The Buzz Blog

Welcome to our blog 'The Buzz'.  Here we will keep you updated on what is happening in the world of bees and honey and anything else that we think you would be interested in.  If there is a topic you would like to hear about drop us an email and I'll see what we can do.


Conservation Week 15 - 23 Sept

Written by Stephanie on September 14th, 2018.      0 comments

Conservation Week is run by Department of Coservation (DOC) to encourage people to get involved in nature and help to take care of it.  It’s a nationwide celebration of kiwis pitching in to help our native plants and animals.

This year conservation week is aiming to raise awareness of the biodiversity crisis that New Zealand is facing with more than 4,000 of our species threatened or at risk, and what we can all do to help.  DOC says "The species at risk include those that people know, like the Māui dolphin, and those that aren’t well known including fungi, snails, insects, lizards and fish. All of these species are part of what makes New Zealand unique. When we lose a species, we lose part of ourselves".

Thousands of New Zealanders are already involved in conservation activities. DOC says "When we pull together we can make a big difference".

DOC and other conservation groups are organising events around the country, these provide opportunities to join in, get active and show your love for our nature. They also showcase our special species and the things  we can do help conserve them.


What Can We All Do?



 
Topics: Enviromental
 

Supply Water for Bees

Written by Stephanie on September 6th, 2018.      0 comments

Summer is an important time of year to ensure the bees have plenty of water to drink.  Help the bees in your garden this summer by creating some water stations for them.  The trick is to create stations that are not too deep and allow the bees to drink water without falling in.  Here's some ideas:
 
  • Create a shallow pond in your garden where bees can land on the edges to collect water
  • Place pebbles or twigs in a saucer of water so bees have something to stand on and drink
  • Fill a bucket, pail or trough with water. Cover the top of the water with wine corks, this gives the bees a landing pad to drink from
  • Wet sand is another great option, pop it near flowering plants and water regularly.

Drinking-Bees
Topics: , Bee Facts
 

Feed The Bees - Plant Bee Friendly Plants!

Written by Stephanie on September 6th, 2018.      0 comments

As you may know this month is 'Bee Aware Month' and with spring upon us it's a great time to focus on making sure our Kiwi bees have plenty of food to keep them buzzing!

Bees forage on flowers for nectar, which provide carbohydrates, and pollen, for protein. These are important for growth and energy. Well-nourished bees are more capable of fending off disease and parasites.  And you may be aware there are more and more diseases and parasites that affect bees in New Zealand.
But what can we do?  There is plenty we can do, we can plant bee friendly plants, not use bee harmful chemicals in our gardens and supply water for them.  I'll be covering these aspects in blogs this month.  First I'll cover what you can plant at your palce to feed the bees.

 

How to Encourage Bees To Your Garden

 

  • Planting in large clusters of the same species of flower will attract bees into your garden
  • Plant flowers for each season, a steady source of nectar and pollen all year round will help ssustain the bees


Here’s a list of some plants to get you going:


wildflower panarama
 

Herbs:

Basil Chives Lavender Rosemary
Bergamot Coriander Lemon Balm Sage
Borage Dill Marshmallow Spearmint
Calendula Echinacea Oregano Tarragon
Caraway Garlic Chives Parsley Thyme
Catnip Lamb’s Ears Rocket Verbena
 

Wildflowers:

Wildflowers are naturally organic—they are not susceptible to bugs or diseases, can help control garden pests and they attract bees and beneficial insects into the garden. We sell a wildflower seed mix with all the following flowers included, and the great thing is all proceeds go to the National Beekeepers Association for research into helping our NZ bees.
 
