Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Enviro-Mark Solutions!
In place of gifts or cards to members, Enviro-Mark Solutions has donated to Oxfam and the Red Cross Earthquake Appeal.
Please note, to allow our staff time to celebrate and enjoy the holidays, our offices will be closed from noon on Friday 23 December. We will reopen for normal business hours on Wednesday 4 January.
We’ve provided a few suggestions to green your holidays and will be back in 2017 with more inspiration to help you take action for a better environment.
We have gathered a few tips, tricks, and ideas to ensure a more sustainable silly season. Try to remember the 5 Rs – Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle – as you decorate, choose gifts, and enjoy your time with family and friends. Whatever you might be doing – have fun, be safe, and enjoy your holidays!
For your office:
If the whole office is away for the holidays, remember this checklist to save energy:
- Is the air conditioning set to manual off?
- Has everyone turned their computer screen off?
- Are all appliances off at the wall - TVs, microwave, etc.?
- Can the printer be turned off at the wall?
- Can the fridge be turned off (check the freezer first!)?
- Last person out switches off all the lights!
For the holiday:
There are so many wonderful ideas for decorations and Christmas trees that avoid or repurpose waste. A quick search online turned up heaps of inspiring ideas, including some great suggestions from the Sustainable Business Network and Conscious Consumers.
Food waste is a huge issue, with consequences throughout the supply chain. This season, plan ahead and shop carefully to ensure you are able to avoid food waste. Talk to your city mission and donate what you can. If you have heaps of leftovers, why not have a leftover-swap with neighbours or stock up the freezer with ready-made meals for later in the summer. Maybe next year we’ll be able to try this initiative from Finland, where they are turning Christmas dinner leftovers into renewable energy!
Haven’t gotten a tree quite yet? This lifecycle analysis of fake vs real trees might help make your choice, though we also suggest you consider a live potted tree or crafting one from alternative materials. Then decorate your tree with solar powered LED lights.
Underneath the tree, think about sustainable gift options. Try regifting, something homemade, giving an experience or your time instead of an object, or support charities or social aid organisations. Use newspaper, a reusable gift bag or shopping bag, or fabric to wrap the presents.
When you do make purchases, try to support businesses that are working for a better world, such as those in the Enviro-Mark Solutions family. A few items on our wishlists include
- A Wishbone 3-in-1 bike for the kiddos
- A trip to Auckland Museum, Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa, the Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony, Otago Museum, Rotoroa Island, The Kauri Museum, Wellington Zoo, or ZEALANDIA Ecosanctuary
- A tour with Bush & Beach
- Dinner at Logan Brown Restaurant
- A few Snowberry skin care products
- A Hungry Bin worm farm
- Some lovely homewares from Carson & Bird
- A few Trilogy skin care products
- An EasiYo yogurt maker and sachets
- A few Evolu skin care products
- And for the more optimistic wish lists, what about solar panels from Solar City, a car from Toyota, Kia or BMW (electric or hybrid, of course!)
- Enough carbon offsets cancelled in our name to cover our summer holidays (measure and offset here)
Attending a party or visiting friends and family? We have a few suggestions for host gifts as well.
- Pair coffee from Caffe L’affare or IncaFé with a pack of Abe’s Bagels
- Make a gift basket with Antipodes Water and wine from CEMARS and carboNZero certified wineries (look for Caliterra, Cono Sur, Morande, Tahbilk, Villa Maria Estate, Viu Manent or Yealands wine ranges)
- One or two of the great products from EcoStore or EcoPlanet would make a great gift for your host (especially if you offer to do the dishes as well!)
While on vacation:
If you are headed out of town remember to turn off appliances at the wall, turn down the fridge (freeze or share to avoid food waste), and turn off the air conditioner and hot water while you are away.
Take advantage of the summer weather and bike, walk or bus during the holidays. You’ll enjoy the fresh air, the exercise and extra pocket money, as well as reducing your impact.
Instead of a trip away, avoid the travel impacts and have a stay-cation in your hometown. Explore new neighbourhoods by bike or have a scavenger hunt for local history and landmarks with your family.
Whether you travel or stay close to home, we have free Household and Tourism calculators that you can use to measure and optionally offset your personal emissions from your holidays. (This makes a great gift idea as well!)