Waihaha Track Review

Me wandering through the snow along Waihaha track. Photo: Robert Vennell Last month I organised a weekend hiking trip with my friends. The weekend that suited us all happened to end up being the coldest weekends of the year, there was a weather bomb and a snow dump that closed many main roads. Fortunately for us we were still able to get away and ended up having a wonderful winter walk in Pureora Forest Park. We walked the Waihaha track to the Waihaha hut. This was a very easy flat walk, about 3 hours from the road end to the hut. There were river views along the way, with waterfalls and wetlands and the track was lightly dusted with ice.We could tell the track hadn’t been walked in weeks, due to spiderwebs and a few downed trees, which is a shame as it was a magical walk.    Upon reaching […]

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The Great Citrus Rescue

Citrus season is well and truly upon us. As an advocate for reducing food waste I have made it my personal mission to ensure that no fruit from our three trees goes to waste. If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen me posting about the copious amounts of manadrins I have been trying to use. We are fortunate to rent a property with 2 large mandarin trees and a grapefruit tree. Unfortunately no-one in our house seems to eat grapefruit, and the mandarins are very fiddly to peel. Additionally, as soon as the fruit hits the ground the slugs are all over it. As such we have a fair bit of excess fruit! Despite this I am making sure I am on top of the excess citrus situation. Here’s all the ways I have attempted to rescue our citrus so far:  A day well spent; jaffa cakes, […]

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Waste Free in Wellington

You may have noticed I have been absent from my blog this last month. I decided to have a bit of down time and have spent my evenings going to yoga classes, swimming and reading. June was a busy month for me, it was my birthday, I got a nasty cold and I spent most weekends catching up with my friends, the best kind of ‘busy.’ I also took a short trip down to Wellington with the BF and our friends and have finally gotten around to sharing my time and learnings with you all.  Firstly, we chose to fly… View of the Marlborough Sounds While this is one of the least environmentally friendly options it happened to be the most practical. I weighed up other modes of transport (my ancient car, an expensive train, a long bus ride) and decided flying was the cheapest and quickest. Earlier in the […]

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Guest Post: The Wonderful World of Edible Weeds

I have mentioned a few times previously that we often pick weeds from our garden to cook with, using Julia’s Edible Weeds as a guide. As it’s suddenly winter, I found my garden inundated with more weeds than planted vegetables. My friend Robert was over a few weekends ago helping out with the cider making day when he spotted my garden. I blushed and told him not to look at it as I hadn’t had time to tend to it properly and it had gotten away from me. He told me that was no issue as he could already see half of my garden was edible, so we went down for a quick forage. Robert found plenty of oxalis (wood sorrel), and I later found more around our citrus trees, which made a nice garnish on my dinner. Robert is an experienced forager, whenever we go tramping or day hiking […]

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Make Food Not Waste (How To Use Up Leftovers)

This is (another) post I’ve been meaning to write for a while but have been putting it off. A couple of weeks ago the BF & I saw an interesting (German) documentary about food waste and how to cook food that would otherwise be wasted. I realised just how much food people throw away, that I would have happily cooked up still. Next week is the Love Food Hate Waste website launch and I am invited to the launch party, so I figured it was time to get this post out of draft mode! The Love Food Hate Waste website launches June 1st, you can sign up in the meantime to get lots of handy tips to reduce your food waste.  Here’s the trailer for Wastecooking:  Why does food waste matter? Food waste is a HUGE issue, one that extends beyond your fridge and includes supermarkets, the delivery process and […]

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Auckland Bulk Stores

A typical Bin Inn shop At the beginning of the year I started writing a list of the bulk food stores I’ve found so far, and then this post sat as a draft among many other draft blog posts… So I figured I’d finally share my bulk store finds, but on another forum. As Zero Waste Home‘s donation drive for the Bulk App was a success I have now added all of the locations there. For those of you not in the know, Zero Waste Home  (Bea Johnson) created this great app where you can add & rate bulk food locations to a map. However the app needed a serious update, so there was big donation drive to update the app and also create a website. The website and app are now functional, and donations are still being accepted. Click here to go to the Bulk App I was pleasantly […]

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Waste Free Cheese

Package free cheese bought from The Dairy in Ponsonby Central Upon making the switch to plastic free/ zero waste I quickly learned that cheese can be rather difficult to source without the pesky packaging. We started making our own cheese initially, soft cheese is very easy to make, however one gets sick of soft cheeses after a while and we only had the option of supermarket homogenised milk in plastic bottles. If we lived closer to a farm then we would probably continue on with the cheese making, but at the moment it’s a once in a while thing. We used to have a flatmate that worked with a cheese maker, so we would get our cheese direct and in paper or foil packaging, again it was mainly soft cheese though. Since starting this journey my partner and I have majorly reduced our cheese consumption, so cheese has become a […]

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The Latest Waste Free Adventures: WWOOFing, Eco Day & Go Green Expo

Our accommodation during our WWOOF stay Yet again I have been busy up to all sorts of sustainable adventures, so I thought I’d share a bit of a photo journal of the more interesting things I have done in the past few weekends. The weekend following WOMAD was a long weekend (Easter) so the BF and I seized the opportunity to get out of Auckland and went on our first WWOOFing experience. WWOOF is a volunteer exchange programme, it stands for Willing Workers on Organic Farms, and is often used by foreign travelers looking for a cultural experience as well as being accommodated and fed. Although we didn’t stay on a farm and we were only a few hours away we still had a really interesting experience. We stayed with a lovely family in Whangamata and helped out in their ice cream van. We had some great conversations, I helped […]

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WOMAD: Zero Waste Festival #2

Working at a bin station Following on from the success of volunteering at Splore in February and seeing waste diversion first hand, the BF Callan and I volunteered for WOMAD. WOMAD (World of Music Arts and Dance) is based in New Plymouth, Taranaki and is a 3 day festival with on site camping and day passes as well. As we had to drive down from Auckland we camped on site for the length of the 4 day trip. WOMAD was about 3 times the capacity as Splore, with approx. about 15,000 attendees of all ages. The zero waste volunteer team was the largest of the volunteer teams, around 140 and was coordinated by Beyond The Bin. Beyond The Bin are based in the Bay of Plenty and run the Mount Maunganui Gourmet Night Market as a zero waste weekly event. This is hugely impressive as night markets are often full […]

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Splore: a Zero Waste Festival

Callan and I manning the waste bins at Splore Its been a while since my last post! I’ve been keeping busy after work gardening, cooking, fermenting, reading, hanging out with my friends and getting up to all sorts of zero waste adventures and events; I successfully hosted a zero waste BBQ (even with meat!) Did a spot of geocaching Trawled op shops Organised a community day with my colleagues, volunteering for Ecomatters Environment Trust and Project Twin Streams Went to the movies (Academy Cinema) where we had zerowaste choc top ice creams and watched a movie about living self-sufficiently and off the grid “Life Off Grid” Met fellow waste free advocates, Candace and Max from Waste-Less Living who organised ‘Locally Sauced’  a zerowaste local tomato sauce making workshop and volunteered at a multi-day music and arts festival, Splore It’s been a really interesting past few weeks and I have met […]

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