Calendula Plains coreopsis Toadflax Baby Blue Eyes
China aster Forget-me-not Blue Linum Corn Poppy
Mixed cornflowers Blanket flower Sweet Alyssum Sweet Mignonette
Farewell to spring Globe Gilia Virginia Stock  
 

Other Plants / Shrubs / Flowers:

Abelias  Foreget-me-nots  Lavender  Seaside Daisy
Balsam  Fuchsias  Marigolds  Sumacs
Begonias  Geranium  Michaelmas daisy  Summer phlox
Butterfly bushes  Giant Hyssop  Nasturtiums  Sunflower
California Bluebell  Gladioli  Penstemon  Sweet Alyssum
Carnations  Globe thistles  Petunias  Sweet Peas
Cornflowers  Gorse  Phacelia  Wild Lilac
Cosmos  Hebe  Poppy  Wild & Old Fashioned Roses
Crape myrtle  Hollyhock  Salvia  Zinnia
 

Trees:

Australian Gum Hazelnuts Napaka Three Finger
Alders Heketara NZ Jasmine NZ Tulip tree
Bottlebrush Kanuka  Oaks Tupelos
Cabbage Tree Kohuhu Pohutukawa Viburnum
Camellia Koromiko Rata Weeping Kowhai 
Cotoneaster Lacebark Rewarewa Willows
Five Finger Lemonwood Sycamores Wisteria
Harakeke, NZ Flax Manuka  Tawari  

bee in vege-945-485-507

Vegetables:

Buckwheat Cucumbers Spinach
Capsicums Eggplant Sweetcorn
Carrot Pumpkins, squash Tomatoes
Courgettes Silver Beet Zucchini

Please note: growing flowers among your vegetables is a great way to encourage bees and discourage pest insects.  Find out more about companion planting.


Fruit & Berries:

Apple  Crabapples  Lemons  Peaches
Berries  Elderberries  Limes  Pear
Blackberries  Flowering quinces  Melons  Persimmons
Blueberries  Grapefruit  Oranges  Plub
Cherries  Kiwifruit  Passion Fruit  Strawberry

Cosmos flower and bee-74-912Of course there are many more, so do some more research for plants in your area.  Garden catalogues often make note of which plants attract bees.  Here’s some tips for choosing plants:
  • Look for flowers with single layers of petals instead of doubles or triples
  • Select simple traditional flowers that are not highly modified
  • Choose flowers that have big open ‘bowl’ type flowers, that give bees easy access to the nectar and pollen
  • Choose sunny spots with shelter from the wind, over shade.

Remember that bees are attracted to abundance & quality of pollen and nectar, density of flowers, size of plant, fragrance and easy access to the flower's insides.  So choose plants carefully, plant in large clusters of the same species of plants together.   Include different sized and shaped flower.  Try to plant flowers for each season so bees have a source of nectar and pollen all year round.
 
Read more on what else you can do to help the bees in NZ
Where would we be without bees
Helping our NZ bees
Avoid insecticides that affect bees
What else can we do to help NZ bees?
 
Topics: , Bee Friendly
 

Avoiding Insecticides that Affect Bees!

Written by Stephanie on September 6th, 2018.      0 comments

One of the biggest threats to bees is the use of insecticides in home gardens, farms, orchards and market gardens.  They are designed to kill good and bad insects, including bees so please avoid them.  Sprays and coated seeds containing neonicotinoids are linked to bees disappearing around the world.  Unfortunately they persist in the environment for a long time, so keep on affecting bees.  The European Union have banned neonicotinoid insecticides for two years until further studies have been carried out.  This is fantastic! 
 

neonicotinoids food chain-392-696Avoid products that contain these:

  • Acetamprid    
  • Imidacloprid  
  • Thiacloprid   
  • Thiamethoxam


Tui, one of New Zealand's gardening suppliers, says that “the solution is to reduce the risk of insect attack, by keeping plants healthy, well watered and well fertilised to maintain a strong plant. Insects are more likely to attack weak plants. If insect problems do occur, choose one of the natural based insect control options available”  In NZ you can purchase natural based insect controls such as Tui Natural Plant Protection Range  or go to your local Palmers Garden Centre , who sells a range of bee friendly pest solution such as Easy Trap, Kiwicare and Yates products.

Or you can make your own all-purpose garden spray by using ingredients from your kitchen cupboard.  
 

If you have to spray:

  • Spray carefully and spray in the late evening with bee friendly sprays after bees have gone to bed.       
  • Don’t spray while plants are flowering.
  • Don’t spray insecticides for a fortnight before flowering.      
  • Avoid spraying plants that bees are feeding on.

