A great idea to help you minimise waste this Christmas. TIS/221223120
Another Christmas is upon us.
Together with all the fun and good times spent with family, opening presents and eating
more than enough at the Christmas kaikai, an enormous amount of rubbish will be
generated. So here are a few tips from Santa to help you minimise your impact on our already overflowing landfill.
Firstly there are the Christmas gifts. Try not to
buy anything made of plastic that will be quickly broken and end up in the
rubbish. Look for gifts that are long-lasting or made from recycled or upcycled
materials. Circle Cook Islands is one local business doing a great job at
upcycling materials into art, jewellery, wallets and bags.
Then there is the gift wrapping. The children
will get just as much suspense and anticipation out of unwrapping something
wrapped up in newspaper as they will from fancy gift wrapping coloured with
Any paper wrapping or cardboard boxes can be composted
or just laid flat in your garden to supress weeds. Or you may want to buy a
pareu to wrap the gifts in, which becomes a very useful additional present. Rather
than giving a material item, consider giving an experience. There are so many
things to do in Rarotonga. A nature and birdwatching walk in the Takitumu
Conservation Area? A trip on a fishing boat? A snorkel tour or SCUBA diving
experience. Or for a more relaxing type of activity, opt for a massage, spa or
yoga session at one of the many small local businesses.
As for the Christmas celebratory drinks, make
use of the refill options available. You can fill your flagons or reusable
bottles with beer and kambucha from the Rarotongan Brewery in Nikao. They also
have wine (rose and sauvignon blanc), in reuseable keeper bottles.
The Bond Store also has beer on tap so you can
refill your flagons or reuseable bottles there too. Every two litres of refill
at the Bond or the Brewery keeps six empty stubbies or cans out of your
Refill your reusable water bottles at one of
the 20-plus treated water stations around Rarotonga, and avoid buying bottled
water in single use plastics.
Next on our hit list are the throw-away plastic
lined, or completely plastic, cups that coffees and takeaway drinks come in. It
may be hard to believe, but some of the cafes are still using plastic straws! Take
your own reuseable keep cups, or even just a jam jar with a lid, the perfect
re-useable cup recycled from your home.
If you are baking fish in your oven or umu,
consider wrapping it up in banana leaves instead of aluminium foil. You just sear
the leaf over a flame for a few seconds to make it more flexible for wrapping.
They work really well and give a nice flavour to the fish.
While still on the topic of food, try and avoid
using plastic cling wrap to cover food to keep the flies off. Use a pareu or a
table cloth instead, and wash it afterwards.
Wishing you all the very best for the festive
season from the team at Te Ipukarea Society. Here’s to supporting waste free
cultures and minimising the waste in our small islands, big ocean country for
2023 and beyond.