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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
Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012 by Admin
Last week we blogged about e-waste, and the impact that our technologically obsessed, through away culture is having on our environment. One of the worst culprits of e-waste has to be the mobile phone. I have had my phone for just over two years and its all bit broken. Not from me treating it roughly, but simply because they aren’t built to last and because its the developers sneaky trick to make us upgrade all the time. Starship’s Mobile Phone Appeal takes all your old phones – in whatever shape or form of disrepair they might be – and recycles and refurbishes them with the money going to kids that really need it. They send out cute little envelopes that you can put your old phones in and send them away, and as Starship says, your old mobile phone could save a life – much better than it clogging up landfills.
Old Mobile phones save lives!
Over the course of the first two years of their appeal, Starship has raised $1.5million and over 480,000 phones have been donated. The cool thing about the mobile phone appeal is that it really is an all round win-win situation: you get rid of your own phone, it doesn’t go to a landfill where it definitely doesn’t belong, and you are helping Starship help sick New Zealand kids.
So if you haven’t got one of the cute envelopes in the mail and you want to be part of this campaign, there are a whole bunch of ways that you can get involved. If you work in an office, next June get involved in the Bring a Phone to Work campaign, where you get all the old office and personal phones together and send them off at the end of the month. If you can’t wait till June or you are an individual, you can grab some of those cute envelopes from a whole bunch of places including ASB Bank, Vodafone and the Warehouse. Check out the Find Out How page for full details. Or, if you are a school get involved in the School Phone Swap where you get your students to donate old phones, donate to Starship and also get a whole bunch of rewards for your efforts such as whiteboards and sporting gear.
Support Starship to support kids and support the environment. Sounds pretty feel good to me.
Friday, March 9th, 2012 by Admin
Artists concerned with sustainability are increasingly using old, unwanted materials to make beautiful creations, sculptures and fashion (here think World of Wearable Arts).
This beautiful bird is made out of recycled, damaged CD's
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Tuesday, April 20th, 2010 by Admin
Brenda Harkin is the National Communications Manager and the Manager of the Central & Southern Regions for the Sustainable Business Network, of which SIFT is a member. The Sustainable Business Network pomotes sustainable business practices, helps businesses to become more sustainable and provides a forum for people to talk about sustainble business practices, tools and ideas. You can find out more about what they do here and become a member here. The Sustainable Business Network is a valuable organisation for a sustainable future for New Zealand. Here are Brenda’s answers to our Green Collar Job questions:
1. What do you do to live more sustainably (with a low impact) in your life?
I endeavour to incorporate sustainable living choices in all areas of my life; from choosing eco-friendly cleaning products, to growing organic vegetables with my homemade compost. During recent home renovations, I researched sustainable options with regards to hot water heating, showerheads, and insulation and so on. We have two children so we spend time educating them around sustainability and helping them to understand the potential positive and negative impacts our choices have on our environment.
2. How do you live more sustainably at work?
The whole purpose of the Sustainable Business Network, the organisation I’m employed by, is to help businesses to succeed through sustainability. Inherently, everything I do links back to this purpose. On a more personal level, SBN staff endeavour to ‘walk the talk’ at every turn and this manifests itself in managing work/life balance, office purchasing decisions, advancing sustainable action, and so on.
3. What do you think is the biggest environmental issue we need to deal with in Christchurch/New Zealand?
The biggest challenge we face around sustainability is apathy. Inaction and disinterest are the environment’s largest threat.
4. What makes you smile?
The funny things my children say in complete innocence and at top volume, for example: ‘Mum, why does that woman’s hair look like a lion’s mane?’…oh dear!
5. What is your biggest pet peeve?
People who complain about the world or their lives, but fail to take a stand and instigate the action necessary to facilitate change. Paraphrasing Mahatma Gandhi, ‘If you want to see the change, you have to be the change.’
6. What is your favourite colour and why?
Actually, its green…and surprisingly, it doesn’t relate to any green affiliations; I just like the colour!
