Here at Sweetree we are endeavouring to become more sustainable to help the environment. All Sweetree honeys are packaged in glass jars, our propolis in glass bottles, we use paper bags instead of plastic at the markets and we are currently investigating compostable pouches for our bee pollen. We believe storing food in glass, as opposed to plastic, is much healthier for the end consumer and certainly the environment. It also allows them to reuse or recycle the packaging after the honey has been eaten.
But it goes further than just the end product, we want the honey to be healthy all the way through the process. We ensure the honey in not stored in plastic the whole way through the process. A high percentage of beekeepers use plastic frames and foundations on the hive for honey collection, these are more economic and robust than the wooden frames and natural beeswax foundation. We have continued to use the traditional wooden frames and beeswax comb foundation wired into the frame. We believe this is not only healthier for us humans but also for the bees, let alone less plastic going to the landfill.
When harvesting our honeys we always make sure we leave enough food stores on the hives for the bees to keep them healthy over the winter and to avoid supplement feeding as much as possible in spring. Once the honey is harvested from the hives we ensure it is not damaged by heat and pollen grains are not stripped out, therefore retaining the natural goodness of our honeys.
In both our home and business we have substantially reduced what we send to landfill, we avoid over packaging, avoid one use plastic, buy bulk, reuse or recycle as much as we can and purchase locally as much as possible.
We like to offer our customers variety on our website and sell earth friendly products that relate to bees and honey such as bee friendly seeds, HoneyWrap reusable food wraps, HoneySticks non-toxic beeswax crayons, etc. All proceeds from the bee friendly wildflower seeds go back into research to help the NZ bees; we have raised a total of $2013.
The local Rural Women of NZ group I am involved in, has a 'Share the Surplus' project. We often see fruit trees laden with fruit and not picked and it seems such a shame when there are so many people struggling to put food on the table. Our project turns that surplus into preserves. We collect fruit from people who have surplus fruit on their trees, make preserves in recycled Sweetree honey jars that customers have returned, and give it to those in need.
We have a lot to still work on but we are trying to do a little bit at a time, every little bit helps. We believe that if everyone did a little bit towards the environment it would make a huge difference and we encourage you to make some little changes in your everyday routines to help our beautiful earth! Thanks!
Our lovely Rural Women group making jam for the food bank