As we travel across Aotearoa New Zealand delivering our talks, we’re constantly sussing out the local area, asking ourselves the question “if we were to live here, how would we make our zero waste lifestyle work?” By answering this question (through research, community connections, and persistent shop-hopping), we can then provide local tips and tricks at each of our talks.
Rather than leaving all this research in our own heads, we’ve compiled these Regional Zero Waste Shopping Guides for locals to refer back to (and also to add to – if you let us know things we’ve missed, we can add them in!)
We hope that these guides are a useful resource, regardless of whether or not you managed to make it to one of our talks. Click on your region below to go to your local guide and begin sussing the zero waste shopping options around you, including viewing it all on an interactive map!
We love it when you share our guides with others – please do so by sharing the link to our website, rather than copying and pasting the content of the guides and reproducing them elsewhere.
A note about the guides
We created regional, rather than city or town, guides because we recognise that in some parts of New Zealand (particularly outside urban centres) people leave their immediate area to get supplies further afield. So a regional perspective is more useful.
However, to avoid burning lots of fossil fuels, we recommend strategic shopping. So, if you know that you are going to a nearby town one day (say, for a doctor’s appointment, a bigger shop, a visit, or some other reason), and you can see you could do with a top up of some items that you can’t get locally packaging-free, then take the opportunity to get that item when you are already going out of town. Being organised enough to combine trips and do multiple things in one go, rather than driving back and forth for different purposes, is an important part of the habit changes that are part of the zero waste lifestyle.
Remember too that you don’t necessarily have to rely on shops alone to get items in smaller centres. Starting (or joining) a co-op that buys items in bulk to share amongst a group of people is another really great idea. Where we know about co-ops, we try to add these into our guides, as well as other community initiatives, like community gardens and crop swaps. If we’ve missed some good ones, then do let us know (the key thing is that the kaupapa in some way supports people to produce less waste).
Finally, a growing number of zero waste items that are essentially one-off or occasional purchases can be ordered online, rather than having to be shopped around for. In time, we hope to provide an inventory of some of these goods in a nationwide online shopping guide (watch this space…!)