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 #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
 

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 , Waste Pyramid
 

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 , Waste Pyramid
 

Waste Busters Workshop Week 2

Written by Stephanie on May 24th, 2018.      0 comments

We've just had week two of the 'Waste Busters' weekly workshop at Go Eco in Hamilton.  It's an opportunity to share ideas on creating less waste, having fun making waste-free products and chatting about creating change in our world.  

Did you know that putting your food waste into the rubbish bin increased our green house gases!!!  The food will  decompose without oxygen and release methane gas, which over time raises the earth temperature.  Find out more here - Love Food Hate Waste.
 

FoodWaste-900Growing Food To Reduce Waste


This week we covered growing food to reduce waste.  If we grow some of our own food we reduce wastage in many areas, we reduce:
  •  Water and resources associated with intenstive growing
  • Transport costs
  • Imperfection waste (only the good looking fruit or veges get sold in stores and imperfect items usually get dumped)
  • Spoilage (so long as we share or preserve our surplus)
  • Packaging (single use plastic)
Not to mention reducing our costs!

Not only can you grow your own fruit, veges and berries but you can easily grow your own micro-greens and sprouts.  Micro-greens and sprouts are a great way to start!
 

Options for Food Waste

  • Start a compost bin or bokashi unsink system (so easy)
  • Maintain a worm farm
  • Have chickens or feed someone else's chickens, or pigs
  • If you have surplus produce then share with friends or neighbours or if you have a lot of surplus contact a community food bank or an organisation like Kiavolution that distributes food to those in need.
Topics: , Enviromental
 

Waste Busters Workshop Week 1

Written by Stephanie on May 20th, 2018.      0 comments

I've just joined a 'Waste Busters' weekly workshop with Go Eco in Hamilton.  It's an opportunity to share ideas on creating less waste, having fun making waste-free products and chatting about creating change in our world.  It will cover: food, the garden, cleaning (personal and home), celebrations, work, recreation and travelling.  Can't wait to learn some new tricks!

It is great that most people are recycling their plastics and other recyclables.  But did you know that China are no longer taking other countries recycling?  Many of New Zealand's recycling centres have plastic piling up with no where for it to go!  Have a read of this example in Huntly where the Huntly transfer station is described as 'slums of Mumbai'.  It's a real concern!

So reducing waste is even more important than ever!  

In session one we talked about what waste is and how to avoid it. I love this definition of waste - 'Waste is a resource we haven't figured out what to do with yet'.  It's so true!  If we think outside the square there might be a use for our waste, we just need to stop and think before we throw things out!

This waste pyramid is very helpful to remember when you are thinking about waste.


Waste Pyramid

Refuse:
When purchasing items or food refuse unnecessary packaging and single-use plastic.  For example purchase items in glass or paper rather than plastic.  Do you even need the item in the first place?  Can you do without? 

Reduce:
If you can't avoid waste then try to reduce it as much as possible, can you borrow instead of buy or buy second hand?  Look to get chickens, start a compost bin or/and worm farm to reduce food scrap wastage.

Reuse:
Can you use it for something else?  If you have to buy things in plastic containers, reuse them for storing items and food.  Pass on unwanted clothes and items to others, there are always people in need.  Mabye give old containers, lids, egg cartons, scraps of material, wood, etc to your local Playcentre for childrens craft. 

Recycle:
If you can't refuse, reduce or reuse then recycle.  Use your councils recycle bins, put all your soft plastics in the specified bin at the supermarket.  Remember to use recycle bins when you're out instead of just rubbish bins, if there aren't recycling bins available then please take items home to add to your recycling.

Recover:
You may be able to recover materials or energy from waste.  I just love this story about some retired men in Wanganui turning trash into cash for the community, check it out!

Dispose:
Finally if you are unable to refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle or recover then the final resort is to dispose of the item in the landfill.  The least the better!

I've been thinking lately that if we have the mindset of people in the great depression that would really help our environment, treat everything as a resource to be used to it's full potential and not wasted.

 

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, Plastic Free , Recycle , Waste Pyramid
 

We've Got Ethique Face, Body and Hair Bars!

