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The month of July for many people was a “dry” month – giving up alcohol for a great cause. Here at OptimalBI we expanded that scope to a month of giving up something we are addicted to. Many of the team, like me, chose alcohol (I actually had a damp July with loads of awards events to attend) while other team members gave up sugar, the sweets in our lolly jar, coffee and single use plastic.

We also chose to support Women’s refuge as our charity. Every time one of us consumed or used our chosen “thing” that attracted a $1 donation (or fine if you think about it that way).

Women’s refuge performs an incredibly important social service here in New Zealand providing shelter and support for women and children who have escaped domestic violence. Our team considered this function to be such an important aspect of society and we raised over $500 through our various giving up activities – which might say something about our willpower collectively of course.  Alcohol abuse is a known contributor to domestic violence, so our selecting Women’s refuge was tied to our massive respect for the work they undertake and seemed fitting.

The giving up process also highlighted another important issue – single use plastics. Topical now with the government introducing a ban of plastic bags. Single use plastics however are so much more or prelevant than just the shopping bag – takeaway lunch containers if not entirely plastic often have a plastic lid, many packed bags of fruit, toothbrush packaging, anything ordered online comes wrapped and often with bubble wrap as well – to name a few. Single use plastics are everywhere in our consumer driven lives and while the world is waking up to the problem they pose it’s going to take years to replace their functions in our lives.

Already committed to recycling, composting, document destruction and reuse at OptimalBI we are also making an effort to avoid single-use plastics moving forward. Countdown deliver our groceries without plastic bags (yay), our cleaners are changing the products they bring into the office, when soft plastics creep into the office we take them to the recycling station at the supermarket and we have new OptimalBI reusable bags.

Hope you can join us and support these great causes. Next month we have an exercise challenge! so will support a new charity who work to support kids participating in sports – any suggestions welcome. Vic.

 

Victoria spends much of her time focusing on Digital Inclusion, Digital Literacy and Digital Rights.
You can read her other blogs here

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