New species named after Hollywood blockbuster

The Avatar Moth

The new species of day-flying moth found during Forest & Bird’s Denniston BioBlitz in March will be named after the world’s most successful movie Avatar, scientist Brian Patrick announced today.

Arctesthes avatar, or more commonly the Avatar moth, is a fast and low-flying striped moth that was discovered by Wildlands entomologist Brian and soon after caught by his son Hamish during the species scavenger hunt on the West Coast’s Denniston Plateau in March.

New moth_genus Arctesthes_Brian Patrick.JPGBrian, Hamish and Forest & Bird opened naming rights to the public to raise awareness about the plans to coal mine on the Denniston Plateau where the new species was found.

The father and son duo judged the winner from nearly 100 entries and although tempted by “Denniston survivor” and “Arctesthes bioblitzia”, Brian said the Avatar moth was a clear winner. “It was by far the best one. It’s a novel name and the movie is about a mining company that threatens to devastate a human-like species that’s living in harmony with nature. It’s just a really good analogy.”

The movie parallels the real life threat to the environmentally unique plateau as Australian mining company Bathurst Resources plans to open-cast mine on Denniston Plateau. If it goes ahead, it would be the country’s largest open-cast mine on public conservation land. Forest & Bird is appealing the consents and is working to save the plateau and have it made into a reserve.

The Avatar moth is just one of the significant finds during the BioBlitz weekend that saw 150 volunteers, including top scientists, scour the plateau in search of unusual plants and animals.

Other new species discovered are likely to include another moth, beetle, wingless wasp and three spiders. Forest & Bird Top of the South Field Officer Debs Martin says discovering the new species underscores the ecological importance of the area and the urgent need to protect it from mining.

“All the scientists agree that the plateau harbours life, especially little life, that is either not known or is relatively uncommon elsewhere. Denniston Plateau provides a mainland island habitat that we’re only just discovering,” she says.

Protecting our “pure advantage” crucial for our economy and ecology

Forest and Bird logo - giving nature a voice

Forest & Bird press release

Pure Advantage’s report ‘New Zealand’s Position in the Green Race’ released this morning is firmly supported by independent conservation organisation Forest & Bird. Forest & Bird believes New Zealand’s economic future is underpinned by its brand as a clean and green country, and gives it a crucial competitive advantage in the global economy.

“We sell ourselves to the world as a country that values and protects its natural heritage. And it is that environment, those landscapes, that wildlife that draw people here and encourage people to buy our products,” says Forest & Bird Conservation Advocate Nicola Toki.

“Our natural environment is the cornerstone of our economy. But instead of investing in the driver of our economy, we have traditionally seen the protection of it as a ‘cost’, and whittled away the resources required to protect it.”

Tourism is our largest employer and our second-largest export earner. Most tourists come to New Zealand because of our ‘clean green’ image – which we must live up to in order to maintain this industry. However, a lack of protection of biodiversity has led to an internationally embarrassing profile, says Nicola Toki.

“Last year a scientific study of 189 countries placed us at 18th worst in the world in terms of our environmental performance. The mask is slipping and the consequences will be our reputation and ultimately our financial performance in the tourism industry will be irreversibly damaged.”

The competitive advantage of New Zealand’s environment also impacts our other export industries. Most major exports rely heavily on branding New Zealand as a beautiful country full of wild landscapes and unique wildlife to sell their products.

“When consumers overseas buy a New Zealand made product, they are buying into an understanding that we are a country that loves and protects our natural heritage. We risk losing their trust by not living up to this implicit contract.”

“Instead of producing the same products and commodities and competing from a distance with the rest of the world, we should be focusing on improving the environmental quality of our goods and services and attracting a higher profit margin to ensure an ecologically and economically sustainable future.”

“It’s fantastic to see some leadership around the value that New Zealand’s environment brings to our country, instead of it being seen as a cost,” Nicola Toki says.

And the Worst Packaging Award for 2012 goes to… Foodstuffs

Sophie Ward with Worst Packaging winner's trophie

Foodstuffs have won Unpackit’s 2012 Worst Packaging Award for putting vegetables on polystyrene meat-trays and wrapping them in plastic.

