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Marumaru Atua - Cook Islands Voyaging Society Electic Blue Paua from the Northern Cook Islands

How to practice Mana Tiaki back home

Thank you for showing support towards our Mana Tiaki Campaign here in the Cook Islands!

We encourage you to continue practicing Mana Tiaki, (being environmental guardians/caretakers) within your own home country.

To help kick start your Mana Tiaki journey back home, a list of possible eco-friendly projects and activities have been developed for you to consider applying on a day to day basis.

Every small bit counts, and all eco-friendly changes made towards your daily lifestyle will make a world of a DIFFERENCE.

The endemic Tanga'eo, Mangaian Kingfisher


Ensure you are careful to not take any stow aways (invasive species) home with you that could upset the delicate balance of your local biodiversity at home.

Hiking boots and runners in particular are a popular transporter of invasive species. So be sure to clean all types of gear/equipment before being used within your home country.

Grow native plants in your garden to attract native animals such as birds and insects. Additional benefits of natural landscaping includes less overall maintenance as native plants are well adapted to their local environment. So look forward to using less water, little to no fertilizer/pesticides, less pruning and of course less of your time.

Invest in worms

What do you do with all your food scraps? Most people who throw their food scraps straight into their rubbish bin don’t realise that they are contributing to the increase in methane emissions produced at landfills. These methane emissions created by decomposing food scraps are 21 x more potent then carbon emissions produced from fuelled vehicles.

Fortunately, our wriggly worm friends are able to assist us with this problem by turning food waste into compost. Worm farms are becoming a popular feature within households, working sites and of course schools. Their composting benefits are welcomed by vegetable gardens as they thrive off this composted matter.

Today, worm farms now come in many different shapes and sizes to accommodate all types of venues, big or small. So why not check out your local hardware store and see what style of worm farm you may fancy. If not the World Wide Web is another great source to help find your first worm farm and will advise you on how to set one up correctly.

Akura fishing charters

Ecologically sustainable development

Ensure you are aware of what you are supporting by learning more about what you purchase. Take the time to read about where products you purchase come from and how they have been made or caught.

Purchasing fair trade goods for instance shows your support for sustainable practices that minimize our environmental footprint.

Know where your fish was caught, and how it was caught, by asking your waiter, or reading labels before making your final decision.

By simply asking or purchasing sustainable seafood, fruits and vegetables you can help shape the demand for sustainable produce and influence the market to grow tropical fruits or catch fresh fish in an environmentally responsible ways.

Go local and buy local produce such as fish. Local fishermen usually employ low-impact catch methods like hook and line or traps, they also don’t travel as far to catch their fish resulting in a reduced carbon footprint for the fish you purchase.

At then end of the day, you as the consumer have the power to make a real difference and actually driving the market towards providing more sustainable products.

Liam Kokaua recycling at its best

Waste Management Tips

Trash and waste in general has become a BIG problem and issue at the global scale. Waste encompasses a variety of types and materials and substances that are either unwanted or undesired.

Today most of this trash ends up in landfills or either dumped into the ocean.

adopting sustainable approaches to waste management is a step in the right direction. Below is a list of a number of ways you can reduce the build of waste and move towards a more sustainable future.

Take reusable bags to the store when shopping to cut down on plastic bags. Support food vendors who use bio-degradable containers as apposed to polystyrene foam – Both plastic bags and polystyrene foam start degrading after 700 years and will only fully degrade in 1000 years. This means that all the plastic that has ever been produced has not degraded yet.

Purchase fruits and vegetables that are not pre-packaged in containers and plastics. Also consider buying food in bulk or those which use less packaging.

Take advantage of drop off recycling opportunities that collect car batteries, whiteware and e-waste. Be sure to recycle as much as possible by separating recyclables from general waste.

Donate unwanted, slightly used clothing, furniture and other household items to local non profit organisations

Invest in water-saving devices like high efficiency toilets and clothes washer.

Water your plants in the early morning or evening to reduce evaporation and ineffective watering due to evaporation from the sun’s heat.

Turning off the tap water while you brush your teeth saves up to 2.5 gallons per minute

By fixing household leaks promptly you can save up to 20 gallons per day

How to be Mana Tiaki

Check out the links to these fun short video clips on how to be a Mana Tiaki Guardian whilst in the Cook Islands

Opening – https://vimeo.com/219932948

Sanitation – https://vimeo.com/219933344

Lagoon – https://vimeo.com/219934332

Water Use – https://vimeo.com/219933107

Inland – https://vimeo.com/219933037

Rubbish – https://vimeo.com/219933203