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Thursday, October 27th, 2011 by Admin
SIFT is a proud partner of SCAPE’s “Rebuild a Recyclable City”. This wonderful initiative uses recycled materials and is a really good educational campaign to raise awareness for our next generation on taking care of our environment .
SIFT believes that this programme is a proactive approach to putting recycling in the frontline of education for our children and also provide a platform for their creativity to show their future vision for our city.
Suitable for kids ages 6-12 years old, FREE art packs for the “Rebuild a Recyclable City” project are available from any Christchurch City Library and SCAPE also has Kid’s Workshops for the “Rebuild a Recyclable City” for those interested to attend. Read the rest of this entry »
Wednesday, December 8th, 2010 by Admin
Photo Canterbury Biodiversity website
Photo Canterbury Biodiversity
Following the September 4th 2010 earthquake, many sites within the city which used to be home to large buildings, have been reduced to vacant lots – empty or occupied by rubble. Many of these sites have been turned into car-parking lots, but ECan’s Regional Biodiversity Coordinator, Wayne McCallum, has fronted an initiative which is avoiding the default car parking trend– turning vacant lots into native plant pocket-parks – Greening the Rubble. The initiative is largely community based, not only transforming vacant spaces into eco-friendly areas, but getting local businesses, schools and organizations, involved and channelling post-quake energy. Currently the vacant Asko area on Victoria Street and the old Para Rubber site on Manchester Street have been selected as pilot projects. Mr McCallum states that not only are the projects an eco-friendly venture, but they also are a good way to “Show community resolve” post-quake.
Keep up to date with the project progress here.
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010 by Admin
Love your coast
Tomorrow, Wednesday 8th December 2010, is Christchurch’s turn to take part in Love Your Coast day – an ongoing movement to clean up our coastlines. A lot of waste (lots of plastic) washes up on our shores each year endangering the local flora, fauna and wildlife. This is an opportunity for all to get involved and give our beautiful coast a clean-up. The Heathcote and Avon Rivers, the Estuary and New Brighton are the focus. Join the masses and help keep our coasts clean. The events are supported by Keep NZ Beautiful, Sustainable Coastlines, Te Wai Pounamu Foundation and The Sir Peter Blake Trust.
More information here.
Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010 by SophieR
This Saturday is e-Day, dedicated to the collection of recycling of electronic waste. We have received many emails this week from our many affiliates, a very positive indication that more companies are taking an active role in recycling office products. An email from our web provider ‘Hairy Lemon’, generously offers to collect their clients e-waste from your business on the Friday prior. However, not all e waste is of equal importance, the focus of e Day is on computer equipment and technology related to computer, game consoles, cell phones and fax machines. Televisions, stereos and software will not be welcome.
A little bit of info about e-waste. The consumer market is rife with electronic items, that have a relatively short shelf life (less than 5 years on average) – we want the latest editions with the fastest and biggest capacity to hold more data. Not surprisingly, e waste represents the fastest growing waste stream in the world. The stats in New Zealand are quite amazing as well – with 80,000 tonnes of e waste sent to landfill every year.
Currently, there is no legislation or industry related action to deal with e-waste, however there are some smaller local initiatives that will help you dispose of unwanted technology.
Until there is a permanent watch dog in this industry, or the development of product stewardship schemes, e-Day serves a fantastic annual service, by promoting the serious effects of electronic waste, and that there are other options that throwing your old computer straight into landfill.
You can read more about e-Day here and find out what can be disposed of.
If you are happy to drop off your own equipment, the disposal point is CPIT Student carpark, between 9am and 3pm on Saturday 6th November.
Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010 by Admin
Pelletised recycling plastics from Mastagard
It has taken a bit of time to get around to organising the photos I took from the WasteMinz Conference a few weeks ago but they are all now uploaded on the SIFT Flickr site.
Featured organisations include:
Sulo Talbot Bin Man
Owens Illinois stand
Villa Maria Winery
Villa Maria Winery Mangere
Ministry for the Environment
and of course WasteMinz who put on an excellent, highly informative and productive conference. Next year it will be in Rotorua and if this year is anything to go by will be just as important to those in or associated with the waste and recovering materials industries.
Friday, October 22nd, 2010 by SophieR
Yet another week is over, and I do believe that it is nine weeks until Christmas (exciting or doom pending – depending on your level of Xmas spirit). I always think that Labour Weekend is perfectly timed in the Calendar, arriving just before we hit the busiest time of the year. To take some of the stress off, there are plenty of festivities and concerts on in Canterbury over the long weekend. Head to Hagley Park between 1pm and 8pm on Saturday, to catch a glimpse of some of New Zealand’s biggest music names, all to raise funds following the earthquake. There is the Rangiora A & P show, and also the Big Band Festival. Plenty of activities to get you out and about this weekend.
