Zero Waste in Dunedin City and Clutha District

Zero Waste in Dunedin City and Clutha District

This guide covers Dunedin City and Clutha District only. For other parts of the Otago Region, please refer to the Zero Waste in Otago homepage.

We have combined the Dunedin City and Clutha District guides onto one page as we recognise that many people who live in Clutha travel to Dunedin to do their big shops. For ease of reference though, we’ve divided the guide into the two geographical areas – Dunedin City first, and Clutha District below – so scroll down if you’re looking for businesses and services in Clutha specifically!

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. At the end of each district section, we also list community groups, council services and ideas for tricky waste streams in each district, so make sure you read down to that part too!

Dunedin City

FOOD OPTIONS (I.E. STORES THAT OFFER LOOSE ITEMS WHICH YOU CAN PUT, UNPACKAGED, INTO YOUR OWN BYO BAGS/CONTAINERS)

Wholefoods/pantry staples

Lots of pantry staples – from flours, grains and rice, through to condiments, spices, legumes, nuts, seeds and liquid foods – usually come in single-use packets. Here, we list shops that stock all manner of pantry foods loose in bulk bins (or which at least have an option for you to avoid unnecessary packaging), so that you can put these ingredients straight into your own bags, jars, containers and bottles, and skip the packaging!

  • Taste Nature, reet, Dunedin Central – easily one of the best bulk organic stores we have seen in the whole country. Taste Nature has a strong ethos of waste reduction and supporting local NZ farmers and producers, and we reckon it’s just about a one stop shop for low waste shopping. There are many, many dried foods available in bulk bins, including: seeds, legumes, dried fruit, nuts (in and out of shells), a huge variety of mostly NZ grown grains and flours, sugars, salt + condiments, spices, herbs, seaweed, yeast flakes, chilli, vanilla beans, baking needs (BS, guar, xanthan, tartar) and broth/stock powders. Also a good selection of liquid foods in bulk: oils (sunflower, olive and sesame), vinegars (apple cider, umeboshi and food grade white vinegar), tahini, tamari, syrups (maple, apple, agave, brown rice and molasses) and local honeys; they even stock pet food in bulk and loose seeds for planting. Taste Nature also do a $1 refund jar return scheme for many of their in-store products, including: pesto, hummus, vegan Mayo, jams, sauces, chutneys, pickles and relish (so just return the jar when it’s empty so that the store can sterilise and reuse it, and you’ll get a $1 back!); they also stock other companies who offer similar return/deposit schemes for their jars, such as Mac Snack macadamia butter products. 
  • Bin Inn Dunedinreet, Dunedin Central – this family-run Bin Inn is a real gem, offering a wide array of dried food in bulk bins/unpackaged (including, but not limited to, nuts, seeds, cereals, grains, legumes, flours, dried fruit, sundried tomatoes and pasta), a range of spices, sweets, treats and snacks, and several liquid foods like vinegars, oils, syrups, honeys etc. They also have a peanut butter extruder, just BYO jar! Unlike many Bin Inns around the country, this particular Bin Inn does not make a habit of repacking their bulk items into smaller packets, which we think is great because it reduces unnecessary waste. All Bin Inns across the country offer a 5% discount if you bring your own bags and containers, and you can ask for a loyalty stamp card to reward your repeat visits.
  • Health 2000 Sunray, Dunedin Central – stocks a range of unpackaged, organic dried food in bulk, including dried fruit, legumes, seeds, grains, nutritional yeast, spices, herbs, carob, coconut, sweets and more.
  • Sew Hoy Oriental Foods, 29 Stafford Street, Dunedin Central – this store buys in dried foods in bulk  but everything on their shelves is repackaged into small packs. However, they have most of the bulk food you see on the shelves in bulk out back. So when it’s not busy you can bring your own bags/containers and the storekeepers are happy to fill them up for you with whatever you’d like to buy.
  • Dunedin Asian Groceries, 4 Prince Albert Road, St Clair – looks like this shop might make some goods in store (such as tofu and pastry) or repack bulk ingredients (including dried pantry foods) into smaller packs. It’s possible that you could skip the in-store packaging and have the goods put straight into BYO bags/containers by arrangement. We didn’t have a chance to ask, but if this is your local, it may be worth asking if this is possible.
  • YourProChef Kitchen Shop, 6 Cornhill Street, North East Valley – stocks bulk spice mixes, nuts, seeds and legumes – just BYO bag/container to put it in.
  • Wild Fennel Co., 23 George Street, Port Chalmers – sells bulk spices in jars as well as seasonal and local products (e.g. unpackaged local nuts in shells), just BYO bags/containers to put it all in.
  • Supermarkets (New World Centre City, 133 Great King Street, Dunedin Central, New World Gardens, 6 North Road, North East Valley, Pak’nSave Dunedin, 86 Hillside Road, South Dunedin, FreshChoice Roslyn, 279 Highgate, Roslyn, FreshChoice Green Island, 230 Main S Road, Green Island, Four Square Port Chalmers, 63 George Street, Port Chalmers) – these supermarkets have bulk bin/pick and mix sections with wholefoods (BYO bags for these). However they’re pretty expensive, often more so than equivalent ingredients in packets (bah!), and more so than the bulk bins at Bin Inn and Taste Nature. If you’re thinking of using supermarket bulk aisles, Pak’nSave probably has the best selection for the best price.

Butchers/Fishmongers

Places that sell unpackaged meat, sausages, smallgoods and seafood, who are happy for you to BYO container to put the goods in.