More than 10,000 votes decided the Best and Worst Packaging Awards for 2012. The Best Packaging Award has been won by Bin Inn, with 33 stores who sell unpackaged products from self selection bins.

Unpackit Sophie Ward said the competition for both awards was intense this year, and the high number of votes showed that people really care about packaging and its impact on the environment.

“The plastic-wrapped vegetables on a meat-tray just managed to beat the individually wrapped prunes to take the Worst Packaging title, but there were only a few votes in it,” she said. “There’s a lot of ridiculous packaging out there, so it’s quite an achievement to be voted the worst packaging in New Zealand.”

Ms Ward said that supermarkets who sold plastic wrapped vegetables on polystyrene meat-trays were ignoring the environmental effects of their packaging, and she hoped winning the Worst Packaging Award would be a wake-up call for them.

Melissa Hodd, Executive Manager Foodstuffs New Zealand, said today that Foodstuffs accepts there is an onus on them, as a large retailer, to try harder to reduce the amount of polystyrene packaging used by their stores, in particular with regard to produce packaging.”

“Foodstuffs has recently set up a sustainability programme which is looking at packaging among other environmental projects. We would like to confirm that reducing the amount of polystyrene packaging used and identifying more sustainable alternatives is already a priority for this group, and receiving the Unpackit Award for Worst Packaging further solidifies our need to focus on this area of the business.”

Ms Ward said that while Foodstuffs were not the only ones putting vegetables on meat-trays, they had won the award because the original nomination from the public was for one of their stores: Franz Josef Four Square. This type of packaging is also commonly used in New World supermarkets around the country.

“Meat-trays can’t be recycled in most places in New Zealand, so both the cling film and the meat-trays go straight to the landfill. The most frustrating thing is that fruit and vegetables like carrots, parsnips, courgettes, grapes and avocadoes don’t need to be wrapped, they come with their own skins which protect them just fine. Packaging them is completely unnecessary and a waste of resources.”

Foodstuffs also won third place in the Worst Packaging Award for their meat multi-packs: four separately wrapped pieces of meat on meat-trays placed on a bigger meat-tray and wrapped in more plastic.

Ms Ward said getting rid of polystyrene meat-trays for meat packaging was a lot harder than stopping using polystyrene trays for fresh produce.

“Supermarkets sell their meat pre-packed for display, and there are not many alternatives which can deal with the blood. However I have seen chicken sold in recyclable plastic trays, and there are some new compostable materials which might be viable in the near future.”

For Unpackit’s Best Packaging Award, Ms Ward said she was delighted to announce today that the 2012 winner is Bin Inn, a New Zealand co-operative with 33 stores.
“Bin Inn sells a large range of products from bulk bins, which means people can take their own packaging and reuse it multiple times. Using less packaging means saving resources, and reduces the amount of waste going to landfill.”

Bin Inn Retail Group Co-operative general manager Nicolette Hale said she was thrilled that Bin Inn had taken out this year’s Best Packaging Award.

“At Bin Inn we try and help customers reduce their packaging waste by encouraging customers to bring in their own bottles and containers to refill from the self selection bins and barrels. ‘Pay for product not packaging’ is central to the Bin Inn concept that was launched with our first store nearly 24 years ago.”

Ms Ward said she would like to thank all the community groups, schools, farmers markets and individuals who had got behind the Unpackit Awards and helped make them a success.

“The Awards are really a conversation starter, and a way for people to feed back to businesses what they think of their packaging. Without public support, they wouldn’t have taken off and grown in the way that they have.”

Unpackit Awards Results 2012

Unpackit Awards 2012

Unpackit Worst Packaging Awards Results 2012

1. Plastic wrapped vegetables on a meat tray – Foodstuffs
This year’s winner is Foodstuffs, for selling fruit and vegetables on polystyrene meat-trays, wrapped in plastic. Produce sold this way includes parsnips, carrots, courgettes, grapes, and avocados, none of which need to be wrapped. Polystyrene meat-trays are not recycled in most New Zealand towns, so all this packaging is going straight to landfill.

