Tiaki means to care for people and places. New Zealanders have a special connection to the land and want to help visitors travel safely and conscientiously. The Tiaki promise is a commitment to care for New Zealand and for visitors to take on the shared role of guardians of Aotearoa and its environment.
We live and work in a beautiful part of Aotearoa, and we have a strong connection to our local environment. We support the Tiaki promise and its principles, and we encourage our guests to also follow them.
Guardianship of our environment has meant taking a good look at our business and its impacts.
One of the reasons we started Explore Marlborough with its focus on bike tours was that it was an environmentally friendly way to offer wine tours. It allowed visitors to get out into our beautiful local environment and really experience the area beyond the winery cellar doors with while minimising negative impacts. We have designed our home base at the Vines Village with the philosophy of minimum impact in mind. We have almost no need for power or water and generate very little waste. While our business and our tours have a minimal environmental impact, we realise we can always improve. Some of our keys impacts and initiatives to minimise those impacts are below.
We have achieved Zero Carbon certification for our business for the 2019 financial year. Our business generates 16.84 T of CO2 emissions which we have offset by buying carbon credits in a Southland forest at the bottom of the South Island of NZ.
Our only need for energy is to charge the batteries of our small fleet of electric bikes and charge two laptops and a printer. The bike batteries are 400w and are currently charged overnight at our home office. As our bike fleet increases, we will look at solar panels on the roof of our base at the Vines Village to allow us to charge on-site.
Our use of water is minimal. We dry clean our bikes using cloths and brushes. The native plants planted in front of our base are well-adapted to the dry climate and are also strong enough to withstand a normal dry summer without watering. If they do need water in a drought year, we water them with a watering can to minimise water use.
We have eliminated plastic wrapped snack bars and single u
se plastic water bottles from our tours. Clients are encouraged to bring their own refillable water bottle and we have refillable bottles available for clients to purchase if needed. All the winery cellar doors provide complimentary water, so water is readily available. Office paper output is minimal as all itineraries and tour plans are emailed. Any waste paper generated is recycled along with our used printer cartridges.
Transport services provided to our clients from their accommodation before a tour and back to their lodging afterwards is easily our biggest environmental footprint. We attempt to minimise this by scheduling different tours to coincide so that we can combine pick-up and drop-off, therefore minimising our kilometres travelled.
We are locally involved in advocating for increased development of cycle lanes in the wine region and the wider Blenheim area.