Raumati South market shows off local creativity
By Vanessa Crowe, Sustainable Communities Coordinator
The festive fair and market season is starting to gain momentum. The council’s Green Team decided to play their part by having a stall at the recent Raumati South Christmas market. Being a zero waste event with only locally produced goods on sale, it was a perfect place for the Green Team to promote and support zero waste and eco approaches to Christmas.
The statistics for Christmas waste and consumption are astounding. In New Zealand 50,000 tonnes of extra waste is generated the week after Christmas. That’s the equivalent to more than 14,000 20-foot containers stacked on top of each other, 105 times taller than the Sky Tower (www.recycle.co.nz). With a little thought and planning however a lot of waste can be avoided, which can also mean saving money while creating meaningful celebrations. At the Green Team stall we offered eco Christmas tips while also running a free make your own Christmas decorations workshop. Many children and adults left with an artfully made recycled paper Christmas bauble and plenty of enthusiasm to get home and make more.
Meanwhile the rest of the market was humming with a huge variety of stalls to cater for everyone’s Christmas needs, from established local businesses selling their wares through to family stalls with an amazing array of hand made products. Fiona had a fantastic display of homemade Christmas treats and took time to explain to me that her secret to making a special gift was the presentation – she used glass jars, string, dried flowers and recycled labels to make gorgeous array of goodies. Meanwhile her daughter sold hand drawn cards and innovative purses made from recycled milk cartons. On a near-by table Nina and her family were selling unique Rimu chopping boards with shell in resin inlays. These were the result of a father daughter project using repurposed building materials and shells from the beach.
There were also many other interesting products on sale - fabric art in the form of bags and cushions by Hester de Ruiter, Imba kids clothes and upcycled contemporary lace creations by A Green Life, who also runs this excellent blog. Local businesses Figgy and Co presented an impressive display of hand batched natural cleaning supplies. Big Bubbles bubble blowing kits, Nada skincare, jewellery by Tanja, beautiful children’s books published in Raumati by Book Island, and stunning gift paper and cards by Rachel Gannaway were all on offer as well as beautiful hand knitted woollens in all shapes and sizes by Maureen, who also sells at the Shed Project, unique uncycled gifts by k*worx and handmade harakeke hats by Vine Leaf.
Perhaps the most unique gift option at the market was a rat trap made by Geoff Osgood, from the Paekākāriki Rat Pack team. Geoff bought his traps along to raise awareness of his initiative as well as his hopes to engage Raumati South in a rat trapping project next year, with the aim to make Queen Elizabeth park predator free.
Market co-organiser Marliesje Van den Assum, said the event was a fantastic success, it was a buzz to get together local makers and celebrate the festive season as a community.