REAP leading the way
Far North REAP asked the EcoCentre if we would tautoko their application for the ‘Go Green Far North Awards’. Of course we said yes, they are an inspiring example of what can be done when the will is there to do it. But here in their own words is a description of what amazing things they have achieved and are working towards.
We are entering as a Not for Profit Community Organisation into the ‘Go Green Far North Awards’ in the category of ‘Outstanding Company’. we have been awarded the ‘Gold Star Eco Award’ and would like to take this next step on our journey.
In the past 12 months we have made huge changes towards becoming ‘greener’ and reducing our impact on our environment. In the beginning of 2018 our Board adopted a 20 Year Strategic Plan which out-lined Sustainably as a goal. Far North REAP aims to:
“Minimise and measure all contributors to our carbon footprint and offset our carbon footprint by annually planting trees. Actively educate and encourage other organisations to follow our sustainability example.”
Our environmental sustainability journey began over 12 months ago and as an organisation we have made huge changes to ensure our needs do not compromise the needs of future generations. The biggest investment in this journey has been the installation of solar panels which at the end of 2018 had generated 48% of our power usage, further was the purchase of our first hybrid vehicle. But it’s not just about big changes, it has a lot to do with the small everyday changes we make, not only at work, but in our own homes and environments. Many of our staff regularly volunteer their own time to help with beach cleans, our Board Chair uses a push bike to get to meetings, and staff walk whenever they are able.
Recently we have decided not to replace our broken laminator because the plastic laminating sheets are not compostable. Bin liners have been removed from our office rubbish bins and we use paper kleen sacks instead of plastic rubbish bags.
All staff are encouraged to take their own containers to purchase takeaway lunches, and staff have all been gifted their own keepcups with our logo printed on them.
When we can, we source only cleaning products that are in recyclable containers and as part of our Room Hire Agreement we ask that all room users DO NOT leave any single use, non recyclable item in our rubbish bins, these items must be taken off-site, this also applies to staff.
In 2018 we donated $2,000 towards the planting of native trees at Lake Onepu which contributed hugely towards our 2018 emissions offset. Late last year our management team allowed our staff a day for making bees wax wraps to use in our staff room and for our own personal use as we no longer allow cling wrap to be used, including any catering we have supplied.
All our kitchens have compost scrap buckets and most of these scrap’s go into worm feeders in our community garden (see photo attached), and any remaining food scrap are collected for pig food.
We actively support Plastic Free Kaitaia 2020 by volunteering administration services, attend monthly meetings, networking with local businesses, holding regular Tee-Shirt bag making workshops, the bags made are supplied to local businesses, and maintaining their Facebook page.
As part of our commitment to our 20 year Strategic Plan a ‘sustainable’ role has been created within our organisation, this involves a staff member to collect data, report to our Board of Trustees, management and staff, this data is closely monitored to ensure that we are making progress. Our challenge this year will be to set up systems that will help to reduce our printing and lesson our paper use.
Our aim is to reduce the amount of waste we send to the landfill and the recycling we send to the recycle centre. Our goal is to reduce and reuse what we can, think before we make purchases and walk or carpool where practical. We still have a long way to go on this journey but small steps will get us there in the end.
Please contact Far North REAP if you want to see their full 2018 Sustainability Report