Sustainability @ Home – Full Rundown

What has the Sustainability Office been getting up to over the lockdown? Apart from wishing we were in Waiutuutu Community Garden of course…

Sustainability at Home intro post

We’ve been running weekly challenges with  community, to share your tips and tricks for living a sustainable life – but from home! We’ve had a heap of fun and learnt a lot from one another along the way, and we’d like to share this with the rest of UC in the hope it’ll inspire some of you to do the same.

Want to make Feijoa Fizz from leftover fruit peels? Learn to make homemade Apple Cider Vinegar? Go on a virtual garden tour and learn how to dry herbs? Try a DIY makeup remover? Learn how to shop second hand like a pro (and on a student budget)? Or maybe you’re after some book recommendations? Read on, and let our wonderful sustainable students and staff show you how they’ve been living a little lighter these past few weeks.

Week One: Low Waste Life @ Home! For Week One, we asked our community to share with us how they’ve been reducing their waste footprint at home. Here’s some of our favourite low waste life hacks! For the full run down and more details, see our Week one blog here.

WEEK ONE

Heather sewing her own produce bags

Lizzy made DIY sugar wax, upcycled old towels into cleaning rags AND made Oat Mylk

Nic blew us away by transforming her family’s neglected compost bin into a thing of wonder (complete with a diagram for the fridge!)

Week Two: Sustainable Recipes @ Home! We noticed that in Week One, we received a lot of amazing low waste recipes – and we wanted to learn more! So, for Week Two, we asked our community to share with us their favourite Sustainable Recipes. Enjoy (and we dare you not to feel hungry). For the full recipe lists and photos, see Week Two’s blog here. It’s definitely worth checking out for some serious cooking and creating inspiration!

WEEK TWO

Imogen made jam from the previously mysterious Strawberry Tree! (Her recipe also featured in the latest issue of Canta Magazine)

Holly Feijoa Fizz

Holly made Feijoa Fizz from leftover fruit peels – YUM!

Abby made homemade bagels and topped them with vegan pesto made from garden greens!

Helena made a Rosemary Hair Rinse from foraged Rosemary 

Week Three: Iso Garden Tours! For Week Three, we moved our challenge outdoors and asked our community to take us on a Virtual Garden Tour! We had so much fun, and really did feel like we’d visited your place for a cup of tea. To be taken on the same experience, check out Week Three’s blog here!

Iso Garden Tours Week Three

Chantelle showed us around her family’s garden – we loved meeting her dad’s worms!

A peak into Fiona’s dreamy outdoor bath and toilet area on her family’s permaculture farm 

Jessica Gosling 2

Jessica showed us her epic Iso Garden Transformation!

And we got to see where Lucy has been spending her time in lockdown, plus meet Kimchi the cat!

Week Four: Join the Fashion Revolution! Week Four fell during the global Fashion Revolution Week, and what better way to celebrate than by asking our community how they are taking a stand against unfair supply chains? This week we wanted to see how our students and staff were supporting slow, ethical, second hand and fair fashion – and boy they did not disappoint. For the full run down, see Week Four’s blog here.

Week Four Fashion Revolution -2

Ella blew us away with her handmade creations over lockdown: she made a winter coat from a old paint mat, shoes from an old handbag and shoelaces, and taught herself to knit a singlet!

Ngaire and Nuha showing us how to rock second hand clothes like a boss!

Imogen showing us her upcycled threads, and her top and shorts she made from bedsheets and tablecloths!

Naomi

Naomi hand quilted this beautiful jacket during lockdown

And Breanna made this pinafore dress!

Week Five: Reflections! For our final challenge, we asked our community to take a step back and reflect on their lockdown learnings over the past weeks. For the full stories, see our Week Five blog here.

Week 5 reflect

Varvara shared some beautiful words and her favourite poem that has resonated with her during this time

Plus, some great lockdown reading!

And Eleanor shared this beautiful video – it’ll give you goosebumps!

Hopefully these tips and tricks from our wonderful UC students and staff will give you a little inspiration and even a new challenge as we face this next chapter. Are you keen to try any of these recipes or ideas? Let us know in the comments below. We’re off to make Holly’s Feijoa Fizz!

Thanks for coming on this journey with us.

