Tag Archives: Christmas

CAROLS IN THE ERNEST: 11 DECEMBER

Christmas is almost here! Join us for a brief but festive after-work gathering for UC Staff on the ground floor of the Ernest Rutherford before we head our separate ways for the summer break.

Wednesday 11 December, 5-6pm in Ernest Rutherford

We’ll have musical offerings from The Erskine Singers, the UC Waiata group, and Alice McLean. We’ll be serving up mulled wine and Christmas mince pies… and if you’d like, you’re welcome to bring a can or three to donate to the City Mission as well. Presented by UC Chaplaincy.

UC Mailroom/Warehouse Update

The mailroom will stop receiving items at midday on Friday 21 December 2018 and will be closed from 2pm on that day.

We will reopen at 10am on Monday 07 January 2019.

For urgent matters  during this time, call 027 809 7109. 

Please be advised that courier companies will not be delivering on site during these dates. Retrievals from depots can only be made in exceptional circumstances, and are not guaranteed.  

If you are expecting anything perishable or time sensitive during this period, please contact us before 12pm Friday 21 December on 03 369 2442 or by emailing logistics@canterbury.ac.nz

Thank you for your assistance. 

Merry Christmas from the UC Logistics team, we look forward to seeing you all in the New Year. 

UC Christmas e-Cards are here

Spread some Christmas cheer – UC Christmas e-cards are now online.

Sending one of these beautifully designed cards is an easy way to thank your colleagues, and those you have worked with throughout the year, and wish them all the best for the festive season.

Simply follow this link, select from one of four card options – including the one above – write your message, add the recipients’ contact details and send.  It couldn’t be easier.

Meri Kirihimete Merry Christmas

10 Sustainable Christmas Gift Ideas

bag-21467_960_720Christmas is a time of gift-giving but what are you going to give to your loved ones? It is easy to find gifts that are trendy and beautifully presented but … you may want a present that they will like longer than just a season, is not junk and is made in places and under conditions that you can feel good about.

Inspired by a few great blogs on the same topic from Econation, Sam Judd (New Zealand Herald) and the Sustainable Business Network, here are 10 sustainable gift ideas!

10 Ideas for Sustainable Christmas Presents

1. Give one good quality, durable gift.
Think about buying fewer, higher-quality presents that will last longer. Buy for life, not for trends.

2. Gift an experience or service rather than a ‘thing’.
A dinner, a movie, a high tea, a hair cut voucher. Or encourage your loved one to explore our beautiful environment by giving them a boat trip, a dive, or a whale or dolphin watching trip. Take them on one of the nine Great Walks. It does not need to be a massive expense either: what about a local experience, such as a boat trip to Quail Island, the ferry to Diamond Harbour, a picnic, or a camping trip to a DoC campground? Gifting a course can be wonderful too; think surfing/paddle boarding lessons, a pottery course, a defensive driving course, a chocolate making course. Or what about offering a service (performed by either you or a third party)? To clean their windows, dig their garden, service their car or fix that gate.

3. Give a sustainable/green/ethical/fair trade present.
Here are some websites/stores/ideas to help you in the right direction:

  • Cool gifts with a conscience: Humanity, Etico
  • Sitka sells amazing natural-fibre clothing, re-usable drink bottles and gift a portion of their profits to charityliminal-apparel_-26-691x450
  • Sustainable clothing or bags. These are some NZ based businesses: We’ar Clothing, Liminal Apparel, Chalky Digits, Kowtow, Cactus (durable outdoor clothing and bags), or Simply Jute. If you do want to buy from mainstream shops, do check out which ones treat their workers and the environment well – for an overview see here.
  • Buy books from Good Books: all profit goes to Oxfam and they offer free shipping!
  • Jewellery made from sustainable sources: e.g. Stone Arrow
  • Trade Aid shop
  • Cruelty Free shop: www.thecrueltyfreeshop.co.nz/
  • Coffee-related gifts (fair trade of course): e.g. Kokako or Addington Coffee Company
  • Give seeds, a plant or a tree: Seedlings and pot plants are a great present that will endure. Choose organic seeds or native plants that will encourage native birds and insects.
  • If you are into gimmicky presents choose something like a solar powered USB charger.

4. Gift a useful, practical present
Everyone has received (and given) useless, whimsical  presents – and they end up being thrown out. Useful, practical presents are much more sustainable. Think about items like food (supermarkets also offer vouchers), clothes or tools.  Or what about a beautiful kitchen knife that lasts a lifetime or durable camping gear? If you choose a less expensive practical item, this can still be very exciting, especially if it is a bit more ‘luxurious’ than the receiver normally allows themselves to buy (think personal care products, ‘special’ foods). Other practical ideas:

5. Choose a locally-made present
Buying locally made products (art, music, furniture, clothes, crafts, or foods such as jam, chutney, cheese) helps the local economy but also reduces the impact on the environment because the product did not have to travel far. Rather than supporting faceless multi-national corporations, you support local people, people you may know.

6. Give a second-hand presentPhoto credit: http://www.ecooutfitters.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/wrapping.jpeg
An obvious one. Perhaps not the quickest or easiest option, but definitely personal and unique. A vintage dress, old craft tools (available at many of the local markets and much liked by many a handy man or woman), a teapot, a second-hand book, a bike. Look in at your local opp shop, check out the garage sales, or use a website like Trade Me.

7. Give a home-made present
A personal touch often means the world. Make jam or preserves. Bake biscuits or cakes. Craft a wooden breadboard or carve a spoon. Give an artwork or knit a scarf. Infuse some oils to make essential oils. Record an audio book. Make jewellery. As Sam Judd at New Zealand Herald suggests: “If you are stuck for a concept, check out the Green Ideas magazine website, or simply search ‘upcycling’ on Google Images, Youtube or Pinterest for more project plans than you would ever need.”

8. Gift a donation
A wonderful option for those who have everything or don’t want anything else, is to donate to a worthy charity or initiative on their behalf. Some ideas:

9. Bees
Loved this suggestion from Sam Judd at New Zealand Herald: Buying, renting or building a beehive for a Christmas present is a gift that keeps on giving. “Aside from the fact that bees will produce delicious honey, they also add an estimated $5.1 billion to our economy through ecosystem services by pollinating crops so that we can eat fresh produce for our Christmas dinner. Beehive solutions is one of several excellent providers and there are even rental hives available as a cost-effective solution. You would be surprised how easy it is to have bees, even on small property. One of my colleagues lives in a tiny, urban flat and produces amazing Pohutakawa Honey out of his little back yard, which I have in my coffee right now. Delicious.”

10. Think about the wrapping
That huge pile of wrapping paper and packaging at the end of Christmas is really no good. Try to buy gifts with less packaging and instead of wrapping gifts in new wrapping paper, why not use reused or reusable wrapping materials: a piece of cloth, newspaper with hemp string, or old wrapping paper. For the last few rounds of birthdays and Christmas, for instance, we have used the same gift bags to gift our gifts in (rather than new ones, and instead of wrapping each gift in paper).

Have a wonderful Christmas everyone! Be kind, enjoy each other and be safe. More from us in 2017.

This message was brought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Connect with us through Facebook or Instagram. Or email us: sustainability@canterbury.ac.nz

Keeping UC staff informed