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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Howick Markets and Bin Inn

Some of the goodies from our day in Howick: Left to Right: In the brown paper bags kitty litter and flour, brew kits, baguette, almonds, falafel and dolmah in the container, op shop jar, vinegar, chickpeas, soap, peanut butter and honey.  On Saturday the BF & I went to Howick Village Markets- what a lovely little market this is! They had fresh produce and vegetable plants and seedlings, honey, bakeries, soaps and crafts. I bought some bread which they packaged in a paper bag (but I have since sewn my own cloth bag out of an old pillow case) and some falafel and dolmah which the seller happily put in my container.    Bin Inn was fantastic! It stocks plenty of legumes, baking ingredients, spices, lollies, pet food, and laundry and cleaning products- all in bulk! We also got some (beer) brew kits- alas they have a plastic lid though. […]

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What Have I Changed to go Waste Free?

  What have I changed to go waste free?  As I mentioned in the last post I was already using reusable bottles, bags, containers etc. I have an Eco Mailbox sticker for our letterbox, no more pesky junky mail- which was a large amount of our recycling each week. I also shopped predominately second hand, cooked vegetarian every night and composted. We were already living a fairly sustainable lifestyle, yet I found we still had to make some changes to make. Kitchen: We now buy in bulk using mesh produce bags. Unfortunately the bags I ordered online came with way too much packaging, I intend on sewing more using my flatmate’s sewing machine (first I need to work on my sewing skills).  I make veggie stock out of veggie scraps and then compost the spent scraps.  I started fermenting in June- I make Kombucha and use any seasonal fruit or fruit that […]

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And so it begins… Plastic Free July

I have been reading about going plastic free/zero waste for a few months now, and Plastic Free July was my push to do it. As someone who considered herself to be very environmentally aware and friendly, I quickly realised I still had a long way to go! I already had a Keep Cup (not that I buy takeaway coffee, although I still use it daily), reusable shopping bags, reusable BPA free drink bottle and etc, but there was still plastic entering my household- mainly in the form of packaging. Firstly let me clarify, I live with 5 other people- my partner and 2 couples, and occasional house guests, and not everyone is on board (yet!) so there are a few things I cannot control. We all shop and cook in our own couples, so there is always something happening in our kitchen. I am now trying to lead by example- and […]

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