2. Individually wrapped prunes – Sunsweet Ones
Individually wrapped prunes, contained in a non-recyclable tube, wrapped in plastic. Just ridiculous – more packaging than product! This past winner of the 2011 Unpackit Worst Packaging Award gave Foodstuffs a very close race.

3. Meat-tray Madness – Foodstuffs
Four pieces of meat all pre-packaged in meat-trays, then packaged on a big meat tray and wrapped in more plastic. While it is hard to find an alternative to the meat-tray for meat packaging, this is really over the top. Two placings of polystyrene in the top three shows the depth of public dislike of meat-trays, especially as in most towns they end up in the rubbish.

4. Barbie – Mattel
Barbie was a popular choice for the Worst Packaging Award for families with young children. Her packaging is completely over-the-top compared to the size of the actual Barbie, plastic type is not identified so can’t be recycled. Frustration factor – time-consuming and tricky to unwrap.

5. Disposable Coffee Cup
100 million disposable cups go to landfill in NZ every year – causing a massive amount of unnecessary waste; 100 million crushed cups would build a tower as high as the Sky. Paper can break down in a landfill causing methane release in a landfill where methane is not captured.

6. Shapes Multi-Pack – Arnotts
The same crackers are sold in a larger cardboard box, and can be put into individual containers for lunches, avoiding litter and extra waste.

7. Toothbrush Heads – Oral B
Large amount of packaging for two tiny toothbrush heads, plastic cover has no plastic identification number. Packaging has generic recycling symbol which could confuse customers.

8. Noodles in a Cup – Fantastic
Disposable polystyrene cup going to landfill in most towns, can use own cup.

Unpackit Best Packaging Awards Results 2012

1. Bulk bin stores – Bin Inn
This New Zealand co-operative has 33 stores in New Zealand. Their bulk bin system is set up to encourage shoppers to reuse their own containers for a large range of products. Bin Inn stores sell recyclable containers if customers forget to bring their own. Their philosophy has always been to “pay for the product, not the packaging”, which minimises packaging waste and lessens the impact on the environment.

2. Compostable takeaway tray – Potatopak
New Zealand made take-away container made from waste potato starch, compostable at home or in an industrial compost. Clearly labeled as home compostable, has the potential to replace a large amount of take-away containers going to landfill. Winner of the 2011 Unpackit Best Packaging Award.

3. Recyclable lunch box – Nude Food Movers
This lunch box is sturdy and long-lasting, with child appeal – practical way for parents to avoid prepackaged snacks. All plastic components are stamped with recycling identification number.

4. Ideal Cup – Celsius
This New Zealand designed and manufactured coffee cup is designed to be taken into cafés and refilled over and over again. The cup is designed to fit under a standard coffee machine. Both the cup and lid are labeled with plastic identification numbers for recycling.

5. Automatic Dishwasher Tablets – Ecostore
These tablets are individually wrapped in a PVA biodegradable wrapper that dissolves in the dishwasher. Tablets are pre-measured, preventing excess powder use. The cardboard box is made from 85% recycled material.

6. Biodegradable Superwipes – Chux
Packaging for this product is made entirely from cardboard (100% recyclable) with cut-away section to see the superwipes. Minimum 50% recycled cardboard, printed with soy-based inks.

7. iPhone 4 – Apple
Extremely minimal packaging – only just fits phone and components. Packaging for the iPhone has been reduced by 42 between 2007 and 2010. Packaging is almost entirely recyclable, and the cardboard box is made from 90% recycled content.

8. Compostable coffee bag – Caffe Prima
Innovative packaging using new technology to solve an old problem– how to keep coffee fresh on the shelf without using packaging which is going to end up in the landfill. The New Zealand-made compostable bag meets European compostability standards for industrial composting. The New Zealand manufacturer says it can also be put in home compost, but will take longer to break down.