7. Do you have a favourite place in the world? Describe why?
In New Zealand, it would have to be Matapouri Beach in Northland; one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting. My partner’s family is from Whangarei so we usually spend Christmas holidays there. If I’m thinking further afield, then I would have to say that I love returning to my hometown of Dublin, Ireland. There’s just something special about the view of Dublin Bay as you descend into the airport that makes me feel like I’ve come home. And as the youngest of seven siblings, it’s marvellous to spend time with my extended family as well.
8. What’s your connection to Sift?
One aspect of my role with the Sustainable Business Network is Southern Regional Manager. Sift is one of SBN’s members based in the Southern Region.
9. Do you remember your favourite teacher and why they were your favourite?
My favourite teacher was when I was about eight years old – her name was Miss Bergin. She wasn’t long out of teaching college from memory and she was just so LOVELY; she still had a wonderful enthusiasm which some teachers unfortunately lose over time. Added to this was the fact that since I attended a Catholic Girls School, a reasonable portion of my teachers were strict nuns!
10. What do you want to leave behind?
A life well-lived with no regrets.
11. What do you think the future will bring?
I’m an optimist by nature so I have complete faith that the human race will make the necessary changes to ensure that the world will amend its flawed ways. There is a huge groundswell evident at present and it’s only a matter of time before we reach critical mass. Then, the people who care about sustainability will outnumber those who don’t and positive change is inevitable.
12. Who is someone you really admire and why?
I really admire anyone who is willing to take a stand against wrongful activities, whether that’s where environmental issues or human rights are being concerned. As a pacifist, I don’t support violent protest, but believe that the way to instigate change is to engage in meaningful dialogue with the affected parties and present reasoned arguments in an undeniably convincing manner.
13. What is happening outside your window right now?
The sun is shining and, since its school holidays, there are lots of children around town laughing and having fun. Oh to be young and free again…
14. What is your favourite breakfast?
Despite being Irish and hating the taste of it upon my initial arrival in NZ, I’m proud to say that I’m now a ‘two slices of toast with marmite’ aficionado. Now that’s what I call black gold…
15. What is the best piece of advice you can give us?
Take a stand, embrace sustainability at home, at work and in your community, leave apathy behind…the rewards you’ll reap (environmental, social and economic) will far outweigh the efforts expended along the way.
Thanks Brenda for your wonderful, meaningful and thought provoking answers. We look forward to continuing our relationship with you into the future.
Sunday, March 7th, 2010 by Admin
Source: Flickr Ed's Photostream 11 Butterfly
The Sustainable Initiatives Fund Trust is a catalyst for change. We know (roughly) how much waste is generated, how much goes to landfill, what the negative environmental impacts are of that waste (leachate, toxins, global warming from methane emissions etc) and the amount of work and cultural behaviour change that is required to reduce how much waste is generated and sometimes that can be rather overwhelming and depressing. But, everyday we are reminded of those individuals, businesses and community groups who are doing good work and we are uplifted everyday by those we are helping to make the numbers better and improve the health of our environment – one step at a time, one day at a time.
Sometimes it can take a few years from the start of the relationship to the final outcome of the project. And that final outcome may just be the first step in many steps to creating a sustainable and commercially viable process that can help to significantly reduce the amount of waste that goes to Canterbury’s landfills.
It is about having a long term goal for our future – a sustainable Canterbury future where any waste generated is reused, recovered or recycled on shore first and where landfill and sending it offshore is the last resort (for all waste streams). But it will take time, patience, innovative ideas, advancement in technology, sound investment, collaboration (public and private partnerships), commitment, affecting cultural behaviour change, walking the talk, leading and being the catalyst for change. That is what SIFT is about – being a positive force for good as a social lender.
We have profiled a few businesses that are leading in waste management on our blog in the past and you can see some of the good and impactful work that we have done here. We have a number of super exciting projects on the go at the moment that will make a difference to Canterbury’s waste and will let you all know in due course about what they are and what good they will do.
If you are looking for funding for a project that will reduce the amount of waste going to Canterbury’s landfill or have a new idea that we could help with you can apply here.
You can check out our Flickr photos here too.