One major problem is that there are many pest controls, including neonicotinoids, used on produce and as a seed treatment, there seems to be no restrictions in place.   How can we stop this happening?  We can:
  • Grow our own fruit and veges    
  • Preserve your own food    
  • Buy from your local farmers market and ask the producer how they handle pests
  • Eat organic produce and food.  Hopefully this will then increase the supply of organically grown food and decrease the amount of sprays being used in crops.
 

Read more on looking after our NZ bees here:

Topics: , Bee Friendly, Enviromental
 

Bee Aware Month!

Written by Stephanie on September 1st, 2018.      0 comments

Wow can you believe it's September and 'Bee Aware Month' already!  Time to celebrate our New Zealand bees!  This year's focus is on bee health and how we can all help protect our NZ bee population.  The most important things we can all do are to provide food and water for them and to be very careful when spraying on our properties.  Here's some great tips to look after our bees this season:
 

Feed the Bees

Bees forage on flowers to collect nectar (a source of carbohydrates) and pollen ( a source of protein) to help them grow and provide them with energy for their busy work.  A well-nourished bee is more capable of fighting disease and parasites.

The easiest thing we can do to help the bees is to provide bee-friendly flowers in our gardens, no matter where we live.  Follow this link to get some ideas of what flowers to grow in your garden.

 

Providing Water for Bees


Just like us bees need water to survive.  Providing them witBee getting a drink-772h a source of fresh water, especially in summer when puddles are scarce, will be a huge benefit to them.  There are a few tricks to providing them water, it needs to be shallow and have something for them to sit on so they don't fall in.  Have a look at these great ideas!
 

Spray Safe and Consider the Bees

One of the biggest treats to bees is the use of insecticides in home gardens, farms, orchards and market gardens.  They are designed to kill good and bad insects, including bees so please avoid them if at all possible.  If you really need to use them please read these great tips first - 
We've got lots more information on sprays if you follow this link.



 
Topics: , Bee Friendly Facts
 

Sustainable Gift Giving

Written by Stephanie on August 31st, 2018.      0 comments

Now that I'm becoming more mindful of waste I'm more aware of how wasteful gift giving can be.  I'm sure you, like many of us, have been given gifts that never get used.  It seems such a waste!  


Gift Giving

It can often be a struggle to find the right gifts for people.  A lot of our friends are trying to declutter and reduce the amount of 'stuff' they have and I really don't want to add more impractical, wasteful things to their lives.  And parents usually have everything they want.  Now when buying gifts I think to myself "Will this add to the world's waste problem?  Will this be useful or loved?" I will often ask if there is anything they want or need, at least then I know it won't be wasted.  Here's some good tips I've come across:

 

Gift Wrapping

I cringe at the amount of wrapping paper that is used once and then thrown out, especially at kids parties and Christmas.  I've recently come across a much better option and everyone that has received a gift wrapped this way has loved it!  Every time I go past a second hand shop I buy some scarfs and use them for wrapping gifts. It's a Japanese form of gift wrapping - furoshiki.  You can just search on Tube You for furoshiki and the item you are wrapping and get some great ideas.  There is no paper and no sellotape used and the greatest thing is the recipient can reuse it for a gift that they give!  I love it!  Here are just a few of the gifts I've given wrapped in scarfs and my basket of scarfs all ready to go.  By the way you can use any material and ribbons you like.  The world is your oyster!

vScarf-Wrapping-1   Scarf-Basket

Topics: , Reducing Waste
 

Waste Free Travelling

Written by Stephanie on August 26th, 2018.      0 comments

I usually get a bit slack with reducing my wastage when I'm travelling.  How about you?  I've always carried my reusable water bottle in the car but that's as far as it went, until recently.  When travelling or eating out on the run it can be very hard to avoid single-use plastic.  But I've found a bit of prep and forward thought can really help reduce this sort of plastic wastage.  

