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Friday, May 24th, 2013 by Admin
A great waste minimisation message that has received national media coverage is the Plastic Bottle Kayak Expedition which featured on Campbell Live and TV One’s Breakfast.
Here’s the link to the Campbell Live segment.
Plastic Bottle Kayak Expedition
The expedition aimed to raise awareness about the harmful effects of plastic on the environment and encourage ethical consumerism. By the amount of media coverage received I’m sure their aim was achieved! The kayak trip took place mid May with a group of young people from all over New Zealand participating, kayaking 100km down the Whanganui River. Four double kayaks were made from recycled plastic bottles, using around 3000 of them!
The trip was led by Shruthi Vijayakuma and Daniel Cullum who became increasingly passionate about the environment after being selected for the Mike Horn Pangaea Young Explorers Program which involved travelling to remote parts of the world by boat, learning how to preserve nature.
All the plastic bottle kayaks survived the trip and will now tour New Zealand in the hope of spreading the importance of responsible consumerism and minimising waste.
If you’re interested in learning more the expedition they have a great Facebook page – click here.
Image from: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=199753986815296&set=a.199749930149035.1073741832.195448630579165&type=3&theater
Friday, May 17th, 2013 by Admin
A study initiated by a group of interested stakeholders in 2011 has produced great results in Canterbury by creating a successful scheme for recycling waste plasterboard for use by Holcim as an ingredient in their cement manufacture. Check out Waste Awareness May 2013 edition for an interesting article on the study.
Waste plasterboard being removed from site
Plasterboard can cause potential harm in landfill by reacting with organic matter to produce sulphide gas so it is important to keep as much plasterboard out of landfill as possible.
The stakeholder group is comprised of Winstone Wallboards, Holcim Cement, Christchurch City Council, BRANZ and 5R Solutions. Holcim’s research indicated a substantial proportion of the natural, imported gypsum used in cement manufacture could be replaced by recycled gypsum from waste plasterboard. This outcome provided great motivation to find an economically viable and sustainable process for obtaining the waste plasterboard for use by Holcim.
The group successfully obtained funding from the Waste Minimisation Fund to undertake a study into large scale recycling in Canterbury with one of the projects aim to increase the amount of recycled plasterboard in Canterbury by 3,000 – 6,000 tonnes per annum.
Commercial construction and demolition proved a successful stream for collecting waste plasterboard. Christchurch’s demolition process involves a stage by stage deconstruction which produces large plasterboard sheets, mostly free from contamination, which could be easily extracted and transported for recycling. Another incentive for demolition contractors is the fee for recycling ($40 + GST per tonne) but this is lower than the fee for landfilling ($120 + GST per tonne).
Residential demolition and collection of waste plasterboard proved too difficult with the costs too high due to the time consuming nature of extracting the plasterboard.
The study also looked into waste produced by plasterboard installers in new homes and results showed that on average 700 kg per home or roughly 13% of total plasterboard order for each home was wasted. A great result came out of this with two out of the three companies who participated in this part of the study continuing to recycle waste plasterboard.
The success of this project and the devised systems implemented means the waste plasterboard from commercial and residential buildings will continue to provide a valuable resource for Holcim Cement and reduce the volume of waste to landfill. That’s great news!
Image from: http://www.fletcherbuilding.com/society/case-studies/WWB-recycling
Friday, May 10th, 2013 by Admin
The Ministry for the Environment has announced the finalists of the 2013 Green Ribbon Awards which recognises outstanding contributions in protecting New Zealand’s environment.
Green Ribbon Awards
Finalists represent community groups, businesses, scientists, local government and individuals whose initiatives include waste reduction, supporting native species, recycling, public education, lowering emissions and water conservation.
The awards ceremony will be held on June 5, World Environment Day. Good luck to the finalists!
The Canterbury finalists are:
Category: Reducing our greenhouse gas emissions
J. Friend and Co NZ – Artisan Honey:
J. Friend and Co is a small artisan honey producer from Christchurch who are carboNZero certified for its organisation as well as its products. This means the emissions associated with the life cycle of J Friend’s honey, including packaging, freight and waste are reduced and offset. Well done for being one of the first food businesses in New Zealand to achieve this!
Carbon credit payments have been channelled into native forest regeneration which enables native biodiversity to flourish – increasing native nectar sources for bees.
Check out their website for some great recipes that include honey!
Category: Caring for our water
Downer New Zealand – EnviroKayak Sessions:
Downer, a major contractor in the Stronger Christchurch infrastructure Rebuild Team (SCIRT), is currently undertaking more than $40 million a year of waste water, storm water, road and bridge repairs through to 2016.
Downer sent more than 80 staff and contractors on an interactive environmental kayak programme in order to raise the environmental awareness of those on its Project Delivery Team and through this education promote the minimisation of the adverse environmental effects of their work.
