Getting in touch with nature

Getting in touch with nature

Our theme at Global Culture this month is nature.  For Global Culture, as a brand, we play with nature in our imagery in a tongue and cheek way often incorporating some irony or humour to the print.

Kool Kiwi, Take a hike, Nature Owl, Self-isolation to name but a few.  Deep down though there is a pride in our team for New Zealand.  A big part of that pride is our native species and natural reserves.

With 87% of Kiwis living in cities, in reality, few of us take the time to drive a VW Kombi or drag the caravan into a remote corner of New Zealand to escape for the weekend. Somehow though it is the dream of New Zealand we relate to.  In recognition of this the national parks, scenic reserves and increasing pockets of land are being restored to their natural conditions.

Within the Canterbury region we have several.  In the news recently we witnessed the crowd funding success managed by the Christchurch Press, on behalf of the Rod Donald Trust, to secure Mount Herbert and surrounding land which will become part of a pathway for nature from the Peninsula to Christchurch.

As a Company we decided to volunteer some of our time to another great project, to help the Drayton Reserve volunteers plant native trees.  The Drayton Reserve comprises a narrow valley between the hillside suburbs of Mt Pleasant and Redcliffs in Christchurch, New Zealand. The valley rises from near sea level at McCormacks Bay, to about 180m altitude. The Reserve is about 1km long, 50-150m wide and about 8ha in area.  David Bryce our volunteer leader for the day spoke to us about diversity in planting, co relationships and the attraction of native birds and other wildlife back into the residential area. It was a beautiful day in the valley and David seemed to appreciate our hard work, especially the bonus of weeding around the seedlings next to the track.  Our team took a lot of pride in the results but also in the visit of a young female bellbird while we worked.

We have been keen supporters of the Endangered Species Foundation for a few years. They are managing the bigger picture relationships by providing programmes for the protection for a very large group of endangered species within New Zealand.  They recently sent me information on a project started at Otago University, that is based on the same principles as David’s teams work in the Drayton Reserve, and the Rod Donald Trust’s work on Banks Peninsula.

Gardenstar (in association with the Endangered Species Foundation) aims to support kiwis in the creation of biodiverse green corridors and stepping stones in residential and community gardens to enable native species to navigate and thrive in our modern cities.  And, in doing so, support a greater human-nature connection and well-being.

Co-Founders Yolanda van Heezik and Philip Seddon recently spoke of their inspiration to bring biodiversity home.  "People are most of the solution and most of the problem, so you’ve got to engage with them where they live. Many people seldom or can’t access our National Parks and backcountry areas. So, if you signal that biodiversity is something that exists only in the more remote areas, then the danger is that biodiversity becomes external, somewhere else, and unimportant to daily lives. But biodiversity is all around us. Our gardens can become our own National Parks,” says Philip.

The Gardenstar programme has just taken to the streets in Napier and Wellington to trial Neighbourhood Nurseries. Using a community-up approach, the mobile nursery provides a way for people to take home a native plant and learn how that plant supports the natural ecosystem in their local area. Participants are also invited to provide feedback to the Gardenstar team about how the Neighbourhood Nursery concept can suit their needs.

In our “nature” month at Global Culture our team are taking the issue seriously, but at the same time not losing our sense of humour in creating art that draws attention to the need to take action.

On our way home from our community task we did stop off to help save the world, by reducing the use of water in our rehydration, and partaking in a refreshing wine or beer each.

As they say there are different ways of saving the environment, and the reduction of water use is just one.  Look out for our new designs there will be more informative messages that will guide you in your passage through life and our joint endeavour to save the planet.

On a more serious note, we are in the middle of reviewing our courier deliveries and it is really pleasing to have an option that is carbon neutral.  The Courier Company’s comment was that they are witnessing a shift of demand which to me signals that the messages are getting through.

The Endangered Species Foundation is a registered charitable organisation supporting high-priority conservation projects that protect New Zealand’s most vulnerable indigenous species and habitats from extinction. We aim to save the 'Rarest of the Rare'.

New Zealand is famous for its uniqueness and New Zealanders have a long history of working to protect our natural heritage. But even though considerable effort is being made, it is not enough.

  • Today over 7,500 of New Zealand’s most unique species are in danger of being lost
  • Of these, 800 are listed by the Department of Conservation (DOC) as being at a high risk of extinction
  • Just 25% of these high-risk species are currently able to be actively managed by the DOC.

The Endangered Species Foundation provides the sustainable, long term support needed by our conservation experts to carry out their work at the frontline. Donations to the Foundation can be made here, providing a way for all New Zealanders to get involved and to make a lasting contribution.

As one of our T shirt prints says.  Everything changes if nothing changes.


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