Arohanui,

Tari Toitū te Taiao | UC Sustainability Office

 

This message was brought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Stay connected and follow us on FacebookInstagram or sign up to our newsletter to stay in the loop about campus sustainability.

 

Sustainability @ Home: Reflections and Lockdown Learnings

We know it’s a really challenging time for all of us right now. The UC Sustainability Team have been busy brainstorming ways to stay connected with our wonderful community (that’s you!) and think of all the different ways to engage and inspire you. We hoped that this quiet time at home could also become a time to get creative, active, adventurous and maybe even kick start some new sustainable lifestyle habits – without having to leave your lounge. And so to get this party started….we created… SUSTAINABILITY @ HOME!

Sustainability at Home intro post

We’ve created four weekly challenges for our community to participate in from home, with epic prizes up for grabs for our favourite entries each week. For all the details on how the challenges work, check out the original post on our Facebook page. But for now, we want to share with you the wonderful, creative and inspiring entries that we received for the fifth (and final!) weekly challenge: Reflections and Lockdown Learnings!

Week Five: Reflect

Week 5 reflect

The Challenge: Share with us your reflections and lockdown learnings… We asked our community: What have you learnt from this time? What do you want to learn MORE of?

As always, we were blown away. Thank you to everyone who submitted a lockdown reflection with us, in any way or form. It was so special to see and learn what has helped you, and what you’ve discovered from this time. We hope you found some joy in the process too! We adored reading and learning from you all, and a huge congratulations to Varvara who’s words really moved us. She’s won a $50 voucher to spend at Scorpio Books – and we know she’ll put it to good use!

Images: @rubyjones 

Helena “I’ve learnt that I do have time for all the zero waste things! Sometimes I would be like “I’m so busy I don’t have time for that” but most of the time I would just be playing on my phone….so putting down my phone has helped me to achieve those projects (like making ACV or multipurpose spray), which actually saves time and money in the long run (from having to make supermarket trips and using fuel to get there) and also helps me to relax and calm down having time off the screens and just creating! 💞

Varvara “To me, The Estuary has been especially poignant during this quarantine. Seeing how quickly nature has occupied the places we vacated has been really inspiring. Because that means that if we are more conscious, if we are more considerate, if we think about the natural world, it can flourish alongside our civilisation. 

I am looking forward to a future where we fly less, drive less, and commute less. What kind of a life can we create if we give nature back some of the places we have taken away?

But another reason that I have turned to The Estuary is that it is a really beautiful reminder that this too shall pass. COVID has been stressful and difficult, but the reminder that the rhythms of nature will keep moving has given me a lot of peace. Looking outward into the trees and seeing the birds sing, and knowing that they will keep singing, has made it feel a bit less like the world is ending. “


Plus, Varvara shared some of her fave reads too:

Justine-Lee “As I went out for my run this evening, I saw the playground cordoned off with ugly, red tape. How sad, I thought. But as I went further, into the park, I was greeted with an uplifting sight: parents running after toddlers, children speeding around on bikes, soccer balls and frisbees flying between the young and old. The nearby road was eerily quiet; there was no need to block out the noisy traffic with headphones! The sound of children laughing and dogs barking was the music to the beats of my footsteps. 

On the way home, another runner was coming towards me. We did our best to avoid each other, drawing a large circumference that spanned the path. She looked up and flashed an apologetic smile, “Hey.” “Hey,” I smiled back. Above us, the sky was turning a rosy pink. I took in a deep breath of unpolluted air, the crisp evening breeze forming a curious harmony with the warmth of my heart.”

Eleanor shared this video with us, and it gave us goosebumps! Wow!

 

Congratulations and THANK YOU to all of those who reflected with us. They were a joy to read (and watch!). Our weekly challenges have come to an end – but stay tuned over on our socials as we tackle new ways of keeping in touch with our sustainability community (hint, bikes and zoom catch ups!).

Arohanui,

Chloe, Matt, Niki and Skyla

Tari Toitū te Taiao | UC Sustainability Office

 

This message was brought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Stay connected and follow us on FacebookInstagram or sign up to our newsletter to stay in the loop about campus sustainability.

Sustainability @ Home: Fashion Revolution!

