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.

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


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.


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


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

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