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

You may have guessed that at Sweetree we are passionate about taking care of our environment, our focus at the moment is reducing plastic and waste.  We're so excited to be stocking Ethique beauty bars, we LOVE everything Ethique stands for and their products! Zero plastic packaging, palm oil free, petrochemical free, paraben free, sustainably produced, 100% vegan & cruelty-free beauty bars full of natural goodness.

They produce face, hair and body solid bars which last between three to six times longer (depending on the product) than bottled products; because they’re super-concentrated.  NZ Ethique customers have already saved the Earth from 280,000 plastic bottles, how good is that!

Join us in the revolution and give up the bottle!  #giveupthebottle
 

Purchase Ethique solid bars now

 
Ethique Group Blog-442
Topics: , Enviromental , Plastic Free
 

Check Out Our Plastic Free Reusable Bags!

Written by Stephanie on March 22nd, 2018.      0 comments

Most single-use plastic bags are only used for about 12 minutes but could take a century to break down, let alone the environmental effects of production and distribution! There is more to the simple plastic bag than meets the eye, please read more in this article.

New Zealanders use on average 700 million plastic supermarket bags per year, not including other single plastic bags! We really need to, at least, substantially reduce this but ideally eliminate single use plastic bags all together. The best way to do this is to use reusable shopping bags. 

The trick is to always have reusable bags in all your car/s and in your handbag and when you’ve unloaded your shopping put it straight back into your bag or by the door to put back in your car when you next go out.
 

We have a selection of wonderful resuable shopping bags!


Reusable Fresh Produce Bags - Multi Pack:
This multi pack includes 2 x large and 1 x small bags.  Conveniently available in two handy sizes to use and reuse when shopping for fruit and vegetables.  These bags are made from sustainably produced, Certified Organic, unbleached Indian cotton - 100% biodegradable.

Reusable Bulk Bin Bags - Multi Pack:
This multi pack includes 3 x Bulk Bin Bags & 108 blank stickers for product codes.  These bulk bin bags when shopping for loose bulk bin items such as pasta, legumes, lentils, and seeds.  These bags are made from premium, sustainably produced, certified organic, unbleached Indian cotton - 100% biodegradable.

Stylish EnviroSax Reuable Bags:
These reusable bags are the perfect shopping companion; they fold up nice and small in your handbag, glove box or even your pocket. They are strong, durable, lightweight and stylish!  These bags are so versatile, they can be used for grocery shopping, for a day trip, as swimming bag, use anywhere you would normally use a plastic bag. They have a waterproof coating that makes them suitable for wet items.  They are large enough to hold two plastic grocery bags and can hold up to 20kg. Plus the wide straps made them comfortable to hold in your hand or over your shoulder!! The perfect companion in your everyday life!



Photo Montage


Check out all the reusable bags here!


 
Topics: , Enviromental , Plastic Free
 

Sweetree are Selling Reusable Straws!

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

New Zealanders throw away 541 million straws each year and they are the most common items collected during beach clean-ups. A straw, that we use only once, can take 200 years to break down into tiny toxic particles that affect our precious oceans and sealife. You may have seen the YouTube clip of the poor turtle with a straw stuck up it’s nostril, it’s not nice!

The great news is that if you like using straws you don’t have to give them up! Just swap from plastic to stainless steel! These straws are incredibly durable, completely dishwasher/sterliser safe and can be used over and over.

We're excited to offer you the following straws:

Reusable Smoothie Straw Packs:
The reusable smoothie straws are used with thick drinks.  They are made wide, the diameter of the straw is 0.95cm, so it's the perfect size for your morning smoothie. 

Reusable Drinking Straw Packs:
The reusable drinking straws are great if you like drinking 'thin' liquids through a straw such as water, juices or lemon water.

Each pack comes with four stainless steel straws and one straw cleaner brush, but in case you want more brushes we also offer:

Cleaner Brush Pack:
Make cleaning your reusable metal straws even easier with these specialised straw cleaner brushes. Two brushes per pack.  Natural fibre, completely plastic-free, cleaning brush pack.  One size fits all.  Also useful for other little places like coffee machines and drink bottle!  More sustainable with compostable natural fibre bristles and highly recyclable stainless steel handle. 