Apple and Lemon Pie [recipe]

A recipe by Nicola Galloway

Fresh2U Organic Food Delivery, Nelson, NZ

This might look like a complicated recipe but it is very simple to make.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • Handful of crystallized ginger, chopped (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 150 g cold butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2-3 tablespoons iced water

In a food processor combine the sugar and ginger and process to break up the ginger.

Add the flour and pulse briefly.

Cut in the butter and blend until a crumb texture.

Add the egg yolk and enough water to bring the mixture together into pea-sized balls.

Tip into a pie dish and quickly press evenly to cover the base.

Pierce a few times with a fork. Chill for 30 minutes to rest the
pastry.

Make the filling:

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 egg plus 1 egg white
  • 3 large apples, peeled and grated

In the processor (there is no need to wash it from the pastry) add the sugar, zest and eggs.

Blend until creamy.

Drain the grated apples through a sieve to remove any excess juice (a little is OK but too much and the filling will be soggy).

Add to the egg mixture and pulse briefly to combine.

Pour the filling into the pastry, and bake for 30-40 minutes at 180°C until the filling is set.

Serve with yogurt.

Find more of Nicola’s recipes and healthy food ideas on www.nicolagalloway.com
Also courtesy of www.fresh2u.co.nz Organic Food Delivery, Nelson.

Villa Maria wins Supreme Green Ribbon Award

Green Ribbon Award logo

Environment Minister Amy Adams has tonight announced that Auckland-based winery Villa Maria Estate is the Supreme Winner of the Green Ribbon Awards.

The award was presented to Villa Maria Estate at a ceremony hosted by Ms Adams at Parliament tonight. A further twelve Green Ribbon Awards category winners from around the country were also announced.

"Villa Maria is dedicated to minimising the environmental impact of its business and has demonstrated that environmental best-practice can boost profitability and be part of everyday business.

“The winery takes a holistic approach to environmental best practice, implementing a variety of effective initiatives nationwide. These range from growing grapes organically through to projects that reduce the environmental effects of operations in the processing plant.

“Specific initiatives include reducing fungicide and pesticide applications, energy conservation, and a comprehensive package of emissions-reduction projects.”

The Green Ribbon Awards recognise the outstanding contributions made by organisations, businesses and communities to protecting and enhancing New Zealand’s environment, Ms Adams says.

The awards had more than 280 entries this year, an increase of 68 on last year, which shows that more New Zealanders are taking action to improve the environment.

The finalists covered areas such as improving water and air quality, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing waste, and boosting biodiversity by protecting coasts and oceans.

“Volunteers play a significant role in all of this work, and the awards give them much-deserved public recognition, while providing others with ideas on how to get their initiatives off the ground.”

Increasing the number of native plants, eliminating introduced pests like possums and stoats, and helping native birds and fish re-establish themselves in streams and on farmland were some of the success stories of the volunteer and community groups that won Green Ribbon Awards this year.

2012 Green Ribbon Award Winners

Protecting our biodiversity: Moehau Environment Group, with Meridian Energy (Coromandel)

Reducing our greenhouse gas emissions: carboNZero Holdings (Auckland)

Caring for our water: Waiau Trust – River Habitat Restoration (Invercargill)

Minimising our waste: Go Bamboo (Gisborne)

Improving our air quality: Nelson City Council (Nelson)

Protecting our coasts and oceans: West Coast Blue Penguin Trust (West Coast)

Communication and education: Hurunui College – Nina Valley Restoration Group (Canterbury)

Community leadership: Te Ara Kakariki – Greenway Canterbury Trust (Canterbury)

Small business leadership: Celcius Coffee (Wellington)

Large business leadership: Villa Maria Estate (Auckland)

Public sector leadership: Nelson City Council (Nelson)

Green economy: Yealands Estate (Marlborough)

Supreme Award Winner: Villa Maria Estate (Auckland)

Unpackit Awards too close to call

Unpackit Awards 2012 website address logo

Competition in the Unpackit Awards is red hot this year, with the leaders neck and neck for both the Best and Worst Packaging Awards.

