How to Maximise Your PH in 24 Hours: Otters, Our Planet, Artscience Museum

In Sustainable Lifestyle
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If you are thinking of staying in bed all day, think again.

It’s a pity it’s not a long weekend.

But that’s okay. 24 hours is a pretty decent time for you to get a balanced dose of rest and nature. Ourdoor-loving folks or not, this day itinerary spells both fun and comfort.

7 – 9AM: WILD OTTER SIGHTINGS

Jog or cycle 15 kilometres along the perimeters of Marina Bay to meet the Singapore otters.

Otters are both agile on land and water.
© Ottercity

You would want to be up early if you’re looking to 1) check off more things-to-do 2) avoid the unbearable heat and 3) spot wild otters frolicking under the sun.

Pack minimal and make your way to Marina Barrage, the start of the 15km jogging route which ends at Gardens by the Bay. Apart from the immense reward you’ll get from stunning views of the city skyline (no one gets sick of it ever), you might get to say hello to one of Singapore’s biggest stars: the Bishan otter family who stays in Marina Bay. 

Undeniably cute, otters around Asia are facing great danger from poachers, the pet trade and more. The otters in Singapore are the lucky ones; though once thought to be extinct here, wild otters have made a strong comeback in local waters.

To provide you with accurate know-how, we spoke to Marjorie from Ottercity on sure-fire ways to spot them at their favourite haunts – while keeping your distance at the same time.

“We look out for ripples in the water. When you look for otters, all your senses are involved. You hear for squeaking sounds when the otters are communicating, then we use our noses to smell their poo. We are so familiar with the smell of their poo so when we caught a whiff of that, we know that they have been in the area. We know how to spot if the poo is wet or dry and if it’s wet, we know they’re around somewhere.”

See below for directions and a jogging route to maximise the two hours:

The red dotted lines represent the 15km Marina Bay jogging route to spot otters.

  1. Start your route at Marina Barrage
  2. Cycle down Gardens East
  3. Turn right to Tanjong Rhu, cross the bridge and you will end up at Rhu area which is next to the Stadium (here’s their favourite feeding spot)
  4. From Stadium, cross over to the Kallang River (here’s where the latest fight between the Bishan and Marina otters took place)
  5. When you cross over, you’ll get to Nicoll Highway (here’s their favourite sand spot)
  6. Go to Singapore Flyer, opposite side of Marina Bay Sands and go all the way up to Gardens by the Bay

Insider pro-tips:

“If you are cycling around the bay, the otters are usually at the water’s edge and they should be feeding. That’s a good spot. Otters are both agile on land and water. They are in the water to feed and they will come up to land to dry their fur. You’d probably see them rubbing themselves on sand, especially near the Nicoll Highway MRT, so when they do that it’s kind of cute. They are also creatures of habit, so they will travel certain sections of land.”

“But do keep your distance. If you’re using a handphone to take photos, use the pinch-to-zoom method on your mobile screen (instead of going too close). When the otters start noticing you, know that they’re on high alert and you’re too close.”

9 – 10.30AM: PLASTIC-FREE BREAKFAST

A hearty, guilt-free breakfast sounds about right.

Wash up, get recharged and fuel up at one of SaladStop!’s outlets (#01-32) at Marina Bay Link Mall. Expect a variety of healthy options like signature salads, wraps, warm grains and more — and you can customise a meal and pick your own base, toppings and dressings. Not to mention how you can calculate the total nutrition consumed here. But the best part: SaladStop! has not only committed to slowly phase out the use of single-use plastic bags and straws, and they have made takeaway salad bowls made of 80% recycled plastic or 100% unbleached bamboo fibres available in their stores. Read more about how its co-founder Katherine Braha is pushing the brand to go plastic-free. Opens daily from 8am to 8.30pm, 4 Marina Blvd, Marina Bay Link Mall

https://www.instagram.com/p/BvNtlNRiIy4/

Another option: Kraftwich by Swissbake (#B2-31/32) at Marina One. Get your caffeine fix here plus its menu includes a wide range of gourmet sandwiches and freshly-baked pastries and cakes. Tip: bring along your reusable container and cup to get 50 cents off your meal! Opens on PH from 9.30am to 4.30pm, 7 Straits View, Marina One

11AM – 12.30PM: DIVE INTO THE WILD

You wouldn’t want to be late for REWILD Our Planet.