CaliWoods Styled-324-16-695  CaliWoods Styled Smoothie -374-887

Purchase reusable stainless steel straws
Topics: , Enviromental , Plastic Free
 

Introducing a new Eco Dental Care Range!

Written by Stephanie on March 11th, 2018.      0 comments

Here at Sweetree Honey we are passionate about cutting back on plastic use, looking after our environment and minimising waste. We are in the process of adding a whole lot of new plastic free and environmental friendly products to our offering.  We are really excited to introduce you to our first range - eco dental care!

The new dental care range is brought to us by Nelson dentists who are passionate about reducing wastage in the dental industry.  It was essential that they sourced good products, products that were good for the user, while being better for the environment.   For every toothbrush sold one is given to a New Zealand child who doesn't have one. 


Eco Dental Care Offers:

Ecofloss - Bamboo Charcoal Dental Floss:  
This dental floss is 30m of candelilla waxed bamboo charcoal floss with natural mint flavour.  Stunning and possibly the most fabulous dental floss we have ever used.  This is a degradable bamboo charcoal floss with polyester base.  By degradable we mean it will break down faster that normal plastic materials but does this by breaking down into smaller parts.  It is slightly thicker which help remove plaque and bacteria from between your teeth.  It may take a little getting used to being thicker, but it works wonders.

Ecofloss - Silk Dental Floss:  
Pure silk floss.  A little finer than the bamboo charcoal floss so easier to use if you have quite tight gaps between your teeth.

We love that not only is the floss biodegradable but that all floss comes in a recycled and recyclable glass bottle.  But even better is the bottle is reusable, just pop in a refill and it is good to go again.


Ecobrush - Painted Bamboo Toothbrushes (soft and medium):  

These toothbrushes are biodegradable, sustainable and beautiful.  The bamboo is organic and a renewable resource.  It will biodegrade completely, simply cut off the bristles and dispose of the handle in your compost, garden or general waste.  The painted handles make it easy to see whose is whose!

We love that for every brush bought one will be donated to a child in New Zealand that has no toothbrush!

Dental Floss Carcoal

Check out the eco dental care range today!
Topics: , Enviromental, Plastic Free
 

Sustainable Me Challenge - December

Written by Stephanie on December 3rd, 2017.      0 comments

You might have guessed but this month's 'Sustainable Me Challenge' is a waste free holiday.  Can you believe the average household waste increases by 25% over the Christmas holiday period! Here's some ideas for reducing our gift-giving footprint this Christmas:

  • Furoshiki-586Buy second hand.  Our son wanted an expensive lego kit this year, so instead of spending mega bucks we've bought him a 2nd hand kit that looks as good and new for half the price.
  • Use alternative wrapping.  Fabric is great because it can be used over and over, not like paper that usually gets used once and thrown out.  Furoshiki is the Japanese art of wrapping with cloth, check out some great ideas, I'm definitely keen on trying this!
  • Don't buy over packaged products.  It really bugs me how over packaged toys and other items are these days.  It pays to think about the waste the gift may create and reduce where you can.
  • Make it yourself.   If you've got a little bit of spare time it's worth making something from the heart. Check out some ideas online, we've got some recipes for lip balm, perfume, etc.
  • Give experiences.   These are great, we do this with our parents now. It can be as simple as a movie ticket, theatre performance, concert or sporting event.  How about a voucher to go fishing, tramping, a picnic or even a service you could provide like to clean someones house!
  • Give consumables.  Everyone has to eat so give food, maybe something they wouldn't normally buy for themselves or you could bake them something special.
  • Give the gift of charity.  Make a donation to a charity in the name of your gift recipient, one that they would be happy with.
  • Ask before you buy.  It's important we buy something the person would like or will use, it's a shame when they just sit in a cupboard unused or thrown out because it was the wrong gift for them.


See the OSOF website to read more tips


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Topics: , Enviromental
 

Sustainable Me Challenge - November

Written by Stephanie on November 11th, 2017.      0 comments

Vegetable-Growing-228-91This month's 'Sustainable Me Challenge' is to grow something.  Most of our produce is trucked, shipped or flown and it accumulates greenhouse gas emissions with every kilometre travelled.  To help our environment we should at least buy local, where we can, and grow some of our own food.  
 