Unpackit spokesperson Gina Dempster said this year’s Awards are going to come down to the wire when voting closes at midnight on Friday 1st June.

“People can be sure their vote is really going to count, because it’s just so close this year. We’re aiming for 10,000 votes, so we hope anyone who cares about the environment will take a minute to go to www.unpackit.org and put their vote in.”

Only eight votes separates the two leaders in the Worst Packaging Award, even though nearly 7,000 votes have been cast online.

“Individually wrapped prunes are ahead in the Worst Packaging Award by a whisker, but the plastic wrapped veggies on a meat-tray are in hot pursuit,” said Ms Dempster.

“In the Best Packaging Award, Bin Inn stores, where customers can take their own packaging to refill, have surged ahead in the last week to take the lead.

“It’s really too close to call though, with the compostable take-away container made from Potatopak, and the Nude Food Mover lunch-boxes hot on their heels.”

Ms Dempster said at least two of the finalists in the 2011 Worst Packaging Award had improved their packaging after the awards.

“People always tell us that they are frustrated by ridiculous over-packaging. Voting in the Unpackit Awards helps show companies that people do care about packaging and its impact on the environment.”

People can vote for the packaging which they think is the best and worst for the environment at www.unpackit.org. There are eight finalists in the Best Award and eight finalists in the Worst Award, chosen from over 200 public nominations.

Gina Dempster, Unpackit spokesperson (03) 443 8608 x9, 027 443 7116, gina@wanakawastebusters.co.nz

About Smartpackaging and the Unpackit Awards
The Unpackit Packaging Awards 2012 and Smart Packaging Business Workshops are run by Wanaka Wastebusters to encourage New Zealanders to choose smart packaging and raise awareness about the issue of packaging waste.
www.smartpackaging.org.nz
www.unpackit.org
The project has received financial support from the Waste Minimisation Fund, administered by the Ministry for the Environment. The Ministry for the Environment does not necessarily endorse or support the content of this press release.

About Wanaka Wastebusters
Wanaka Wastebusters is a community enterprise based in Wanaka, which employs 20 people. Our mission is to increase resource recovery by providing innovative solutions and Education for Sustainability.

Pumpkin Gnocchi [recipe]

A recipe by Nicola Galloway

Fresh2U Organic Food Delivery, Nelson, NZ

It does take a little time to make gnocchi but well worth it. Rolling into a long cylinder rather than the traditional shaping with a fork greatly reduces the time. It is fun to get kids involved with making gnocchi too.

Ingredients

  • Approx. 1kg pumpkin
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • Generous handful of freshly grated parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Finely ground pepper
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • Approx 1-2 cups flour (this will depend on the moisture of the pumpkin)

Cook the pumpkin either by boiling or roasting. If roasting make sure not to colour the pumpkin too much as it will taint the gnocchi. Once the pumpkin is soft remove the skin and mash thoroughly to remove any lumps.

Add the eggs, parmesan and salt & pepper.

Gradually add enough flour to make a workable dough. Tip onto a floured bench and knead by folding the dough onto itself. Sprinkle flour over the dough as needed until it is dry enough to handle but still holds together well when rolled.

Divide the dough into 6-8 balls and roll into long 1cm thick cylinders then cut into 2cm lengths. Make sure to keep the gnocchi well-floured at all times to prevent them sticking together.

To cook, bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil. Add a teaspoon of salt (it is important the gnocchi cooking water is well seasoned otherwise the end result can be bland even if the sauce is well flavoured). Cook the gnocchi in batches for 2-3 minutes until they rise to the surface.

Drain well in a colander and drizzle with olive oil. Serve with tomato pasta sauce or simply with olive oil and crispy sage leaves.

To make crispy sage:

Heat 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil over a low to medium heat. Once hot (you can test this by flicking a few drops of water onto the oil, if it is hot it will crackle and sizzle) add whole sage leaves to the oil.

They will cook quickly so you will need to work fast, using tongs to turn the leaves over until they are evenly golden. Remove onto kitchen paper then
scatter over the gnocchi.