We know it’s a really challenging time for all of us right now. The UC Sustainability Team have been busy brainstorming ways to stay connected with our wonderful community (that’s you!) and think of all the different ways to engage and inspire you. We hoped that this quiet time at home could also become a time to get creative, active, adventurous and maybe even kick start some new sustainable lifestyle habits – without having to leave your lounge. And so to get this party started….we created… SUSTAINABILITY @ HOME!

Sustainability at Home intro post

We’ve created four weekly challenges for our community to participate in from home, with epic prizes up for grabs for our favourite entries each week. For all the details on how the challenges work, check out the original post on our Facebook page. But for now, we want to share with you the wonderful, creative and inspiring entries that we received for the fourth weekly challenge: Fashion Revolution Week!

Week Four: Join the Fashion Revolution 

Week Four Fashion Revolution -2

The Challenge: “Show us how you’re taking part in Fashion Revolution Week and demanding a #fashionrevolution”

As an issue that is particularly close to Chloe’s heart, we thank ALL of you for standing up and challenging the  current fast fashion model that exploits workers and harms our precious Papatūānuku.

Breanna “Hello! Hope you are all safe and well 😊 My dream is to one day own a wardrobe filled entirely with ethically sourced, second-hand and most importantly, handmade outfits.  So I’m taking part in the Fashion Revolution by sewing my own clothes during the weeks of isolation.  It’s a fun way to pass the time, it uses up unwanted fabric we have lying around the house, it is eco-friendly and it gives me something unique to wear at the end!  

 This is a pinafore dress I made last week, taking inspiration from a dress I found a few months ago at the Op-shop – I’d been wanting to try making one of my own for some time!  I am pretty happy with how it turned out, and have many more projects planned for the weeks ahead.  I have discovered that one of the best things about lockdown is the excuse to craft more! 😊

Regards,

Breanna Camden”

 

Naomi “Loving this series, and this in particular is a cause close to my heart. During isolation I have hand quilted, and hand stitched, the jacket I am wearing in the attached photo. All of it is made from second hand, gifted or thrifted fabric and notions. In the photo I’m wearing second hand jeans, boots, and skivvy – and a second hand necklace. Not visible in the photo are my handmade bra and undies 😉

 Keep up the good work!”

Naomi

 

George Who made my clothes? Who makes OUR clothes? 🕺🏽

How are they looking after their workers? 👩🏽‍🔧👨🏼‍🔧

How are they taking the earth into consideration? Waterways? Waste? 🌏 🗑

Where does the material come from?🧵

Things to think about….

Ask companies the question from your wardrobe!

@leejeans @levis @rpmclothing@macpac @roxy @thenorthface#whomademyclothes @fash_rev@fash_rev_newzealand

Students fashion rev pic
Tayla 

We thrifted these jeans a while back and now used old cushion fabric and his grandparents old flannels to add a bit of flare to them!”

Nuha 

“KIA ORA!!!! I would like to enter the sustainability challenge this week!!!

The art of thrifting has been handed down to me by my dear ol mum, who cannot keep herself away from an opshop to save her life. I was always dressed in opshop finds as a kiddo and decided to keep it up as an adult. I soon discovered the dangers of fast fashion and the impacts it has on people and the environment which gave my opshop tendencies a whole new angle. I believe that there is an item at the opshop for every need and there are plenty of useful goods and clothes that are looking for a forever home

My take on fashion is simple: opshop for every occasion!

Whether you’re feeling the 70s:

Need to be red carpet ready:

Have a formal function you need to turn up the heat for (chilli shirt lol):

Or just want to go for a walk and enjoy the sun:

There is something in an opshop for everyone! So ditch the fast fashion, arm yourself with $20 and head to your nearest opshop! You won’t regret it :)))))

*the last outfit is all second hand but by my favourite designer Kowtow that holds an A+ standard for ethical fashion

*all of my scarves are made by my mum using fabric seconds or whatever we can find!

Have a good day and stay safe”

Holly

“My 2nd hand outfit for earthday”

Holly

Varvara 

 

Ngaire

Ella So I have 4 little entries for fash rev week! I’ve always loved making my own clothing, especially from other items that would otherwise be going to waste. My lockdown goal was to source the things on my wish list by making them myself (without spending any money and using things we already had)

#1. Always made cardboard shoes as a child, so super stoked to have finally got time to make something wearable! Hand to find sandals with a mid-strap that I can fit so very excited – bring on summer :))  the sandals are made from an old handbag, old camping foam and shoe laces!

