Show­time!

The Green Liv­ing Show and NZ Or­ganic Nat­u­ral Expo takes place at the ASB Show­grounds in Auck­land on Satur­day and Sun­day, June 29 and 30.

Element - - Well Being -

What does it take to live a healthy life­style? The Green Liv­ing Show and NZ Or­ganic Nat­u­ral Expo aims to show peo­ple some of the in­gre­di­ents for a healthy body, mind, and spirit.

For some peo­ple that means fit­ness, nu­tri­tion and weight man­age­ment so­lu­tions, vi­ta­mins and sup­ple­ments.

Other vis­i­tors to the ASB Show­grounds will be look­ing for dif­fer­ent ways to build, travel, power their homes and work­places.

There will be sem­i­nars on cur­rent af­fairs, trends, health and in­no­va­tion, and ex­perts ex­plain­ing how com­pa­nies can build a well­ness pro­gramme to im­prove em­ployee health.

There’s an Eco Chic Fash­ion Show, show­cas­ing work from young de­sign­ers, and big green toys like a Tesla Road­ster, a bat­tery elec­tric sports car with a car­bon fi­bre body that can go from zero to 100 km/h in four sec­onds with zero emis­sions.

Go­ing green can be taken lit­er­ally: an area of the Green Liv­ing Expo will be set aside for the Go Veg Boule­vard, where peo­ple can taste sam­ples and learn how to cook healthy veg­e­tar­ian food.

There are sound eco­log­i­cal ar­gu­ments for cut­ting down on meat con­sump­tion, even go­ing veg­e­tar­ian one or two days a week, if not com­pletely.

It low­ers one’s car­bon foot­print, re­duces pol­lu­tion, and saves en­ergy and wa­ter.

One of the ex­hibitors will be Re­muera New World su­per­mar­ket, which car­ries or­ganic fruit and veg­eta­bles on its shelves at sim­i­lar prices to the con­ven­tional pro­duce next to it.

Owner op­er­a­tor Adrian Barkla says sales have taken off, av­er­ag­ing $30,000 a week up from $1000 a year ago.

“I’m a bit of an or­ganic nut­ter. I’ve al­ways been in­ter­ested in or­gan­ics and I now have the abil­ity to in­flu­ence the mar­ket by giv­ing grow­ers de­mand to grow to and the con­fi­dence to grow a wider range of or­ganic pro­duce,” Barkla says.

He says mak­ing or­ganic pro­duce the norm rather than the ex­cep­tion will help New Zealand to im­prove on its clean green im­age.

“A lot of peo­ple go to their GP and get put on an­tide­pres­sants.”

It also cre­ates a larger mar­ket for or­gan­ics, mak­ing it bet­ter for grow­ers.

The su­per­mar­ket will show a sam­ple of its range of more than 400 or­ganic gro­cery items and fresh or­ganic pro­duce, as well as serv­ing up fruit, veg­etable and wheat grass juice shots.

It will also sell a sam­ple of Mu­si­cal Knives take­home sal­ads made by chef Peter Chap­lin, who will be demon­strat­ing ‘In the Raw’ at 1pm Satur­day at the show’s live demo kitchen.

In­for­ma­tion over­load

Through­out the two days of the Green Liv­ing Expo there will be free talks and demon­stra­tions from de­sign­ers, doc­tors, ar­chi­tects, chefs and other pro­fes­sion­als.

Gen­eral prac­ti­tioner Helen Smith from the Auck­land Holis­tic Cen­tre will speak at noon on Satur­day on nat­u­ral op­tions for women’s health.

“A lot of peo­ple go to their GP and get put on an­tide­pres­sants. I look at ways to im­prove their mood and try to look un­derneath what’s hap­pen­ing. Are they miss­ing any nu­tri­ents, and what do their blood tests say,” Smith says.

“I try to get peo­ple to eat whole foods, fruit and veg­eta­bles, and to look at the un­der­ly­ing nu­tri­tional fac­tors. New Zealand soils are low in min­er­als like mag­ne­sium, zinc and se­le­nium, and sup­ple­ments may be needed.”

She’s been tak­ing this ap­proach for a decade, af­ter tir­ing on the stan­dard GP ap­proach of reach­ing for the pre­scrip­tion pad af­ter a quick con­sult.

