Friday, September 14, 2007


Things are mighty busy right now. So much so that ShoppingFix has taken a back seat.

We've hit the pause button so I'll post here on a less regualr basis. In the mean time there are several events to look out for.

1. Council elections - Wellington's carbon neutral aspirations will be fleshed out when post election committees are established in November. ShoppingFix is on the story board.

2. Carbon trading - The Govt/NZX "TZ1" carbon trading platform will be outlined in the next month. So too will a bunch of other Govt. "led" sustainability initiatives.

3. Music - The 2007 SuperSession gig is being jointly hosted by SurfAid and the Wellington Free Ambulance. Book the date: November 10th.

4. Work/Travel - My new(ish) job takes me to Fiji, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh over the next 2 months. I'll offset it somehow. Mark my words.

Catch you soon...

Thursday, September 13, 2007


I read this article in the Guardian Weekly on the bus home tonight.

In it is a truly amazing stat. No, not that China builds two coal fired power plants a week; but that Drax, the huge Yorkshire coal fired plant, produces more CO2 than 103 other nations combined.

Someone else in the authors office essentially asked the same question today: can each of our recycling and energy saving measures really "save the planet"? The answer is of course yes, but with the clean coal myth being espoused left right and centre, the big wins need to be chased harder than ever.

If confronted with "carbon capture and storage" tell him he's dreaming. Add your weight to ditching Marsden B for good, or to saving Happy Valley. Support projects like West Wind.

It's still worth pulling your mobile charger out of the wall though.

Image credit: the simple folk at New Zealand Mineral Industry Assn. From a cute little section titled "How are coal mines rehabilitated?"

Thursday, August 23, 2007


There's been a bit of flak flying over sustainable logging the last couple of days.

Kwila, the Indonesian hardwood is under fire for causing dyslexia a clash with WTO rules if a ban on it's non-sustainable procurement is pursued.

Flash outdoor furniture is often kwila but it seems that nobody can guarantee the validity of sustainable timber sourcing. Not least one particular bastion of sprawled style whose kwila is "sourced from managed forests and TFT-The Forest Trust approved".

TFT no longer exist - having been superseded by TFG. Hardly a call for confidence.

A Christchurch outfit pushes kwila rabidly, as does one Auckland wholesaler.

National Radio aired a diplomacy piece Wednesday morning including an interview with Jim Anderton (6min audio). Not only is the timber produced unsustainably, apparently it's market presence here suppresses local timber prices.

It's the age old question - how much does your supplier know? When you're buying furniture - or any wood for that matter - ask where it came from and how much the supplier knows about how it got to them. For once I agree with Anderton.

There's one good thing from this though. All this talk of outdoor furniture must mean summers coming.

Monday, August 13, 2007


Wellington's finest have a new album out October. God knows why I haven't seen this Phoenix Foundation clip before, but it has a quirky little sustainability bent to it.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


Whittakers, our chocolate gurus from up the valley, have come up with the cocoa nib chocolate block.

Blatant endorsement, but sorry, I'm in love. There is no better chocolate.

What they don't do in terms of fair trade certification, Whittakers certainly make up for in variety, openness, and the cocoa nib.

It's a dark little number, not complicated by overt sweetness, and is full of crunchy wee bits of cocoa nib. Damn!

Saturday, August 04, 2007


Twenty years ago parliament legislated for a nuclear free New Zealand.

This coming week the Peace Foundation (with the help of my employers) present Nuclear Zephyr at Bats.

It's a performance of dance, theatre and music that examines the realities of cross cultural societies. It's a discussion of peace in its cultural, community, moral, and political contexts.

The piece will feature art by Jane Blackmore - recent recipient of the "paint" category at the National Women's Art Exhibition.

Not your standard Bats gig by any stretch (mind you, what is?). Head along - it promises to engage the brain and the conscience.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Marjorie was the all knowing trash heap in Fraggle Rock.

Wellington City Council's landfill manager took National Radio's Our Changing World on a tour last week. The city's trash heap made for fascinating radio (13 min audio).

The great home recycling habit of Wellingtonians is discussed in contrast to what we get up to at work. "Places of work constitute 80% of [the] waste" supply. Most is recyclable.

I recommend making the most of open days when they're on. I had a tour a year or so back and I'll return to see how projects like methane capture, bush regeneration, and Kai-to-compost are progressing.

Update: Part 2 of the National Radio piece is even more fascinating. Landfill manager Mike Mendonca explains how troublesome the concept of offshoring recycling processes is. It's reminiscent of an earlier post that talks about plastic recycling.