Ella sandals

#2. Coats can be so expensive and are usually acrylic so when I found this old painting mat under the house I thought it would be perfect so a cosy CHCH coat.

Ella coat

#3. I was wanting a cream singlet so when I got gifted some second hand wool so decided to learn to knit (amazing what the internet can teach you). My first attempt at a pattern and second ever knitting project, reversible = versatile! (Also styled with my recycle boutique birthday jeans and second hand belt)

Ella knit singlet

#4. And lastly, I’ve been looking at these beautiful maxi skirts online but can’t justify the price of something sustainable and ethical, and couldn’t bring myself to hit up glassons. Decided to make one (once again, loving the free time!) and had enough material for a matching little top.

Ella maxi skirt

Gizelle “From this (originally Opp shop bought), used by my daughter until she no longer wanted it……

To this…..a reusable fresh produce bag!

From this…..

To this…..a upcycled cushion cover!

From an old op shop tshirt that became a sleep shirt, that became garden string!

Gizelle 5

And finally… Garden Shantz…made from an old big sized tshirt turned into pants. Very comfortable garden wear!

Another version of Shantz, made from an old sleep tshirt, and legs made from old Pyjama arms. Pull through tie made from old sarong which had started to shred”

 

Olivia  “Hiya UCsustain,

Hope you guys are well in your bubble! Here is my entry for the week 4 fashion revolution challenge! Thanks for considering it! ☺️❤️ 

Heres a collection of some of my fav thrifted outfits! I guess it goes to show you can thrift for literally any event – a costume party, swimming, a 21st or just an everyday cute look! The skirt in the middle picture is my absolute favourite thrifted piece ever! It was $2, has pockets and fits perfectly! What’s not to love? I love giving old clothes a new home and in the process I’m being sustainable, looking after the environment as well as my bank account! Slow, sustainable fashion is totally in! Fast fashion? I don’t know her!”

Olivia

Imogen


After an intense judge’s deliberation on Zoom, we eventually decided on our Week Four winners –  big congratulations to Ella and Nuha! Ella blew us away with her beautiful handmade pieces that we know she will treasure forever. And Nuha showed that you really can find a thrifted outfit for any occasion – and we love that she is wearing (and rocking) her values. 

And then.. because we just were so torn… we decided to add in another TWO runner-ups to share a prize! Ngaire and Imogen really impressed us with their second hand and handmade threads. It was so heart warming to see how much thought you both put into what you’re wearing, and how you’re doing it.

Of course, a HUGE congrats to everyone who entered our challenge this week. From sewing to op shopping, shopping ethically and being so mindful of your ‘fashion footprint’ – it was s inspiring to see.

That’s a wrap for Week Four – keep an eye on our socials for Week Five’s Challenge out NOW! It’s also our final challenge week… and so we’re asking you all to go a little deeper and ponder some thoughts and learnings from your lockdown weeks. We hope you enjoy it.

Arohanui,

Chloe, Matt, Niki and Skyla

Tari Toitū te Taiao | UC Sustainability Office

 

This message was brought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Stay connected and follow us on FacebookInstagram or sign up to our newsletter to stay in the loop about campus sustainability.

 

 

 

 

Take me to the thrift store

92705022_248175229887078_2025028920595709952_o.jpg

This week is Fashion Revolution Week, where we ask brands #whomademyclothes? If you’ve had a look at Tearfund’s Ethical Fashion Guide 2019, you may notice that the most student budget friendly labels aren’t looking too good. Read it here.

And as much as we’d like to buy our clothing from ethically produced labels, $50 for a t-shirt on a student budget ain’t gonna happen…

This is where secondhand stores come in and save our wallets! Gone are the days of the musty op-shop selling soiled clothes and worn out shoes. Op-shops have upped their game into thrifted heavens with well-presented displays and bargains galore. So much so that there are troves of people trawling through the racks with armfuls of clothing to sell on Instagram for a pretty penny.

Seco d hand @fash rev

My fave op-shop finds:

  • $10 woollen coat (straight from Dotti, was donated because of pilling which I shaved off with a razor)
  • $6 slip dress (why pay $50 at Glassons for an identical one?)
  • $6 merino cardigan (brand new condition Country Road)
  • $5 denim shorts and skirt (pretty much new!)
  • $3 Nana blouse and $3 silk singlet (so many of these!!)

