Launch of NTUC Income RUN350: Running For a Greener Future

Doing my part for a greener environment.

Doing my part by recycling bottles for a greener environment.

Last Tuesday, I did my part for the environment – by filling up an empty plastic bottle with fresh soil, and placing some tomato seeds into it.

A messy but fun exercise for me

As I have not really done gardening since I was a little girl due to a lack of a garden in my high-rise home, this exercise got a little messy for me. But at the same time, it was rather fun – and now I can’t wait to watch my plants growing right before my eyes.

At the same time though, doing this had really opened up my eyes to a creative way of growing plants, and taking care of the environment at the same time.

Launch of NTUC Income RUN350

My effort had been a part of the NTUC Income RUN350 movement for a greener tomorrow. This is Southeast Asia’s premier eco running event, and aims to raise awareness to the need to lower the atmospheric carbon dioxide levels to 350 parts per million – the level required for Earth’s sustainability. The run will be into its sixth edition in 2015. And it was launched with much fanfare last Tuesday, at the Raffles Green.

The RUN350 launch kicked off to plenty of fanfare.

The RUN350 launch kicked off to plenty of fanfare. (Credit: RUN350)

Several green activities had kicked off the launch

To mark the launch of this popular running race, several green activities had kick-started the event. This included the distribution of seedlings to the first 100 race registrants – which were quickly snapped up, with the first person in the queue even being there as early as eight o’clock in the morning.

As well, there was also the display of a creative vertical gardening wall, where plastic bottles like mine had been used for growing small plants.

This creative gardening wall captured plenty of attention.

This creative gardening wall captured plenty of attention.

Onlookers intrigued by the creative gardening wall

I had noticed that many onlookers were particularly intrigued, by the creative gardening wall, which had comprised of rows of plants growing in small plastic bottles like mine.

One such person was 49-year-old controller Joseph Thio, who was spending quite a while looking at the display and taking pictures of it.

Said Joseph, “This caught my eye because I am interested in environmental stuff. Though I recycle a lot of plastic bottles and containers, using the drink bottles in this manner is quite new to me.” But now that he has seen such a display for this first time, he admitted that he might consider replicating such a display, perhaps in the nursery of his own home.

Yep. The plant can survive quite well in a plastic bottle.

Yep. The plant can survive quite well in a plastic bottle.

Agreed Sandeep Nayeak, a 31-year-old IT consultant, “At home, I always try to recycle the things I have. But now that I have seen how creatively plastic bottles can be used, I would like to implement something like this at home too, as we always have a lot of plastic bottles.”

So inspired by the RUN350 movement that he signed up for the race

In fact, upon catching sight of the display, Nayeak had even been so inspired by the RUN350 movement – that he had signed up for RUN350 on the spot. So he will be taking part in the 10km category on 5 April. This will be his first 10km race, and he added that he is pleased to be running for a better tomorrow – and getting fit at the same time.

Runners can show off their plants at the race day village

'Watering' the plants on display.

‘Watering’ the plants on display. (Credit: RUN350)

On race day too, runners such as Nayeak will be able to show off the plants that they have grown, as the organizers will be installing vertical gardening walls at the race village.

If runners wish to document and showcase the growth of their ‘green’ seedlings, from now till race day, they can also do so by uploading pictures onto Instagram with the hashtag #RUN350sg.

Bring more people into the 350 movement and inspire positive change

Said Steve Tan, Executive Secretary of Young NTUC, “RUN350 is the epitome event of 350 Singapore. Since we started in 2010, 350 Singapore has spearheaded several environmental initiatives. Through a popular sport like running, Young NTUC’s intention is to bring more people into the 350 movement and help to inspire positive change.”

A couple takes a selfie at the gardening display. (Credit: RUN350).

A couple takes a selfie at the gardening display. (Credit: RUN350).

Tan highlighted that the carbon dioxide level in the atmosphere has hit 400 parts per million, a first time in 800,000 years. So he added that youths of today must preserve a Singapore of the same or better conditions, for future generations – through environmental conservation.

Added Marcus Chew, the Senior Vice President and Head, Strategic Marketing and Communications, NTUC Income, “All of us can create a better tomorrow by managing and using our resources responsibly today. Every little effort to conserve what nature provides for us and every endeavour to reduce wastage can make a significant difference to the world that our next generation lives in.”

In the process of planting seeds into a plastic bottle. (Credit: RUN350).

In the process of planting seeds into a plastic bottle. (Credit: RUN350).

About 12,000 runners are expected

And this year, about 12,000 runners are expected to do their part for the green movement – by taking part in RUN350. At the race, they will run a very scenic route through the Kallang waterfront and past the iconic Singapore Sports Hub.

For those taking part in the 21.1km Half Marathon route, they will also get to run through Nicoll Highway and the scenic Gardens by the Bay. The ending point will be at the F1 Pit Building – the home of the Singapore F1 Grand Prix.

The 2015 event will have three race categories

The 2015 edition of the run will be held on 5 April and it comprises of three categories – the 21.1km and the 10km competitive runs as well as an 800m Kids Dash for young children aged between four to 12 – to encourage them to start exercising from an early age.

Refer to the table below for more information on the event fees and categories.

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Do your part for a greener tomorrow. Sign up for RUN350.

Do your part for a greener tomorrow. Sign up for RUN350.

Registrations are now open

Registration for NTUC Income RUN350 is now open. If you are interested, you can find out more information and sign up for the race at

What are you waiting for? Do your part for a better tomorrow. Take part in Southeast Asia’s premier eco run in support of the global 350 movement. Sign up for RUN350 now – and run for a greener future.

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