We are a patriotic bunch. One eyed Cantabrians, truly believing that we have ‘one up’ on the rest of NZ. So I really like it when outsiders compliment our wonderful city. I like it even more when the outsider is Saatchi CEO, Kevin Roberts. A feel – good blog, smile as he waxes eloquently about our marvelous Hagley Park and Botanical Gardens. Gosh we are a lucky lot. Click Here.
Making organic dairy products hip. A two minute advertisement that we found through the Futerra Sustainability Communications blog. Never did we think that a rap song would preach the benefits of organic dairy products. Look for the head bobbing cows. You will not be able to watch this without a smile on your face.
Annie Leonard’s Stuff for Kid’s Series – These videos are seriously cool. They take quite complex ideas such as recycling, and materialism – and convert it into short cartoon videos that are simple enough for little people to understand, but can still be enjoyed by big kids too.
Finally, the vuvuzela may actually become more resourceful than annoying. One competition that aims to find the most creative way to recycle the Football World Cup noise makers. Click here to see some of the ideas.
WWF has released the 2010 Living Planet Report. The conclusions are quite simple really, our demands are exceeding Earth’s capacity to sustain us. This is a great resource to show what we are using, how we compare to other countries, and what we can start doing better today.
Brazilian designers are paving the way for innovative homeware, with a collection made from entirely recycled aluminium. 98% of aluminium produced is recycled, and it is cheaper to produce a ton of recycled aluminium than it is the produce the same amount of new aluminium.
It has been a busy time at the beehive lately – we have three fantastic links for you. One is the speech made by Nick Smith at the 2010 WasteMINZ conference last week, where he launched the 2010 waste strategy. Click Here to link directly to the Waste Strategy Report. We also have a press release from the Environment Minister, outlining the recycling initiative for the 2011 Rugby World Cup
A realistic take on our recycling efforts. We may be collecting more recycling waste, but how much of it is actually being recycled once it leaves the curbside? According to this article, it all comes down to our mingling of recyclable items.
I like to think I am creative. Sometimes my creative projects end up in the back of the cupboard or in the garage. Luckily, we came across re-nest.com – full of awesome ideas to reuse house hold items – and eco-revitalise your house. The wire-hanger idea is just too cool.
Lessons in consumerism – No this isn’t a blog teaching you how to become a better shopper. The writer has returned from travels in India, with a fresh outlook on Western consumerism and what we deem to be luxuries versus life necessities.
Tuesday, October 5th, 2010 by SophieR
This is a community action campaign that aims to reduce carbon emissions by 10%. Around New Zealand and the globe, this Sunday will be dedicated to demonstrating to world leaders that we are ready for climate solutions! The overall aim is to get carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere back down from 390 closer to 350 parts per million of CO2 equivalent, to limit warming effects on seas, polar ice and resulting weather instability.
Reducing waste means reducing emissions:
By being more aware of the waste that we are sending to landfill, we can actively reduce emissions and greenhouse gases. Few people are aware that organic waste that is included with landfill waste, releases methane over time! Small changes to our every day lives can really mean big reductions!
What you can do as part of the campaign:
There are plenty of activities such as bike rides, planting at South shore as well as an all day climate smart documentary film festival!
For more information on Sunday’s events and smart carbon – emission cutting tips, visit www.1010nz.com
Changes in the SIFT offices to reduce our carbon emissions in 2010 –
• Walking to and from work for short excursions during the day
• Turning off and unplugging all of our appliances at the wall
• Actively recycling and educating all staff on ambiguous recyclable items
• Buying second – hand. There are some great deals for office furniture and supplies in Canterbury.
• Using local caterers and suppliers for our functions
• Using our blog to promote sustainable living instead of printed media
We would love to hear what you are doing at home and in the office to cut carbon emissions in 2010.
Friday, September 24th, 2010 by SophieR
Local producers have suffered significant losses since the earthquake. Many of these small businesses use local products as the basis for their selling goods. We want to see these businesses survive, and many of them have moved their operations to our numerous weekend markets. This weekend, make a goal to only buy locally produced or sourced goods and produce. Personal recommendation, make the trip to the Lyttleton Market –buy some of the Lo Casa Toscana Olives from Akaroa, and some fresh gurnard caught by local fisherman (truly the most delicious!). Then nosy through the vintage clothing and furniture stalls and shops.