I started op-shopping as:

1) I was a serial buy-clothes-online-cheap-from-glassons-dotti-or-cotton on-and-find-that-they-were-terrible-on-and-didn’t-fit-and-couldn’t-return-them-because-they-were-on-clearance-and-gave-to-flatmates-or-the-clothing-bin-outside-countdown kinda gal. I got a lot of free clothes from my friends / flatties this way, but I also wasted so much precious $$$ by not wearing online purchases at all.

2) I was low on cash from living the student life.

3) I learnt more about the harmful impacts of fast fashion on the garment workers and environment (watch The True Cost on Netflix!!).

My favourite op shops in the Uni area are:

  • Habitat for Humanity Wairakei Rd 
  • City Mission Op-Shop Clyde Rd
  • Red Cross Shop Yaldhurst Rd
  • Salvation Army Family Store Riccarton Rd
  • The EcoShop (if you haven’t been here to deck out your flat, then you’re missing out on some serious bargains)

Further away favourites:

  • Red Cross Shop Manchester St (they recently moved to a new store next door and always has great clothes)
  • Salvation Army Family Store Ferry Rd (the nicest op-shop in CHCH hands down – the homewares are arranged based on style and there are some bougie threads in the racks for cheap)

Plus, the lovely Anthea from Eco Oikos has made a map of all the second-hand stores in Canterbury for you to explore and get thrifting! Check it out by clicking the map below.

Second hand chch

Thifting tips:

  • Start early in the day, before the goodies get snapped up
  • Always look at the winter coats, there are some in amazing quality (pure wool anyone?!) and are super cheap
  • Don’t just look in your size, vintage clothing sizes are a bit out of whack and some styles might look wicked oversized
  • Funky tags are an indication of vintage labels – they will pretty much always be of a higher quality (fabric and construction)
  • Don’t be put off by shoes – you can chuck sneakers in the washing machine or soak them in a bucket of soapy water, and sandals / heels can be wiped down with a soapy wet cloth 
  • Always try clothes on if you are unsure it will fit / suit you – those $4 purchases add up over time if you find out later it doesn’t suit you!
  • Op-shops get so many clothing donations and are usually pretty happy to make a deal with you as they’re keen to make more space on the racks – they don’t always get the price right as they are run by volunteers – but remember most are charities and not to cheat them out of money that could be used to help other people!!

If you’re a busy bee and don’t have much time to go thrifting, check out The Nifty Markets (when they’re back up and running after lockdown, obv!), they run monthly markets with keen peeps selling secondhand clothing along with other cute homemade beauty products, jewelry, plants, and homewares, and also run a Thrifty Nifty every once in a while, which is a dedicated Nifty for secondhand clothing. I have gotten so many of my fave second hand purchases there for $5!

You can also thrift from the comfort of your own home through Instagram sellers (some of my faves include: @themustardjumpervintage, @hellotreasurehuntress, @mythursdaythrift, @sundaythrift and @thelittlejungleco). If you’re more into Facebook, there’s a group called Smokey Bandit which is a treasure trove of vintage clothing! Trademe and Facebook marketplace are also good if you are looking for something specific… Speights bucket hat anyone??

Written by Helena Ruffell, UC Environmental Chemistry student and the creative behind @eatsleepsustain (follow her IG for low waste tips and sustainability life hacks – all on a student budget!)

 

This message was brought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Stay connected and follow us on FacebookInstagram or sign up to our newsletter to stay in the loop about campus sustainability.

 

Sustainability @ Home: Iso Garden Tours!

We know it’s a really challenging time for all of us right now. The UC Sustainability Team have been busy brainstorming ways to stay connected with our wonderful community (that’s you!) and think of all the different ways to engage and inspire you. We hoped that this quiet time at home could also become a time to get creative, active, adventurous and maybe even kick start some new sustainable lifestyle habits – without having to leave your lounge. And so to get this party started….we created… SUSTAINABILITY @ HOME!

Sustainability at Home intro post

We’ve created four weekly challenges for our community to participate in from home, with epic prizes up for grabs for our favourite entries each week. For all the details on how the challenges work, check out the original post on our Facebook page. But for now, we want to share with you the wonderful, creative and inspiring entries that we received for the third weekly challenge: Iso Garden Tours!