REWILD Our Planet is held at Level 4 of ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay Sands.

A first in Singapore, social augmented reality (AR) experience that is REWILD Our Planet combines the best of entertainment and technology to transport you to Earth’s breathtaking landscapes. Based on Our Planet, a new eight-part original documentary Netflix series voiced by Sir David Attenborough, it aims to highlight the damaging impacts of overconsumption on our biodiversity and natural resources. It’s free but you have to pre-book your device here.

Note: At press time, devices have already sold out. Walk-ins are acceptable. The experience is estimated to be 15-20 minutes. Opens from 10am-6.40pm daily; 6 Bayfront Avenue, ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay Sands

You can then make your way to Basement 2 for another immersive virtual adventure, Into The Wild, that brings you through over 850 square metres of ArtScience Museum turned into a virtual rainforest. Spot critically endangered species like the pangolin and Sumatran tiger (roaming around the museum) whose existence are threatened due to the loss of habitat and rampant poaching of wildlife parts.

At the end of the experience, you can make a pledge to plant a real tree as part of our restoration efforts in the rainforests of Rimbang Baling in Sumatra, Indonesia.

Note: Register and collect your device at the Into The Wild counter (beside the lift). Walk-ins are acceptable. The experience is estimated to be 15-20 minutes.

1 – 2.30PM: THE IMPOSSIBLE BURGER

Lunch o’clock.

If you haven’t tried the newly launched The Impossible Burger, here’s the best time to finally grab a bite of the revolutionary plant-based meat. It’s a big deal because for one, it reportedly tastes exactly like real beef (read how beef production strains natural resources here). And the red marks you see? It’s beet juice extract meant to mimic a real beef burger.

The Impossible 2.0 plant-based beef is now available at eight restaurants across the island, three of which are at Marina Bay Sands. Adrift by David Myers (Lobby, Hotel Tower 2), Bread Street Kitchen by Gordon Ramsay (L1-81) and CUT by Wolfgang Puck (B1-71). 10 Bayfront Avenue, Marina Bay Sands

3 – 4PM: GUILT-FREE SHOPPING

There’s always time for shopping… but can you do it mindfully?

Most of us with 9-to-5 jobs rarely have time to prepare meals, let alone doing it consciously. But since it’s PH, it affords us a bit more time to whip up something yummy with a nod to sustainability. Check out WWF’s Singapore Seafood Guide today and learn of the impact your daily decisions can make on our overfished oceans.

Look out for RSPO and FSC-certified labels when shopping at a local supermarket
© WWF / Richard Stonehouse

And if you’re running low on household supplies, now’s also the best chance to shop consciously and stock up for supplies at a nearby supermarket. Choose sustainable options with eco-certifications such as the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). When consumers like yourself are making the decision to buy deforestation-free products, you’re telling the industry that there is demand for a better way to produce and consume. Get easy tips on living smarter and sustainably daily from these Earth Hour attendees here!

5PM TILL LATE: NETFLIX MARATHON

Netflix time = always a good time.

Sandhill cranes roosting on the Platte River as part of the Freshwater episode in Our Planet.
© Silverback Films Our Planet
Image

It’s probably wise to get home early to avoid the jam, prep yourself mentally again for school/ work the next day — and block out a few solid hours and binge-watch Our Planet over a home-cooked, sustainable dinner. We’ve also come up with a must-watch list on Netflix that is worth your time here. You are welcome!

Main image credits: Ottercity, Marina Bay Sands.

If you like reading this, see the hidden message behind Our Planet’s desperate plea to save forests, reasons why our planet needs de-cluttering guru Marie Kondo, and positive reactions from Singapore restaurants which have removed shark fin from their menus.

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