Hawke’s Bay is getting its first ever Go Green Expo, a show which has been running for at least a decade in the major centres.
Back in the day I was there in Wellington slogging natural wine, slopping sauvy into single-use plastic thimbles for thirsty event-goers. If I knew then what I know now!
It’s a positive sign of the times that the Hawke’s Bay market is deemed eco-conscious enough now to warrant an entire two-day Go Green lifestyle show – go us!
Yet, expos by nature usually have some level of consumerism intertwined. In a world where we need to be doing less, buying less, and consuming less, how does one truly “Go Green” at the Go Green Expo and not get caught in expo-as-usual?
Here are a few “going green” tips for you to consider…
[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]1. How will you arrive there?
Will you blaze fossil fuels across town? Perhaps you could have some fun and intentionally try to arrive by bus, bike, foot, or roller skates. And if that’s not an option (I get it, utopic transport systems aren’t quite here yet, and some people have sciatica), how about car-pooling, and/or combining the trip with other nearby errands?
2. What will your coffee, kombucha or organic sandwich be served in?
Bring your own takeaway container and cups – this is one show you can guarantee the vendors won’t look at your weirdly!
3. Resist buying “eco stuff” if you already have something that does the job.
Remember there is energy, and a carbon footprint, in EVERYTHING. That includes eco products and services. Ask yourself, do I genuinely need this? Will it really make my life eco-friendlier? Learn, look at solutions and products to get ideas, and only buy if you genuinely believe it will make a difference. Remember, one of the most eco-friendly things any of us can do is to reduce our impact. If you already have a plastic soap dish, buying a bamboo one and throwing ‘away’ your old one is only going to add to the burden on the planet.
4. If you’re keen to make eco swaps, try to think about the ones that will give you your biggest impact.
The average person’s footprint is (by far), mostly made up of transport (fossil fuels particularly), non-renewable energy, and GHG’s from land-filling food waste. Some we can control, others require wider systems change. Fun but confronting apps like carbonclick.com can quickly show you what’s happening in your household there. Some of the biggest changes you can make quickly, include:
- using an energy supplier that is focused on zero-carbon and renewable energy, or considering solar or other home-based renewables
- considering whether your KiwiSaver and bank is supporting eco-friendly businesses or funding fossil fuel exploration and war
- learning how to compost and bokashi your food waste
Beyond this, small swaps to reduce waste and/or footprint are great, and do keep doing them, but they are too small to make the swift u-turn that we need.
5. Be open to learning.
Talk to the vendors, be curious, and ask them what they think makes their product or service genuinely more sustainable. The vendors should relish the opportunity to interact with the community they serve and learn from each other. No question is silly – we are all learning here. The councils’ waste minimisation teams have a stand there – get chatting! Attend as many of the workshops that interest you as you can. And always, don’t be sold – make up your own mind!
6. What can you do to truly Go Green, beyond just reduction (aka. doing less bad)?
If we truly want humans to be able to sustain life on the planet, we need to stop biodiversity loss in its tracks, and regenerate our living systems in old and new ways. If we do this, the climate crisis will be helped at the same time. How can we encourage more native plants, birds, and bugs back into our local systems? What can we do to support others doing this across the world? I see Forest & Bird will have a stand at the show – that seems like a good place to start to chat about ideas, and who knows who else you might meet on the day too! You could also get chatty with people who could teach you about reconnecting with nature, look after your health, and help you forge new habits in daily life.
In summary, go forth, go green, and go with a mind that is conscious of its human limitations. Beware of greenwashing yourself, and don’t sweat the small stuff. Most of all, enjoy the new ideas and the new finds. Going green is meant to be fun!
Are you in business and wanting to be more sustainable, or get your sustainability story on point?
As a marketer with a sustainability bent, this is my passion and I would love to chat with you about what you have got going on, and how I might be able to help. Whether it’s about social good or the environment, we can look at your sustainability story from all angles.
Call, text or email Jodi today.
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