I knew I needed to get my act together and get a little car kit together but I kept procrastinating.  My final breaking point was taking the boys for sushi in the food court during the school holidays and there were no other options but single use plastic, and we were eating in the food court.  I was pretty wild they didn't have other options (especially since we were eating in the food court).  And I was upset with myself for not being prepared and bringing something with me.  I started working on my kit that afternoon!  

So I finally now have a great kit in my car that includes: cups, reusable stainless straws, cutlery, fabric napkins, stainless steel containers with lids for our sushi, leftovers, etc. I went a bit fancy and picked up a flax kete from Go Eco for $16.  It's hand made by a local woman in Kawhia, you may have seen her on Seven Sharp a few weeks ago.  I love it, it makes it feel pretty special!  

I always have a reusable drink bottle in the front of my car and a JOCO coffee cup in my glovebox and I keep the kit in the boot of my car ready for when we need it.
 
Meals-on-the-go-kete


 

We love these 'meals on the go' products so much we now sell them:

Topics: , Products , Reducing Waste
 

Do We Need Plastic Bags To Line Our Bins?

Written by Stephanie on August 16th, 2018.      0 comments

We're rapt that the the NZ government has decided to ban plastic bags.  Of course some people might not be so happy, relying on plastic bags for many uses.  One use that is very popular is for lining our rubbish bins.  Can we do without them for this purpose?  Is there an alternative to using a plastic bag to line our rubbish bins?

I've been cutting back on our plastic use for a few years now and this year I'm making a real concentrated effort to eliminate any plastic that can be replaced with something more sustainable.  Going completely plastic free may be unattainable but I'll just do the best I can to get as close as I can. 

One thing I struggled with for years is the idea of not putting a plastic bag in my rubbish bins as a liner.  The thought of no liners and having to scrub my bins out put me right off.  So I've just carried on using kitchen liners in my big kitchen bin and supermarket plastic bags in my other bins, but not been feeling good about it.  

As time went on and got into the habit of taking my own reusable cloth bags to the supermarket (every time I went) we had less plastic bags in the house so I ended up with none to put in the bins.  I had to slowly stop using liners in my bins, except I did carry on with bin liners for the kitchen bin.  I first started with the bedroom and computer desk bins, they mostly only had paper in them anyway.  Then I took the bold step of not using liners in the bathroom and toilet and you know it wasn't that bad.  I'm a waste freak and go through the bins and separate out paper, soft plastics recycling, and other recycling from the rubbish anyway.  I hardly ever have to clean out those bins they stay really clean.

Now the kitchen rubbish bin was a different story!  What was I going to do with that!  I hated that I was still using plastic and that took me to the even bolder step of using a newspaper liner.  Below is a video to show you how to make them, I actually get the kids to make it for me each time I empty the bin.  I only empty the bin once a week now and it is mostly only  1/4 - 1/2 full at the end of a week.  I can't believe that the newspaper liner holds everything and doesn't break, it's perfect!  Honestly, give it a go, what's the harm in trying!

The key has been that I have been cutting back waste for a while know, we put out 1 paper rubbish sack at the gate once every 4-6 weeks at the moment.  I'm finding our rubbish bins don't really have much messy stuff in them any more anyway, which really helps.
 

Here's some of my tips making sure your rubbish isn't wet or smelly for a newspaper liner:

  • No food scraps go in the bins.  We use a worm farm, compost and have chickens and sheep that love our scraps.  Anything they can't deal with gets buried in the garden to decompose (not sure if this is good or bad but my rubbish bin doesn't smell).
  • All soft plastics such as bread bags, chip packets, cat food bags, goes to the supermarket soft plastic recycling bin. Just make sure they are washed and dried first so they can be used or they will end up going to the landfill. If you buy meat in plastic this can be washed, dried and put in recycling too.  I buy my meat from my local butcher and take reusable containers for them to fill.
  • Swapping to a moon cup has been a huge waste mimimiser!  You could try that or reusable pads or something similar to cut out sanitary wastage.  I love that I now have no wastage there!  
  • If you have nappies in the house look at washable options, there are some great options out there now.  Also don't use baby wipes, try buying some cloths especially for this and wash and reuse them (I used to use small Chux cloths).
  • Use cloth napkins instead of serviettes and paper towels (I bought a whole lot 2nd hand) and reusable cloth pads instead of facial pads.

