Archive for November, 2010

Christmas 2010: no more stuff please!

November 29th, 2010

Before you go Christmas shopping please have a look at “The Story of Stuff”.

The Story of Stuff sums it all up, every new thing we buy is made from resources of this planet. The problem is that our planet is full of stuff and we are running low on resources. So what else can we do to express our love and friendship to others? Here are some Christmas ideas we came up with to replace some of the stuff we usually exchange:

  • Create a movie / DVD for that person with interviews from all their friends and family that tell them what makes them so special.
  • Collate all the photos from the year and make a digital collage or powerpoint presentation showing them what an amazing year it has been.
  • Organise a day trip to Tiritiri Matangi, Waiheke, Rangitoto . . .
  • Organsie a picnic on Mt Eden.
  • Baked fortune cookies and included personal messages inside (used at Christmas dinner instead of buying crackers)
  • Buy a ticket to a concert/festival
  • Make vouchers that offer your time / favours to people… e.g. for breakfast in bed, or a coffee date, or washing someone’s car, mowing their lawn, baby sitting, dog walking, back massage etc.

If you have some more idea please let Santa know what you are doing and share them on our FB event page: “Xmas 2010, no more stuff thanks!”

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Christmas baking, quick and easy!

November 25th, 2010

Ralf is a German pastry chef and a good friend of ours. He was handing out food on our 10/10/10 event and was actively involved in the planting of community fruit trees on Mt Eden.  This is his answer for a quick and easy biscuit recipe that make great Christmas presents:

1.2.3. – recipe:

  • 1 part sugar
  • 2 parts butter
  • 3 parts flour
  • one egg to bind,

Salt, vanilla, cinnamon ( or other spices/ replace some flour with ground nuts, almonds or cocoa powder….),
pinch of baking powder for lift if wanted

Knead together, chill, roll out, cut shapes, bake at 185*C until golden brown

Easy, always works – tastes great and can be modified a lot

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Green Xmas ideas from the shops in the village:

November 24th, 2010

We are very pleased that we are part of a community with lots of small and independent shops. The shops are supporting us and we like supporting our shops. Before you enter the big shopping malls make sure you first check out what the small shops in your community have to offer. Here is a selection of shops in the village that  caught our attention:

  • Essential Deli: Eco takeaway cup, Sigg bottle or New Zealand made food items
  • Chapter Tearoom: a selection of fine teas
  • Hospice and red cross shop: always have unexpected gift bargains and the money goes to a good cause
  • Civic video: gift cards where you can upload money to hire videos
  • City cake: get your specially designed Christmas cake
  • Wine shop in the village: check out their range of organic wine
  • Facial from Kaye-Lesleys Beauty Therapy
  • Dinner or breakfast voucher from one of the restaurants/cafes in the village.

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Who is enjoing our food waste?

November 18th, 2010

We started this initiative 4 years ago with the focus to minimising harmful effects on the environment by reducing waste sent to landfill. In Auckland up to 40% of green waste is still going to landfill where it creates Methane that contributes to global warming.  The food waste we collect is being used to feed animals and compost bins  in our community.

Our latest survey indicated what we are reusing/recycling with the shops in Mt eden village each month:

  • Coffee grounds to gardens: 72 buckets
  • Food waste to pig farmers and goat and rabbit owners: 24 crates + 4 buckets
  • Battery recycling 1.5 buckets
  • Picture framer: off cuts to school
  • 40 Icecream containers are being reused by gardeners
  • Egg cartons are being reused to plant seedlings
  • 3x shops changed from plastic to cornstarch bags.
  • 4 shop offers reusable bags
  • 2 shops changed from plastic to paper bags.
  • Some shops report 50-70% reduction in plastic bag handouts because of changed practice of checking if bag needed

Please drop off your old batteries at MBE Business Centre or Civic Video.

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Updates: Fruit trees on Maungawhau

November 17th, 2010

The fruit trees on Maungawhau are looking great and we have received lots of encouraging feedback for this project. Together with the Friends of Maungawhau we are now planning our next fruit  tree planting day on Mt Eden for 2011. This is a great  opportunity for our community to get together and plant free fruit for the  future. The fruit trees also extend the international heritage value in relation ship to food plants. Fruit trees on Maungawahu not only make the walk on the mountain more enjoyable, they are also a wonderful source of food for bees, birds and humans alike.

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October: Sunday 30.10.2011

November 13th, 2010

Start time: 1pm, Duration: 1.30 – 2 hours

Tutor: Paul Romley
Location:  to be confirmed (Mt Eden or Parnell)

Please rsvp to: Judith Holtebrinck

Beekeeping in the city:
Bees provide us with two main things; pollination, and honey. They fly to nectar and pollen sources in the wider urban environment, and in the process of visiting flowers, gather nectar (which becomes honey) and pollen (which becomes a food source for them in addition to the honey). The city due to its numerous gardens, reserves and parks provides year round sources of these for the urban bee. Any person of discipline & learnt understanding of bee behaviour & their needs can maintain a healthy & very successful hive.  Bees can be kept in the city environment, depending on the local bylaws (which the super-city will be ‘harmonizing’, creating one bylaw governing beekeeping in Auckland City in 2012) and depending on your neighbours.

What to expect:

You can expect to learn about bees, their life-cycle, how a hive works, and the necessary maintenance required to keep your hive healthy & happy. You will learn about where to get bees from, and the different kinds of equipment you will need. Beehives are required to be registered so you will learn about what is required from MAF. You will be given details about the Auckland Beekeepers Club. Finally, expect to get stung at least several times when managing your own hive, and bee amazed at the intricacies of nature and the beehive.

About Paul Romley:
Paul is an ex-commercial beekeeper of six years experience working for Comvita, in the BOP. He developed a passion for landscape design, but has recently re-discovered his passion for bees. He is only interested in small domestic beekeeping situations, and manages his own beehive (on a balcony four stories up in Parnell), and two other beehives at his sister-in-law’s place in St Heliers. He also has assisted several friends set up their own beehives.

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Be the change you want to see in the world. Mahatma Gandhi