Category: Protecting our coasts and oceans
Te Korowai o Te Tai O Marokura, Kaikoura Coast Marine Guardians:
The Kaikoura Coast Marine Guardians brings together stakeholders along the Kaikoura coastline between the Waiau and Clarence rivers to contribute to a strategy for managing the coastline. The strategy aims to sustain customary practice and protect the marine environment by seeking world heritage status and the creation of marine mammal sanctuary and marine reserve to maintain fish abundance.
Category: Communication and education and Community Leadership
Lincoln Envirotown Trust:
Lincoln Envirotown Trust is dedicated to fostering a community-owned process for sustainability in Lincoln. As the town grows, the trust promotes its long-term sustainability including issues surrounding water quality, energy use in homes, ecosystem health and biodiversity, food security and waste reduction. The Trust has helped establish six other envirotowns in the Selwyn District.
Category: Community leadership
Trees for Canterbury:
Trees for Canterbury is a well-established community organisation, which has been operating for 22 years cultivating native plants for community plantings and re-vegetation projects using plants eco-sourced from local areas. Trees for Canterbury has grown and donated more than 750,000 native plants for re-vegetation. Every year Trees for Canterbury plants and donates directly to the community 45,000 eco-sourced native plants.
Category: Small business leadership
This industrial laundry is focused on minimising their environmental impact by tracking and reducing carbon emissions, water usage and other environmental impacts across their business.
I’ll let you know after the awards ceremony, June 5th, who the winners are. Good luck to all our Canterbury finalists!
Friday, April 26th, 2013 by Admin
Good news on the waste front in Canterbury. Environment Canterbury is heading a project aimed at minimising treated timber waste in landfills. With approximately 50,000 tonnes of treated timber from demolitions heading to landfill in Canterbury a more sustainable way of disposing of it urgently needs to be found, including options for the timber’s reuse or recycling.
Rekindle's recycled timber chairs
The project will look into three main areas:
- Waste treated timber sources: The types of treated timbers going to landfill and its condition. What are the quantities due to the earthquakes compared to what is considered usual.
- Potential end uses: How might the waste treated timber (once processed if necessary) be utilised and are these uses feasible?
- Potential processing technologies: How can the waste treated timber be processed to convert it into something useful? Are these processes proven and feasible?
Key challenges noted by the project team include:
- How much treated timber waste is actually generated particularly in terms of earthquake demolition i.e. what proportion of timber waste is treated?
- What is the composition of this waste in terms of type of treatment?
- Once the Christchurch rebuild is complete, what levels of treated waste can be expected?
The project team completing this work includes Environment Canterbury, the Canterbury Waste Joint Committee, the Christchurch City Council, BRANZ and Scion. The project will run for over a year with the majority of funding coming from the Government’s Waste Minimisation Fund.
I’ll keep you posted on how the project progresses and hopefully what sustainable processes will be implemented to curb the amount of treated timber ending up in Canterbury’s landfills.
Image from: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rekindle/242012042559386?fref=ts
Thursday, March 28th, 2013 by Admin
Auckland company All Good Organics was recently named one of the world’s most ethical companies by the Ethisphere Institute. The banana importers are the first New Zealand business to make the list. Awesome stuff!
All Good Bananas
The Ethisphere Institute reviews nominations from over 100 countries and across 36 industries to compile the World’s Most Ethical (WME) companies list. The list recognises companies who have outstanding ethical behaviour, judging on a company’s code of ethics, regulatory compliance, investment in sustainable business practices and corporate citizenship.
The company was founded by entrepreneurs Chris Morrison, his brother Matt Morrison and Simon Coley. Their winning ways have clearly come from their philosophy. As Chris says “All Good believes we can’t ignore the consequences, humane or environmental, of growing the food we eat and enjoy, even though it may happen a long way from New Zealand”.
So why are they a highly ethical company? Well the company imports Fairtrade bananas (branded All Good Bananas) and by choosing Fairtrade it means growers are given an agreed price for their fruit which covers the cost of sustainable production as well as being able to provide for their families. Cooperatives also receive a Fairtrade premium which gets invested in community projects like healthcare and education. The farmers themselves decide how they want to invest the premium they’ve earnt. Being Fairtrade also means the bananas are grown using organic fertilizer, using sustainable agricultural practices.
Do you want to support this sustainable, ethical company? You can buy All Good Bananas in Christchurch from New World supermarkets and Piko Wholefoods, Stanmore Road.
Monday, March 18th, 2013 by Admin
Having brought a new TV myself, and with Canterbury going digital on 28th April, I thought I’d investigate how Cantabarians can recycle their old TV’s.
