Tanglewood Retreat was born out of a dream to create a space for relaxation, contemplation, creativity, social interaction and environmentally sustainable change. All buildings were consciously designed to minimise environmental impact, using natural and/or recycled materials.
At the end of last year we sat down with Stacey Eastwood, the Managing Director at Tanglewood Retreat, and asked her a few questions.
Hey Stace! Are you able to tell us a bit about Tanglewood, and what the goals and dreams for the retreat are over the next few years?
We wanted to create a space that encompassed all of our passions and values. It needed to be environmentally sustainable and forward thinking, yet fun. It also needed to have interesting buildings, a Yoga Studio and offer vegan catering. Tanglewood is a Sustainable Playground of sorts. A place for people to come together, relax, socialise, to learn and share ideas.
We wanted somewhere to hold Workshops to share knowledge regarding sustainable living alternatives, as well as offer fun things like weddings, group holidays and conferences.
When did it all begin and where is Tanglewood located?
My partner Riccardo and I moved out here two years ago to start building, and Tanglewood has been open for a year now. We are located in Waimauku, close to Muriwai Beach, just north of Auckland.
Why do you do what you do?
Because I honestly couldn’t think of anything else I wanted to do more than bring people together and host them. I also love that I can do it in a way that promotes environmentally sustainable practices, with the bonus that I also get to share my loves of yoga and cooking.
How was 2019 for you, are there any big events or exciting projects you’re working on currently?
We got to host our first wedding for the gorgeous Madi & Echo, which was absolutely beautiful! We also ran our first weekend HEAL Retreat which was incredible, as well as a bunch of smaller day events. On top of all of that we planted over 3000 native trees.
Now we’re busy gearing up for the summer, we have more weddings, yoga, macramé, and live music events coming up...as well as NZ Spirit Festival in February.
As a smartass customer, you’re thinking about tree free alternatives and limiting your plastic consumption dramatically. Is this sustainable focus something that has always been part of what you do, was there a point where you suddenly decided to change old habits?
It’s always been the main focus here at Tanglewood.
At smartass, we feel like we’ve now got a personal connection with this amazing space, as Madi from our team recently had her wedding here which you just mentioned was the first wedding you've held at Tanglewood. Are you finding a shift in focus for people when it comes to weddings and events to have a sustainable direction, use less waste and keep things simple?
Absolutely, it’s really nice to see people being more open to zero waste catering and also opting for op shop plates and crockery or compostable plates and cups like the innocent ones.
I think the general trend we’re seeing at the moment is more casual, festival style weddings.
People want to spend longer with their friends and family so they opt for a weekend event, and choose informal catering options such as buffet catering without a seating plan, or food trucks.
Where did the Tanglewood dream begin?
I’ve always dreamt of building a treehouse, since I was a kid. And I decided I wanted to open a hostel when I first went solo traveling about 11 years ago. As I became more passionate about sustainability and natural building, the Tanglewood dream morphed into the eco retreat and events centre that it is.
Now for some hard hitting journalism. What is your toilet roll hanging preference, roll over or roll under?
Definitely roll over!
How have you been using your smartass wraps after use?
We compost the whole lot, the wrapping and the roll can all be broken down in our composting toilets.
How has the tree-free TP been going in the compostable toilets?
It has been amazing, we absolutely love Smartass, it breaks down well in our composting toilets, and we also love the funky waste-free packaging.
Head to www.tanglewoodretreat.co.nz to find out more.
Shop Without Packaging is a Refillery based in Raglan, New Zealand. Their beautiful store focus's on sustainability in many ways including providing local products and encouraging their customers to bring in jars and containers to refill their products. Here at smartass, we think our values align with SWOP which leads us to want to reach out and chat!