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Vanuatu’s foreign minister says a national audit currently underway will help determine the next stages of the country’s plastics ban.

Ralph Regenvanu said the audit would also examine ways of reducing plastic use, recycling and alternative materials.

He said the ultimate goal is to eliminate all single-use plastics going into the ocean.

“There’s going to be a number of options. There are some items we can obviously ban outright like we did with the three items we just banned. But then of course there’s options for container return, return and deposit schemes.

“That’s seems to be something that is very successful in other jurisdictions. Having a levy which is charged and then people get given a refund for the return of a particular item.”

Read the full article here.

By Radio New Zealand

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A touch of green: Benefits of plants at your workspace

Categories: Green Tips
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Work overload, stress, low level of productivity, and illness – these are workplace characteristics many of us have experienced or witnessed at some point in our life. Perhaps you and your colleagues currently are facing a challenging time. Have you considered brightening up your workspace with plants to boost productivity?

The beneficial effects of greenery at the workplace have been researched numerous times in the past. In fact, it has been scientifically proven that the number of indoor plants proximal to a worker’s desk had small but statistically reliable associations with a decrease in sick leave and an increase in productivity. Plants in closed environments not only provide you with cleaner air by removing chemicals emitted from computers and furniture and adding humidity to the atmosphere, they also release phytochemicals that suppress mould spores and bacteria. Nature has a great impact on your mood – looking at it can help your brain shift into a more relaxed mode and ultimately reduce stress. Study results from Australia have outlined significant drops in reported depression, anger and hostility as well as tension and anxiety after introducing office plants.

Did you know that Aloe Vera and Bamboo Palm are among the recommended air improving indoor plants? Learn more about which indoor plants keep your environment alive here. Looking specifically for low-light plants, desk plants or low maintenance options? Check out these recommendations.

Ready to take your productivity to the next level? Make use of the benefits of mother nature, get a plant and bring a touch of green to your desk and workspace.

Be sure to also check out our tips on greening your way to work and staying healthy at work.

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Photo credit: Shutterstock

Sharing has become a main driver for our economy. Using underutilised assets allows us to improve efficiency, sustainability and community. Through user-generated web content, and with the growing popularity of renting goods rather than buying them, consumers are becoming increasingly savvy, connected, and conscious.

Here are some ways to become a part of this movement:

  • Check out these 14 pioneers of the “share economy” to learn more about what’s out there already.
  • Break it down to a more personal level and incorporate sharing in your everyday life to improve your sustainability efforts on a smaller scale yet with a bigger and long lasting impact.

Do you want to go on a journey to become more sustainable or even ultimately adapt a zero waste lifestyle, but don’t know where to start? Sharing knowledge and tips within a community of like-minded people is the key to success. Consider these three steps to get rolling:

  1. Get to know your neighbourhood: Explore the area you live in to see which services and goods are available locally. Visit nearby markets and keep your eyes open for small businesses that offer local and organic products but may not necessarily have their own brick and mortar store.
  2. Attend events to learn and connect: Browse for festivals, workshops or other sustainability-related events in your neighbourhood or city. Make sure to green your commute when you go. This is an opportunity to connect with local businesses offering organic or sustainable sourced goods and services. Building relationships is essential in the process of creating a stronger community, as knowledge and updates can be shared and accessed more easily in the future. Contribute to the conversation by sharing what you have previously discovered and learned about your neighbourhood.
  3. Grow your community: Raise awareness about causes that matter to you and invite friends and family to join you in an initiative, challenge or at the next event. Start conversations that encourage others to rethink their own behaviour and actions, and support them to change and improve their lifestyles in a sustainable matter.

Walking the talk is not always easy and you may face difficulties, but remember that together you can tackle every challenge more easily!

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