I'm sure there's more that I can't think of right now but you are most welcome to email me if I've forgotten a messy item that normally goes in the bin and I'll add it (if I have an alternative).

 
This video came from Boomerang Bags YouTube Channel
Topics: , Reducing Waste
 

Plastic Free July: Tip #4 - Reduce Packaging

Written by Stephanie on July 30th, 2018.      0 comments


Monthly-PlasticThe photo to the right was a display at the Waikato Museum that shows how much packaging the average New Zealand family sends to the landfill every month.  Startling isn't it! Do you think your family uses this much packaging monthly?  I think if you held onto your plastics for a month you would be surprised how much you used!

You can just imagine what this is doing to the environment with everyone adding their bit to the landfill each month.  If we all did a little something to reduce the amount of packaging we use it will all help! 
 

Tips for Reducing Packaging in Our Homes:

  • Grow your own veges and fruit
  • Buy fresh, loose food rather than pre-packaged food, you can make or buy little cloth bags to put loose fruit or veges into
  • Say no to the plastic bags that shops give to carry your goods, see Limit Plastic Bag Use, take your own cloth bags instead.
  • Choose items in glass, paper, cardboard, etc as opposed to plastic
  • Buy nuts, dried fruit, flour, legumes, coffee, rice, oats, etc from bulk bins using cloth bin bags (check out your local Bin Inn Store)
  • Consider buying commonly used items like flour and rice in bulk and share with friends (bags are usually paper)
  • Avoid over packaged products, go for products with the least plastic packaging
  • Go for reusable options where you can, eg refilling containers, refillable toner cartridges, etc
  • Purchase from a Farmers Market or farm shop and take your own cloth bags
  • Store food in the fridge in a non-plastic container, in a bowl with a plate on the top or cover or wrap them in HoneyWraps or you make your own bowl covers
  • Make or buy fresh bread from the bakery and pop into a cloth bag, you can make your own
  • Wrap cheese in an old linen towel
  • Learn the art of furoshiki gift wrapping, it's fun!
  • Use reusable lunch boxes and wrap in HoneyWraps rather than plastic food wrap for lunches and snacks
  • Use newspaper to line your rubbish bin instead of a plastic bag - check out this website for more details
  • Instead of using plastic bags when walking the dog use newspaper to wrap up their business
  • Use paper rubbish sacks
  • Use glass or stainless steel drink bottles and reusable travel coffee mugs
  • Don't use plastic straws; don't use straws at all or use stainless steel straws
  • Use wooden toothbrushes and biogegradable dental floss
  • Make the most of bamboo and other natural fibre products!  You can purchase sustainable dish brushes, etc from EcoWarehouse
  • Save glass jars and containers for storing bulk food and leftovers
  • When you have a crowd over and don't have enough for them to eat off make sure you use paper or biodegradable plates and bamboo cutlery or even better get them to bring some more plates and cutlery with them, less waste!

See other blogs on this topic:


Check out our range of plastic free products

Topics: , Enviromental , Plastic Free , Reducing Waste
 

Plastic Free July: Tip #3 - Plastic Free Shopping

Written by Stephanie on July 25th, 2018.      0 comments

Here are some tips for limiting plastic when you are shopping this Plastic Free July.

 

EnviroSax-Oriental-Spice-Bag-4-542-569

General:

  • Say no to the plastic bags that shops give to carry your goods, see Limit Plastic Bag Use, always have a folded up bag or two in your handbag
  • Choose items in glass, paper, cardboard, etc as opposed to plastic
  • Avoid over packaged products, go for products with the least plastic packaging
  • Go for reusable options where you can, eg refilling containers, refillable toner cartridges, etc


