Blog - Simple solutions to everyday problems

Four black bottles on a shelf with large white labels featuring the letters M, C, S and B, plus a cake of soap wrapped in paper with the letter S on the frontI believe workplace wellness includes taking care of customers as well as employees, and I love it when I come across simple but quirky solutions to everyday problems. Here are a couple I have recently discovered that I would like to share with you.

The first idea was shared at the Be.Accessible team day, held in Auckland back in September, ahead of the Universal Design Conference. Minnie Barangwanath, Be.Accessible’s CEO talked about a conversation she’d had with the owner of the Sudima Hotel chain. Sudima are totally committed to making their hotels accessible for everyone, so Minnie, who has vision challenges, took the opportunity to mention that she finds it really difficult to know which bottle of product to use in hotel room showers. She said she has been known to lather her body with hair conditioner instead of shower gel, as it’s too difficult for her to read the small print on those little bottles of products that most hospitality places have in their bathrooms. And, of course, if you wear glasses for reading, the chances are that you are not going to be wearing them in the shower, so it really is challenging to identify which is the right product on the shelf to use for which task!

To their credit, Sudima put their thinking caps on, did some investigation and came back with a very simple solution – printing out the labels in large bold letters with an ‘S’ for shampoo, ‘C’ for conditioner, ‘B’ for body wash and ‘M’ for moisturiser.

Couldn’t be simpler and a great solution for everyone. Good for you, Sudima staff, thinking outside the square!

Shopping basket holding bananas, carrots and two flax kete, one with kiwi fruit in, the other with onionsThe second idea that I came across, I found on a visit to Raeward Fresh, a large fruit and vegetable (and meat) store in Christchurch. These days I think it’s true to say that most of us want to try and minimise, or even eliminate plastic shopping bags and to help reduce the waste in the sea and protect wildlife. It’s becoming increasingly popular to buy our own net bags to put our fruit and veges in, but it’s still easy to find yourself having arrived at the supermarket with no bags at all. And yes, while it’s possible to just have the produce running around loose in your basket, this isn’t so helpful for the checkout operator when they’re trying to weigh up the produce and pack it into your shopping bag

So I thought that having these beautiful woven flax kete, which can be hung on the edge of the trolley or simply put into your basket, readily at hand for any Raeward Fresh shoppers to use, was a great idea. Made locally, I think these kete are a great example of truly sustainable shopping!

And surely, anything we can do to increase sustainability in our hectic lives, particularly in a simple way, has to be a good thing!