  • Marbecks Foodstore, Wall Street Mall, 16/211 George Street, Dunedin Central – BYO container to get cheese and cured meats from the deli.
  • Deep Creek Deli, 35 North Road, North East Valley – this store specializes in organic and European style meats and are happy to put unpackaged meats straight into BYO containers.
  • Robertsons Meats,  527 Hillside Rd, Caversham – fresh meat, sausages and smallgoods without packaging, just BYO containers
  • Leckies Butchery, 153 Forbury Rd, St Clair – fresh meat, sausages and smallgoods without packaging, just BYO containers
  • Agora Butchery, 70A Gordon Road, Mosgiel – fresh meat, sausages and smallgoods without packaging, just BYO containers
  • Outram Butchery, 2 Mountfort Street, Outram – fresh meat, sausages and smallgoods without packaging, just BYO containers
  • Harbour Fish, 78 Great King Street, Dunedin Central – sells fresh fish, smoked fish and smoked mussels unpackaged and are happy to put these straight into BYO containers.
  • Unpackaged live mussels – there are a few stores around town that stock unpackaged live mussels at self-serve counters. We put them straight into upcycled ice cream containers/BYO containers rather than the plastic bags the stores usually provide. You can find unpackaged live mussels at New World Gardens, 6 North Road, North East Valley, Pak’nSave Dunedin, 86 Hillside Road, South Dunedin and FreshChoice Roslyn, 279 Highgate, Roslyn.
  • Try your luck with BYO containers at the supermarket delis – Most supermarkets have a deli section offering meat, seafood, olives and other antipasti, salads, lunch foods and more – all unpackaged. Some supermarkets will allow you to BYO container for these goods, while others won’t. It can be hit and miss, often depending on the staff member you talk to. For example, New World supermarkets have a flexible franchise model which means they can usually make their own in store decisions about whether to allow BYO containers or not, whereas pretty much any Countdown will not accept BYO containers. It’s always worth asking though!

Bakeries

The following stores bake and sell unpackaged bread and bakery goods (some things in some of these stores might be pre-packed or wrapped in cling film, just avoid those things!). So all you need to do is BYO bag to put the bread/bakery goods into. Some places will bag up their bread later in the day, so you want to get in there early enough before they do that (i.e. before 1pm).

  • Romeeco Bakery, 422 George Street, Dunedin Central 
  • The Kitchen Table, 111 Moray Place, Dunedin Central
  • Taste Naturereet, Dunedin Central – stocks unpackaged bread baked both in-store and by Vinbrux in Oamaru).
  • Gilbert’s Fine Food, 47 Otaki Street, South Dunedin
  • Gilbert’s on Albany, 72 Albany Street, North Dunedin – small bakery goods only, no proper loaves
  • Spelt Bakery, 481 Highgate, Maori Hill, Dunedin – stocks unpackaged bread baked in-store and no single-use bags (they have reusable ones in a box that you can borrow or just BYO bag!). Happy to put other bakery goods into BYO containers also.
  • Danish Delights, 604 Hillside Road, South Dunedin
  • Bakers Dozen, 43 Mailer Street, Mornington
  • Cottage Bakehouse, 3 Factory Road, Mosgiel
  • Otago Farmers Market, Dunedin Railway Station carpark, 1 Anzac Ave – a few vendors at the market sell bread and bakery goods unpackaged (just BYO bag): Indigo BakeriesGilbert’s Fine Food and Beano’s Bakery.
  • The following supermarkets stock unpackaged bread and/or bakery goods, just BYO bags: New World Centre City, 133 Great King Street, Dunedin Central, New World Gardens, 6 North Road, North East Valley, Pak’nSave Dunedin, 86 Hillside Road, South Dunedin, FreshChoice Roslyn, 279 Highgate, Roslyn, FreshChoice Green Island, 230 Main S Road, Green Island

Markets and other low-waste goodies you might not have thought of

  • Otago Farmers Market, Dunedin Railway Station carpark, 1 Anzac Ave – there’s nothing like going along to your local market to find packaging-free food. Shopping local is a great way to reduce waste because the food and goods don’t have to travel long distances and because you can have direct one-on-one conversations with the grower or producer, explaining that you don’t want their beautiful product in a packet, and brainstorming alternatives together (a kind of conversation/collaboration that is very difficult to have with a supermarket!!). For example, even if the seller has already packaged-up the goods, often you can ask to have them transferred to your own bag/container and have the seller keep their bag/container for reuse. Or ask the seller if they ever take back returned empties (whether glass jars for preserves or glass pottles for cosmetics/beauty products) for sterilisation and refill. Often the answer is yes! In fact, the Otago Farmers Market is strong on waste minimisation, with the organisers and stallholders all doing great things to reduce waste. The site office (right inside the main gate) has a range of things available that help you get coffee, food and other drinks in reusables – they even have an amazing cup library, from which you can borrow a cup and return upon leaving where it is then washed and sterilized for the next use! There are also many vendors who sell their products unpackaged, or else in bottles and jars that can be returned to the same vendor for sterilisation and reuse (so the packaging goes around and around): Holy Cow yoghurt, cream and mango lassi is all in returnable glass jars/bottles, and their butter is unpackaged so you can have it put straight into a BYO container or your own beeswax wrap!; Bay Road peanut butter and Botanical Kitchen plant/nut butters come in returnable glass jars (and rumour has it that Penelope behind Botanical Kitchen is opening a vegan cafe/bulk store in Dunedin later this year – keep an eye out!). There’s plenty of produce and other goods you can get unpackaged, including bread and bakery goods (see ‘bakeries’ section above). The cheese vendors, Whitestone and Evansdale, might be willing (if enough people ask) to reserve some cuts off the wheel for people who BYO containers/beeswax wraps.
  • Trade Aid, 133 George Street, Dunedin Central – Trade Aid‘s entire chocolate range comes in Econic home compostable packaging! Their 2kg sugar bags are also great for upcycling as bulk bin bags, and are home compostable also. Trade Aid’s coconut oil is one of the few on the market that does not have a plastic seal around the lid. While you can get all of Trade Aid’s food products at their store, there are also several stockists of these products around Dunedin: Taste Naturereet, Dunedin Central; New World Centre City, 133 Great King Street, Dunedin Central stocks all of the above; New World Gardens, 6 North Road, North East Valley stocks the chocolate and coconut oil; Pak’nSave Dunedin, 86 Hillside Road, South Dunedin, Health 2000 Sunray, Dunedin Central and Orphans Aid Opshop, 45 King Edward Street, South Dunedin and 21 North Road, North East Valley all stock Trade Aid chocolate and sugar; and FreshChoice Roslyn, 279 Highgate, Roslyn stocks just the chocolate.
  • Loving Earth chocolate  if you’re feeling fancy and your budget allows it, try this Australian-made raw chocolate which comes in home compostable packaging. You can find it at Taste Naturereet, Dunedin Central, Health 2000 Sunray, Dunedin Central and FreshChoice Roslyn, 279 Highgate, Roslyn (which also stocks another raw treat: Ceres Organics RAW Goodness bars, which are wrapped in Econic home compostable packaging).
  • Granny Annie’s Sweet Shop, 117 George Street, Dunedin Central – sells fudge and chocolate truffles unpackaged (BYO containers).
  • Otago Petfoods, 205 Main S Road, Green Island – stocks some unpackaged pet food (BYO bags/containers).

