Other Sustainable Initiatives » Sift Blog
Archive for the ‘Other Sustainable Initiatives’ Category
Thursday, January 24th, 2013 by Admin
With summer here DIY and home improvements are often on a homeowners ‘to do’ list. It’s certainly been on mine which is why I got to thinking about paint and discovered Resene’s PaintWise recycling scheme.
Resene PaintWise Recycling Scheme
It seems lots of us do DIY with more than six litres of household paint sold each year, per person in New Zealand. That’s a lot of paint!
The PaintWise scheme is Government accredited and has diverted more than 230,000 litres of paint and 90,000kg of steel buckets from landfill in the last year. Be aware too that significant environmental damage can be caused from washing paint down sewerage and stormwater systems. That’s way it’s vitally important to recycle unused paints, or store properly until you next need it.
Resene’s PaintWise scheme aims to help people responsibly dispose of unwanted paint and paint packaging by allowing anyone with unwanted paint (of any brand) and paint containers to bring them into their nearest Resene ColorShop for recycling. In Canterbury these stores are located at:
- Addington, 351 Selwyn Street, Ph: (03) 338 1312
- Ashburton, 327 Burnett Street, Ph: (03) 307 6510
- Christchurch City, 256 Cashel Street, Ph: (03) 366 7441
- Hornby, 278 Main South Road, Christchurch
- Northwood, Unit E3, Northwood Supa Centre, Main Road North, Christchurch, Ph: (03) 323 4492
- Shirley, 38 Marshland Road, Ph: (03) 385 5082
- Timaru, 8 Elizabeth Street, Ph: (03) 688 4723
- Tower Junction, Unit 8-9 Whiteleigh Ave, Ph: (03) 343 3990
What happens to your paint after you bring it in to a Resene ColourShop? Well, Resene will offer good quality paint to community groups for reuse, recycle packaging materials, send solventborne paints to solvent recovery, find alternative uses for waterborne paints, such as graffiti abatement, and dispose of the rest. When you drop off your paint make sure it’s in the original container and well sealed. Note: automotive and marine paints won’t be accepted.
Paint containers ready for recycling
The PaintWise programme is managed by the Resene Foundation, a charitable trust underwritten by Resene. It is funded by Resene through a 15c levy (per litre) on retail purchases of paint plus a levy on returns of non-Resene branded paint ($1 per 4L can or smaller, $2.50 per 10L pail or larger).
Do you belong to a non-profit community group who could use some donated paint? Here’s the link to apply. Resene have large amounts of grey paint suitable for covering graffiti, available in volumes of 10L or more. It is currently supplied free of charge around the country. If you interested email:
So either store away your paint for the next time you might need it or head to a Resene ColourShop to get your paint recycled. Let’s keep our paint and its containers out of landfill!
Image from: http://www.resene.co.nz/comn/envissue/paintwise_hints.htm
Image from: http://www.resene.co.nz/paintwise.htm
Tuesday, July 5th, 2011 by Admin
Though June has rushed by, SIFT did not want to neglect the well deserved attention owed to the recent winners at the Green Ribbon Awards. Held on June 9th, the Honorable Nick Smith described the awards as “Recognizing the efforts of New Zealanders who are taking action to address environmental challenges” (Beehive Press Release).
Comprising of eleven categories, individuals as well as companies and organizations, were recognized for their contribution within an array of environmental issues. The overall supreme winner was Eco Stock Supplies. Collecting food waste previously destined for landfill, Eco Stock upcycles the waste to stock feed. It is estimated that through the 25,000 tones of food waste utilised by Eco Stock within the last year, the production of 13,625 tonnes of CO2 has been prevented. While not only preventing green-house gas emissions, Eco Stock also offers a local alternative to imported stock-feeds.
Here is the full list of categories and the respective winners – all deserving for their commitment and effort towards New Zealand sustainability.
Category 1: Protecting our Biodiversity (joint winners)
Pomona Island Charitable Trust, Kiwi (Tokoeka) Crèche (Te Anau) – For its outstanding work in creating pest free sanctuaries on Pomona and Rona Islands in Lake Manapouri, Fiordland.
and Tuhoe Putaiao Charitable Trust (Opotiki) – For its outstanding commitment to environmental protection work in the Bay of Plenty, in collaboration with the Department of Conservation, local iwi, the Regional Council and forestry operators.
Category 2: Protecting our Coasts and Oceans
Sustainable Coastlines Incorporated (New Zealand-wide) – For its outstanding commitment to improving the New Zealand coastal environment through public education, beach and coast clean ups and removing debris and rubbish that poses a risk to coastal and marine flora and fauna.
Category 3: Caring for our Water
NZ Landcare Trust (New Zealand-wide) – For their outstanding contribution to improving fresh water management across the country by engaging private land owners in environmental protection work.
