stay, with the added benefit of getting to shower and crash into a comfy bed right after your exhausting stint as chef for the evening.

For a day-only hangout, you can simply book the barbecue pits at HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok instead, or retreat to the ManCaves at HomeTeamNS Khatib where you can host family and friends in air-conditioned comfort while you whip up a feast at the outdoor barbecue patio equipped with an electric grill.

Or cool off at HomeTeamNS-JOM Balestier’s barbecue pit, which comes with five complimentary swimming pool passes when you make your booking – perfect for getting the kids out of your hair while you tend to your ribs.

Gather round your family and friends, plan out which of the HomeTeamNS Clubhouses you’d like to visit, and book your BBQ pits through our new and improved HomeTeamNS Mobile App!

PREP BEFORE YOU GO

Make a checklist of all the other things you need to bring so that you don’t forget the ice, cups, garbage bags or dipping sauces. Pro tip: bring along a meat thermometer so that you can easily check if food is cooked through. You don’t want your guests discovering that the chicken wings are still raw!

In addition, if you’re extra organised – or have a lot of food to cook and only one pit – you can consider writing out a schedule of when things should go on the grill, in order of how long they take to cook.

For example, when the fire is ready for cooking, immediately place your sweet potatoes or corn wrapped in tin foil among the ashen white coals so that they’ll be cooked through by the time the meat is done. Next, put on thicker items like ribs or chicken thighs, with delicate seafood – such as prawns or sotong – needing only a few minutes on the grill.

This reduces the stress of trying to do everything at once – and your hungry guests will appreciate the efficiency.

START YOUR FIRE RIGHT

You don’t have to throw in the entire box of fire-starters. For a budget hack to starting your grill, stack the charcoal with small, loosely crushed balls of newspaper in between, or place a small charcoal briquette into each hollow of a cut up cardboard egg carton.

Remember, you don’t need a roaring fire to cook with – the best barbecued food is cooked over the indirect heat of ashen charcoal, which is white in colour. The charcoal should pass through the first two stages of black or grey with flames, and white with red-hot interiors before reaching the optimal cooking temperature of around 175 to 190 degrees Celsius.

To cook with a variety of temperatures, divide your grill into a hot zone and cooler zone, with the hot zone having more charcoal underneath. Use it for searing foods like meat patties or lamb chops before shifting them to the cooler zone, where they can continue cooking at a lower temperature.

If you prefer a more convenient way to barbeque without starting a fire from scratch, there’s nothing stopping you from going electric! At HomeTeamNS Khatib, go through a hassle-free barbeque party as you try your hand with electric grills. Just set it at your desired temperature and get cooking!

MAKE IT FINER DINING

While grilled crabsticks and hot dogs are always fun for the kids, sometimes you want something a little more sophisticated.

Aspiring Masterchefs will want to take heed of these handy tips for upping their barbecue game. First off, think herbs. Toss in some basil or sage into the coals to create a pleasant scent that enhances the flavour of the meat. Add extra pizzazz by threading your kebabs on woody rosemary stalks (soak them first so they don’t catch fire). Before you start cooking, try wiping down the grill with half of an onion, which adds a hint of flavour while also cleaning off any old grime.

American-style smoked meats are having a moment in Singapore, but not everyone has access to a smoker – or the hours needed to ensure food is smoked to perfection. For a quick hack, buy a small bag of hickory or mesquite wood chips (available in most supermarkets under the barbecue section), soak them in water for a few hours and place in a disposable aluminium pan.

Cover with punctured tinfoil to allow the smoke to exit, before placing on top of a layer of charcoal. Lay whatever meat you want to smoke above it on the grill, and cover with a metal lid (in a pinch, you can make a DIY tent of tin foil).

While the smoky flavour won’t be as intense as if you used a proper smoker, you’ll still have wings or ribs that have an extra-special kick to them. Don’t forget to rest your meats on a plate covered with tinfoil for five minutes, to allow the juices to redistribute.

THINK OUT OF THE BOX

You can barbecue more than just meat and seafood. After all, more Singaporeans are choosing plant-based foods for both health and sustainability-related reasons.

Try grilling eggplant slices – which goes great with a yogurt dressing – as well as pineapple, watermelon, bananas, feta, paneer or halloumi cheese. Pro tip: barbecue the cheese as a block so it doesn’t dry out, then slice after it’s done.

It’s mango season now, so why not grill up mango halves? Squeeze a lime, sprinkle salt and some chili powder over for an easy Mexican-inspired dessert.