Week Three: Iso Garden Tours @Home!

Iso Garden Tours Week Three

The Challenge: “show us your fave part of your garden or local green space and tell us why!”

Huge thanks to everyone who sent their entries in. We hope we can reconnect in our community garden with you soon, but in the meantime enjoy your beautiful spaces!

 

Jessica Gosling “Hey, this is my garden tour!”

Jessica Gosling 2

Jessica Gunby “Here’s a few of my favourites places in my garden. First up is a few of my spinach plants (I actually have 12 spread out around the garden) – these are my favourite because they were a Valentine’s Day present from my husband. I’m not sure he realised how much spinach 12 plants would give us but I’m not complaining! A great tip if you have excess spinach is to freeze it and use it in cooked dishes like soups later. It also makes a great pesto!

My second favourite spot in my garden is my herb garden. I love this because it’s so handy to be able to grab a few herbs when I’m cooking and we’re saving heaps of money (and plastic!) by not buying fresh herbs every week. Currently I have thyme, chives, lemongrass, and coriander.

And my third and final favourite spot is the corner with our lemon, apple, and dwarf peach trees. These are great for a few reasons, including that they were planted by the previous tenants so we didn’t have to do anything to grow them! Fruit grown at home tastes much nicer than fruit from shops and it’s so handy to be able to pop outside and grab a lemon when I’m cooking. Like the spinach, lemon juice can also be frozen (ice cube trays are great).”

Holly McClelland This is my garden that I have been able to spend a bit more time in now and i’m trying to propagate some of my plants”

Holly McClelland

Chantelle “Hey! Here’s my entry for the garden tours. 🙂 First, here’s a photo of my indoor garden as you can tell! I absolutely love cacti and succulents, my favorite thing about this garden is seeing them grow ad change and everything is so different.

Chantelle 1

Here’s a photo of our outdoor garden, my fave thing about this is how much time my dad and I spend together in it, and provides us with such a wider range of fruit and vegetables year round that we use in almost every meal we make.

Two of my fave things in our big outside garden are the chili’s (first photo) because we grew them just from seeds of one we previously grew!

And my second fave thing in this garden is my dads 3 worm farms/baths because they are like his babies and it’s so cool seeing them all together eating. They compost all of the food we don’t eat as well as weeds and other dying plants and they do such a great job we’re constantly topping them up with food!

Our garden also grows some massive courgettes that we keep growing because we use the seed from them to grow more plants.

Chantelle 6

And finally we have a range of fruit trees we have been growing, we have plums, peaches, pears and apples and when they all fruit my whole family is out picking and eating! We also have our mums babies, her tamarillo trees! We’ve never grown them before but shes’s so excited for them to start fruiting, they are only about 6 months old which is awesome to see how much they have grown!

And we also have our bunny who helps eat the veggies we grow in the garden hehe”

Jo Flowers “Iso garden challenge! During lockdown we’ve managed to edge around some hedges! Using old bricks was a good way to tidy up the garden. We have also used two blueberry plants (on Vayda’s left) as a hedge and also five feijoa plants (background) for privacy and a lovely treat! So far 4 blueberries harvested of the summer and three feijoas hanging on the tree!”

Jo Flowers

@Plangirl_chch “Hey team, here is our local green space – the Edmond Gardens. I’m really enjoying visiting on my Jacinda mandated walks because the autumn colours and the repeated ‘sure to rise’ quotes and motifs everywhere. The quote takes on a new meaning in the current situation – and i’m not talking sourdough!’ 

Plangirl

Lucy “My iso garden tour! My garden is rather small, I have 2 raised beds and a couple of pots where I am growing some autumn veggies. I also have my wee brick planter I made while in iso out of boredom but looks pretty cute I think! 

Another thing I love in my garden is the old “out house” that is now my garden shed and drying room, the old brick is so lovely and is perfect for keeping my drying plants out of direct sun and rain! 

I’ve included my cat because she is always playing in the garden and helping me get rid of the white butterflies.

Lastly, is the lovely community garden that I used to spend my weekends in before iso. This lot was set up 7 years ago after the earthquakes hit Otautahi to help the community. Unfortunately though the garden and pantry won’t be here much longer as the lot and the houses around it have been sold.. Anyway, and sorry for the rant! Here’s my wee pride of place.”

