Auckland Bulk Stores

2020 UPDATE: When I wrote this post in early 2016 there were hardly any bulk stores in Auckland, and many of them were old school Bin Inn’s or Indian Spice shops. This post quickly became outdated as we’ve seen waste become an area of interest in the last 3 or so years. I could be continually updating this post as so many dedicated zero waste bulk stores pop up around Auckland, but instead my friends Hannah and Liam from The Rubbish Trip have done the hard work. Read their Regional Shopping Guide here, and check out their interactive map here. Update: June 2017 Since I wrote this blog post there have been a few other bulk bin stores pop up, yay! My favorite bulk store is now Bin Inn Onehunga, this store is actually walking distance from my house (!!) and the staff know me by name. The owners are […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Splore: a Zero Waste Festival

Manning the waste bins at Splore It’s 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 Volunteered at a multi-day music and arts festival, Splore  It’s been a really interesting past few weeks and I have met so many like-minded people […]

Fresh Produce Out Of Our Own Backyards

If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen my snap the other week of a box full of fresh fruit and veggies, exclaiming I had received my first Ooooby. You may have wondered what on earth is an Ooooby. And then you may have wondered last week where my blog post was that I had promised! While I try to write at least once a fortnight, sometimes I find myself too busy or unmotivated to blog. Last week saw me inspired in the kitchen making all of these lovely meals and out in the garden tending to my plants. Well this week you have been blessed with not one but two blog posts, as I was motivated to continue writing my toothpaste post I started a while ago. And as promised, my Ooooby post…. Ooooby stands for Out Of Our Own Backyards, it’s this cool initiative that brings […]

Homemade Toothpaste

Toothpaste was the first thing I started making myself when I started Plastic Free July last year. It is ridiculously easy to make and you can make it to your preferences (without the nasty added chemicals). I’ve tried quite a few recipes and variations over the months,  so thought I ought to share them. Ingredients Used:  Coconut Oil- The ‘base’ this gives a paste nice consistency, it is also anti-bacterial & anti-fungal. It is commonly used in “oil pulling” which is essentially just sucking on oil for a while to whiten your teeth. Baking soda- a gentle abrasive that neutralizes bacteria that cause odors. This is a commonly used on just its own. Bentonite Clay- often called “healing clay” this works an even gentler abrasive that contains toxin removing minerals. Dr. Bronners Castile Soap– (peppermint flavour)- this makes the toothpaste foaming, it cleans teeth and removes plaque. Peppermint essential oil- […]

Avocado Dye and the many uses of Avocado Pits

  At the public avocado orchard in Mangere   With avocado season I have been inundated with avocado pits lately. Normally they get composted, however they inevitably sprout and turn in to trees– I have a decent amount (all in pots) which have grown over the years, and have given many away. I have no idea if any fruit will grow on these trees but they still make nice trees. I’ve started saving the pits to to use in my homemade shampoo, as inspired by The Rogue Ginger (this shampoo is fantastic by the way).  Additionally, I discovered Avocado Stone Faces on Instagram– she carves avocado pits and turns them in to jewellery and pieces of art! I am not that talented or patient however.     Homemade avocado seed shampoo     As well as discovering uses for things I would usually compost or throw away (see also: Aquafaba) […]

Rubbish Update: December 2015

I have been avoiding writing this post, because I didn’t want to have to face my slip-ups. As expected, December was a difficult month to avoid rubbish! We went tramping, then there was Christmas, then we went camping, and then New Years! A lot of activities and events that usually produce rubbish. Christmas was the hardest, while I didn’t get many presents (which i am happy about) and most of my presents were edible, there was still some packaging involved, most notably the plastic wrap from my one non-edible gift and a box of Cadbury Favourites  I couldn’t say no to (I am a chocolate fiend after all).  New Years and camping actually went pretty well due to a lot of planning on my part. I decided I wouldn’t be too hard on myself over December as it was the holidays and all. I also bought some canned food items […]

Waste Free Camping- Whananaki, Northland

Firstly, happy New Year! I hope everyone had a safe and sustainable Christmas and New Year. As I mentioned in my last post the BF & I were planning on camping for a week after Christmas and over New Years. I planned for weeks as to how I was going to camp waste free, I knew this would be difficult as I was without my trusty kitchen and compost bin. Well, we did it, however… it took lots of aforementioned planning and a shortened trip to succeed…   Whananaki Campground; Northland: We went camping at Whananaki Campground in Northland, about 45 minutes north of Whangarei. This is a ‘scenic’ Department of Conservation campground, meaning there were some facilities but not heaps (“limited range” is how DOC like to describe it). Most of you know I love tramping and camping and have no problems with ‘going bush’ for extended periods of […]