Find more of Nicola’s recipes and healthy food ideas on www.nicolagalloway.com
Also courtesy of www.fresh2u.co.nz Organic Food Delivery, Nelson.

Forest & Bird welcomes victory for Mokihinui River

Mokihinui saved - image credit Forest & Bird

Forest & Bird media release 22 May 2012 – Wellington

Forest & Bird welcomes Meridian Energy’s announcement that it will abandon its plan to dam the West Coast’s wild and scenic Mokihinui River. “This is a great victory for conservation, and a courageous decision by Meridian,” Forest & Bird Forest & Bird Advocacy Manager Kevin Hackwell says.

“We are pleased that Meridian has made the right decision for a very special part of the West Coast, and for the future sustainability of the coast and New Zealand.”

Forest & Bird Top of the South Field Officer Debs Martin says: “The Mokihinui is a wonderful wild river that is home to endangered blue ducks, eels and native fish. The forested river valley supports many native animals, including kiwi and bats.

“This is one of New Zealand’s largest and most pristine wild rivers, and it was critical for Forest & Bird that we save this from damming. This dam would have flooded the greatest area of conservation land in New Zealand.”

Kevin Hackwell says the decision will be good for the long-term economy of the West Coast. The Mokihinui dam would have been remotely operated from outside West Coast so the area’s economy would have had a merely temporary boost during construction. “The future is in adventure and eco-tourism, and a cycleway along part of the Mokihinui is already being built.”

We hope this decision will be the end of big hydro proposals on the last of our remaining wild rivers, he says.

Forest & Bird says it is now time to properly protect the Mokihinui River by adding it to neighbouring Kahurangi National Park. “We are keen to avoid future conflicts over high-value publicly owned land that is stewardship, or essentially unclassified, land,” Debs Martin says.

Forest & Bird President Andrew Cutler says this is great news for the thousands of members and supporters of Forest & Bird, and thousands of other New Zealanders who have given time and money to fight this dam proposal.

“It’s great to see that grass roots campaigns can still win against developments backed by huge businesses. That gives us confidence as we now refocus on stopping the open-cast mining of the unique Denniston Plateau on the West Coast by an Australian mining company.”

Contacts:

Forest & Bird Top of the South Field Officer Debs Martin, 03 989 3355, 027 684 0599

Forest & Bird Advocacy Manager Kevin Hackwell, 04 801 2215, 021 227 8420

Smartpackaging workshop for Auckland businesses

Wanaka Wastebusters will be running a Smart Packaging Business Workshop in Auckland on Thursday 17th May, in partnership with the Sustainable Business Network.

The workshop will help businesses add value to their brand by choosing smart packaging which has less impact on the environment.

Real packaging challenges faced by businesses will be addressed during the workshop, and attendees will have a chance to come up with their own solutions during a break-out session.

The guest speaker at the workshop will be Janet Clendon, Global Packaging Manager for Zespri. She will talk about Zespri’s sustainable packaging strategy and how they are working across their supply chain to adopt packaging solutions that align with their strategy.

    Workshop leader Sophie Ward said the workshop will include practical tips and the research on

  • Packaging materials and end-of-life solutions
  • Which materials are most likely to be recycled
  • Myth-busting and green claims
  • What consumers want from packaging.

“In New Zealand, we create 172kg of packaging waste per person every year, and throw 72kg of packaging per person into the rubbish,” she said. “It’s time we worked together to reduce the amount of packaging which goes into the landfill.”

“We encourage businesses to choose minimal packaging which can be recycled or composted, but we know it’s not going to happen overnight. The workshop will give businesses balanced information which will save them time and money, and help strengthen their brands.”

The Smart Packaging workshops are being run in four cities as part of the Unpackit Packaging Awards project. The Awards were set up in 2010 to find the Best and Worst packaging sold in New Zealand. Voting for the Awards is open until 1st June at www.unpackit.org

“Many of the nominations for Unpackit’s Worst Packaging Award this year were for “green” businesses whose packaging did not live up to their product,” said Ms Ward. “Consumers are getting more and more savvy when it comes to environmental claims. They expect to see consistency through the whole production process, including packaging.”

