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Forget Christmas gifts?! Give eco-friendly experiences instead!

Looking to buy gifts for a loved one but don’t want to fall into the trap of consumerism? Whether you’re celebrating Christmas or not, we have compiled a list of 12 experiences and causes to enjoy and support this season that supports local sustainable businesses and rally your nearest and dearest for a good cause.


1. Prepare a home-cooked Xmas meal with TreeDots

Photo : @thetreedots on Instagram


TreeDots is a social enterprise on a mission to tackle food and packaging waste. With their online platform, tonnes of food that are nearing the expiry date or slightly blemished are saved from being thrown away. There are amazing deals and each day new products are listed. Prepare your Christmas homecooked meal for your family with ingredients from them and save your money and the environment at the same time!


2. Bollywood Veggies

Photo: Bollywood Veggies


Enjoy a lovely meal of farm-to-table food at the Poison Ivy Bistro at Bollywood Veggies! Here is a sample of the food you can expect, depending on the seasons:


Discover how a retired couple started their own farm in the rustic environment northwest of Kranji Countryside. Purchase chemical-free bananas, papayas, kedondong, edible leaves and flowers, and other seasonal produce at their Earth Shop.


3. Join Pasir Ris Green Volunteers

Photo: The Green Volunteers on Facebook


Spend this season with your loved ones gardening with The Green Volunteers! Founded by Grant Pereira in 1997, its goal is to increase public participation in environmental protection by providing a range of hands-on activities and programmes to turn awareness into action. Get ready to create a special soil blend, plant fruit and mangrove trees and learn more about plants from Grant.


4. Drop off a Gift Wrapped Present for our Migrant Worker Community

Photo: Itsrainingraincoats


Itsrainingraincoats is a simple initiative to spread kindness to migrant workers in Singapore. This Christmas, they are asking Singaporeans to provide small tokens of appreciation to our migrant workers in the form of gift-wrapped presents. Given the challenges the migrant worker community has faced this year, there is an even bigger need to make it special for them!


Some gift ideas they suggested are: Towels, Power Banks, Headphones, Water Kettles, Top-up Data Cards, Tiger Balm, Toiletries (Soap, Shampoo), Umbrellas, Raincoats, Sunglasses, Caps, Backpacks, Waterbottles, TShirts, Dental Kits, Slippers and Gift Vouchers (NTUC Fairprice, Mustafa or Sheng Siong)


They are accepting gifts until 30 December. You can even choose to sponsor some Christmas treats for them, be a Christmas Santa by driving over the gifts to the workers or donate to their Ray of Hope campaign. More information found here.


5. Show your support for Mental Health Discussions at ThisConnect: Threading Worlds exhibition

Photo: Arts Republic


ThisConnect is a platform to raise awareness and spark more conscious and forwarding dialogues on mental health and emotional wellness through art.


Through the documentation of performative, instructional and participatory art, the artists and participants individually and collectively came together to share, discuss, feel and heal. It was through a group effort that safe spaces were created for them to look inwards into their selves, where they could confront their personal truths and difficult emotions.


Enjoy a day out and start some meaningful conversations with your loved ones at their exhibition “Threading Words” running at 1 Neil Road from now until 30 January 2021.


6. Experience Earth Alive @ The Science Centre

Photo: Science Centre Singapore


Bring your kids or loved ones for a fun day out at The Science Centre where you get to learn about all things earth sciences through interactive, engaging displays.


“The exhibits are organised into spheres that reflect Earth sciences and systems – Geosphere, Hydrosphere and Atmosphere. Each of these spheres looks at how Earth changes can manifest in the environment, causing phenomena such as earthquakes, tsunamis, mountain-building and rock strata, and volcanic eruptions. A fourth section, the Human Sphere, places people into the picture to highlight how Earth changes impact our lives in critical ways and how we can affect the Earth and respond to such changes.”


How cool is that? Book your tickets now!

7. Adopt a pet with your loved one

Photo: Singapore OFW


If you are fully prepared to do so, what better way to spread some holiday cheer than to give a furry creature a home? You can even donate to an animal shelter in your loved one’s name if they are an advocate of animal welfare.


Some animal shelters you can check out are Keepcats, SPCA, Love Kuching Project, Action for Singapore Dogs, Animal Lovers League, Mutts ‘n’ Mittens, Causes for Animals Singapore, Cat Welfare Society or House Rabbit Society Singapore.


8. Coast-to-Coast (C2C) Trail

Photo: Desmond Foo Straits Times


Work off those Christmas calories with friends and family as you trudge a 36km hike that spans across Singapore’s nature parks. The trail starts off with Jurong Lake Gardens in the West, moving to the new Lornie Nature Corridor near the centre and ending with the Coney Island Park in the northeast.

Even more exciting is the new AR-enabled C2C Mobile App that provides an interactive walking experience specially curated to help you learn about our native biodiversity along the way. Check out the NParks website for more details.


9. Chek Jawa Wetlands Tour

Photo: visitsingapore


Bored of going to Changi beach for intertidal walks? Join NParks and experience something new with their guided tours at Chek Jawa Wetlands. Located at the eastern end of Pulau Ubin, Chek Jawa is a unique natural area where six different types of ecosystems exist together!

Bookings for January and February tours in 2021 are now open. Check out the NParks website for more details.


10. Trees of the World 2020

Photo: giving.sg


Trees of the World is a light-up display of trees from Nassim gate to Tanglin gate at Singapore Botanic Gardens. Donated and decorated by individuals, corporations and embassies, each tree is unique as schools, hospitals and non-profit organisations adorned each tree with a special message of hope and inspiration.


Enjoy a romantic stroll through the garden from 7 pm to midnight daily and consider making a donation for your special someone. All funds raised go towards the Singapore Botanic Gardens’ Give to the Gardens programme that supports research, conservation, education and outreach projects in the Gardens.


11. St. Johns / Lazarus Island

Photo: St. John's Island National Marine Lab Facebook


Are Sentosa Beaches getting too crowded? Escape from the crowded city beaches and enjoy a day away from the hustle and bustle at St. Johns and Lazarus Island. Both islands are connected by a boardwalk and are only a 30-minute ferry ride away from Marina South Pier!


You can even learn about our marine life and the exciting ongoing research at the Public Gallery in the Marine Park Outreach and Education Centre on St. John’s Island.


12. Coney Island Park

Photo: NParks


If you haven’t explored this park yet, you’re missing out! Take a leisurely stroll or cycle through this natural, undisturbed park at the Northeast end of Singapore. Other than being a famous spot for influencer photoshoots, the park is also home to a high diversity of 80 species of birds. Bring along a pair of binoculars and try to spot the resident male Baya Weavers weaving their large and intricate nests from flowering Acacia trees.


We hope you have enjoyed OPP’s 12 days of Christmas Experiences! After being stuck at home during circuit breaker now is the time to support local sustainable businesses and have fun exploring, donating and supporting good causes. Remember to socially distance and follow COVID 19 protocols at all times too.


Let us know about your experience by tagging us on your Facebook or Instagram stories @oceanpurposeproject. Merry Christmas and happy holidays!


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