Food:EnviroSax-Oriental-Spice-Bag-4-Folded-31

  • Take your own containers for deli and butcher items, there are more us doing this now so you might not be the first for your butcher, you can do it
  • Buy loose fruit and veggies and not the ones pre-packaged
  • Use your own cloth produce bags for fruit and vegies
  • Buy nuts, dried fruit, flour, legumes, coffee, rice, oats, etc from bulk bins using paper bags of cloth bulk bin bags (check out your local Bin Inn Store)
  • Consider buying commonly used items like flour and rice in bulk and share with friends (bags are usually paper)
  • Purchase from a farmers market or your local farm shop and take your own bags
  • Take cloth bags or tea towels to your local baker (farmers market or farm shop) for bread, or better still make your own bread with your bulk flour!  You can make your own cloth bread bags by following these instructions
  • Buy wine with natural corks
  • Give up chewing gum (would you believe chewing gum has plastic!)
  • Buy loose tea leaves instead of teabags, they also have plastic in them, let alone the plastic they wrap the boxes in
  • Grow your own veggies and fruit
Plastic Wrapped veges and fruit-607
Avoid pre-packaged items

Rethink-Produce-Full-26
Use cloth alternatives
 
                    

Cleaning Supplies:

  • Make your own cleaning products, there are lots of websites with recipes but check out Wendyl Nissen's recipes
  • Take your own reusable containers to refill at bulk buying shops such as Bin Inn
  • Use cleaning clothes such as Enjo, no other products are required
 

Bathroom Items:

             

See other blogs on this topic:


Check out our range of plastic free products

Topics: , Enviromental , Plastic Free , Reducing Waste
 

Plastic Free July: Tip #2 - Plastic Free Meals on the Go

Written by Stephanie on July 17th, 2018.      0 comments

Here's some tips for limiting plastic when you are eating and drinking on the go this Plastic Free July.

 

When Eating Out:

  • Take your own containers when ordering takeaways from somewhere that uses plastic (eg Indian), or find a takeaway joint that used eco-friendly packaging
  • Take your own container/s to restaurants for any leftovers
  • Carry reusable utensils such as bamboo or your own stainless steel cutlery from home when eating at places like food halls and when eating takeaways away from home.
 

Drinking on the Go:JOCO-12oz-vintage-green-974

  • Keep a reusable travel mug in your car at all times, as soon as it's been washed put in straight back in before you forget
  • Keep a reusable coffee mug on your desk at work
  • If you're going for a takeaway coffee while at work and have forgotten your reusable mug just grab one from the staff room
  • If  you forget your reusable mug when ordering a coffee ask for 'no lid'
  • Carry a reusable water bottle with you at all times or use a glass on your desk instead of the plastic cups
  • Say no to a straw when ordering cold drinks or carry stainless steel straws with you.
 

Snacking on the Go:

  • When ordering ice cream choose a cone over a tub
  • Look for a local sausage sizzle
  • Buy from bakeries, cafes, etc that use paper as opposed to plastic bags
  • Choose food that isn't pre-wrapped.
  • Take your own snacks in a non-plastic container or wrap them in honey wraps.


 
Topics: , Enviromental, Plastic Free
 

Plastic Free July: Tip #1 - Limit Plastic Bag Use

Written by Stephanie on July 9th, 2018.      0 comments

As mentioned in my last blog post this month is Plastic Free July.  We're going to give you some tips on how to be plastic free.  These tips on our how to avoid plastic bag use.
 

How to Limit Plastic Bag Use

 
  • Store cloth bags in your car and/or handbag so you always have them when you out shopping.  Don't accept plastic bags from stores, instead use your cloth bags.  The trick is to put them straight back in the car or in your bag when you've emptied them.
  • Don't buy fruit and veges pre-packaged in plastic, instead choose the loose items.  Use your own small cloth bags or paper bags to collect them, we love the Rethink produce bags.  
  • EnviroSax-Oriental-Spice-Bag-2-162Use cardboard boxes from the supermarket to carry your shopping
  • Buy fresh bread in paper bags, or even better make your own bread
  • Ask the butcher to wrap meats directly into paper or take your own reusable containers.  Our butcher (Wholly Cow in Hamilton and Cambridge) is more than happy fill our containers.
  • Buy bulk as much as you can to avoid over packaged products, then decant or free-flow when you get home.  Buy items from the bulk bins using paper bags or these great Rethink bulk bin bags.
  • Ask your local grocery store and/or market to stock paper/cloth bags, if they don't already.  Or organise some boomerang bags for them.
  • Use newspaper to line your rubbish bin instead of a plastic bag - check out this website for more details.  Buy paper rubbish sacks instead of the plastic ones from your supermarket, they are surprising tough.  To avoid mess and smell in your bin start composting, a worm farm or get chickens for your scraps.  Or you can put your wet scraps in a container in the freezer until rubbish day.  But remember food scraps turn into methane in the landfill so composting, worm farms or chickens are a better option.
  • Instead of using plastic bags when walking the dog use newspaper to wrap up their business.  Or you could look into cornstarch based compostable bags online or from your pet supplier, then have a dedicated pet poo composting area.


