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.


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
 
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