DRINK OPTIONS

  • Milk – Dunedin is totally sorted for zero waste milk as there are currently two companies, Holy Cow and Windy Ridge Farm, selling milk in the city in reusable glass bottles. The idea is that when you buy your first bottle you pay a bit extra to cover the cost of the bottle. After that, each time you buy a new full bottle of milk, you return the previous empty bottle to the stockist you bought the milk from, and get your new full bottle for only the price of the milk. The empties are then returned to the milk company for sterilisation and reuse – so the bottles just go around and around – true zero waste! You can get Holy Cow milk from Taste Naturereet, Dunedin Central, and at the Otago Farmers Market (along with their cream, yoghurt and mango lassi). Windy Ridge Farm milk can be bought at Blue Water Products, 4 Wharf Street, Dunedin Central, Four Square St Clair, 45 Forbury Road, Stadium Store, 94 Victoria Rd, St Kilda, Musselburgh Food Centre, 134 Musselburgh Rise, Waverley Dairy & Food Centre, 42 Larnach Road, Waverley, Pinehill Dairy, 354 Pine Hill Rd, Liberton/Pine Hill, Blacks Road Grocer, 178 North Rd, North East Valley, Spelt Bakery, 481 Highgate, Maori Hill, Dunedin, Ravensbourne Convenience Store, 217 Ravensbourne Road, Ravensbourne, Fairfield Store, 37 Main Road, Fairfield, Wal’s Plant Land, 109 Bush Road, Mosgiel, and Agora Butchery, 70A Gordon Road, Mosgiel.
  • Other milk options – If you’re not keen on the glass reuse system, for whatever reason, there’s always milk powder – you can buy this unpackaged at Bin Inn Dunedinreet, Dunedin Central, and make it up into milk at home. If you’re into non-dairy milk and want to avoid non-recyclable TetraPaks, check out Ronia & Pippi nut mylks which you can buy in reusable glass bottles at the Otago Farmers Market. Simply return your glass bottles when they’re empty and they’ll take them back for sterilisation and reuse/refill. There’s also the option of Vigour & Vitality Mylk, which comes in a glass jar – it’s a butter which you add to water to make into non-dairy milk. There are many different options available, from coconut through to hemp and a special barista blend. You can buy these at New World Centre City, 133 Great King Street, Dunedin Central.
  • 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. Dunedin boasts HEAPS of roasters who are happy to do this, so it’s simply a matter of picking your favourite: Mazagran, 36 Moray Place, Dunedin Central; Wolf at the Door, 6 Carroll Street, Dunedin Central; beans roasted by Strictly Coffee Company at their HQ & Roastery, 137 Frederick Street, North Dunedin (HQ & Roastery), or at Insomnia, 23 Bath Street, Dunedin Central;  Vanguard Specialty Coffee Co, 329 Princes Street, Dunedin Central has its Alpha blend easily available, but just call in advance for other blends; Common Ground Epsresso, 4 Strathallan Street Unit 11, South Dunedin; The Fix, 15 Frederick Street, North Dunedin; Allpress Espresso Roastery Cafe, 12 Emily Siedeberg Place, North Dunedin; Grid Coffee Roasters, 174 Eglinton Road, Mornington and at 282 North Road, North East Valley are keen on byo bags/containers (they even have buckets for the cafes they supply!); Coffee Culture, 50 City Road, Roslyn (roasted in Christchurch); and Fat Cat Coffee beans are available from the roastery, 11 Skerries Street, Outram on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 10-2, at the Otago Farmers Market, or at The Wobbly Goat Cafe, 7 Holyhead Street, Outram (the cafe is also happy to put unpackaged beans into BYO containers, you just have to ask). As well as roasters, Taste Naturereet, Dunedin Central stocks Trade Aid coffee beans in bulk, New World Centre City, 133 Great King Street, stocks Hummingbird coffee beans in bulk (probably the cheapest option in town for unpackaged, organic and fairtrade coffee beans), and Bin Inn Dunedinreet, Dunedin Central, stocks unpackaged coffee beans too.
  • Instant Coffee – Trade Aid instant coffee comes in Econic home compostable packaging. You can find this at Trade Aid, 133 George Street, Dunedin Central, Orphans Aid Opshop, 45 King Edward Street, South Dunedin and 21 North Road, North East Valley, New World Centre City, 133 Great King Street and FreshChoice Roslyn, 279 Highgate, Roslyn.
  • Tea – most tea bags have plastic in them, so we encourage people to drink loose leaf teas. We’re always on the lookout for loose leaf teas that you can get unpackaged. You can get lots of loose leaf teas in Dunedin at Taste Naturereet, Dunedin Central (as well as unpackaged tea bags by Kerrindale and Trade Aid), and plain black tea leaves at Bin Inn Dunedinreet, Dunedin Central.
  • Beer/alcohol – look out for places that sell beer on tap and BYO bottles/flagons to fill up. Most of Dunedin’s great breweries will do this for you, including New New New Corporation, 218 Crawford Street, Dunedin Central, Green Man Brewery, 9 Grange Street, North Dunedin, Meenan Wines & Spirits, 750 Great King St, North Dunedin (who also do vodka lemonade and none other than Speights on tap), and of course the world famous Emerson’s, 70 Anzac Ave, Dunedin Central. There are a few liquor stores around town that have beer on tap too where you can BYO riggers, like Henry’s, Corner Hanover & Great King Streets, Dunedin Central, Liquor King, Corner Hillside and Helena Streets, Caversham, Liquorland Anderson’s Bay, 408 Andersons Bay Road, South Dunedin, and The Portsider Tap Room, 31 George Street, Port Chalmers. Finally, for unpackaged brewing supplies (including malt and hops), and even spirits on tap (yes, you read correctly – spirits on tap!!!), head to Dunedin Malthouse, 596 Hillside Rd, Caversham.
  • Drinking Chocolate – find unpackaged/loose Trade Aid hot chocolate mix and cocoa powder, and Kokako drinking chocolate (which comes in Econic home compostable packaging) at Taste Naturereet, Dunedin Central. You can also get cheap unbranded drinking chocolate from a bulk bin at Bin Inn Dunedinreet, Dunedin Central.
  • Juice – Ronia & Pippi also do cold press juices which you can buy in reusable glass bottles at the Otago Farmers Market. Simply return your glass bottles when they’re empty and they’ll take them back for sterilisation and reuse/refill. Head to Wests cordial/soft drink factory shop, 135 Bay View Road, South Dunedin, and check out what they have on tap that you can fill into your own bottle. It was pineapple and pear juice when we visited, but they may be willing to fill your own bottle with other juices/cordials/syrups too – just ask!
  • Kombucha – you can get Occuculture kombucha on tap at Taste Nature, reet, Dunedin Central. There’s also Kapowai Brewing Co. organic kombucha available at the Otago Farmers Market, and they do a bottle swap too (return your empties for a refund and they’ll take them back for sterilisation and refill).