See other blogs on this topic:


Check out the plastic free items in our online store!

Topics: , Enviromental, Plastic Free , Reducing Waste
 

Plastic Free July!

Written by Stephanie on July 1st, 2018.      0 comments

Plastic bottles, bags and takeaway containers that we use just for a few minutes use a material that is designed to last forever.  They break up rather than break down (becoming permanent pollution), and they are either unrecyclable or down-cycled (made into low-grade products for just one more use).  When sent to the landfill they can escape from bins and trucks to end up in our waterways and the ocean.  

Alarmingly scientists predict that there will be more tonnes of plastic in the ocean than tonnes of fish by 2050!  Imagine the impact on our food chain!  Every bit of plastic ever made still exists and in the first 10 years of this century, the world economy produced more plastic than in the entire 1900's!!

 

What is Plastic Free July?

This month is 'Plastic Free July'  It is a simple idea developed in Australia in 2011, which aims to raise awareness of the amount of plastic in our lives by encouraging people to eliminate the use of single-use plastic during July each year.  What a fantastic way of reducing plastic!  We love it!!

They have created a challenge that you can sign up for.  Schools, cafes, government agencies and community groups across the world have joined thousands of individuals saying no to single-use plastic.

Of course, you don't have to sign up, but just take the challenge yourself.  The challenge is quite simple - attempt to refuse single-use plastic during July.  'Single-use' includes plastic shopping bags, plastic cups, straws, plastic packaging...basically anything that's intended only to be used once and then discarded. If refusing ALL single-use plastic sounds too daunting this time, try the TOP 4 challenge (straws, plastic bags, plastic bottles & coffee cup lids).
 

Avoid These:


plastic-free-july-line-single-use-products orig-555


Instead, Use These:

plastic-free-july-reusables-banner orig-463
 
 

What are We Doing for Plastic Free July?

Sweetree and our household will be taking the challenge again.  We've been taking it every year for the past few years and it's made a big difference to our waste. We took baby steps at the start, which seemed hard at the time but now we only put out a rubbish bag about once a month (that includes the business and home).  

We store food in glass jars and containers, use old biscuits tins for baking, using stainless steel drink bottles, reusable coffee cups, use reusable bags when shopping, take our own containers to the butcher, we've ditched liners in our rubbish bins and use paper rubbish sacks, use Honeywraps instead of plastic food wrap, use stainless steel strawsshampoo, face and body bars, etc.  We love some plastic free products so much we now sell them on our website for you to also enjoy!

Our focus this July and ongoing at home is reducing more plastic packaging by looking at better options (glass, paper, homemade, etc) when purchasing and being more prepared when having takeaway meals (I'm getting together a travelling kit).

All our honey is stored in glass jars, we don't use plastic frames in our beehives, our propolis is in glass bottles, we use paper bags instead of plastic at the markets, we're avoiding plastic in our production and product deliveries.  Any soft plastic (eg from pallets of jars, etc) get recycled into outdoor furniture.  But we can always do better!   This month, and ongoing, we will really be careful about the products that we buy and eliminate plastic packaging, especially single-use plastic, as much as possible.  



Why not join thousands taking the challenge to refuse single-use plastic?  Any time is better than none - a day or a week, the whole month or longer!  If you want to you can sign upto get recipes, ideas & everything you need to take part.  We will be posting more blogs with ideas of how you can reduce plastic throughout the month also.

