What really matters

May 16th, 2014

Are we doing more than our mothers or grandmothers? All around us are examples of women working, mothering, volunteering and often it’s the same woman and doing it all in the same day. We seem to pack more into our lives. Do all the gadgets that were meant to give us more leisure time actually mean we use the time for relaxing?

Ric Elias,who was on the plane that went down in the Hudson, did a wonderful TED clip on how his life changed in an instant. How he thought of all the people whom he should have mended fences with, all the experiences he would never have. He recalled how he had one real regret, that he had bothered about the things that didn’t matter with the people who did.

As a result of the plane crash he decided to eliminate the negative energy in his life and choose to be happy not right. (Maybe this is a lesson for the workplace – happier working relationships and letting more things just be)

for me click the link below….



Sorting out your rubbish

January 13th, 2014

wheelie bin

I bought a side table for one of my sons over Christmas and also got some new speakers. My husband laughed that I had taken the movie ‘Enough Said’ to literally. The ex-husband in the movie is considered a loser because he has no bedside tables.

Anyway this blog is not about the movie but the drama of trying to get rid of the boxes and all the polystyrene. The stereo installer told me that they could go into my blue bin but he didn’t know what a rubbish freak I am. They can’t.  Our blue bins were chokka from Christmas as was our smaller regular rubbish bin so I storied the box until this week. As is normal our red bin had only 2 small rubbish bags in it so there was lots of room for the polystyrene but I felt so bad putting it into the bin since it would be going to land fill.

I went back to the Auckland Council website to see if there was some place I could take it or if it could now be recycled. But no so it filled the red bin and has gone to landfill. Not happy about the waste!

It was good to re-read the pages at Auckland Council and be reminded what can go into the blue bins. Plastic Bags don’t go in your blue bin!


Some other good news around re-using and recycling. I was talking to a journalist before Christmas about my obsessive recycling and re-using behaviour and mentioned my wonderful worm farm.  He said he and his wife were thinking about getting on.  I sent him the link and last week  was delighted to get an email from him saying he had got his wife one for Christmas and she was delighted. I got my 2nd bin a few Christmas’s ago and love it.

Check out Hungry Bin, http://www.hungrybin.co.nz/buy/buy-hungry-bin-products/ for more details. Your garden will thank you!

hungry bin 1

Make your own Christmas gift

December 17th, 2013

xmas gifts 2013

In previous Christmas posts Victoria Carter, founder of Cityhop has written about the gifts she makes for her friends each year.  They always get something useful and nice but they also get something homemade and handmade!

Victoria is time short so her friends won’t be getting star shaped shortbread ( well she says one day they might!).

One year she bought a collection of soft velvet bags from the $2 dollar shop and went to Trade me and found someone selling handmade soap. She chose a nice smelly one and popped it inside the bag so her friends could put it in amongst their clothing. This is so easy it might be a fun thing for children to do for granny or an aunt!

Last year after seeing Wendyl Nissen’s  recipe for home made moth repellent bags she set to making sweet little bags for the wardrobe, jumpers or undies drawer! We have put the link to Wendy’s recipe below.


Says Victoria, “ bought some pretty little organza bags in purple and some in white from the $2 shop again and filled them with all the herbs. Right now Countdown has these boxes of herbs for $2 each so they are a cheap as well as handy gift. I then tied the bags to the top of the presents  -the smell was gorgeous.

Share your ideas for some simple, homely gifts for Christmas .


Give the gift of carsharing

December 13th, 2013
Cityhop and save

Cityhop and save

Each week till Christmas we will give you a Christmas gift idea for two for those difficult people.

First off a gift from Cityhop .. give the gift of carsharing.

Give a three month membership to someone you know and we will throw in some driving hours, Pay $75 for 3 months and 5 driving hours.
We have a smart gift certificate you can wrap up along with the cityhop card ( in eco-friendly wrapping!)

Know someone who might like this – give the gift of sharing. Give someone a car – a carshare car! Get in touch with us on info@cityhop.co.nz





One man’s rubbish transformed

December 9th, 2013

Our friends at Marque Creative produce a wonderful e-newsletter. Every Friday an email comes full of the best advertising and marketing ideas that they have gathered from all over the world.  Anyone can get the email and trust me it is always full of amazing and clever advertising ideas and ads.

Cityhop is a great follower of all things sustainable and eco-friendly. We especially like reusing and recycling, this is especially so in the item below and probably  why we liked this item in the recent Friday five and wanted to share.   “One man’s rubbish is another man’s… amazing shadow sculpture art.”

Tim Noble and Sue Webster use discarded wood, welded scrap metal, broken tools, cigarette packets, soda cans and piles of trash and light to create projected shadows of people standing, sitting, smoking, drinking or anything easily recognizable. The results are surprising and evocative. Se the one shot below or click on the link to see lots more.

Check our Marque’s website for the other tops this Friday, the Harvey Nicholls  ‘Sorry I spent it on myself’ is hysterical. The story about the son who bought his mum an ipad and used Facetime to stay in touch especially poignant. Enjoy!





Being kind keeps you well!

December 9th, 2013

We aren’t always about being eco-friendly.  A Cityhop fan sent us this gorgeous u-tube clip which made our Friday. It reminded us that being kind not only is nice for the receiver but  is really good for the giver. It spreads out to benefit lots more people. It makes you healthier, more attractive and so many other great things.

We won’t tell you all the good things about being kind.. you can watch them here.

earth pic




Victoria makes 40 over 40 list!

June 27th, 2013

Victoria Carter, founder of Cityhop, has landed on a list of mainly American women who have disrupted, reinvented or made an impact in their communities. Carter is named as one of 40 women to watch in the inaugural list. The former Auckland city councillor is a company director on  JUCY Group, Tax Management and until recently Kidicorp. She is also Chair of the Auckland Arts Festival and edits a pre-school magazine.