KITCHEN/FOOD PACKAGING ALTERNATIVES

Reusable drinking vessels (cups and water bottles)

Get reusable water bottles at Taste Nature,reet, Dunedin Central (metal and glass), Design Withdrawals, 7 Moray Place, Dunedin Central (metal), Dunedin Public Art Gallery, 30 The Octagon (metal), Doodlefish, 40 Stuart Street, Dunedin Central (metal), Marbecks Foodstore, Wall Street Mall, 16/211 George Street, Dunedin Central (metal), Moi Design, 309 George Street, Dunedin Central and 1 Bedford Street, St Claire (glass and metal), Blacks Road Grocer, 178 North Rd, North East Valley (metal) and Blackbird Gifts, 74 Highgate, Roslyn.

Say “no more” to disposable takeaway coffee cups and plastic water bottles by getting yourself reusables instead! There are heaps of places to buy reusable takeaway coffee cups in Dunedin:

  • Find the Keep Cup brand at Vanguard Specialty Coffee Co, 329 Princes Street, Dunedin Central, Taste Nature,reet, Dunedin Central, The Corner Store, 134 Stuart Street, Dunedin Central, Marbecks Foodstore, Wall Street Mall, 16/211 George Street, Dunedin Central, OCHO, 22 Vogel Street, Dunedin Central, Insomnia by Strictly Coffee, 23 Bath Street, Dunedin Central, Moi Design, 309 George Street, Dunedin Central, Strictly Coffee CompanyHQ & Roastery, 137 Frederick Street, North Dunedin, Common Ground Epsresso, 4 Strathallan Street Unit 11, South Dunedin, Starfish Cafe, 240 Forbury Road, St Clair, Coffee Culture, 50 City Road, Roslyn and at the Site Office and at Hussey & Laredo‘s food cart at the Otago Farmers Market.
  • Get the NZ-made Cuppa Coffee Cup at Design Withdrawals, 7 Moray Place, Dunedin Central, Doodlefish, 40 Stuart Street, Dunedin Central, @cquisitions, 251 George Street, Dunedin Central, Grid Coffee Roasters, 174 Eglinton Road, Mornington and at 282 North Road, North East Valley, and Green Island Post & Paper, 193 Main S Road, Green Island
  • The Oasis Eco Cup (made with a bamboo fibre/plastic composite mix) is sold at Marbecks Foodstore, Wall Street Mall, 16/211 George Street, Dunedin Central, Blacks Road Grocer, 178 North Rd, North East Valley and Grid Coffee Roasters, 174 Eglinton Road, Mornington.
  • There’s also the flash Frank Green brand sold at Moi Design, 309 George Street, Dunedin Central and Coffee Culture, 50 City Road, Roslyn.
  • The Joco brand at Precinct, 125 Vogel Street, Dunedin Central.
  • Cheap stainless steel travel mug/coffee cups at Mitchells Four Square, 43 Holyhead Street, Outram.

If you’re heading to the Otago Farmers Market and once there you feel like a drink or even soup, but you’ve forgotten your own cup, never fear, check out the market’s cup library – you can borrow a cup to get the goods in and then return it upon leaving and they will be washed, sterilized and ready for the next person. Woo!

Reusable lunch boxes/containers

Reusable lunch boxes or containers are great to have on you when you’re out and about in case you want to get takeaways, to carry leftovers home with you, or if you find food to forage. Taste Nature, reet, Dunedin Central stocks Meals in Steel stainless steel lunchboxes and U-Konserve stainless steel containers with silicone lids.

Reusable bags (shopping bags, produce bags and bulk bin bags)

Plastic shopping bags are a menace, but so too are those plastic produce bags for fruit and vege or the plastic bags often offered alongside bulk bins at bulk stores. You can avoid them by bringing your own bags or buying a set of reusable produce bags. New World Centre City, 133 Great King Street, Dunedin Central stocks My Vita Bag produce and bulk bags and Rethink 100% organic cotton produce and string bags, Taste Nature, reet, Dunedin Central stocks Rethink produce and bulk bags, FreshChoice Roslyn, 279 Highgate, Roslyn stocks Green Collective Loot Bags (100% cotton bulk bags), the Craft Room on 87, 87 Holyhead Street, Outram sells crocheted bags, and the Otago Farmers Market sells net produce bags and shopping bags, and also has a bag library for you to borrow a bag and bring back the next week.

