Waste Free Bathroom Update + Toothpaste Recipe

I first blogged about DIY toothpaste over four years ago, and my low waste bathroom three years ago. A lot has changed in that time, not just personally, but also in the waste space. Plastic-free and waste are now hot topics, and single-use plastic is quickly getting booed and banned. This is such an exciting thing to see happening, and the waste minimization space is quickly growing and low waste is rapidly becoming more mainstream and thus, accessible! Personally, I’ve had to find ways to make waste free work for me in the long run, for my own personal sustainability and sanity. So, while I’m no longer refusing absolutely every tiny bit of plastic and only filling a small rubbish bin a year, I’m now focusing on bigger picture change. I’ve been working in waste for the past three years, and have established projects, such as The Community Fridge and […]

Waste Free Tramping

Trying to keep your tramping trip waste free and light weight may seem contradictory, but it is possible. Zero waste is all about being prepared, organised and using what you have.   Reducing your waste while tramping can be difficult, and usually low on your priority list. But when you have to carry all your waste in and out with you, there are definite benefits to planning ahead. Gear: If you think you’ll be taking up tramping as a long term hobby, invest in quality gear at the beginning! When I first started tramping, I was a broke student. Being stingy and not knowing how long my new hobby would last, I bought whatever gear was cheap and on sale. The pack turned out to be more of a travel bag and subsequently made my tramps much harder than necessary (I looked like a turtle!). My budget boots started to […]

Auckland Library of Tools is open!

Last year I wrote about my plans to start a tool library in Auckland, I’m excited to announce that we have officially opened!  View this post on Instagram First official tool donation, a hand saw! Thank you to Pamela for this donation, and for being such a keen volunteer! A post shared by Auckland Library of Tools (@aucklandlibraryoftools) on Jan 10, 2019 at 5:49pm PST   The Auckland Library of Tools (ALoT) is a community project lead by myself and Tom Greer, with help from some amazingly clever volunteers (the joke is that neither Tom and I are particularly knowledgeable about tools…). The project is umbrellaed by Transition Town community Grey Lynn 2030. ALoT is a library where members have access to a wide range of tools (and things!). By pooling our resources, we have access to material goods and reduce net consumption, cost, and the need to own and store tools. […]

My Year in Books: 2018

Happy (belated) New Year! As this blog has been a bit quiet over the past year, here’s a lil insight into my year based on my favourite books read. I read 31 books in 2018, which was sadly not as many as I would have liked. You can check out my year in books from 2017 also, here. I chose not to blog much last year due to personal reasons. My year was full of ups and downs, and sadly, devastating losses. I took a step back and reflected on what was important to me, focusing on my personal relationships. I still kept up my waste-free attempts as well as I could. I took a hiatus from my tiny house build when things got too complex. Progress has been slow since the tiny has been weather-tight (early last year), but I am starting to get back on track! My Favourite Reads of 2018: Non-Fiction: […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]