Markets worth a visit:
• Art Centre Market (every Friday is the Farmers Market) – Market Square, 2 Worcester Boulevard
• Oxford Farmers Market (Every Sunday) – Truly authentic. Main Street, Oxford.
• Christchurch Farmers Market (Every Saturday 9am-12pm). Riccarton House, Kahu Road.
• Riccarton Rotary Sunday Market (9am-2pm). Riccarton Park Racecourse, Racecourse Road.
• Lyttleton Farmers Market (Saturday 10am – 1pm). Lyttleton Main School, Oxford Street, Lyttleton
Lyttleton market stalls
Monday, September 13th, 2010 by SophieR
After the events of 4th September, what better way to show how much we (still) love our landscape by embracing some of the events planned for Conservation Week, which kicked off yesterday with some events running until 30th September.
Conservation week offers the opportunity to join thousands of other people all across the country to celebrate our native plants and wildlife, our incredible natural areas, and the places that are part of our history
Some events planned in Christchurch City have been cancelled, but there are still plenty to choose from within the region. What a great excuse to get out of the house and breath in some of that delicious spring air!
We particularly like the sound of the Mt Somers Historic Walk, Sunday 19th September and the numerous community planting days.
Visit http://www.doc.govt.nz/conservation-week-home/whats-happening/canterbury/ and get involved with Conservation Week 2010.
Monday, June 28th, 2010 by Admin
Source: Grundlepuck's Flickr photostream
Last Friday night friends and I ventured across the lovely Port Hills to partake of Project Lyttelton’s Lyttelton Harbour Festival of Lights Street Party. The main street of Lyttelton was closed off and there were lots of people, yummy food stalls, some great costumes, enterainment and lights too. Project Lyttelton is leading the way in community sustainability initiatives and the Lyttelton Harbour Festival of Lights was no exception (this is a 10 day mid winter festival with lots of entertainment, workshops, walking tours and clothing swap-o-rama-rama with the street party on the Friday night). At key points along the street there were three waste bins: 1 for landfill, 1 for organics and 1 for recycling and at least one person standing behind them helping people to decide what rubbish goes into what bin. At one point I watched a woman go to put a clear plastic cup into the recycling bin but she was told it had to go to landfill. I overhead her discussing this with her partner. Her last comment was “Well, that has to change.” Brilliant – consumer education and inspiration in action. That happened again with a plastic fork a friend went to put in the recycling bin. So, that leads to three key points of interest:
1. Good on Project Lyttelton for having people at the rubbish bins to educate consumers on what can go where. It was obviously working.
2. Do we know enough about the different types of plastics that can be recycled? I assumed that plastic forks and clear plastic cups could be recycled so was curious why people were being told they couldn’t be. Back in the office today I checked the Plastics Identification Code list and plastics forks and “imitation ‘crystal glassware’” is a 6-PS – Polystyrene. As far as we are aware Christchurch City Council kerbside recycling bins can take all numbers from 1 to 7 (except Polystyrene packaging and trays) so why was this not included for the recycling bin at the Festival of Lights?
and finally, the big one
3. Why weren’t all of the vendors selling food using compostable or at least recyclable packaging and cutlery. I saw polystyrene trays, unrecyclable coffee cups, plastic bags, and virgin paper napkins being used.
Apart from thinking all this through during the night it was great to get out and enjoy the winter evening especially the fireworks!
So, if you are planning a zero waste event here are our top tips:
- Get all of your vendors on side. Or only choose vendors that have sustainability policies in place. Make sure that whatever they sell is sold with compostable, biodegradable or in the least recyclable packaging and utensils.
- Better yet ask visitors to your event to bring there own reusable cloth napkins and cups to reduce waste.
- Know how the waste from your event will be processed by your local authority. Work with them to make sure that you have the best system set up to marry with theirs.
- Use the event as a chance to educate like Project Lyttelton did.
- Ensure you have all of the options covered for the waste streams – landfill, recycling and organics. And promote what happens to each of these waste streams after the event.
- Make sure the people doing the eduating know the ins and outs of all of the different waste streams and how they can be handled and then what happens to them afterwards.
- Research what others have done around the world and see if any of their solutions will work for their event.
- Promote sustainable transport like taking the bus (Project Lyttelton do this every year).
- Utilise great greening resources like the MfE’s Major Event Greening Guide or the Christchurch City Council’s Organising a Minimum Waste Event guide.
Thanks to the team at Project Lyttelton for a great night and for helping to move consumers and the Lyttelton (and surrounding) community closer to sustainable living.
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