Reusable straws

Say “no straw thanks” next time you order a drink out and either use your mouth to drink, or get yourself a reusable metal straw instead. If you’re keen on a reusable metal straw, you can get them from Taste Nature, reet, Dunedin Central, Bin Innreet, Dunedin Central, The Outpost, 78 George Street, Dunedin Central, Common Ground Epsresso, 4 Strathallan Street Unit 11, South Dunedin, Blackbird Gifts, 74 Highgate, Roslyn and FreshChoice Roslyn, 279 Highgate, Roslyn.

Alternatives to plastic cling wrap, plastic sandwich bags and tin foil
  • Reusable sandwich bags – Taste Nature, reet, Dunedin Central stocks Munch bags and sandwich wraps, and Rosie’s, 140 Gordon Road, Mosgiel stocks Sachi reusable lunch pockets. Also check out Ginger Pye, Dunedin-made sandwich wraps, yay!
  • Beeswax wrap – find at Taste Nature, reet, Dunedin Central (the Munch and Honeywrap brands), Doodlefish, 40 Stuart Street, Dunedin Central (the Cover Up brand), Common Ground Epsresso, 4 Strathallan Street Unit 11, South Dunedin, Marbecks Foodstore, Wall Street Mall, 16/211 George Street, Dunedin Central (the Kaka Point brand), the Craft Room on 87, 87 Holyhead Street, Outram (the Raw Designs brand), and at the Otago Farmers Market site office. NOTE: making your own beeswax wrap is much cheaper than buying it pre-made. To make it yourself you need to get natural fibre fabric (cotton) and unpackaged beeswax. Threads Bernina Needlecraft, 133 Great King Street, Dunedin Central, Elna Sewing and Jan’s Patch, 30 Ascot Street, St Kilda and De Winkle, 128 Gordon Road, Mosgiel are all great spots to get offcuts/discounted cotton fabric with pretty patterns. You could also look for natural fibre fabric at the Stitch Kitchen Swap Shop, 88 Vogel Street, Dunedin (note that Swap Shop is not always open – you can access it during a workshop or by appointment). Get unpackaged beeswax from Taste Nature, reet, Dunedin Central and Bennie’s Honey at the Otago Farmers Market (super cheap!).
  • Silicone pot/bowlcovers – a good option for storing leftovers in a bowl (other than just putting a plate on top!) or as an alternative to tin foil for roasting (as the covers can withstand temperatures of up to 220 degrees). Find at @cquisitions, 251 George Street, Dunedin Central, Marbecks Foodstore, Wall Street Mall, 16/211 George Street, Dunedin Central, and Rosie’s, 140 Gordon Road, Mosgiel

Low-waste dishwashing

You can find dishbrushes with wooden handles and removable + replaceable, home compostable heads at Taste Nature, reet, Dunedin Central, the Dunedin Public Art Gallery, 30 The Octagon (the Topfburste brand), and Olivier Home, 468 George Street, Dunedin Central. You can also get Go Bamboo veggie brushes (which can also be used as a dishbrush, and are also home compostable) at Bin Inn Dunedinreet, Dunedin Central, FreshChoice Roslyn, 279 Highgate, Roslyn and again at Olivier Home. We also encourage people to move away from using dishclothes, sponges and bench wipes made out of synthetic material (as these leach microfibres and they’re also destined for landfill when they wear down) and to use natural fibre cloths instead. Pak’nSave Dunedin, 86 Hillside Road, South Dunedin, New World Gardens, 6 North Road, North East Valley and Four Square Caversham, 263 South Road, Caversham all stock the Budget brand 100% cotton dishcloth. You can get the fancy Bianca Lorenne 100% cotton cloths at Moi Design, 309 George Street, Dunedin Central and 1 Bedford Street, St Claire. You can also get the Wet It 100% cotton/cellulose (home compostable) dishcloths at Taste Nature, reet, Dunedin Central and Marbecks Foodstore, Wall Street Mall, 16/211 George Street, Dunedin Central.

CLEANING PRODUCTS

  • Bin Inn Dunedinreet, Dunedin Central – here you can get refills of liquid cleaning products by Ecostore and Dr Bronner’s (as well as many chemical based cleaners) – just BYO bottle to fill up. This Bin Inn also stocks loose/unpackaged washing soda, Epsom salts, diatomaceous earth and soapnut shells in bulk bins, as well as Soapnuts in cotton bags, and Go Bamboo pegs made from bamboo with a metal spring mechanism.
  • Taste Nature, reet, Dunedin Central – here you can get refills of non-food grade white vinegar, Orchard Organic all purpose cleaner, and liquid cleaning products by Ecostore and Dr Bronner’s (just BYO bottle). This store also stocks loose unpackaged laundry and dishwash powders, soap nuts, Epsom salts, washing soda, aluminium-free baking soda (and more!) in bulk bins, bars of Dr Bronner’s castile soap, which you can use as a base for homemade dishwashing and laundry liquid (see how it works here) and Go Bamboo pegs made from bamboo with a metal spring mechanism.
  • Pak’nSave Dunedin, 86 Hillside Road, South Dunedin – stocks Eco Planet laundry powder (which comes in a cardboard box with a cardboard scoop – no plastic lining!)
  • New World Gardens, 6 North Road, North East Valley – stocks Eco Planet and Next Generation laundry powders (which both come in a cardboard box with a cardboard scoop – no plastic lining!)
  • FreshChoice Roslyn, 279 Highgate, Roslyn – stocks Eco Planet laundry powder (which comes in a cardboard box with a cardboard scoop – no plastic lining!) and Go Bamboo pegs made from bamboo with a metal spring mechanism.
  • Knit World, 68 Princes Street, Dunedin Central – stocks locally made little unpackaged bars of castile soap, which you can use as a base for homemade dishwashing and laundry liquid (see how it works here).
  • Health 2000 Sunray and Health 2000 Golden Centre, Shop 19/251 George Street, Dunedin Central – stocks bars of Dr Bronner’s castile soap which you can use as a base for homemade dishwashing and laundry liquid (see how it works here).