Fiona Glennie “Heya :)) To be honest I’m not quite sure If I’m allowed to enter this as I’m studying engineering over at Ara rather than UC but hey I’ll try. These photos are from my two favourite places on my permaculture farm.

Fiona 4

Compost toilet

This is the compost toilet in our food forest. I love sitting outside, minding my own business.., and watching the chickens and turkeys eat apples from the apple tree. The compost toilet is a simple Swedish system called Separet. It’s separates pees from poos. Because of this it doesn’t smell. Pee goes straight into the food forest, as it is sterile. Poos are gathered in a bucket together with saw dust. When full, we put the bucket up side down beside not fruiting trees. It turns into soil in around 4 months, depending on the season. 

 

Shower/Bath

This our outdoor bath and shower. I use it every day when home. In the summer the water is heated by a solar hot water system, in the winter by the wetback in the house. We use only Ecostore products that are biodegradable and the grey water goes straight into the verge beds, thus saving lots of water.

 

After an intense judge’s deliberation on Zoom, we eventually decided on our Week Three winners –  big congratulations to Lucy and Chantelle! We really loved seeing their beautiful gardens, and really felt like we were taken on a tour of their places – a treat during Level 4 lockdown! We adored Chantelle’s worm baths, and it was so special to see your garden as also a place you spend time in with your family. And we were delighted to see Lucy’s outhouse shed where she dries her beautiful herbs (from Week One’s Challenge!) and we love your clever use of space! Special shout out to Jessica Gosling – we loved your illustration and garden makeover, and Fiona Glennie your toilet and outdoor bath/shower had us swooning!

We hope these garden tours have provided a bit of inspiration in your own spaces this week… Keep sending your pictures through, we love seeing what you are getting up to!

That’s a wrap for Week Three – keep an eye on our socials for Week Four’s Challenge on Tuesday at 10am (hint: it’s also Fashion Revolution Week!)

Arohanui,

Chloe, Matt, Niki and Skyla

Tari Toitū te Taiao | UC Sustainability Office

 

This message was brought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Stay connected and follow us on FacebookInstagram or sign up to our newsletter to stay in the loop about campus sustainability.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keep cup, check. Thrifted sweater, check. Microplastics… check?!

By now, many of us have the memo that fast fashion is an environmental monster. We know we need to choose wisely which fashion brands to support, and that shopping second hand is even better. Yet there is another type of monster lurking in the fabric of as many thrifted finds as new. In size, these monsters are tiny — but their effects are huge.

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@fash_rev_newzealand

They’re called microplastics, and they’re released in huge quantities every time you wash or wear clothing made of synthetic materials like polyester, acrylic and elastane — your socks, togs, activewear and probably just about everything else in your wardrobe.

What’s frightening about this is where those microplastics end up. For example, imagine a polyester polar fleece. When washed, it might release more than 100,000 microplastics into the washing machine, which are taken with your greywater to Christchurch’s wastewater treatment plant. There, they might find themselves trapped in the sludge filtered from greywater, which is then treated and used to rehabilitate land at Stockton Mine on the West Coast. Or they might be swept out to sea, where, if they’re not eaten by marine life, they’ll find themselves accounting for more than ¾ of human-made debris on shores all over the world.

Yet the negative effects of microplastics aren’t limited to pollution in soil, sea or shore. They’re also harmful to your — and other species’ — health.

Microplastics have been found in the gastrointestinal tracts of various marine species sold for human consumption. The problem is that microplastics, while themselves releasing toxins like the well-known BPA as they degrade, can also absorb other toxic chemicals (and, alarmingly, even antibiotic resistant bacteria found in many wastewater treatment plants) that they come into contact with. Such chemicals are known to cause endocrine disruption, affect reproduction and cause neurological damage to humans. Research tentatively suggests that such toxins might be transferred to those organisms ingesting microplastics. Frightening enough for you?

If it is, there are things you can do. Becoming informed about the pros and cons of natural fabrics like cotton, linen and wool is a great first step. But, often, synthetic fabrics cannot be avoided. Fortunately, there are ways to minimise the effects of washing and wearing. At purchase, look for tighter weaves: a polyester fleece sheds more microplastics than polyester yoga pants. When washing, consider using laundry bags designed to catch microplastics, such as those produced by German brand Guppyfriend. It’s important to remember that, while we undoubtedly have a problem on our hands, you do have the means to help. And any amount of positive change is better than none.

