Introducing the Auckland Library of Tools!

Kia Ora Koutou, I have exciting news, I’m starting a new project…The Auckland Library of Tools! The Auckland tool library idea came about a few months ago at an event organised by Sustainable Future Collective at Auckland Uni. I was lucky enough to be invited to speak about my low waste lifestyle, and was amongst some inspiring panelists. My talk followed Ryan Dyment’s presentation about the Toronto Tool Library. I joked in my talk that we needed something similar in Auckland, as I had been borrowing tools to build my tiny house on wheels I’m a huge fan of the sharing economy and community-based waste reduction initiatives. It’s been two years since I first set up the Community Fridge Auckland. I applied for the Love Food Hate Waste fund in September 2016, to set up the fridge as a 4-week trial. The fridge is still operating now, thanks to a team of dedicated volunteers. […]

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Plastic Free Chocolate (+ zero waste perfectionism)

I’m a major chocolate lover. Since starting my waste-free journey in 2015, chocolate has gone from being a guilty pleasure to a guilty pleasure on a whole new level; environmental guilt! I just want a sweet fix to cure whatever ails me, I don’t want to layer that with ethical and environmental guilt! I recently mused on the Keep Auckland Beautiful podcast about having late night chocolate craving conundrums. The nearest shop that was open at 11 pm was a small dairy (aka corner store or milk bar, for you non-kiwis), where my chocolate choices were individual plastic wrapped chocolate bars (by brands like Nestle) or blocks of Cadbury and  Whittaker’s. Cadbury is in plastic, which can be recycled through the Red Cycle soft plastic scheme, where it’s made in to park benches and furniture like this one: However, Cadbury seems to be constantly having ethical dramas, with the most recent being […]

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Tiny House External Materials (and naming the tiny!)

The exterior of the tiny house has (mostly) been complete for a few months now!  I relied a lot on information from other people within the NZ tiny house community, I know how valuable it is to share experiences. I’m often asked about my build and the materials I chose to use, so I’ll share a breakdown of what was used for the external shell. We all know I love upcycling, reusing, and diverting things from landfill. So you would expect that my tiny house build would use all reclaimed materials, right? I’m meeting in the middle and using a combination of reclaimed and new materials.  While reclaimed materials are low cost, sustainable and interesting, unfortunately, they also require a bit of time and skill to make it work. Even though I’m building my tiny house myself (with a bit of help from friends and my Grandad), I really don’t […]

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1 Year of Rubbish: 2017

Kia Ora, happy new year! I hope everyone had an enjoyable break. I took a bit of time off social media and instead focused on my friends. I’m feeling refreshed and productive, and have lots of ideas for future blog posts (let’s hope I can actually stick it out this year). Last January I shared a glimpse of the contents of my rubbish bin for 2016, which you can read here. I kept track of majority of my rubbish again for 2017, and have picked through it to share with you. Rubbish is a pretty personal thing, so if you’re new here, you’re likely to learn a bit about me! I’d like to state that there’s some things that did not make it in to my rubbish bin, that I contributed towards. Pre-consumer waste: This is waste created in the making or transportation of a product. I don’t see this waste, but […]

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My Year in Books

Kia Ora, I have a bit of a different blog for you all. At the beginning of this year I set myself a goal of reading 25 books. This seemed achievable as the previous year I had read about 22 books, just missing my goal of 25. I’m not sure how, but over summer I ended up reading about 15 books. This was while working a full time job as well. I love reading and I love getting book recommendations. I personally use Goodreads to keep track of my books and my ever growing ‘to read’ list. This year I read 40 books, with a few half-finished books to complete. So I thought I’d share with you my year in books.  I’ve been reading quite a mix bag of books, getting most of my recommendations online or from friends. I’ve also had a really strange year full of change. I […]

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The Best Weekend Tramping Near Auckland

Kia Ora! In my last tramping related blog post I mentioned I had done most of the easy weekend tramps near Auckland. As I’m often asked which tramps can be done within a weekend, including driving from Auckland, I have neatly collated them for you. I am basing this list solely off my personal experience, so tramps I have done first hand. My qualifications for compiling this list include; years’ of tramping experience, commuting from Auckland and former DOC Auckland Visitor Center ‘Ranger.’ The criteria for tramping tracks to meet this list include: Able to do in a weekend, including travel time Is suitable for a beginner-intermediate tramper Has a hut, so no tent required The Best Easy Weekend Tramps Near Auckland   Pinnacles Track (South, Kauaeranga Valley) This was the first ever tramp I did, aged 13 or 14! I’ve since done the overnight tramp a further 3 times. It’s […]

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The Community Fridge: 1 Year On

It’s been a year since the Community Fridge first opened!!! Wow I could never have imagined what would happened after launching the Community Fridge. It was initially just a 3 and a half week trial, and now here we are!   If you aren’t familiar with the Community Fridge here are my previous blog posts:  Love Food Hate Waste Project: The Community Fridge Community Fridge Update And here’s a short video from launch day explaining the fridge:  The fridge was set up with funding I received through Auckland Council’s Love Food Hate Waste fund. With the help of the team at Love Food Hate Waste and Auckland Council staff it took about 6 weeks of secretive planning to establish the fridge. The fridge was donated by Resource Rescue after being recovered from the inorganic (hard rubbish) collection and fixed up. The fridge was received with major success and covered on a […]

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Urban Food Foraging

The other day I had the boring task of waiting for an hour and a half for a chip in my windscreen to be fixed. The location of the chip repair place was an industrial part of Auckland. Being a sunny day I didn’t fancy sitting in the shop’s waiting room feeling impatient and distracted, so I went to check out the park across the road. Hamlin’s Hill Mutukaroa is a regional park, and a very unsuspecting one at that. Hamlins Hill has to be one of the smallest of Auckland’s Regional Park’s, as it is nestled between the industrial main road of Great South Road and the motorway. Honestly I had pretty low expectations. Within a minute of having walked through the farm gate of the park I was blown away by how quiet it was. Hamlins Hill is a small urban farm, complete with cows and sections of […]

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The Tiny House Plan

Since sharing my intention to build a tiny house on wheels, I got a lot of questions. So I’m finally going to start answering them, beginning with my design and plans! I designed the plans over several months with the help of Callan (whom I am building with). Callan originally hand drew the plans based on a crude sketch of mine. He was able to draw up the plans to scale using Auto-CAD (Computer Aided Design), which he has experience using from work. Once we had ordered the trailer he was able to correct the plans based on the trailer design, so there were some minor changes. I complained CAD was too technical for me, so he also drew the plans in Sketch Up (a free 3D design tool). It was easy to import the 2D plans from CAD into Sketch Up and build upon them in 3D, meaning the 3D model […]

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Quick Weekend Tramping: Te Rereatukahia Track

Kia ora, I wanted to share with you all the easiest yet rewarding tramping trip I did the other month. My friends and I are getting to a point where we have done most of the short overnight tramps within a reasonable driving distance from Auckland. When I found the Te Rereatukahia Loop Track on the DOC website I thought we were scraping the bottom of the barrel. The DOC website track description states: “Grass clearings and an old fence are a legacy of days gone by when this section was highly modified by burning and farming.” Grass clearings and an old fence? That doesn’t sound like exciting scenery… Yet I can assure you that the scenery way outdid that description. We went on this tramp with no expectations at all, but was blown away by the track and views. Located in the Kaimai Mamuku Forest Park (Bay of Plenty), […]

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