Event Highlights include:
• Setting a new Singapore Record with more than 1,700 people decorating reusable bags with their pledges to support the go-green cause
• Official Launch of Dairy Farm’s “Green Ambassadors” project nation-wide to primary schools in Singapore to teach children how to help safeguard and sustain the environment
• Dairy Farm Singapore donates $50,000 worth of basic essentials to 1,200 beneficiaries
JOINT NEWS RELEASE BETWEEN NEA, DAIRY FARM SINGAPORE AND NORTH WEST CDC
Singapore, 14 July 2012 – Singapore’s leading retailer Dairy Farm Group is pleased to present the official launch of ‘‘Hands on Heart’’ a major event to promote social bonding and active participation by young children and the public to help safeguard and sustain the environment.
Held at Woodlands Square this morning, the “Hands on Heart” event is organised by Dairy Farm Singapore in partnership with the North West Community Development Council (CDC) and the National Environment Agency (NEA).
The event will be graced by Guest-of-Honour Mr Khaw Boon Wan, Minister for National Development and Dr Teo Ho Pin, Mayor of North West District.
Mr Alex Tay, Regional Director for Dairy Farm South Asia said: “We are pleased to partner North West CDC and NEA for ‘Hands on Heart’ which is a meaningful green event that brings together the young and elderly for a day of fun and bonding. As a leading retailer, we are active with green initiatives as it is our responsibility to help build a better world. One of our ongoing initiatives is the ‘Green Ambassadors’ programme which was first introduced successfully last year with preschoolers to teach them the importance of reducing the use of plastic bags.”
Mr Tay added: “This year, we are targeting primary school students in our ‘Green Ambassadors’ activity. We have already conducted phase one in the North West district to educate young students on the importance of energy saving and reducing the use of plastic bags. At today’s launch of ‘Green Ambassadors’ phase two, we will extend this programme’s outreach on a nation-wide basis to involve even more students in primary schools. We hope that many schools will take part as it is good to start inculcating green awareness and habits among children from a young age.”
Dr Teo Ho Pin, Mayor of North West District said: “Everyone has a part to play to care for the environment. Green Ambassador @ North West is another green initiative under the North West CDC’s 10-year Eco Plan, Green Living @ North West, to inculcate green living habits in our youths and to encourage more residents to go Green. Through this programme, close to 1,200 students were involved in the ‘Green Ambassadors’ outreach and they have reached out to over 1,400 households for the Power Save Challenge. I thank our partners Dairy Farm Singapore, NEA and the participating schools for their efforts in caring for the residents and in taking greater environmental ownership through this Green Ambassador @ North West programme.”
An Exciting Day of Fun Green Activities and Record-breaking Feat
From 9 am to 1 pm today, the public will enjoy an activity-packed day at the free community carnival. There will be plenty of fun activities including a mass qigong exercise, mass dancing and carnival games. There will also be terrarium and crafts workshops using recycled materials. For the health conscious, the public can enjoy free health tests for bone mass density, blood pressure, body mass index and blood glucose levels which will be provided by Guardian Health & Beauty.
Key Event Highlights:
A. More than 1,700 people to set a new Singapore Record by decorating reusable bags with their personal go-green pledges
This is a fun and creative activity that brings together more than 1,700 heartlanders to show their support for a green environment. All participants will be given a reusable cotton bag to decorate with a colour marker pen. To set a new Singapore record, they will draw the outline of their hand on the bag as a symbolic pledge of their support for the go-green movement. In addition, they will write and draw their personal pledges on the bag to indicate what they can do personally to help the environment.
There will be diverse groups of different races and ages taking part in this record-setting activity. The participants taking part include:
• Guest-of-Honour Minister Khaw Boon Wan who will lead the drawing activity together with Dairy Farm’s senior management team and business partners, and representatives from North West CDC, NEA and the Care Community Services Society
• A contingent of 200 Dairy Farm team members ranging from shop staff to office executives
• 500 students, parents and teachers from five primary schools in North West District
• 800 members of the North West Health Qigong Clubs
• 200 members of the North West Dance-Fit Clubs
B. The “Green Ambassadors” Programme 2012
The “Green Ambassadors” programme involves primary school children between the ages of seven and 12 on a mass scale. It aims to nurture good green habits in children from a young age by teaching them various ways to help conserve resources through workshops conducted by Dairy Farm, North West CDC and NEA. It also involves them in activities that help reduce energy consumption and the excessive use of plastic bags. This year’s programme was first introduced under phase one in North West District. Students from five primary schools located in the North West District took part in this first phase which was held from May to end June 2012.