Eco build

The big­gest de­ci­sions you are likely to make around sus­tain­abil­ity and en­ergy ef­fi­ciency will be in what you do around your house.

The Ecobuild sec­tion of the Green Liv­ing show will in­clude the lat­est in sus­tain­able and nat­u­ral prod­ucts, ser­vices and tech­nolo­gies.

Whether you are ren­o­vat­ing or build­ing new, there are op­tions to look at for so­lar panels, green roofs, in­su­la­tion, dou­ble glaz­ing, ven­ti­la­tion, com­post­ing sys­tems and more.

One of the ex­hibitors, Nathan Ed­mond­ston from Hamil­ton-based MOAA Ar­chi­tects, says al­though there is a lot of in­for­ma­tion avail­able, peo­ple may need ded­i­cated pro­fes­sion­als to fil­ter the help­ful from the hype.

“A lot of stuff peo­ple say is green may just have a green or eco name, and not ac­tu­ally de­liver what it says,” he says.

MOAA is pro­mot­ing the adop­tion of the Ger­man Pas­siv Haus stan­dard, and is the only New Zealand prac­tice to have com­pleted and cer­ti­fied a house to the stan­dard.

Ed­mon­ston says while not all clients will want to go for the full pack­age, us­ing the prin­ci­ples can cut a home’s heat­ing re­quire­ments by up to 90 per cent.

“We try to de­sign ul­tra-low en­ergy build­ings. We spec­ify ma­te­ri­als we think are the best avail­able for the cli­mate and the lo­ca­tion.” The key to the Pas­siv Haus is air­tight build­ings, so heat is not lost through the cracks.

“It doesn’t mean you can’t still have the New Zealand house de­sign with its porches and decks and in­door-out­door flow.”

Ed­mon­ston says the re­sult is a house that is warmer, drier and health­ier to live in, with­out nec­es­sar­ily a huge cost.

“One we did in Raglan came in at just over $2000 a square me­tre.”

A chal­lenge for the firm is work­ing with coun­cils to un­der­stand what they are try­ing to do. “New Zealand build­ing codes are all about min­i­mum stan­dards, and we try to go be­yond that. That is some­thing we bat­tle with. We are al­ways push­ing for im­prove­ments in what a build­ing of­fers.”

Or­ganic expo

BioGro will cel­e­brate its 30th birth­day at the Green Liv­ing Expo, mak­ing it one of the ear­li­est or­ganic cer­ti­fiers still around.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Dr Michelle Glo­gau says the mark was set up to help grow­ers know what they had to do to be con­sid­ered or­ganic.

“The orig­i­nal stan­dard was two pages. Now it’s a 10-vol­ume book,” she ex­plains.

“It’s one thing to say some­thing is or­ganic, but what does that mean in terms of the nitty gritty? To sup­port it there has to be stan­dards and cer­ti­fi­ca­tion in place to pro­tect con­sumers and grow­ers.”

The stan­dard has changed im­mensely over the past 30 years. When it was set up most of the users were pri­mary pro­duc­ers. Now peo­ple pro­duc­ing things to put out­side the body, like lo­tions and po­tions, seek cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.

“There is no reg­u­la­tion about or­ganic health and body care prod­ucts, so in­creas­ingly man­u­fac­tur­ers want cer­ti­fi­ca­tion to sup­port their claims and give cus­tomers con­fi­dence.”

In other ar­eas like viti­cul­ture it is go­ing main­stream, with ma­jor pro­duc­ers like Villa Maria shift­ing to or­ganic meth­ods and seek­ing cer­ti­fi­ca­tion for spe­cific vine­yards.

That means Mill­ton Wines, which holds BioGro trade­mark 99, is no longer a voice in the wilder­ness.

BioGro is a mem­ber of IFOAM, the In­ter­na­tional Fed­er­a­tion of Or­ganic Agri­cul­tural Move­ments.

Be­cause there is no one in­ter­na­tional or­ganic stan­dard, BioGro ac­cred­its to sev­eral in­ter­na­tional stan­dards bod­ies so its clients can ex­port widely.

Clock­wise from far left: the eco-build from MOAAAr­chi­tects; the all -elec­tric Tesla Road­ster; fur­ni­ture made from re­cy­cled tyres, the Pas­siv Haus sys­tem, and Seafood Shack.

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