BATHROOM PRODUCTS

  • Bamboo Toothbrushes – these are a great alternative to plastic toothbrushes because they have wooden, home compostable handles (though bristles are still plastic and need to be removed from the handle and put in a rubbish bin). You can get the Humble Brush brand at Taste Nature, reet, Dunedin Central, Antidote South, South City Mall, 132 Hillside Road, South Dunedin, Dunedin City Pharmacy, 22 Princes Street, Dunedin Central, Antidote Octagon, 2 George Street, Dunedin Central, Unichem Knox Pharmacy, 402 George Street, Dunedin Central, Life Pharmacy, Wall Street Mall, 211 George Street, Dunedin Central, Unichem Centre City Pharmacy, 133 Great King Street, Dunedin Central and Unichem Roslyn Pharmacy, 287A Highgate, Roslyn. You’ll find the Go Bamboo brand at Taste NatureBin Inn Dunedin, reet, Dunedin Central, Health 2000 Sunray, Dunedin Central, New World Centre City, 133 Great King Street, Dunedin Central, New World Gardens, 6 North Road, North East Valley and FreshChoice Roslyn, 279 Highgate, Roslyn (which also stocks The Eco Brush brand).
  • Unpackaged bars of Soap – find at Taste Nature, reet, Dunedin Central, Bin Inn Dunedin, reet, Dunedin Central (both have Ecostore bars), Lush, Wall Street Retail, 209 – 233 George Street, Dunedin Central, I Love Pretty, 475 Princes Street, Dunedin Central, Living Light, 145 Stuart Street, Dunedin Central, @cquisitions, 251 George Street, Dunedin Central, Dunedin City Pharmacy, 22 Princes Street, Dunedin Central (cardboard wrapped), Unichem Centre City Pharmacy, 133 Great King Street, Dunedin Central, Favourite Interiors, 295 Highgate, Roslyn, Blackbird Gifts, 74 Highgate, Roslyn, Bloomin Gorgeous, 19 North Road, North East Valley (some locally made), Georgie Girl, 15 George Street, Port Chalmers, Green Island Boutique Pharmacy, 195b Main S Road, Green Island (both stock Inga Ford Dunedin made soaps), Larson’s Pharmacy, 216 Main S Road, Green Island, Made & Found, 135A Gordon Road, Mosgiel, Craft Room on 87, 87 Holyhead Street, Outram and Country Trader Crafts, Holyhead Street, Outram (stocks Inga Ford soaps).
  • Bars for Shampoo/Shaving/Deodorant/Moisturiser – We’d encourage you to get your everyday toiletries – from shampoo through to shaving soap – in bar form, which means you totally avoid the plastic/aluminium bottles that liquid products usually come in! For deodorant, look no further than the locally-made Pitstop Power – you can get bars of this deodorant, totally unpackaged, directly from Danielle who makes them (just contact her directly to arrange a pick up), or you can buy them in a cardboard box wrapped in home compostable baking paper from Taste Nature, reet, Dunedin Central, Bin Inn Dunedin, reet, Dunedin Central, Unichem Roslyn Pharmacy, 287A Highgate, Roslyn, and for other stockists, check the list on the Pitstop Power website. For a range of other bar versions of items that traditionally come in plastic bottles (shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, shaving bars, moisturiser), check out the popular Ethique range, which you can get from Farmers, 150-180 George Street, Dunedin Central, Life Pharmacy, Wall Street Mall, 211 George Street, Dunedin Central, Unichem Roslyn Pharmacy, 287A Highgate, Roslyn and Unichem Central Pharmacy, 130 Gordon Road, Mosgiel – all of Ethique‘s bars come in home compostable packaging. Lush, Wall Street Retail, 209 – 233 George Street, Dunedin Central also sells its own shampoo bars (though they are not a natural shampoo and have SLS in them). If you really want to stick to liquids, bring your own bottle to Taste Nature, reet, Dunedin Central and make user of their N.O.M shampoo and conditioner refills, or Bin Inn Dunedin, reet, Dunedin Central that offers Ecostore shampoo and conditioner refills.
  • Menstrual Cups – these are zero waste, low cost alternatives to disposable sanitary items like tampons and pads. You can buy menstrual cups at Taste Nature, reet, Dunedin Central (Lunette and DivaCup), Dunedin City Pharmacy, 22 Princes Street, Dunedin Central (the DivaCup brand), Life Pharmacy, Wall Street Mall, 211 George Street, Dunedin Central (My Cup), Health 2000 Golden Centre, Shop 19/251 George Street, Dunedin Central (DivaCup), Albany Street Pharmacy, 27 Albany Street, North Dunedin (DivaCup), New World Gardens, 6 North Road, North East Valley (Oi), Unichem Taieri Pharmacy, 2 Factory Road, Mosgiel (My Cup) and Unichem Central Pharmacy, 130 Gordon Road, Mosgiel.
  • Shaving – avoid plastic shavers that are designed to be disposable and go for 100% metal razors that will last you decades and only require the 100% metal and recyclable blades to be replaced (or sharpened with a leather strop!), and remember to use a bar of shaving soap instead of shaving foam that comes in an aerosol can – you’ll need a shaving brush to make this work. You can buy razors, replacement blades and shaving brushes from Michael Shanks Hair Design, 218 Princes Street, Dunedin Central, Selwyn Grave Barber, 276 Moray Place, Dunedin Central and The Barber Shop, 277 King Edward Street, South Dunedin; get shaving brushes from Moi Design, 1 Bedford Street, St Claire, Health 2000 SunrayTaste Nature, reet, Dunedin Central (also packaged in cardboard and some unpackaged).
  • Cotton Buds – Go Bamboo makes home compostable buds so you can avoid the single-use, unrecyclable plastic ones. Get them from Taste Nature, reet, Dunedin Central, Bin Inn Dunedin, reet, Dunedin Central, New World Centre City, 133 Great King Street, Dunedin Central, New World Gardens, 6 North Road, North East Valley and FreshChoice Roslyn, 279 Highgate, Roslyn.
  • Other – Taste Nature, reet, Dunedin Central offers sunscreen refills (BYO bottle), unpackaged dog soap, their Real Skin lotions can be refilled and the Natural Me Skin Care range they stock comes in aluminium and glass returnable containers. Living Light, 145 Stuart Street, Dunedin Central sells beautiful natural handmade candles (incl refillable coconut shell candles). Bloomin Gorgeous, 19 North Road, North East Valley sells unpackaged bath bombs. For some zero waste fragrances, try the unpackaged Scentchips from @cquisituons, 251 George Street, Dunedin Central.

