Thursday, May 30, 2024

Kaitaia cafe served up sustainability award

A Kaitaia cafe which uses an array of sustainable, climate positive initiatives has won the Excellence in Sustainability and Climate Action Award sponsored by the Northland Regional Council at the 2023 Northland Business Excellence Awards.

Peekaboo Cafe recycles, promotes the use of reusable cups, sources local food and beverages, harvests rainwater for use on their garden, installed a solar array with battery storage and runs two electric vehicles.

Council chair, Tui Shortland says the cafe looks at all aspects of its business operation and has found innovative and effective ways to reduce its ecological footprint.

“They ensure that their appliances are the most efficient, that food waste is minimised and the products they source are in recyclable packaging,” she said.

“Even the coffee grounds produced each day are composted rather than sent to landfill.”

Chair Shortland says by donating leftover food to the local foodbank, the cafe not only reduces food wastage but demonstrates its social responsibility and supports the resilience of its local community.

“Peekaboo Cafe has overcome obstacles and challenges on the way to meeting its environmental goals, but by persevering to find innovative solutions and supporting others to understand the environmental philosophy of its business, it is leading the way for change.”

She says while its small scale, the business is an exemplar to everyone that walks through its doors of the types of actions individuals, households and businesses can take to contribute to a more sustainable, climate positive future.

Meanwhile, Chair Shortland also acknowledged finalists in the Excellence in Sustainability and Climate Action Award: EB+FLO and Bravado Hair Salon for its efforts to tackle fast fashion.

“The fashion industry is reportedly responsible for 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions and is the world’s third largest polluter.”

“EB+FLO use only organic and sustainable fabric, all their items are handmade locally and designed for longevity.”

The company uses compostable packaging, repurpose fabric offcuts and minimise water use by hand dying.

“They also take every opportunity to start a conversation with their customers around mindful consumption and what the true cost of fast fashion is on our planet.”

Chair Shortland says Bravado Hair Salon is the first Whangarei hair salon to belong to Sustainable Salons programme, which aims to divert 95% of salon waste from landfill and waterways.

“They have shown impressive statistics on the waste they have already diverted from the salon, right down to the interesting use of recycled hair clippings for Hair Booms that soak up oil spills in the ocean.”

She says the company is going above and beyond simply providing a service by taking the opportunity to educate customers on the benefits of sustainable practices.

“This type of advocacy and social diffusion is a key tool in getting more people to lead more sustainable and climate positive lifestyles. As the climate changes we must evolve our practices and continually adjust our actions to reduce risk,” said Chair Shortland. 

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