Recycle your old TV
Firstly I thought it was important to note your local EcoDrop won’t recycle your old TV, it will just be dumped in landfill. Not the best option so here’s a better one…
Two companies in Christchurch recycle e-waste (including TV’s). Before I give you those details, just so you know exactly what sort of items are e-waste here’s a guide:
- DVD Players
- All cables
- Cell Phones
- Keyboards & Mice
- Video Players
- Fax Machines
- Game Consoles
The two companies are listed below and note they recycle for both households and businesses. By recycling at either of these places below you will ensure your items stay out of landfill.
E Scrap Recycling
Your items can be dropped at 615 Halswell Junction Road, Hornby
8:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Thursday
8:00am to 4:30pm Friday
The price list is here. To recycle your old TV it will cost $10.
Your items can be dropped at two locations:
36 Byron Street, Sydenham
9:00 am – 4:30 pm Monday to Friday OR
81c Buchanans Road, Hornby
9:00 am – 4:30 pm Monday to Friday
The price list is here. To recycle your old TV it will cost $25.
So now your armed with the knowledge of where to recycle your old TV, and other e-waste, make the choice to keep these items out of landfill. Good on ya!
Friday, March 15th, 2013 by Admin
One of the best fruits out there happens to be a fave of mine – blueberries. The best part about it is the health benefits they offer.
A Massey University study in New Zealand has found that blueberries, when eaten, assist athletes to recover faster from exercise. So if you love your exercise you might like to try blueberry smoothies to help your muscles repair after a hard workout.
The study, using 10 female athletes, involved the woman being given smoothies, some with blueberries, some without before, during and after exercise. The study found that the blueberries produce a higher level of antioxidant defence in the blood and improved the rate of the athlete’s recovery.
Not only do blueberries aid muscle recovery but studies also show blueberry consumption improves mental health and inhibits fat cell development.
So add blueberries into your diet and enjoy! Here’s a blueberry and banana recipe you might like to try…
Blueberry and Banana Muffins
Blueberry and Banana Muffins
These muffins can be kept in an airtight container for up to three days or you can freeze them.
- 300g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 100g sugar
- 50g porridge oats , plus 1 tbsp for topping
- 2 medium ripe bananas
- 284ml carton buttermilk or plain yoghurt
- 5 tbsp light olive oil
- 2 egg whites
- 150g punnet blueberries
Heat oven to 180C and line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper muffin cases. Tip the flour and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl. Hold back 1 tbsp of the sugar, then mix the remainder with the flour and 50g oats. Make a well in the centre. In a separate bowl mash the bananas until nearly smooth. Stir the buttermilk, oil and egg whites into the mashed banana until evenly combined.
Pour the liquid mixture into the well and stir quickly and sparingly with a wooden spoon. The mix will look lumpy and may have the odd fleck of flour still visible, but don’t be tempted to over mix. Tip in the blueberries and give it just one more stir. Divide the mix between the muffin cases, then sprinkle the tops with the final tbsp of the oats and the rest of the sugar. Bake for 18-20 mins until risen and dark golden. Cool for 5 mins in the tray before lifting out onto a rack.
Image from: http://images.medicaldaily.com/data/images/full/4048/blueberries.jpg?w=500
Image from: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1572/banana-and-blueberry-muffins-
Monday, March 4th, 2013 by Admin
Its Green Ribbon Award nomination time again. If you’re not sure what these awards are about here’s a rundown.
Green Ribbon Awards
The Green Ribbon Awards are presented by the Ministry for the Environment to recognise outstanding contributions by individuals, organisations, businesses and communities who are protecting and enhancing New Zealand’s environment.
Here are 11 award categories:
Protecting Our Biodiversity: This category recognises practical actions to protect and preserve New Zealand’s unique species.
Reducing Our Greenhouse Gas Emissions: This category recognises those who develop and implement strategies, programmes or products that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Caring for Our Water: This category recognises efficient water use, actions to improve water quality and projects that protect and conserve water.
Minimising Our Waste: This category recognises achievements in minimising waste through developing and applying programmes, systems, technology or products that significantly minimise waste.
Protecting Our Coasts and Oceans: This category recognises those who have demonstrated innovation and initiative in protecting, restoring or enhancing marine or coastal ecosystems.
Communication and Education: This category recognises those who improve understanding, bringing about change on environmental issues.
Community Leadership: This category recognises volunteer and not-for-profit organisations who have demonstrated commitment and leadership, empowering their community to take action for the environment.
Small Business Leadership: This category recognises small businesses who demonstrate a commitment to environmental best practice.
Large Business Leadership: This category recognises large organisations who demonstrate a commitment to environmental best practice.
Public Sector Leadership: This category recognises a project within the public sector that has made a measurable difference and/or resulted in environmental behaviour change.
Green Economy: This category recognises businesses that use green technology and innovation to either contribute to better economic performance, add value to our export industry, or enable businesses to move towards a low carbon economy.
