As part of the Far North District Council commitment to waste minimisation in the region the Council initiated the EcoStar award for businesses, to promote and recognise achievements in this area. The EcoStar provides organisations with a structured process for the development, implementation and maintenance of a waste minimisation plan. The EcoStar can then be gained by successfully passing an on-site audit. The EcoStar website has a good range of resources for businesses to use.
Current and certified members can then use their EcoStar credentials as proof of their progress in implementing an effective waste minimisation plan and working towards sustainability.
Jo Shanks at CBEC Ecosolutions is our local contact and support person. She goes round the businesses etc applying for the EcoStar and helps with waste and systems audits to enable them to work towards the highest award possible. There are three levels: Gold, Silver and Bronze, ultimately aiming for less than 10% total (Gold) waste going to landfill.
The EcoStar awards can be applied for from any sector of the community. For example:
In retail: Mana Kai not only reduce waste with strong policies to re-use, great recycling systems, as well as encouraging their staff to recycle; they also support sustainability in the wider community, visiting schools to demonstrate the importance of bees, as well as installing hives in schools. They have also sponsored the wax for beeswax lunch wrap workshops run by Ecosolutions, allowing over 500 students and community members to reduce their use of plastic wrap. Also at Postie+ the manager personally ensures that all packaging arriving at this branch of Postie+ are recycled or returned to the sender to be re-used; proving that, with the right management, retail can make the right choices.
In hospitality and tourism: Doubtless Bay Villas have demonstrated that large accommodation providers can provide sustainable luxury. Doubtless Bay Villa’s have kitchen tidy compost bins in all rooms, full recycling, and a pro-active approach to reducing their impact on the environment.
In construction: Coastal Homes are a Gold Star ward winner and have made great strides in reducing their waste by sorting building waste on-site, re-homing old fittings in a roadside stall, and offering un-tanalized offcuts to the public for firewood.
Organisations: Far North REAP Kaitaia, not satisfied with their respectable Silver status they installed solar panels, allowing them to invest in hand dryers to eliminate their remaining waste stream, their handi towels! They have promoted zero waste throughout their office and in the events, reaching Gold Star status this year. Te Rawera have been recycling paper and cardboard since they began their journey toward Zero Waste, and through improving their recycling awareness and installing recycling stations, they are working their way toward their first EcoStar award.
In education: one of the many Early Childhood Education centres on board is River Kids, a Gold Star winner, with worm farms, bokashi, compost, recycling and regular river clean ups, this group are keen to be clean. This facility saves the planet as well as saving money, utilising baking soda and vinegar as well as hot, hot water, saving thousands on harsh non-biodegradable cleaning products in a year. At the opposite end of the education spectrum is Northtec Far North: sometimes it just takes a phone call, the change from Cleanstream to Northland Waste managing waste contracts in the Far North meant some organisation’s recycling pick ups were suspended. If your organisation has a country wide contract with Waste Management, it only takes a phone call to subcontract Northland Waste as your providers and get back on track. Ecosolutions have been happy to help Northtec get back on track!
A full list of EcoStar award holders is below. Please show your support for them and let them know that you appreciate their efforts to minimise their impact on our environment. If your business or organisation would like to sign up get in touch with Jo via firstname.lastname@example.org
All you needle, sewing & knitting supplies, Kerikeri
Hair on Earth, hairdressing,
Hardy’s Health Store, health & beauty, Kerikeri
Kerikeri Organic, organic farm & store, Kerikeri
Kleen and Press, drycleaners, Kerikeri
Mana Kai, honey, Awanui
Nosh Food Market, greengrocers, Waipapa
Pamapuria Store, Pamapuria
Postie+, clothing etc, Kaitaia
Tuturu Organic garden fertilisers etc, Bay of Islands
Hospitality & Tourism etc
El Cafe, cafe, Paihia
Kawakawa Swimming Pool, Bay of Islands College, Kawakawa
Kebabulous, takeaway food, Paihia
La Tiaza del Diabolo, restaurant, Kerikeri
Pioneer Village Heritage, museum & heritage centre, Kaikohe
Waitangi, Treaty Grounds visitor centre, Waitangi
Doubtless Bay Villas, holiday accommodation, Cable Bay
Eco Cottages https://www.airbnb.co.nz/rooms/6578024 ??
KeriCentral, guest house & backpackers, Kerikeri
Quail Ridge Country Club, retirement village, Rainbow Falls, Kerikeri
Stone Store Lodge, bed & breakfast, Kerikeri
Coastal Homes, building company, Coopers Beach
CBEC, community enterprise – garden centre, labour hire etc, Kaitaia
Healthy Homes, home insulation, solar installations, Kaitaia
Northland Waste, Kaitaia
Organisations & services
DOC Kaitaia, Dept of Conservation, Kaitaia
DOC Pewhairangi, Dept of Conservation, Kerikeri
EcoCentre, (Te Pokapū Tiaki Taiao o Te Tai Tokerau Trust/Far North Environment Centre), Kaitaia – that’s us!
Te Runanga o te Rawara, Kaitaia
Kaitaia Family Budgeting Service, Kaitaia
Education including early childhood
ĀKAU Kaikohe, youthwork, design & architecture, Kaikohe
Anne West Kindergarten, early childhood education, Kaitaia
Blessing For Life, early childhood education, Kaitaia
Doubtless Bay Kindergarten, early childhood education, Taipa
Far North REAP, adult education & support services, Kaitaia
Karikari Educare, early childhood education, Whatuwhiwhi
Mission Place Kindergarten, early childhood education, Kaitaia
Newbees Preschool, early childhood education, Kerikeri
New Beginnings ECE, early childhood education, Kerikeri
Northtec, tertiary & vocational training provider, Kaitaia
Ol-Wen’s ECE, early childhood education, Kerikeri
Our Place Early Learning Centre, early childhood education, Kerikeri
Paihia Waitangi Kindergarten, early childhood education, Waitangi
Pouma Awhi Childcare, early childhood education
River Kids, early childhood education, Taipa
Te Wananga Aotearoa, tertiary & adult education, Kaitaia
Information provided by Jo Shanks, Ecosolutions