Community groups, supportive networks and help with tricky waste streams

  • Food waste – food waste and scraps going to landfill not only produces methane, but also represents the loss of an excellent resource that could be turned into compost to enrich our soil, or, if the discarded food was still edible, the loss of perfectly good food that could go to someone that wants to eat it! If you would like to set up your own home compost, worm farm or bokashi system, note that the Dunedin City Council does subsidise the price of a bokashi bin – so go to one of their customer service points and buy directly from them. If you are a Dunedin-based business chucking out food that is still edible but not saleable, you can get in touch with KiwiHarvest – an excellent initiative that takes from businesses edible food that would otherwise go to waste, and redistributes it to people who need it.
  • E-waste – electronic waste is the world’s fastest growing waste stream, with huge environmental implications because of the toxins that can be leached from this waste, but also the loss of incredibly precious resources embedded in these items that are not recovered when the waste is dumped in landfill. Rather than throwing you broken electronics out – have you considered trying to get them repaired first? You could pay someone to do it, or look out for Repair or Fix-it Cafes where experts donate their time to fix people’s broken items for free at a designated repair event (usually run by community centres, churches or councils). If your electronics really have given up the ghost, rather than chucking them out, take them to Cargill Enterprises, 199 Hillside Road, South Dunedin, a social enterprise that accepts a wide range of electronics for recycling. Or else, at the Rummage Store at the Green Island Resource Recovery Centre there’s a collection point for some types of e-waste to be taken for recycling. These recycling services will come at a cost to you (until the Government starts to regulate manufacturers of these products), but it’s a small cost relative to damage these items otherwise cause in landfill.
  • Community gardens – community gardens are an excellent way for residents to get kai without packaging, and to learn skills of growing food and setting up composts – both very useful skills for low-waste living. There are several community gardens dotted around the region, including the North East Valley Community Garden, 213 North Road, North Easy Valley; and Green Island Community Garden, Shand Street, Green Island. There is also the AMAZING Otago Polytechnic Living Campus project which has taken gardening to a whole new level, co-opting the whole of the university’s green space into different types of sustainable living operations. There’s heaps of food all around and anyone is welcome to pick. You can also attend workshops that are run on various aspects of the Living Campus. Awesome! Community gardens are always looking for volunteers to help out and come along to working bees, so if you are interested in picking up gardening skills, or if you are already a keen gardener and would like to have the opportunity to share your skill with others, consider getting involved with your local community garden.
  • The Valley Project – based in North Easy Valley this community group umbrellas lots of amazing projects, many of which can help with low-waste lifestyles. This includes the North East Valley Community Garden, as well as the Valley Community Workspace which runs activities such as bike workshops – where you can get a done-up, preloved bike for a great price, or even negotiate bike repairs – and a welding workshop, among other interesting projects.
  • Local zero waste advocates – Dunedin has its own waste-free advocates that share their tips and tricks publically. Sarah Tay, AKA Waste Free Sarah is a Dunedin local who has been living by zero waste principles since roughly 2016. She shares tips and insights on her Facebook page Waste Free Sarah AND she runs low-waste living workshops around Dunedin! So definitely check Sarah out. Dr Maureen Howard also lives low waste in Dunedin and she runs a radio show on sustainable living called Eco Living in Action on Otago Access Radio, which includes interviews that touch on waste issues.
  • Menzshed/Community Sheds – Menzsheds provide a great opportunity for men of all ages to share tools and a workspace (reducing the wasteful overduplication of these resources) and to pass on skills of woodworking and other trades. Menzsheds frequently offer communities the service of repairing broken items like furniture (at a small cost), and also creating bespoke items for community and charitable purposes. Note that many sheds around NZ are gender neutral community sheds. Definitely look up your local – there are Sheds in North and South Dunedin and Green Island.
  • The Crooked Spoke, 111 Moray Place, Dunedin – is your bike a bit munted or in need of repair? Have you found an old bicycle that looks worse for wear? Don’t chuck them out! Take the bike to The Crooked Spoke and have a go at learning how to fix it up, with the support of some on-to-it volunteers, at this DIY bicycle workshop in Dunedin.
  • Toy Libraries – reduce the wasteful over-consumption of toys and save money by joining a toy library! Check out this guide to find the nearest Toy Library to you.
  • Pikaado Skill Sharing – low-waste lifestyles often require us to re-learn old skills that enable us to make, prepare and repair things at home that we might otherwise have to buy pre-made in a packet, or brand new. In Dunedin, Kate Gray and Burcu Cakmak have set up the most amazing of projects, Pikaado. Pikaado provides a platform for people with knowledge of a particular skill to create a profile and host a workshop to teach their passion to whoever signs up. Pikaado is a way of sharing knowledge, connecting local communities and meeting people who are interested in the things that you are. Some of the workshops available include making beeswax wraps, cooking, sauerkraut, kombucha tiny houses for beginners. The list goes on, as does the potential! If there’s a skill that you have that could help others to live low-waste, or if there’s a skill you’d like to learn, sign up! You can even put out requests for workshops on specific topics, so it’s a pretty amazing platform.
  • Stitch Kitchen (formerly Just Atelier), 88 Vogel Street, Dunedin – textile waste is one of NZ’s fastest growing waste streams. Meanwhile, basic skills of sewing and repairing clothes are essential for a low-waste lifestyle. So what better than an organisation like Stitch Kitchen that aims to reduce textile waste AND pass on the skills of sewing and repair?! Stitch Kitchen is run by Fiona Clements, Fiona Jenkin and Glenys Clements. The organisation focuses on local solutions to the global problem of social and environmental waste in the fashion industry. They work with upcycled fabrics and also run regular workshops and classes to support people into basic sewing skills. Their Vogel Street headquarters has sewing equipment available that many might not have access to. They operate a fabric Swap Shop too, where any one can leave textiles they don’t have use for, and anyone in need of textiles for a sewing project can come and take, in an exchange for other textiles, books, patterns, or volunteer time. The Swap Shop is open during workshops or by appointment.
  • Our Food Network – harvesting and eating local food is a great way to reduce waste because the food doesn’t need to be so heavily packaged, you might even be able to get it yourself straight from the tree, or find ways to help producers get food to you without packaging. Our Food Network is a local organisation that’s completely focused on stimulating the production, distribution and consumption of local food, recognising that this can lead to a more resilient and prosperous community. The Network does things like helping people with lots of produce at home who’d like to share this food to harvest that produce and redistribute it to others, or getting together to run Neighbourhood Food Harvests, or store and preserve local food (like cider making!). The Network also runs or promotes workshops on topics such as gardening, organic principles and sustainable food systems. If you’d like to become a member, or receive more information, contact Andy Barratt on asbarratt@gmail.com.
  • Pregnancy Help Dunedin, Shop 2a, Ground Floor, South City Mall, Hillside Road, Dunedin – if you’re about to become a new parent or are a parent with baby items that you no longer need and wish to pass on, Pregnancy Help is a great place to get secondhand baby items and clothes rather than having to buy brand new. They also have a Nappy Bank, providing access to reusable nappies and inserts, to help you to shift away from disposables. They even have locals sewing reusable bags to give out! All of the services Pregnancy Help provides are free and donations of items to pass on to families are always welcomed.
  • UYOC (Use Your Own Cup) – while a nationwide service, this amazing directory is run from Dunedin! UYOC provides a directory of cafes and eateries that allow people to use their own cups (and they even identify places that offer a discount for BYO cups). UYOC has gotten so successful on the cup-front that it has expanded the number of metrics you can look up on its directory, including ethically sourced coffee beans, responsible food waste practices, no plastic straws, allowing water bottle refills and so on. An excellent tool to help you choose where to get your daily fix 😉 To top it off, ALL of UYOC’s profits are donated to a selection of local, national and international charities.
  • Dunedin Curtain Bank, Level 1, 174 Princes Street – a great organisation taking unused/unwanted curtains, tidying them up and then redistributing them to those who need them in Dunedin. If you’re in need of curtains or have old/spare curtains you’re able to donate to save them from going to landfill, take them to the curtain bank.
  • Bags for Good – a local initiative run by Plastic Free Dunedin and Just Atelier Trust to turn secondhand/upcycled/repurposed fabric into reusable bags as alternatives to plastic shopping bags for shoppers that have forgotten their own. If you’re interested in helping out and sewing some bags, Bags for Good are always keen for volunteers. It’s a great way to learn to sew (if you don’t know already) while helping to reduce plastic bag consumption. Check out their Facebook page to find out when the next working bee is taking place.