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Written by Jamie – Lee Westerman 

 

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Sustainability @ Home: Week Two!

We know it’s a really challenging time for all of us right now. The UC Sustainability Team have been busy brainstorming ways to stay connected with our wonderful community (that’s you!) and think of all the different ways to engage and inspire you. We hoped that this quiet time at home could also become a time to get creative, active, adventurous and maybe even kick start some new sustainable lifestyle habits – without having to leave your lounge. And so to get this party started….we created… SUSTAINABILITY @ HOME!

Sustainability at Home intro post

We’ve created four weekly challenges for our community to participate in from home, with epic prizes up for grabs for our favourite entries each week. For all the details on how the challenges work, check out the original post on our Facebook page. But for now, we want to share with you the wonderful, creative and inspiring entries that we received for the second weekly challenge: Sustainable Recipes @Home!

Week Two: Sustainable Recipes @ Home!

WEEK TWO

The Challenge: “get creative and show us your fave sustainable recipes – for your kitchens, bathrooms or.. anything!”

Huge thanks to everyone who sent their entries in. We couldn’t be more impressed!

 

 

Note: you may have to click on some of the images in this blog to bring them to full size in order to see the recipes.

Holly “Homemade Feijoa Fizz – made from the @therubbishtriprecipe!” (below)

Helena “Ok this is one of my entries: making apple cider vinegar from apple scraps – peels and cores, sugar and water! Pretty much FREE!”


“plus, I made a Rosemary Hair Rinse (@therubbishtrip recipe)”

AND, DIY toilet cleaning fizzies!

 

Lucy “here’s my sustainable recipe for this week, the best makeup remover! I use a combination of coconut and primrose oil – you could also use almond oil. It’s best used with a reusable cotton pad – just wash with soap after use and dry to use it again!”

 Lucy Makeup remover

Abby “Kia ora ucsustain! Here’s my entry for week 2 of sustainability @ home: homemade bagels and pesto! Plastic free, both fully vegan and the pesto was made with greens from Waiutuutu community garden! Vegan pesto had sunflower seeds, basil, mint, nutritional yeast, salt, vegetable oil (I made up the quantities but just do to taste) the bagel recipe is from https://www.thekiwicountrygirl.com/homemade-bagels/

AJ Hi! I’ve got a recipe to submit please. It’s a vegan kumara curry which can be made entirely from produce at my local green grocers and doesn’t require any packaging. It’s best served with rice boiled in broth made from vegetable scraps (minimizing food waste) to add flavour and sometimes I’ll throw in the coriander which my mom grows at home

Sorry I don’t have a real recipe but you basically fry kumara & onion til they brown then add spinach, chopped up tomato, grated garlic & ginger, and a little bit of stock of your choice. Just let it simmer for 7(?) minutes or so until it’s all hot then serve with rice

You could also add coconut milk and curry powder but l haven’t found a way to buy these without packaging yet!”

AJ vegan kumera curry

Jessica “Here’s my entry for this week’s competition – a homemade tortilla recipe! Also – the sourdough from last week turned out pretty tasty (although I need to work on making the crust a bit less crusty…)”

We love that Jessica entered her sourdough starter in last weeks Low Waste @Home Challenge, and now the loaf this week!

After an intense judge’s deliberation on Zoom, we eventually decided on our Week Two winners –  big congratulations to Abby and Helena! We really loved seeing their different sustainable recipes – Abby wowed us with homemade bagels and pesto made from our very own community garden greens. 👏 Helena’s THREE entries were hard to pick from, but we loved the creativity of her DIY toilet fizzies (and now we want to make them ourselves!)

We hope these recipes have provided a bit of inspiration for some kitchen creativity this week. Keep sending your pictures through, we love seeing what you are getting up to!

That’s a wrap for Week Two – keep an eye on our socials for Week Three’s Challenge tomorrow at 10am (hint: gardening….!)

Arohanui,

Chloe, Matt, Niki and Skyla

Tari Toitū te Taiao | UC Sustainability Office

 

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