This guide covers Christchurch Central businesses only. For other parts of Christchurch or to read about city-wide council and community services, or city-wide shopping options, please refer to the Zero Waste in Christchurch City homepage.
NB: All our regional guides cover as many low-waste options as we could find for food, drink, kitchen and food packaging, cleaning products and bathroom products – scroll down to view each category.
Food options (i.e. stores that offer loose items which you can put, unpackaged, into your own BYO bags/containers)
- Yogiji’s Food Mart, 569B Colombo Street – this Indian grocery store stocks a wide range of loose/unpackaged grains, lots of flours, sugar, dried fruit, nuts, legumes, spices, seeds, salt, and more.
- Piko Wholefoods, 229 Kilmore Street – this well known and loved, long-running organic bulk store stocks a range of loose/unpackaged seeds, nuts, dried fruit, grains, sugar, cereal/muesli, legumes, and more. There’s also a great range of liquid foods on tap, including syrups (e.g. maple, agave), oils (incl sesame, olive), honeys, vinegars, tahini, tamari, and more. Piko also stocks Trade Aid and Loving Earth chocolate, and Ceres Organics raw goodness bars (all of which come in home-compostable packaging).
- The Mediterranean Food Co., 322 Tuam Street – BYO container for deli food over the counter, including olives, sundried tomatoes, anchovies and cured meats/salami. Also stocks Trade Aid chocolate (which comes in Econic home-compostable packaging).
- Liberty Market, 493 Moorhouse Avenue – this super affordable organic store (we call it the Pak’n Save of organics) stocks a decent range of loose/unpackaged goods, including nuts (in shells), legumes, grains, buckwheat, seeds, sugar, salt and peanuts, as well as having a good range of produce, and organic flour in large paper bags. Also stocks Loving Earth chocolate (which comes in home-compostable packaging).
- FreshChoice City Market, 71 Lichfield Street – stocks Trade Aid‘s chocolate range (which comes in Econic home compostable packaging) and Trade Aid‘s 2kg sugar bags (which are great for upcycling as bulk bin bags, and are home compostable also). This Fresh Choice also has a decent deli and bakery range, mostly unpackaged, just bring your own bags and containers, and a pretty pricey selection of bulk bins with nuts, seeds, lollies and snacks.
- Milk – Unless Happy Cow Milk opens up again, your best bet for zero waste milk will be milk powder from a bulk bin at one of the three Bin Inns in South Christchurch or East Christchurch, or the ingredients to make non-dairy milk from a bulk bin (i.e. oats, nuts, threaded coconut, rice).
- Coffee – wherever possible, we encourage people to find places that sell whole or ground coffee beans unpackaged and have them put in BYO bags/containers. Christchurch boasts SO many roasters who are happy to do this, that it’s simply a matter of picking your favourite. In the central city, there’s Magnitude Coffee, 2/314 Tuam Street; Underground Coffee Roasters, 190 Durham Street South; Unknown Chapter, 254 St Asaph Street; Coffee Culture, 2 Elgin Street; and Black & White Coffee Cartel in three locations: 83 Victoria Street, 32 Oxford Terrace, and 71 Lichfield Street. You can also get Caffe Prima coffee (who package their coffee in Econic home-compostable packaging) at Piko Wholefoods, 229 Kilmore Street. If you prefer instant coffee, we recommend getting Trade Aid’s variety as it comes in Econic home-compostable packaging. You can find this at FreshChoice City Market, 71 Lichfield Street; Liberty Market, 493 Moorhouse Avenue; and Piko Wholefoods, 229 Kilmore Street.
- Beer – look out for places that sell beer on tap and BYO bottles/flagons to fill up. In the Centre, we found Two Thumb Brewing Co., 352 Manchester St.
- Drinking Chocolate – we’d recommend getting Kokako drinking chocolate (which, you guessed it, comes in Econic home-compostable packaging) from Piko Wholefoods.
Kitchen/food packaging alternatives
- Piko Wholefoods, 229 Kilmore Street – stocks Rethink reusable organic cotton produce bags, It’s a Wrap beeswax wraps (a great alternative to cling film), reusable metal water bottles, and wooden dishbrushes with replaceable, home compostable heads.
- Liberty Market, 493 Moorhouse Avenue – stocks wooden dishbrushes with replaceable, home compostable heads..
- Underground Coffee Roasters, 190 Durham Street South, and Coffee Culture, 2 Elgin Street – both sell branded Keep Cup reusable takeaway coffee cups.
- Hapa, Re:Start Container Mall, corners of Lichfield, Durham and Cashel Streets, and BNZ Centre, 120 Hereford Street (opening soon) – stocks Honeywrap beeswax wraps and reusable metal water bottles.
- The General Store, Plymouth Lane – stocks Cuppa Coffee Cup (NZ-made reusable takeaway coffee cup), reusable metal water bottles, and Bee Wrapt beeswax wrap.
- The Gift Shop, The Crossing, 7/166 Cashel Street – stocks beeswax wrap.
- Shut the Front Door!, 268 High Street – stocks various reusable takeaway coffee cups (including ceramic varieties, Joco cups and Frank Green), beeswax wraps, foldable shopping bags, reusable water bottles and reusable metal straws.
- Piko Wholefoods, 229 Kilmore Street – stocks bulk containers of dishwash and laundry liquid for refilling into your own containers/bottles – note that of Piko’s selection, only Aroma Naturals actually takes their bulk containers back for refill (so we recommend choosing to refill your bottles with their product – plus it’s locally-made, even better!), SoapNut NZ loose (BYO bag or container), and bars of Dr. Bronner’s castille soap which you can use as a base for homemade dishwashing and laundry liquid (see how it works here).
- Piko Wholefoods, 229 Kilmore Street – stocks locally made Kerrs Road soaps and shampoo bars wrapped in paper and beeswax wrap, bulk containers of hand wash, shampoo and conditioner for refills into a BYO container/bottle, Go Bamboo home compostable cotton buds, Greencane toilet paper (which comes in home compostable packaging), menstrual cups and washable pads, and Grin and Go Bamboo toothbrushes (both of which have wooden, home compostable handles). Pretty much a one stop shop for bathroom needs!
- Liberty Market, 493 Moorhouse Avenue – stocks Greencane toilet paper (which comes in home compostable packaging), various unpackaged bars of soap, Humble Brush toothbrushes and Go Bamboo toothbrushes (with wooden, home compostable handles) and Go Bamboo home compostable cotton buds.
- Hapa, Re:Start Container Mall, corners of Lichfield, Durham and Cashel Streets, and BNZ Centre, 120 Hereford Street (opening soon) – stocks Ethique‘s range of awesome bar alternatives to toiletries that usually come in liquid form in plastic bottles – from shampoos and shaving soaps, through to body and facial cleansers and moisturisers. All Ethique’s products come in bar form in home compostable packaging. Also sells unpackaged bars of regular soap.
- Unichem Cashel Pharmacy, 3/111 Cashel Street – stocks Ethique shampoo/beauty/shaving bars (which come packaged only in cardboard so you can ditch the plastic bottle).
- Shut the Front Door!, 268 High Street – stocks Ethique shampoo/beauty/shaving bars (which come packaged only in cardboard so you can ditch the plastic bottle).