PUT THE KIDS TO WORK

Finally, every good barbecue pit master need helpers. Get the kids involved by asking them to fan the coals or arrange the disposable plates and cutlery. Older children can help by pouring drinks, dishing up desserts and even helping to turn items on the grill (under Dad’s supervision, of course).

Best of all, it’s a great way to spend time together and pass down your dad wisdom to the next generation of barbecue experts.

Categories
Lifestyle

Have passport, will travel

With international travel slowly becoming the norm again, what do you need to know before you book your ticket abroad? What happens if you fall sick overseas, or your flight is cancelled due to changing border controls?

TEXT: MELODY TAN

IMAGES: SHUTTERSTOCK

It’s time to dust off the passport, wheel out your suitcase and look for your winter jacket: overseas travel is back after two years of strict border controls, no thanks to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Air passenger traffic was up 18 per cent in April compared to a month ago, and Singapore expects it to be restored to 50 per cent of pre-COVID passenger volume by the end of 2022. In the meantime, cross-border bus and taxi services between Singapore and Johor Bahru resumed in the beginning of May, after the land border was reopened for fully vaccinated travellers in April.

Travelling in the age of COVID-19 can be intimidating and confusing, but if you take some simple precautions, you can have a relaxing, stress-free vacation overseas. Read on to find out what they are.

RENEW YOUR PASSPORTS EARLY

Revenge travel – a term for pent-up travel demand after the restrictions caused by COVID-19 – is very real. Demand is so great that the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority  announced that Singaporeans who are renewing or applying for their passports will have to wait at least six weeks – a two-week increase from April’s four week-long processing time.

If you’re planning to head overseas soon, make sure to check that everyone’s passports have at least six months until expiry. Otherwise, you might find that your trip is over before it’s even begun.

BUDGET AND PLAN ACCORDINGLY

With rising oil prices and the challenges faced by the airline industry during the pandemic, it’s no surprise that growing demand for plane tickets has been met with higher prices.

If you’re planning a trip, it’s best to start early and keep an eye out for promotional deals, non-peak flight dates and alternative airlines. To save money, you might need to be a little bit more flexible with your dream itinerary – for example, by flying with a budget airline or even choosing a different destination.

You could also consider visiting places that can be reached by land or sea. Instead of heading to Bali, consider spending a long weekend at a Bintan villa in Indonesia. If you’re trying to beat the heat, consider driving to Genting or Cameron Highlands in Malaysia.

BUY TRAVEL INSURANCE WITH COVID-19 COVERAGE

What happens if you catch COVID-19 during your vacation? Or worse, just before your flight is due to depart Singapore? While travel insurance has been a standard purchase for many vacationing Singaporeans, it’s now more important than ever.

Look for a travel insurance policy that covers COVID-19-related expenses, such as clinic fees and hospitalisation overseas, as well as flight cancellations, delays and extra accommodation costs if you are quarantined or unable to board your flight. It might cost you a bit more than a standard travel insurance, but it’s worth the peace of mind.

PACK YOUR OWN SUPPLIES

Even if the country you’re travelling to has lifted their mask mandate, you should still bring along your masks just in case. After all, while planes have air exchange systems that can filter the COVID-19 virus, other forms of transportation, such as trains and buses, do not. You might want to wear your mask while on the airport shuttle to your hotel, or in crowded places.

In addition, bring along a few Antigen Rapid Test (ART) kits and a thermometer. If you start to feel feverish or unwell during your travels, you can test yourself in your hotel room instead of having to Google for nearby clinics (and you might find it difficult to locate an English-speaking doctor, if you are travelling to non-native English speaking countries). Knowing if you really did catch COVID-19 will help you to figure out your next step. Do read up on the COVID-19 protocols of the country you are in, to find out how long you will be required to isolate, or whether you need to undergo a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test.

PREPARE YOUR DOCUMENTS

When travelling, the immigration authorities will want to see your notarised vaccination records, so make sure to download them from HealthHub and save them in your phone. If you’re travelling with your spouse and children, save copies of everyone’s vaccination records. Consider printing them out in case you lose your device or run out of battery.

Do check if your destination requires any contact tracing or health app, such as Malaysia’s MySejahtera app or Indonesia’s PeduliLindungi. You’ll probably have to fill in a health declaration form, such as Australia’s Digital Passenger Declaration, before departure. This can be done online or via the identically-named app seven days before your flight. Sorting all this before you leave can save you a lot of time at the airport – leaving you free to enjoy your first international trip since the pandemic. Happy travels!

