Category Archives: blog

Maori Blessing

Kia ora, This blessing was written by an elder especially for Somewhat Green, to help educate how important the land is to Maori.

Herenga Atua ,

     Herenga Tangata,

              Herenga Whenua.

 Na te Atua i hanga te Ao,

me nga mea katoa i runga te whenua.

I muri ka hanga e ia he tangata kia rita

ano te ahua ki te Atua, a ka hanga raua

he tane he wahine.

 

I roto o nga whakapapa o te Maori, he mea

nui ko te whenua, (I tapa hia hoki ko Papatuanuku)

Te whaea o tatou te Maori. I to tatou matenga.

Ka hoki atu tatao ki a Papatuanuku. I oho mai tatou it e

pungarehu a ka hoki tatou ki to whenua, pungarehu ki

te pungarehu ki to tatou whaea a ki te kororia o te Atua mutungakore.

He oi tenei, manaaki tia te whenua, kua herenga tatou ki te Atua, me te whenua.

Herenga Atua , Herenga tangata , herenga Whenua

Ka nui tenei …..

 

Translation

 

We are all tied together, we have a commitment to god, to people and to the land

The lord made Heaven and Earth

He also made all things on earth

Later he made man in his own image

He made both – man and woman.

In Maori genealogy, the major thing was the land which is called papatuanuku- the mother.

When we die, we return to Mother Earth. We were made from the dust and the dust is to return to our Whaea. (Mother)

To the glory of the never ending God.

This is our charge, to worship the lord and to care for the land.

Teenaa rawa atu Koe (thank you very much )

Ka kite

Packaging and Courier

Packaging is a subject I have put a lot of thought into for Somewhat Green. I believe it’s so important to reduce packaging as much as possible before we even think of recycling. This planet needs less plastic, less paper, and just less stuff.

I don’t know about you, but I get so annoyed when I buy something I can’t open because its vacuum packed, or where there is so much wasted packaging. Don’t get me started on supermarkets…

The Somewhat Green Approach to Packaging

When buying gifts for Christmas or birthdays, I like the idea of wrapping presents in anything you have around the house, or in a t-shirt so that it can be part of the present.

We can’t follow this approach exactly at Somewhat Green, but it is our inspiration for the way we do packaging.

In this photo, I wrapped these four presents in the following materials:

  • A jute placemat from Trade Me (top right)
  • A muslin cloth from Gwamma (bottom right )
  • Some white material from my house (bottom left )
  • 100 percent recyclable craft paper and jute string from Trade Me (top right)

You can search under products on Somewhat Green to find some of the items above including the jute placemat, muslin cloth, and jute string. 

The first step to making Somewhat Green better for the environment is to reduce the packaging we use. It’s difficult because it’s important we do what we can to ensure products don’t break. Therefore, there is a fine line between over-packaging and under-packaging.

What We Do

 When I receive an order, I first try to find the right size of box or brown paper bag from the used materials I save from supplier deliveries.

I have found it is easy to get overwhelmed by paper and cardboard when you start to seriously save and reduce paper/cardboard waste. It’s amazing how quickly it accumulates.

Our Packaging Options

I have paper courier bags made from recycled paper. You can pop these into your recycling bin or re-use them, easy as.

Sometimes cardboard can get wet which can ruin the products inside. So, I also use recyclable plastic bags where necessary.  

I also use compostable bags. If you receive a product packaged in one of these bags, you simply rip off the label and put them in your garden or compost bin. They take, at most, 180 days to decompose.

It’s important to remember, however, that if compostable bags go into the landfill, they are unlikely to decompose. Also, they are not recyclable. So, please only request these bags if you plan to put them in your garden or compost bin. If not, choose our recyclable packaging.

Another packaging material I use is eco-wrap. This is kraft paper that is cut into a honeycomb structure with a tissue leaf underneath. I use this sparingly, but it is recyclable.

Reducing Delivery Costs and Going Green

Somewhat Green uses the services of NZ company GoSweetSpot. When I put an address and the size and weight of the parcel in GoSweetSpot’s app, it shows me the cheapest delivery method.

If I get orders before 1pm, maybe I can send your parcel the same day and, depending on where you live, you could receive it the next day. Please make a request when placing your order if you require the delivery urgently.

In my opinion, the best option for Somewhat Green is to use as little packaging as possible and for you to reuse the packaging I send you, or recycle it. The best choice is compostable courier bags that you can put in your compost bin or in the garden, Just remember to take the label off and don’t put them in your recyclable bin.

As always, I am open to questions about packaging or any ideas or suggestions you have. If there are better options out there, I would l love to know. Also, please tell me if there are any problems with the packaging you receive your products in. I hope you found this blog informative.

Take care,  Tracey .

Icons

Kia Ora

The values of Somewhat Green are represented by the icons you see displayed on the front page of the website and on each product. What are these icons and, more importantly, what are the values they represent?

When searching for products to list on Somewhat Green, I look for products that have at least one of the following characteristics: quality; eco-friendly; ethical; and, NZ-made or designed.