Who can nominate? You can nominate yourself, your organisation, community group, service or product or someone else you believe deserves recognition.
How to nominate? Fill out the form here.
Nominations close 12pm Monday 25 March 2013.
Let’s have a look at some of the 2012 winners:
The Supreme winner was Villa Maria Estate.
Go Bamboo toothbrush
The waste minimisation category was won by Go Bamboo who developed a 100 per cent biodegradable toothbrush made from bamboo and is packaged in recycled cardboard. The toothbrush can be disposed of in a compost bin and is offered to schools as fundraisers in conjunction with schools educating on sustainability, being waste wise, and protecting marine life.
The community leadership category was won by Te Ara Kakariki – Greenway Canterbury Trust who have successfully brought environmental change to the lowlands of the Canterbury Plains. Working with the community, iwi, landowners, Environment Canterbury and nurseries they have promoted using native plants within working lands having established an innovative and large scale “Greendot” network of native plantings where native plants, volunteer planters, and management plans are provided to landowners. The Trust has invested significantly in establishing an evidence base through research, documenting the changes they have brought about as well as providing education and awareness programmes.
So if you have believe you have contributed positively to New Zealand’s environment why not nominate. Good luck!
Image from: http://www.mfe.govt.nz/withyou/awards/green-ribbon-winners-2012.html
Image from: http://www.mfe.govt.nz/withyou/awards/green-ribbon-winners-2012.html
Friday, March 1st, 2013 by Admin
Here’s some great craft ideas using recyclable items from around home for both you and the kids.
Brooch Ribbon Necklace
Isn’t this a gorgeous necklace! Here are the instructions on how to make:
- Firstly get out your old brooches and earrings that you want to use for the necklace
- Snap off brooch or earring backs using wire cutters and sand down any sharp bits so they won’t tear clothing. For extra protection you can apply clear nail polish
- For an antique look, coat pieces with spray paint. Quickly rub off most of the paint with a paper towel and let dry
- Using jump rings (metal rings that open and close) and pliers, sort the pieces in the design you’d like. Attach a ring at each end and thread each ribbon halfway through the end rings, knotting each ribbon at ring if desired. Tie behind neck to wear.
Tools for brooch necklace
Tools and Materials: Old brooches or earrings, wire cutters, sandpaper, clear nail polish (optional), copper spray paint (optional), paper towels, 1/4-inch jump rings, needle-nose pliers and 1 1/2-inch-wide silk ribbon, cut into two 24-inch lengths.
This is another grown ups craft idea that I thought was cool.
Here’s a how to guide:
- In a small pan set over a larger pan of simmering water, melt down old candles. Remove old wicks with tongs
- Cut a piece of wicking to the cup’s height plus 2 inches. Clamp one end to a wick sustainer; tie the other end around a skewer. Dip wicking and sustainer into melted wax to coat them. Remove and stick sustainer to cup’s bottom
- Pour in the wax, stopping 1/2 inch below the cup’s rim. Allow wax to set for around an hour. The candle will harden with a well in the centre. To even it out, use another skewer to prick a circle of holes about 1/16 inch deep around the wick. Pour in melted wax until surface is 1/4 inch below rim. Cut wick.
Tools and Materials: nested pans, partially burned candles, tongs, new wicking, teacups, wick sustainers and wooden skewers.
Now it’s craft time for the kids…
Egg Cup Flowers for kids aged 4 -9 years:
What you need:
For the flowers: cardboard egg cartons, small colourful cupcake liners, beads, thick pipe cleaners, scissors, glitter and glue (optional), paint and brushes (optional), sharp pencil.
For the vase: paper towel or toilet paper roll, a yogurt or margarine lid, magic markers or paint, glue and glitter.
How to make the flowers:
- Cut the egg carton apart so you have individual “cups”
- Take one egg carton cup and poke a hole in the centre
- Poke a hole in the centre of a cupcake liner
- Place the cupcake liner inside the egg carton cup and feed a pipe cleaner through the holes
- Place a bead or two on the end of the pipe cleaner (inside the cupcake liner) and twist the ends to hold the beads on
- Repeat until you have a bouquet of flowers.
For the vase:
- To create the vase, simply decorate a paper towel or toilet paper roll using paint or markers.
- Next take a yogurt lid, cover it with glue and sprinkle on glitter
- Then glue the toilet paper tube to the yogurt lid and let dry.
So go ahead, get crafty!
Image from: http://www.marthastewart.com/916034/brooch-ribbon-necklace?czone=home/smart-savings-cnt/save-money&czone=home/smart-savings-cnt/save-money¢er=277003&gallery=274347&slide=916034
Image from: http://www.marthastewart.com/273016/teacup-lights?center=277003&gallery=274347&slide=273016
Image from: http://www.kinderart.com/recycle/eggcupflowers.shtml
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