And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
Thursday, February 4th, 2010 by Admin
An often blogged about business that is taking a lead on selling products with little or no packaging is London’s Unpackaged store. Set up in 2006 to provide a better way to sell food you can only purchase items if you bring your own refillable storage containers with you. There are some items in cans and glass that can be recycled for purcahse and we love the wooden crates and super large paper bags that contain a range of fruit and vege. They only stock products that are good for the environment. As they say on their website recycling will not be enough to reduce the amount of packaging waste that goes to landfill so we need to consume items with little or no packaging first – again it’s about reducing our consumption to reduce our waste.
For those living in Christchurch Piko (and Lyttle Piko in Lyttleton) is probably the closest wholefoods store that we have that also has a policy of bring your own refillable containers. Last year they celebrated their 30th birthday and are now a favourite of many who live sustainably. As well as great bulk produce (some organic) they have a great range of seeds (for growing your own produce – no packaging), fair trade goodies and organic goods. There is some packaging but most can be recycled. If you need to use a bag they have brown paper bags which can go straight in the compost.
Keep a look out for other ways to shop with less packaging – visit farmer’s markets, fruit and vege stores that package in old cardboard boxes, grow/make your own, reusable bags for the supermarket (especially reuse those plastic bulk bin bags) and recycle what packaging you do get. And for businesses – start looking at the amount of packaging you produce for your product (or service) and think of ways to reduce or provide packaging that can be recycled (or returned to you for recycling as part of a Product Stewardship scheme) or better yet – can you do without packaging?
Reduce First, Reuse Second, Recycle Third and then only landfill if you really have to.
Wednesday, January 20th, 2010 by Admin
Just before Christmas we chose the winners of our e-waste competition. For the most sustainable/commercial category the winner is Alan Leifting from Christchurch. His idea was to modify cell phone battery chargers so they can be used as DC power supplies for other electronic products.
SIFT CEO Linda Norris with e-waste competition winner Alan Leifting.
And the winner of the most artistic/creative category was Jo Wynne who won our artistic/creative category for our last competition. Jo entered two really cool 3D pieces of art made from old electronic equipment. Our favourite is the one on she is holding. Love the copper elements mixed with black and silver and hanging down on wire.
SIFT CEO Linda Norris with e-waste competition winner Jo Wynne.
Jo Wynne's e-waste art
Both winners received a 2008 iPod Nano which they were super pleased with. A nice end to the year.
Tuesday, December 15th, 2009 by Admin
We recently met up with our local Spicers paper rep who gave us all the recycled paper samples available at the moment. She also had this great little booklet called “Paper is the future – Love paper.” Paper is a resource that we consume a lot of and even though it was promoted and touted as the new way to live we have not become a paperless society (with all the new technology). People still print emails (and sometimes you need to), reports, documents, booklets, magazines etc – hundreds of thousands of reams of paper. We love the tactile nature of paper and holding it in your hands. It is also excellent at communicating, educating, motivating and story telling.
As stated in a previous post we use a lot of paper – 945,499 tonnes (221kg per person per year) in the year March 31 2009 (Ministry for Agriculture and Forestry Annual Pulp, Paper and Production)
The pink Spicers booklet talks about sustainable production and that use of paper is good because it comes from a renewable resource and is made from the offcuts of timber not the rounds. There are standards and accreditations that paper mills can go through (and printers too) such as FSC (Forest Stewardship Council certified) and PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) and Environmental Choice New Zealand. And some mills even produce their own energy on site and recycle their water. The key is to choose the right paper for your product and even look into the design of your document to reduce wastage. Use paper consciously and recycle what you don’t use. And find an environmentally conscious printer.
Here are a couple of interesting stats from the booklet:
“Per tonne of paper produced, energy consumption is down by 21%, greenhouse gas emisions by 22% and water cosnumption by 63% internationally since 1990.”
“New Zealanders recycle and reuse 78% of our waste paper and board, the highest recovery rate for used paper in the world.”
“Reading a newspaper can consume 20% less carbon than viewing news online” (Swedish Royal Institute for Technology)
We think that using digital technologies to communicate has a smaller footprint than paper but it can have a major impact. Think of all the e-waste (toxins and chemicals leaching into landfill), mining of material to make electronics, the energy used (and emissions expended) to run the technology. When you compare this with the sustainable and renewable paper industry “you can see why the print vs digital issue is far from clear-cut environmentally” says the booklet. Definitely something to think about.
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