The icons I assign to each product indicate the characteristics that apply to that product.

This designation is based on extensive research when reviewing products before a listing. This research includes questioning suppliers and reviewing their websites. There are some official certifications that I look out for too, especially those from Trade Aid and Nil.

If I am not 100 percent sure a product features a specific characteristic, it will not have the icon on its listing. This is to give you confidence in your purchasing decisions.

Also, it’s important to me that this is a transparent process. If you would like to know why I assigned a particular icon to a product, or if you have any questions about the icons or characteristics, please send me an email to tracey@somewhatgreen or Facebook message me at somewhatgreennz.

 

NZ-Made or Designed

I like to support NZ businesses and most of my suppliers (as of February 2020) are from New Zealand.

As I have found, due to manufacturing costs, it is difficult to get products that are 100 percent made in NZ. This is why I added “designed in NZ” in addition to “made in NZ” to this characteristic.

Therefore, there are some products that are 100 percent made in NZ on the Somewhat Green website, but most suppliers design their products here and then make them overseas.

Quality

This is a product that is a good investment and should last you a long time. It’s not a use-me-once-and-throw-me-away product. It’s not a product that is highly breakable so is likely to quickly end up in a landfill either. Instead, it’s a sustainable product that will last.

The quality icon of the hand holding a face symbolises the product is made with care. It also means that some are made with natural materials and have quality features.

Quality does cost but it’s worth it as you will spend less in the long-term and you will help the environment.

Ethical

This logo means I have checked with suppliers where products have been sourced from to ensure workers are protected and rewarded fairly for their work.

We know that anything made in NZ is ethical because we have laws to protect workers.

If a product is made overseas, I am more careful when assigning an ethical icon as I am not familiar with the laws of any other country.

Eco-Friendly

Eco-friendly products save waste from going to landfills as you can recycle or compost them after use. Products with this icon have eco-friendly features. For example, the plastic used in the product might be BPA free, or the product might be organic or made from natural materials.

Living Somewhat Greener

I hope the icons displayed on my website help you choose products wisely, confident in the fact I have spent time conducting thorough research. If you any queries whatsoever, please contact me.

Take care Tracey

First Blog

kiora koutou ( hi everyone ) 

I’m Tracey and this is the first blog of my new business,  Somewhat Green.

Why Somewhat Green?

It’s really undeniable that the planet is not coping with us humans: there are too many of us and our habits are causing major problems.

I’m a bit like a bull in a china shop in that once I decide something, I go at it full-hog. You name it, I’ve researched it or I’ve done it. Diets, cures, schemes: I’ve worn the t-shirt. Normally, though, I do it intensely for about three weeks and then move onto the next thing.

However, the planet is too important for any changes I make to be temporary. They have to be permanent changes. So, I do what I can, buying whatever I can afford on my budget as long as it helps the environment in some way.

This is what being “somewhat green” is about. It’s about doing what you can in the understanding that small changes will make a difference.

After much thought, I decided to launch Somewhat Green to sell products that have at least one of the following characteristics:

Quality

Eco-friendly

Made or designed in NZ

Ethical

I have a blog that describes these characteristics in more detail.

Focus on Quality

My main aim with Somewhat Green is to sell products that are high-quality. I know that buying high-quality products is often difficult as everybody has a different budget.

When I think about buying quality products, however, and I gasp at the prices in front of me, I think: “what did my parents do”. They had no choice but to buy quality because that was all that was on offer. Often they had to save up for what they wanted.  You had to pay a lot of money for a fridge, for example, but it lasted 25 years.

I’m sure everyone has bought something that has lasted a long time. I vividly remember the pain of buying a pair of school shoes for the astronomical price of $250, but they lasted for five years and were worn daily.

Quality products are made with expensive materials and the people making them need to be paid fairly.

How can a t-shirt be $5 considering what it takes to make a t-shirt? I know manufacturing in large quantities is cheaper, but I think there are major shortcuts being taken somewhere for a t-shirt to be $5.

This mind-set of buying low-quality, cheap products is massively affecting the environment.

Passionate About Living Green

People could mistake the name Somewhat Green as meaning I’m maybe, possibly, kind of, could be, perhaps, sort of, in a way, not definitely, not absolutely, yeah, nah… a little bit green.

This is so not true.

I’m passionate about trying to make a difference, about making this planet a better place.

My main goal is to try to persuade people to pay more for environmentally friendly, quality products that use natural materials instead of cheap, low-quality products that just fill up our landfills.

I also know there are so many people that are better at being green than I am. So, I want to celebrate that by sharing their stories and their ideas. I try to share good, positive stories, stories that are making a difference.  Check out my Facebook page at ‘somewhatgreennz’ and find me on Instagram.

I’m here to make being green a little easier for everyone by doing as much product and supplier research as I can. Please have a browse through the selection of products on Somewhat Green – there really are some little gems. I add products regularly too, so keep checking back.

Thanks for visiting my website and feel free to ask any questions about any of my products.

noho ora mai  

( stay well  and look after yourselves)

naa (from ) tracey