Reduce your rubbish

Reducing our rubbish is the most important place to start in tackling waste - avoiding creating waste in the first place.

Before you buy, think about whether you really need something. And if you do, wherever possible choose products and packaging that won’t end up straight in a landfill - that is, items that have recycled content, are recyclable, long lasting, and are repairable, re-usable or refillable. Here are some easy things you can do and think about to reduce your rubbish.

Reducing your rubbish can be as simple as investing in more sustainable products and thinking ahead.

  • Instead of using single use plastic bags, invest in a reusable shopping bag and have it on you, or in the car when you are out and about. Many stores now offer these for sale too - go for those that will last and are made from renewable materials.

  • Switch to your own reusable coffee cup instead of single use takeaway cups.

  • You can also get some great stainless steel reusable products such as straws, lunchboxes and take away containers, and water bottles.

And when you do buy, go for products with no packaging or minimal recyclable packaging - this sends a great message to the companies that are trying to reduce their waste too.

The following are local stockists of reusable products, such as reusable coffee cups, metal straws, and reusable shopping and produce bags:

  • Arthaus - New Plymouth. Offer reusable coffee cups, metal straws, reusable bags.

  • Bamboo Plus - New Plymouth. Bamboo toothbrushes, bamboo toothbrush holders, bamboo hairbrushes and pegs.

  • Egmont Honey - New Plymouth. Offer items such as bamboo toothbrushes and the Ethique range.

  • Lyn Lye Centre - New Plymouth. Offer reusable coffee cups, metal straws, reusable bags

  • Neat - New Plymouth. Offer reusable menstrual products.

  • Puke Ariki - New Plymouth. Offer reusable coffee cups, metal straws, reusable bags.

  • Trade Aid - New Plymouth. Offer reusable shopping bags, produce bags.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for locally there’s a wide range of New Zealand websites to buy from, such as:

Invest in reusable products

Plan your meals

Planning your meals and making a list of ingredients you need for the week will lead to less food waste and financial savings. You can find great tips on how to do this, along with waste free recipes on the Love Food Hate Waste website.

For lunches, take a no-waste lunch to work or school using reusable containers rather than bags and plastic wrapping. Beeswax wraps are a great choice for wrapping sandwiches and muffins.

Local beeswax wraps suppliers:

Don’t buy it, hire or loan it

Why buy it? Can you hire or borrow something? We live in an age of ownership, but it doesn’t have to be like that. Get into the share economy by supporting local hire companies, lending your own tools, or starting up a neighbourhood tool shed or a cutlery or crockery bank for lending out for parties and big functions.

Local hire companies and lending libraries include:

There are a number of local organisations that are working to educate people about minimisation waste:

  • If you are looking for business support, New Plymouth, Stratford and South Taranaki District Councils have a co-funded Waste Minimisation Officer, who can help you on your waste minimisation journey. NPDC also has a Commercial Waste Minimisation Officer to service the business community.

  • Para Kore - Working towards zero waste of waste on maraes using composting and recycling

  • Rethinking Plastic Revolution - work with schools and community groups to educate them about waste minimisation

  • Upcycle Taranaki - work with schools and members of the public on upcycling projects.

Local waste minimisation support organisations

If you know of other stockists/retailers/suppliers/services or all round fantastic sustainable sources please let us know so that we can share.