Preaching to “the Converted” #4: Heidi Horton

Preaching to “the Converted” #4: Heidi Horton
 Heidi Horton lives in Riversdale, a small Southland town, with her husband Matt, their dog and rabbit. Almost a year ago Heidi and Matt started thinking seriously about their lifestyle, their long term dreams and legacy. Their eyes were opened to new, different possibilities. And so began their journey to simple living, which Heidi documents and shares at A Journey to Simple Living. Simple living to Heidi and Matt involves a number of goals and ideas, including ditching the excess, gaining freedom, slowing down, aiming to leave a lighter footprint on the planet and living healthier lives. From finding safer, greener alternatives to household, chemical-ridden cleaning products, to working towards less clutter and less processed foods – their journey has many facets. Heidi says the idea of living simpler life began when they realised how starkly different today’s everyday ideals are from 50 or 100 years ago. In just one lifetime our world has seen such a surge in ‘living beyond our means’, wastefulness and unsustainable habits. One area of Heidi & Matt’s journey involves reducing waste, learning to reduce, reuse and recycle more consciously, heavily minimising single-use plastic consumption and reducing their carbon footprint. Heidi attended The Rubbish Trip talk in Gore back in April 2018 and came away inspired to put new found knowledge to use. In this post, Heidi shares some of the ways she and Matt have begun making their household less wasteful.

Liam & Hannah’s Rubbish Trip zero-waste talk really kick-started some changes in our household when it came to waste, recycling and plastics.

I’ve started taking my pantry containers into my local bulk buy store and topping up on pantry ingredients avoiding the need for single-use packaging waste. Up until I went along to The Rubbish Trip’s talk I hadn’t even thought about doing this. One look in my pantry, after becoming more mindful about all our waste & it’s impact on the environment, had me realising I was buying all my baking & cooking ingredients in throwaway (usually plastic) packaging!

Heidi’s containers which she fills up, packaging-free, at The Kitchen Cupboard, Gore’s local bulk bin store

A quick look in my recycling bin also highlighted how many containers I was just throwing out (from sauce bottles, to jam jars) – so I began collecting any containers I could re-use and store my pantry ingredients in. And now when they get low, I’ll take them in to the bulk store, top them up & pop them straight back in my pantry. One small change that will help minimise waste and leave a slightly lighter footprint on our planet.

We’ve also stopped buying our skin & hair care products by the bottle, instead opting for solid shampoo, conditioner and moisturising bars etc. We’re not quite ready to make the out-right switch to plain baking soda though! And I’ve begun making my own homemade cleaning products – from all-purpose spray to laundry powder. We’re consciously trying to minimise how much single-use plastics we’re consuming. All these household products come in single use plastic bottles or containers. Not to mention the chemicals we’re using in our homes everyday without stopping to think about their impact on us or the environment.

Since Liam and Hannah’s talk we’ve seen a huge reduction in the amount of rubbish going in our bins, just from the small changes we’ve begun making. Waking up to the world’s environmental issues, thinking about just where our rubbish goes and realising the excess we have in our lives has really made us look differently at things when we’re shopping, what we’re putting in our wheelie bins and what less wasteful alternatives we can find to use instead. We’re by no means close to zero-waste living but we know that every little bit counts. From remembering to always take re-useable shopping bags with you to saying no to the plastic straw in your drink – it all makes a difference and it’s all stuff that anyone can start doing today.

This post is part of our blog series “A Waste of Time?: Preaching to ‘the converted’”. You can read about the origin and kaupapa of this series here.


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