Living waste free tips and resources

Changing small habits can make a big difference and changing one small thing at a time is a great start.

Waste hierarchy

Waitaki Waste hierarchy.png

Here are some simple changes – give it a try!

  • Have a  “No reusable cup - no coffee!” rule. No takeaway cup is recyclable in NZ.
  • Grow your own – Start by growing one thing you can eat. Mixed lettuces or herbs you can pick up at the supermarket are a great way to start. Or if you’re able, grow as much as you can to eat.
  • Clear your mail - if you have no use for advertising material that is delivered to your home, get a 'No Advertising Material' sign for your letterbox.
  • Reusable shopping bags - Keep reusable bags in your car, next to your shopping list or in a handy spot and use instead of plastic bags. Note: many supermarkets or eco-stores sell these very cheaply so stock up on your next shopping trip.
    Take reusable produce bags into the supermarket too – keep these with your reusable shopping bags and ditch single use bags at the supermarket for good
  • Reuse other bags where possible - bread bags (or any small easily tied bag) are useful as dog poo bags, or use larger bags like courier packaging to line your rubbish bin
  • Carry your goods by hand - shops often offer bags for one or two items, but if you're only walking back to the car, you may not need a bag.
  • Reuse brown paper bags – these can replace giftwrap or you could try any of your local second hand stores to see if they could reuse them.
  • Can’t beat a good old fashioned bar of soap! The pump from hand soap cannot be recycled.
  • Bring your own lunchbox if getting takeout for lunch – ask for your items to be placed in your container rather than a single use one
  • Go paperless for your bills and notices.
  • Ditch cling film – instead use a bowl to cover plates in the fridge (or visa versa!).
  • Commit to gifting experiences for gift giving. From horse treks to a morning tea out, people love the thoughtfulness of an experience.
  • Choose glass packaging over plastic when shopping. Glass can be recycled over and over and reduces the need for raw material to be mined.
  • Get organics out of landfill – organic matter in landfill releases harmful gases, compost or bokashi at home if you can, or find someone who can do it for you.
  • Buy bread from a bakery. The paper bags they come in are recyclable, compostable, or reusable! Take it back for your next loaf.
  • 'Buy well, buy once' - avoid products with excess packaging and 'one use' or disposable items. Buying things that last is environmentally beneficial and saves you money in the long run.
  • Support the 'good guys' - go for products, shops and companies that have an environmentally friendly ethos. Look for products where parts (such as batteries) can be replaced.
  • Buy in bulk - if you want snack sized portions, buy in bulk and use reusable containers.
  • Use cloth nappies - did you know that if every parent in NZ used just one cloth nappy per day we could prevent one million nappies from going to landfill per week?