Ms Ward said the recent Campbell Live programmes on the Honest Water Eco-Bottle and the Fair Go programme on degradable bags had shown that companies need to understand the full life cycle of the packaging materials they choose to use.

“It’s a real challenge for businesses, because it can get quite technical. We’re aiming to give businesses a good grounding in the issues, to help them make smart packaging choices.”

Businesses can register for the Smartpackaging workshop at www.smartpackaging.org.nz and can send their packaging challenges to sophie@wanakawastebusters.co.nz

Workshop cost: $45 SBN members, $90 non-members

Auckland Workshop Details
8:00-10:00am
Rangitoto 3
Viaduct Events Centre
Viaduct Harbour

Take A Walk On The Wildside

Wildside Getaway Ruapehu

Building a self-sufficient eco-lodge in the heart of the bush: from mud to mod-cons.

The creation of Wildside Getaway all started with a walk in the bush with our six month old son in a backpack, in the steep hill country surrounding the Central Plateau. The property had stunning views towards both the Whanganui River Valley on the one side and the volcanic peaks of Mounts Ruapehu and Ngaruhoe on the other.

Read the rest of this great article on Bookabach’s bachchat – Stories – Take A Walk On The Wildside and see their listing on Ecofind.

It’s Business Time for Bret Mckenzie with Fair Trade And Oxfam

Bret McKenzie

Press Release: Oxfam

Oxfam has extended this year’s Fair Trade Me celebrity auctions for a very special one-off auction with one half of New Zealand’s fourth most popular folk-parody duo, Oscar-winner and FIGWIT himself, Bret McKenzie. The auction launches today on Trade Me and coincides with the start of Fair Trade Fortnight.

McKenzie has generously placed himself on the auction block for Oxfam and the highest bidder will not only receive a guitar signed by Bret and his Flight of the Conchords partner Jemaine Clement, but also a sit down and a chat with Bret over a fair trade cuppa in Wellington. Sounds like a fair trade to us!

The auction follows on from the successful Fair Trade Me auctions in April that saw Kiwis bidding on Coffee Break dates with Sir Graham Henry, actors Shane Cortese and Michelle Langstone, Starfish fashion designer Laurie Foon and restaurateur Steve Logan. The auctions have been held in conjunction with Oxfam’s Biggest Coffee Break to help raise awareness of fair trade as well as funds for Oxfam’s work with communities throughout the developing world.

“Buying Fairtrade products is a simple way of making the world a better place. So go and buy them now. Stop what you’re doing and buy some Fairtrade goods,” said McKenzie.

“Move away from the computer. Stand up. Put some clothes on and go to the shops and get some Fairtrade stuff. What’s wrong with you? Why are you still reading this? Are you addicted to reading? Get a friend to help you stop reading. Meet them at a cafe and have a cup of Fairtrade coffee and talk about your reading addiction. Get moving. Hurry, before it’s too late to make the world a better place.”

McKenzie is right: buying fair trade is an effective way for shoppers to help growers work their way out of poverty—through better prices, decent working conditions, environmentally sustainable farming methods and investment in local community development.

Last year 40,000 New Zealanders celebrated fair trade by taking part in Oxfam’s Biggest Coffee Break, and this year has seen a record number of people, schools and workplaces sign up to host. All proceeds from the auctions and Coffee Breaks support Oxfam’s work towards a fairer, safer, more sustainable world. Find out more about Oxfam’s Biggest Coffee Break at www.oxfamcoffeebreak.org.nz.

Kiwis have until the 14th of May to bid on Bret at www.trademe.co.nz/stores/oxfam

In conjunction with the auction Oxfam has also extended signups for its popular Coffee Break event, being held all over the country. Limited packs are available to those who would like to host a fair trade Coffee Break and raise money for Oxfam’s work. To sign up, please visit www.oxfamcoffeebreak.org.nz – packs limited to first 200 hosts to sign up before May 11th.