Category 4: Reducing our Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Wellington City Council (Wellington) – For its 2010 Climate Change Action Plan, and demonstrating outstanding commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in collaboration with all sectors of the community.
Category 5: Small Businesses Making a Difference
Eco Stock Supplies (Auckland) – For the development of an innovative commercial operation making a measurable difference to waste minimisation and reducing food waste.
Category 6: Community Action for the Environment: Young People
Brittany Packer (Nelson) – For her outstanding commitment to raising the profile of environmental issues, locally and internationally and demonstrating leadership for other young people.
Category 7: Community Action for the Environment: Volunteers and Not-for-profit Organisations
Mana Recovery (Porirua) – For its outstanding commitment to volunteer resource recovery services and providing a supportive environment for members of the community to learn and grow.
Category 8: Minimising our Waste
Conscious Consumers (Wellington, Auckland) – For its outstanding commitment to reducing waste and raising consumer awareness of waste issues.
Category 9: Environment in the Media
Emma Heke (Nelson) – For her outstanding contribution to environmental education through her DVD “OURS” that teaches children about conservation, sustainability and environmental care.
Category 10: Environmentally Responsible Large Organisations (joint winners)
Downer NZ (New Zealand-wide) – For its outstanding work in setting an example in environmental responsibility by implementing an environmental sustainability programme across its company operations in New Zealand.
and Meridian Energy and Department of Conservation, Project River Recovery – For their outstanding commitment to improving and protecting the unique braided river habitat around Twizel, Tekapo and Omarama in Canterbury and Otago.
Category 11: Central and Local Government Stepping Up
Kapiti Coast District Council (Paraparaumu) – For its outstanding contribution to reducing their environmental impact beyond statutory obligations and providing measurable benefits for the environment and the community of Kapiti Coast.
Supreme Winner Green Ribbon Award Winner 2011
Eco Stock Supplies (Auckland)
For the development of an innovative commercial operation making a measurable difference to waste minimisation and reducing food waste.
Congratulations to all of the winners. No doubt there were many more that entered but did not win that are working hard to create a more sustainable future for New Zealand.
Wednesday, June 29th, 2011 by Admin
Following the February 22nd earthquake, Greening the Rubble is back in full-swing utilising derelict urban properties. Established after the earthquake in September 2010, Greening the Rubble has successfully established a pocket-park on the corner of Victoria and Salisbury Street. Although previous projects were put on hold due to February’s quake, Greening the Rubble has confirmed two future park additions for the city, one located on Riccarton Road, and the other on St. Asaph Street.
The organization is largely volunteer based, with local businesses donating products, design students lending their vision and many giving their time to create the relaxing spaces within Christchurch. If you would like to know more on the progress of sites, or if you are the landowner of a site that could be utilised, browse the website here.
They have a great resource of links as well to keep you informed about the Christchurch Rebuild and you can follow the organisation on Facebook too.
Wednesday, March 16th, 2011 by Admin
If you know of someone worthy of the title of Environmental Champion then consider entering them or the project into the 2011 Green Ribbon Awards through the Ministry for the Environment. There are twelve catergories and entries must be received by 5pm Friday the 15th of April.
The categories are:
- Protecting our biodiversity
- Reducing our greenhouse gas emissions
- Caring for our water
- Minimising our waste
- Improving our air quality
- Protecting our coasts and oceans
- Community action for the environment: Young People
- Community aciton for the environment: Volunteers and Not-for-Profit organisations
- Environment in the media
- Small businesses making a difference
- Environmentally responsible large businesses
- Central and local government stepping up.
Green Ribbon Awards Nomination form
Wednesday, February 16th, 2011 by Admin
Image found via trademe
Why don’t we bring back the glass bottle for milk and other liquid drinks? They can be reused over and over and recycled many times unlike plastic which has potential health issues with leaching chemicals and definite resource issues as plastic comes from a finite resource.
Found this article from TVNZ in 2005 on when glass milk bottles disappeared and this article on the 2010 WWF New Zealand Eco Design Competition winners – a team from Massey University with ‘No Frills, Just Refills’ . A great idea for refill stations in supermarkets.
Don’t forget to check out UnPackit and send in your ideas for best and worst packaging from NZ.
Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010 by Admin
Back in November there was a TedX on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in the US organised by the Plastic Pollution Coalition. Beth Terry from Fake Plastic Fish was a speaker at that TedX conference and she has now posted the list of speakers with links to the videos including her own which is great. We have watched a few and so far our favourites are:
And these are only a handful. There are still many we have yet to watch. But, just these further the desire to create a life with less plastic. Less plastic being produced, less plastic being wasted, less plastic pollution. It is no longer right or ethical to pollute the earth and harm other species and ecosystems and waste resources as we do.
And with only a few days of Christmas it’s time to think and say “We have enough!”.
Monday, November 22nd, 2010 by Admin
Spotted this great poster on the Good USA site – The Self-Repair Manifesto from ifixit.com. Definitely truths to live by in order to reduce our waste to landfill.
