Plastic Free Supermarket Shopping

Being plastic free has its challenges when it comes to grocery shopping at a conventional supermarket, but fear not, it is possible! I have found since going plastic/waste free that we no longer do large shops every few weeks, instead opting for smaller shops and one larger shop once a month at Bin Inn. This is mainly because we can’t get everything plastic free from the supermarket and now have to shop around a bit. How to Shop Plastic Free at a Conventional Supermarket: Fruit and Veges- I avoid prepackaged items and purchase the loose items, either leaving them loose or packing in a mesh bag. Pak n Save & New World sell loose salad mix, they once had loose spinach as well, but it was gone the following week to my disappointment (hint hint Pak n Save). Seeds, Nuts, Dried Fruit, Lollies- All from the bulk section! I use […]

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Last Week’s Waste Free Meals

I am often asked what I eat as I don’t eat meat and I don’t purchase anything that comes in plastic. I am finally going to answer that with a better answer than “I dunno, beans and veges and stuff.” Here is a look at what I ate last week.  DISCLAIMER: I am not the healthiest person in the world and I am not a chef!    Breakfast Toast: I buy bread from the bakery/bakery section of the supermarket in a bag I take with me. Condiments: honey from the bulk bins or farmer’s market, peanut butter from the machine at Bin Inn, Marmalade (made by my flatmates or my Nana) or homemade yogurt cheese Or: Weetbix: I buy my weetbix plastic & package free from Bin Inn, I usually use an old extra-large Ziploc bag as this is by weight and Weetbix can be a bit messy for mesh […]

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Peach Cove Tramp

After a week of heavy rain the weekend cleared up in time for me to have a scenic Whangarei adventure from Urquharts Bay to Ocean Beach, with an over night stay at the cosy Peach Cove Hut. While the tracks were short- only about 3 hours each way, it wasn’t necessarily an easy stroll through the park. We were welcomed with a windy paddock scramble to the start of Busby Head Track, which consisted of an hour or so of a straight up-hill stair climb. This was a slow climb for us Aucklanders as we realised we have been caught up in the rat race and perhaps we weren’t as fit as we had previously impressed upon ourselves. When we eventually made it to the top we were definitely rewarded as we looked out across the heads and toward Poor Knights. I had a snack of lollies which were left […]

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The Latest Zero Waste Fails, Successes, Attempts and Adventures

I am going tramping this weekend! Hiking/backpacking/bush walking for all you non Kiwi folk. I am hoping to do this as waste free as possible, however this will be my first attempt and as I still transitioning to this lifestyle there may (will) be shortfalls. As I am not the trip leader I won’t be doing the group shopping, however I did make the winning group food suggestion- vegetarian burgers. I know how I can make these waste free (this has become a bit of a staple dinner of recent), so on the next tramp I intend on cooking rubbish free burgers. For my own food I will be packing things I already have in my pantry/fridge, as it is only an over-niter and my pantry is well stocked. I will be packing some items (such as homemade porridge) in Ziploc bags that I already had, as I do not […]

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Brief Update: Life Changes but still Waste Free

Life has been busy and full of changes in the past few weeks, but I am still trying my hardest to be waste free. This week saw me starting a new job, from one government organisation to another. I am still city bound, and still catching the train with an extra 10 minute walk. I am also still bringing my own lunches, keep cup and utensils- and good thing I have, the staff cafeteria is laden with plastic cutlery and single use coffee cups! I have also started taking a mason jar of Kombucha as an afternoon pick me up, although this morning it leaked all through my bag as I was running for the train… Good thing I have an assortment of cloth bags (old bandanas) I made, which double as emergency napkins! Meanwhile, the BF is in the USA no doubt living the life of needless plastic! He […]

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Plastic Free Postage

Lately I have been mailing a lot of parcels as I have been selling things on Trademe or sending birthday presents. I quickly realised it can be really confusing and sometimes costly if you are trying to post something with your own packaging. I used to use the NZ Post bags, however these are plastic & often get tossed straight in the bin afterwards! So what can we do to minimise the amount of plastic used in mail? Refuse-I have been posting parcels wrapped in wax paper & recycled brown paper bags, and taped using a plastic free tape, either the fancy clear tape pictured or standard paper tape. You need to be careful with this option as sometimes it can be more expensive than the pre-paid bags (??!) but usually it is significantly cheaper. Also one time the postal cashier tried to sell me a pre-paid bag to put […]

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Plastic Free July Wrap Up

 Plastic Free July is over. So how did we do? 33 grams of rubbish from the month of July.  The BF’s daily contact lens cases Total rubbish sent to landfill: 33 grams. Recycling: 8 items &  approx. 40 contact lens cases.  I posted at the halfway mark what was in our bin & what we sent to recycling, there actually wasn’t that much more after that. We used up a plastic bottle of peanut oil and the plastic wrap from our Earthcare toilet paper and that was it! I have since been informed by several sources that I can purchase Greencane & Safe toilet paper which are plastic & tree free at the local organic store. Not included was a plastic bag that I desperately tried to refuse at the night market, I frantically called out to the vendor to not worry about the bag as I had a cloth […]

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Rants and Raves from the past week

This last week has seen me produce very minimal waste as I am now fully into the swing & habits of Plastic Free July. Rave: I picked up some sushi the other day from Sushi Time in Onehunga and the man offered me a discount for using my own container and refusing the single plastic wrapped condiments! Rave & Rant: On Saturday the BF & I went to Otara Markets. There was heaps of fruit and veges, majority of it was plastic free- however all the stores had copious amounts plastic bags- which were greedily being used to pack & carry produce. I finally found fresh spinach and kale which was not pre-wrapped in plastic, I packed in to my mesh bag instead. The other half of the market was cheap toys and knock off products unfortunately. I always go to the night market prepared.  Rant: My flatmate and I […]

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Waste Free Cooking

Prior to Plastic Free July I was worried about cooking & grocery shopping as I knew that this was probably my major source of plastic & rubbish. However since going to Bin Inn and finding some great blogs and recipes I have found I am getting more resourceful in the kitchen and majority of my meals produce no rubbish and only minimal food scraps. Preventing food waste: I collect all of my food scraps and freeze them until I have enough to make veggie stock/broth. This is a habit I used to do years ago, but due to sheer laziness and lack of freezer space (we now have a new freezer & a spare for the flat) I stopped making my own stock and relied on the convenience of stock cubes. Making my own stock is super easy, it’s bloody cheap (basically free) and whatever I don’t use I can […]

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Plastic Free July Update

We have now passed the halfway mark of Plastic Free July! I have been thoroughly enjoying finding alternatives and seeing how little waste I have been producing, most days I don’t put anything in the bin and my flatmates have been very aware of their rubbish too. Here is our rubbish for the past 2 weeks:  Mine & my BF’s rubbish bin halfway through Plastic Free July. The contents of our rubbish bin:  Daily contact lenses, the plastic cases are in a container and will be recycled The seals from the contact lenses The actual used contact lenses The packet from dried yeast used to make pizza dough,  2 Minties wrappers which were purchased beforehand 2 plastic tags from veges A plastic seal from a small glass bottle A (cut open) tube of Lucas Paw Paw Ointment which I have been using for the past 2 years  A pill packet […]

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