Carter says, “It’s amazing to be on a list like this, and next year I’m sure there will be more kiwi women on it. There are so many examples of women who not only are active in business but contribute back to society and their community. Older women are out there as Christine Vuleta says, quietly changing the world for the better and they should be celebrated and listened too!”

The 40 Women To Watch Over 40 list celebrates women who are upending the perception that 40 is past your prime. They are reinventing, leaning in, and creating momentum that will be felt by those beyond their community and field.

Says Christine Vuleta, organiser says, “The winners, selected from over 1,000 nominees around the world, span a variety of industries from arts and sciences to politics and entertainment and include social entrepreneurs and corporate change-makers. Eleven Judges selected the final choices. There is one kiwi, one Finn and one Brit amongst the other 40 Americans!

Individually they are impressive, optimistic and fearless, willing to take risks with the knowledge and experience they have accrued. Collectively they are the next generation of women redefining what is possible at any age.

 “I believe it is critically important to give younger women new role models,” says Christina Vuleta, founder of 40:20 Vision, a cross-generational mentoring resource. “Research shows that women today don’t look ahead to older women for inspiration. But I see from my work that it is more a lack of visibility. Older women are out there quietly changing the world, but they are not the usual suspects for media selection and corporations do too little to celebrate them.”

The 40 Women To Watch Over 40 list is meant to change all that by raising awareness around the women who are paving new pathways to success. It boasts forty game-changing women who are integrating personal value while also creating value for the economy.

Forty Women to Watch over 40 was created by Christina Vuleta and Whitney Johnson to bring awareness to the reality that innovation gets even better with age.

Christina, creator of 40:20 Vision, a cross-generational mentoring platform and Whitney, speaker, investor and author of Dare, Dream, Do, both share the conviction that women in their forties and onwards reach new levels of creativity, clarity and confidence.

Ends Carter, “a fun part of this whole experience has been having a pushpage created. It’s a great way to get to know some of the other amazing women. The questions are fun, entertaining and serious!”


Are you ready for the plane to crash?

June 17th, 2013

I was sent a thoughtful u-tube clip about the man sitting in seat 1D when the plane landed in the Hudson River. He described the three things that went through his mind. Then that evening I turned on tv and there was a clip on the survivors of the awful plane crash in South America and the impact it had on their lives and attitude to living. Two plane crash stories in one day!

Ric Elias spoke about how in those few minutes everything changes in an instance. He thought about all the people he cared about, the people he had hurt whom he wished he could fix it with. He explained he now collects bad wines. If you are there and there is wine it gets drunk – no more saving anything. He explained there is a new urgency in his life.

Two: he explained that he thought about the time he wasted on things that didn’t matter with people who did matter. As a result he focuses on eliminating negative energy. He focuses on being happy not being right.

Three: He noticed that dying wasn’t scary but that he was incredibly sad to be facing death. That he loved his life and his biggest regret was that he might not get to see his kids grow up.

How many parents have had that thought? Recently a leading businessman said he would give away all his millions for ten more minutes with his children.

Being someone who enjoys making connections, I thought hmm that is curious, two plane crash stories coming to my attention today. That made me think  ’am I ready for my plane crash?’  As I went to sleep I thought to myself that it probably isn’t a bad approach to living.  Sure helps one focus on what matters.  Sure helps one think about what comes out of your mouth and whether it is what you want your last words to be! Sure helps you  stop what you are doing to cook bacon when  your 21 year old son  comes down at 9.30 am  and says can you cook me breakfast even though you are busy writing an article!

‘What really matters’ would be a great bumper sticker to help us all focus on now.


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The Green Thing!

May 19th, 2013

Apologies to whomever wrote this, it was sent to me by Tim Alpe my other co-founder of Cityhop who knew I would love. I had seen it before but thought it was so good we should share! Amazing how times change.

Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman, that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment.

The woman apologized and explained, “We didn’t have this green thing back in my earlier days.” The young clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment f or future generations.”

She was right — our generation didn’t have the green thing in its day.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were truly recycled. But we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags, that we reused for numerous things, most memorable besides household garbage bags, was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our schoolbooks. This was to ensure that public property, (the books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced by our scribbling’s. Then we were able to personalize our books on the brown paper bags. But too bad we didn’t do the green thing back then.

We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks. But she was right. We didn’t have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throwaway kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts — wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that young lady is right; we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana.

In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. But she’s right; we didn’t have the green thing back then.

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. But we didn’t have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger joint.

But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn’t have the green thing back then?

Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smart-ass young person.


Do the maths – car share will save you money

April 22nd, 2013

One of our great cityhoppas in Wellington dropped us a note. She told us how she had just paid a large bill on her son’s car to get a Warrant of Fitness.

She paid the $460 WoF bill and worked out how much keeping the car in their driveway actually cost them! The car is worth $2000 at most.

They budget $11.46 for licensing, $16.86 for insurance and $50 for petrol per fortnight. AA yearly membership is $79, $39 for spouse as associate, and $71 for son – ie. another $7.27 per fortnight, which totals about $224 (including that WoF bill) to keep the car going each month, or $2,686 pa.

We could have about 14 hours of CityHop usage per month instead and we probably wouldn’t need it so would SAVE!

Yep Liz and best of all the money you save gets spent in your local community. A win-win for all. Oh and not driving your car means your community has cleaner air, less road congestion, safer streets. So many reasons why carshare is good!

We are looking to add some new car parks in Auckland and Wellington. Keep an eye on cityhoppa!