Launch of Phase Two Today – Initial outreach draws more than 11,200 students
Phase two of the “Green Ambassadors” programme, organised by Dairy Farm in partnership with NEA, is officially launched today. This nation-wide outreach opens the programme to all primary schools in Singapore. To date, over 11,200 students from 20 schools have signed up and more are expected to take part in this phase which will run from 1 August and end on 30 September 2012.
The participating students will be given a specially printed card with 10 detachable tabs and they can give one tab to a cashier at any of Dairy Farm’s outlets whenever any of the following conditions are met:
• When a cashier asks the student/family if a plastic bag is required or if they wish to purchase a reusable bag.
• If the student observes a cashier asking other customers if they need a plastic bag or wish to buy a reusable bag.
• If the student declines a plastic bag and/or uses a reusable bag while shopping at any of Dairy Farm’s stores.
An interesting feature of this activity is the involvement of all the cashiers working at Dairy Farm’s stores. By engaging them, they are reminded and motivated to do their part to help reduce the use of plastic bags. All 845 stores within the Dairy Farm Group – Cold Storage, Market Place, Shop n Save, Giant, Guardian Health & Beauty and 7-Eleven –are involved in this programme.
At the end of the phase two activity, the top three schools will receive Dairy Farm gift vouchers ($1,500 for Gold award, $1,000 for Silver and $500 for Bronze) and plaques. The students who attain “Green Ambassador” status will each receive a certificate and a badge for the gold, silver and bronze awards. They have to give a minimum of five tabs to qualify as a “Green Ambassador”.
To recognise the efforts made by its staff to reduce the use of plastic bags, Dairy Farm will also award each of the top 10 stores that receive the most number of tabs given to their cashiers with a $500 gift voucher and a plaque.
Phase One in North West District
The first phase of “Green Ambassadors” programme was held between May and June 2012 in the North West district. Under this phase, 1,200 students from five primary schools located in the North West district were involved in the outreach workshops arranged by Dairy Farm, North West CDC and NEA.
To qualify as a “Green Ambassador” in phase one, the students had to accomplish two activities:
• Power Save Challenge – This challenge is the main focus of phase one and it aims to promote energy conservation among households. The students have to get a minimum of at least two (and up to a maximum of 10) households to sign up for the Power Save Challenge. For this, the participating households authorise Singapore Power Services to release their monthly electricity consumption statements to North West CDC to monitor their usage for four months from August to November 2012. The top 60 households with the highest reduction in energy consumption during those four months will each receive a $50 shopping voucher from the Dairy Farm Group.
• Reduce the Use of Plastic Bags – The students took part in an activity to reduce the use of plastic bags by engaging the cashiers at Dairy Farm’s outlets. They attended a workshop that taught them ways to reduce their carbon footprint and the importance of the 4Rs – reduce, reuse, recycle and refuse. They gave one tab to a Dairy Farm store cashier whenever they were asked by the staff if they needed a plastic bag or if he/she wanted to buy a reusable bag. At least one tab had to be given to a cashier to qualify as a “Green Ambassador”.
The students will receive bronze, silver or gold awards depending on the number of households they managed to sign up for the Power Save Challenge.
The top three Dairy Farm stores with the most number of tabs collected by their cashiers will be awarded gift vouchers and trophies at the “Hands on Heart” today.
C. Dairy Farm Singapore sponsors $50,000 worth of basic essentials to help 1,200 low-income beneficiaries
To celebrate the launch of “Hands on Heart” and to mark the completion of “Green Ambassadors” phase one, Dairy Farm, together with its business partners, are sponsoring $50,000 worth of basic essentials which include rice, sugar, cooking oil, beverages, breakfast bars, instant noodles and biscuits. These items will be distributed to 1,200 needy families by Care Community Services Society which is Dairy Farm’s adopted charity.
D. Terrarium and Crafts Workshops
To spread the green message, there will be interesting workshops arranged by the NEA at the event. Workshop participants will have lots of fun and they get to keep their creations at no cost.
The public can learn how to make terrariums, using recycled bottles, at a workshop that will be conducted by students from Woodlands Ring Primary School. Terrariums are mini landscapes with plants grown in containers.
There will also be a recycled art booth manned by Northbrooks Secondary School students who will show interesting ways of using recycled materials such as aluminium cans and foil pack to make decorative items.
Raising Funds for Charity
As part of this year’s community campaign, Dairy Farm Singapore also aims to raise about $400,000 for its adopted charity Care Community Services Society (CCSS) through a charity golf tournament and donation boxes placed at its chain of stores island-wide. CCSS is a voluntary welfare organisation that provides assistance, education, training, therapy and counseling to individuals and families in need of help.
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