Look out for my weekly blog this month on how to reduce plastic use this 'Plastic Free July'.  Like us on Facebook to keep up to date!

Check out the plastic free product range in our online store!

Topics: , Plastic Free
 

Waste Pyramid - Reduce Wastage

Written by Stephanie on June 7th, 2018.      0 comments

This second blog in my 'waste pyramid' blogs is about reducing waste.  If we can't avoid waste then we need to try and reduce it as much as possible.

I've already covered food waste in my previous blog so please check that out.  


Rethink-Produce-Full-26Other Things We Can Do To Reduce Waste:

  • Borrow instead of buying
  • Buy second hand instead of new
  • Learn to repair or get someone else to repair things rather than throwing out, it's amazing what a new lease of life items get by doing this
  • Wrap presents in fabric or use reusable paper gift bags
  • Take your own reusable containers for takeaway food and drinks
  • Take your own containers to the butcher for your meat
  • Take reusable cloth bags everywhere you go
  • Look into getting chickens, start a compost bin or/and worm farm to reduce food scrap wastage
  • Do not buy drinks in plastic
  • Avoid single use plastic 
  • Ditch plastic straws
  • Have a 'no circulars' sign on your letterbox
  • Plan your meals and use left overs for lunches or other meals
  • Use the bulk bins or buy bulk through a food co-op
  • Use cloth napkins instead of servettes

There is so much we could all be doing!
 

To Help Our Earth Start Using Re-usable / Plastic Free Products

We've decided it's so important that we all take care of our world that we now sell a range of plastic free products  to help our customers start to make a difference:​
Topics: , Enviromental, Recycle , Reducing Waste
 

Waste Pyramid - Refuse Wastage!

Written by Stephanie on May 30th, 2018.      0 comments

The way things are going I'm worried earth is going to end up like the movie WALL-E, where humans were driven off earth because it was unsustainable to live there anymore.  People were consuming at a fast pace without thought, while the earth was piled up with mountains of rubbish until nothing would grow anymore.  The mountains of rubbish in the movie looked the the recycling piles that are growing in New Zealand right now - have a look at this, we can't ignore it so easily when it's on our back doorstep!
 
Huntly Refuse Centre

We've all be sucked into the consumer age but we need to try and get ourselves out of it for the sake of the planet and future generations!  This first blog in my 'waste pyramid' blogs is about refusing waste.  This is the first thing we need to think about when we purchase items and we need to be asking questions of ourselves before we buy things.  We need to refuse wastage!
 

Before Purchasing Ask Ourselves:

  • Do I really need a new ...?  Can we do without it?
  • Could I get the old one fixed rather than replace it?
  • Could I buy second hand?
  • Could I borrow from someone, if it is something I don't use often?

 

When Purchasing Always:

  • Consider the less packaged option, refuse over-packaged items
  • Choose items that you can get parts for and can be fixed if broken or refilled/reused
  • Refuse single use plastic, styrofoam, etc
  • Refuse plastic! We'll have more on this over plastic free July but some tips are:
    • Choose items in glass, paper, and cardboard over plastic
    • Take your own re-usable coffee cup when getting a takeaway coffee
    • Carry a reusable non-plastic drink bottle
    • Take your own containers to takeway places you know will use plastic or styrofoam
    • Store containers, reusable utensils, straws, etc in your car for meals on the go
    • Choose skin and haircare in bar form, in tin or glass over plastic bottles
    • Always have reusable shopping bags in your car/s and in your handbag
    • Use reusable containers, paper or wax wraps for school/work lunches.
 

Refuse By Using Reusable Products Such As:

Ethique hair and body bars
Joco coffee cups and stainless straws
Reusable shopping/produce/bulk bin bags
Biodegradable dental care products
Honey in glass jars
Honeywrap food wraps

We've decided it's so important that we all take care of our world that we now sell a range of plastic free products  to help our customers start to make a difference.
 
Topics: , Enviromental, Recycle , Reducing Waste
 
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