Categories
Lifestyle

New thrills and great deals for the whole family

From craft and music sessions with your child, to delectable dining treats and new adventures at sea, plenty of exciting new opportunities await HomeTeamNS members.

TEXT AND PHOTOS: HOMETEAMNS

Here at HomeTeamNS, we aim to foster camaraderie and a sense of community among members and the Home Team NSmen community.

Beyond that, it’s also host to great deals that offer opportunities for you and your loved ones to bond and enjoy new experiences. Don’t miss these great deals at HomeTeamNS clubhouses and with our merchant partners.

HOMETEAMNS-JOM BALESTIER CLUBHOUSE

If you’re looking to bond with your little ones, the clubhouse has some interesting options for family fun. To redeem these promotions, simply just flash your HomeTeamNS Digital Membership Card found in the HomeTeamNS Mobile App.

Parent-accompanied junior group class for toddlers at Nozumi Musictopia

Introduce your toddler to the joys of music and freedom of movement at this parent-accompanied Junior Group Class for toddlers (aged 12-14 months).

The first 10 signups get a free goody bag worth S$50 (terms and conditions apply). All signups enjoy a 15-per-cent discount during the promotion period (May and June 2022). Thereafter, HomeTeamNS members get a 15-per-cent discount and SAFRA members enjoy a 10-per-cent discount.

Parent-child Craft Out at SmartArtz Studio

If you’re looking to up your craft game, SmartArtz Studio has an introductory offer for first-timers. HomeTeamNS members pay S$32 per child or S$42 per parent and child pair for a Craft Out session. Non-members pay S$35 per child or S$42 per parent and child pair.

To redeem, flash this promo and present your HomeTeamNS Digital Membership Card when you sign up via WhatsApp to SmartArtz Studio. Children must be between the ages of three and 12 and the promotion is valid till the end of April.

Parent-child Bake Out at Genius R Us

What better way to bond than by baking a delectable treat with your loved ones? Genius R Us has an introductory offer for first-timers. HomeTeamNS members pay S$35 per child or S$50 per parent and child pair. Non-members pay S$38 per child or S$53 per parent and child pair. 

To redeem, flash this promo and present your HomeTeamNS Digital Membership Card when you sign up via WhatsApp to Genius R Us. Children must be between the ages of three and 12 and the promotion is valid till the end of April.

HOMETEAMNS KHATIB CLUBHOUSE

Looking for some great dining deals or an enriching learning space for your child at HomeTeamNS Khatib? Simply flash your HomeTeamNS Digital Membership Card available in the HomeTeamNS Mobile App to redeem these offers.

Orchid Live Seafood

This eatery serves fresh seafood delights including garlic steamed bamboo clams, southern Australian lobsters and braised live South African abalone. HomeTeamNS members enjoy 10-per-cent off their total bill.

Fuji Izakaya Bar

Tuck into a variety of mouth-watering Japanese treats from this eatery’s extensive menu. Options include seafood, grills, ramen and rice bowls. HomeTeamNS members enjoy 10-per-cent off their total bill.

Safari House Pre-school

This pre-school offers progressive learning programmes that help and encourage your child to explore the world around them, while their sense of curiosity is nurtured. HomeTeamNS members enjoy 20% discount off enrichment classes for enrolled childcare students. 

ISLANDWIDE MEMBERS’ DEALS

Still craving for more deals and treats? There’s more in store for you, from sporty apparels to a sailing adventure! Check out the following exclusive membership deals and promo codes on our new and improved HomeTeamNS Mobile App.

Foodpanda

Known for delivering the food and groceries you love across Singapore, Foodpanda is offering new customers an S$8 discount off S$15 from their first order. This promotion is valid till 30 June 2022.

New and existing customers also get to enjoy S$2 off a S$30 purchase in April and get an additional discount if you opt to pick up your own order. This offer is valid till 30 April 2022.

Getgo

Looking to rent a set of wheels? Carsharing service, Getgo, has over 1,100 locations across Singapore. HomeTeamNS members can enjoy 50-per-cent off their first drive. This offer is capped at S$10 and limited to the first 5,000 redemptions. This promotion is valid till August 2022. 

Discover Sailing Asia

Get a taste for nautical adventures by paying just S$45 for a two-hour sailing teaser session. Book your slots by 31 May to enjoy sailing until 11 September 2022. 

Kydra

Need a new set of workout fits for your sporty needs? This activewear brand sells a wide variety of women’s and men’s clothing, and is offering members a 15-per-cent discount off all items listed here. The promotion is valid till 30 April 2022.

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

Categories
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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