Here's What The Challenge Suggests:

Beginner: Buy local.  Look for NZ grown produce at the supermarket or visit your local farmer's market or farm shop.

Step it up: Plant something.  Start with strawberries, lettuce, spinach, herbs, etc

Want more? Grow more!  Challenge yourself t grow something new or grow everything you need for an entire meal.  Or if you're already a keen gardener help someone else set up a garden.

Every little bit helps!

See the OSOF website to read more tips


Read more about:

Topics: , Enviromental
 

Sustainable Me Challenge - October

Written by Stephanie on November 10th, 2017.      0 comments

red meat Wow, time is flying and I've just realised I haven't blogged about the 'Sustainable Me Challenge' for a while!

October's challenge was to eat less meat!  Kiwi's love meat, we are ranked 11th per capita for meat consumption.  We eat on average 106kgs per year.  And the problem?  The problem is that high levels of meat consumption impacts both our environment and our health.

 

Large-scale farming produces a huge amount of emissions, contributing significantly to global warming.  Runoff from animal waste enters soils, groundwater and rivers. Farming requires a lot of water use, apparently it takes 15,500 litres of water to produce just 1kg of beef!  Wow!  There is also an association between meat consumption and health problems such as heart disease, diabetes and colon cancer.
 

Here's What The Challenge Suggests:

Beginner: Join the Meat Free Monday campaign by eating vegetarian one day per week.

Step it up: Give up meat 3 or 4 days per week.

Want more? Try going fully vegetarian, mmm not sure how well that will go down in our house!

I think that if we can just be more conscious about how much meat we are eating, cut down on its consumption each meal and have at least 1 meatless meal a week it will make a different! 

See the OSOF website to read more tips


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Topics: , Enviromental
 

Sustainable Me Challenge - September

Written by Stephanie on September 11th, 2017.      0 comments

This month's 'Sustainable Me' challenge is to reduce the harsh chemical cleaners in our homes with natural alternatives.

It's the time of year we give our houses a spring clean from top to bottom.  It's a good opportunity to use more natural cleaners that are better for our houses, our families and the aquatic life that are exposed to it once it's washed down the drain.  There are lots of natural alternatives out there now and available in the supermarkets or you might like to try baking soda and white vinegar!
 

Here's What The Challenge Suggests:

Beginner: If you’re wary of baking ingredients as household cleaners, maybe the best way to begin is with commercially available eco-friendly cleaning products such as those available through the Earthwise or Ecostore brands.

Step it up: Start simple and find one or two cleaning product to change over. Baking soda as a scrub for your sinks, counters and tubs is a great way to begin.

Want more? Ditch your chemical cleaners and go all natural. There are lots of internet resources available for someone who wants chemical free cleaners – see the resources section below for suggestions of where to begin.
Every little bit (or drop) helps!

See the OSOF website to read more tips


Read more about:

Check out the eco friendly items in our online store!
Topics: , Enviromental
 

Sustainable Me Challenge - August

Written by Stephanie on August 2nd, 2017.      0 comments

This month's 'Sustainable Me' challenge is to reduce our water use. 

You would think in clean, green New Zealand that we wouldn't need to worry about this but our fresh water resources are becoming more and more under pressure.  OSOF (Our Seas Our Future) says that p
ollution from agriculture, runoff from increasing urbanization and antiquated sewer systems has created un-swimmable rivers. And the looming uncertainties of climate change bring further concern for this vital resource.

The average Auckland household uses 174 litres of water per day in winter and slightly more in summer, it's been broken down by:
31% showers and baths
24% laundry
19% toilets

With just a little bit of thought we can make a big difference to reducing our water use.  Reduce, Ruse and Recycle applies to water too!

Water Every drop counts badge-275

Here's What The Challenge Suggests:

Beginner: Find one or two basic water-reducing behaviours such as shorter showers, turning the tap off when brushing teeth and washing hands, etc.

Step it up: Find a bigger way to reduce your household water such as checking for plumbing leaks, installing low-flow taps and shower heads, etc.

Want more?  Get involved in a local advocacy group or join a group planting plants around water ways.  

Every little bit (or drop) helps!

See the OSOF website to read more tips


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Check out the eco friendly items in our online store!
Topics: , Enviromental
 
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