We hold these truths to be self-evident
Self- Repair Manifesto:
Repair is Better than Recycling – Making our things last longer is both more efficient and more cost effective than mining them for raw materials.
Repair saves the planet. Earth has limited resources and we can’t run a linear manufacturing process forever. The best way to be efficient is to reuse what we already have!
Repair saves you money. Fixing things is often free, and usually cheaper than replacing them, doing the repair yourself saves serious dough.
Repair teaches engineering. The best way to find out how something works is to take it apart!
If you can’t fix it, you don’t own it! Repair connects people and devices, creating bonds that transcend consumption. Self repair is sustainable.
Repair connects you with your things. Repair empowers and emboldens individuals. Repair transforms consumers into contributors. Repair inspires pride in ownership. Repair injects soul and makes things unique. Repair is independence. Repair requires creativity. Repair is green. Repair is joyful. Repair is necessary for understanding our things. Repair saves money and resources.
We Have The Right: To open and repair our things without voiding the warranty to devices that can be opened, to error codes and wiring diagrams, to troubleshooting instructions and flowcharts, to repair documentation for everything, to choose our own repair technician, to remove ‘Do not remove’ stickers, to repair things in the privacy of our own homes, to replace any and all consumables ourselves, to hardware that doesn’t require proprietary tools to repair, to available, reasonable priced service parts.
There is another equally great Repair Manifesto here by Dutch Design collaborative Platform 21.
Put either one of these in your kitchen junk drawer and garage and remember that to repair something you own stops waste going to landfill and creat that bond that transcends consumption.
Thursday, October 28th, 2010 by SophieR
O-I is a big company. Huge in fact. It is the leading manufacturer of glass products in the World. With 22,000 employees across 21 countries, it’s scope covers the majority of the globe.
The glass products have been designed for the food and beverage industry – to maintain the purity and flavour of the product within. The success of the company since it formed in 1903 has largely been credited to the fact that the Owens’ invented the automatic bottlemaking machine. This meant that production could increase and bottles of all shapes and capacity could be made. Something as simple as the shape of a bottle has so intricately worked its way into marketing, think Coca Cola, perfume, cosmetics – the shape of the packaging is almost as important and symbolic as the contents.
O-I have taken some leading steps in sustainability and resource responsibility as well. The company responded to the pressure that was being placed on the manufacturing industry to report on the life cycle of products. So O-I started the Life Cycle Assessment that demonstrated exactly what occurred from he extraction of raw materials to the reuse or recycling of the container. As with all LCA studies, O-I could then calculate the carbon emissions generated by each phase in a product’s life cycle.
This is the first assessment process in the industry that reports stage by stage carbon impacts – as there is little regulation requiring companies to fully report emissions.
The major achievement of the O-I life cycle assessment is that it takes into account remainder of the product’s life cycle – the transportation of finished products to distributors and retailers, use by consumers and reuse, recycling or disposal of material.
The benefits of having a life cycle assessment, is that O-I can now amend any practices at any given production or distribution phase – therefore making each phase far more efficient and environmentally friendly. For example, by establishing that recycling glass uses less energy than producing glass from raw materials, O-I was able to generate enough savings to completely offset the emissions produced by our finished goods transportation.
To read more about Owens Illinois, visit the website here.
Tuesday, October 12th, 2010 by SophieR
SIFT is a supportive campaigner of reusing as much waste or by product from industry. A reasonably new initiative has emerged. Industrial symbiosis is one example of a cooperative process, where by businesses ‘buddy up’ in an effort to reuse waste and by products that the partner company produces, but has no further means of using.
The theory is that when businesses cooperate in this way, they are exerting less energy and consuming less water and raw materials, than if they had to manufacture the by product themselves.
Although I-S appears to be motivated by limiting the usage of resources, the environmental gains were actually just an eventual by product of agreements that were based on financial efficiency – namely sharing the costs of production across industry. The particular case study in Denmark demonstrates the advantages of cooperation across 6 compatable companies.
In order for industrial symbiosis to be effectively executed, it is reliant on the compatibility of the companies – and this could only be equated by analysing the economic and environmental benefits of a cooperative scheme.
The following diagram* demonstrates the process of symbiosis, as it is taking place in Kalundborg, Denmark. This is a heavily referenced example in current waste management research.
As can be seen in the diagram below, all of the companies mutually exploit each other’s residual or by-products.
In the next blog, we will be looking to Canterbury based enterprises that are improving their bottom line through similar cooperative methods.
* The companies that are a part of this structure are: DONG Energy Asnæs Power Station, the plasterboard factory Gyproc A/S, the pharmaceutical plant Novo Nordisk A/S, the enzyme producer Novozymes A/S, the oil refinery Statoil A/S, RGS 90 A/S as well as the waste company Kara/Noveren I/S.
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.
find out more