Clutha District

FOOD OPTIONS (I.E. STORES THAT OFFER LOOSE ITEMS WHICH YOU CAN PUT, UNPACKAGED, INTO YOUR OWN BYO BAGS/CONTAINERS)

 Wholefoods, Sweets and Snacks in Bulk Bins

Lots of pantry staples – from flours, grains and rice, through to condiments, spices, legumes, nuts, seeds and liquid foods – usually come in single-use packets. In Clutha there is a lack of shops stocking pantry foods unpackaged in bulk bins (or which at least have an option for you to avoid unnecessary packaging). The only options for food in bulk bins which you can put into BYO bags/containers were:

  • New World Balclutha, 9 Lanark Street, Balclutha – this supermarket has a bulk bin/pick and mix section with wholefoods, snack items and sweets (BYO bags for these). However they’re pretty expensive, often more so than equivalent ingredients in packets (bah!).
  • Four Square Tokomairiro, 207 Union Street, Milton – has a small bulk bin/pick and mix section with nuts, sweets and snacks.
  • Night ‘n Day Balclutha, 25 Essex Street, Balclutha, Four Square Rosebank, 180 Clyde Street, Balclutha and Night ‘n Day Milton, 24 Union Street, Milton – all stock bulk/pick and mix sweets.

Butchers/Fishmongers

Places that sell unpackaged meat, sausages, smallgoods and seafood, and are happy to put these unpackaged goods straight into your BYO container so you can skip the packaging:

  • Blue Spur Butchery, 13a Ross Place, Lawrence
  • Bottings Butchery, 188 Clyde Street, Balclutha
  • Suzie’s Milton Butchery, 66 Union Street, Milton
  • Tiny’s Milton Butchery38 Union Street, Milton – Tiny’s is a home kill service who normally wraps the meat in plastic. If you want homekill processed here then it’s worth asking about alternatives to plastic.
  • New World Balclutha, 9 Lanark Street, Balclutha – this New World sells unpackaged live mussels at a self-serve counter. We put these straight into upcycled ice cream containers/BYO container rather than the plastic bags the store provides. This supermarket also has a deli section offering meat, seafood, olives and other antipasti, salads, lunch foods and more – all unpackaged. Some supermarkets will allow you to BYO container for these goods, while others won’t. It can be hit and miss, often depending on the staff member you talk to. New World supermarkets do have a flexible franchise model, which means they can usually make their own in store decisions about whether to allow BYO containers or not, so it’s always worth asking, even if you have been turned down before!

Bakeries

The following stores bake and sell unpackaged bread and bakery goods (some things in some of these stores might be pre-packed or wrapped in cling film, just avoid those things!). All you need to do is BYO bag to put the bread/bakery goods into. Some places will bag up their bread later in the day, so you want to get in there early enough before they do that (i.e. before 1pm).

  • Occasional Bakery, Taieri Mouth – beautiful artisan sourdough bread baked by a Taieri Mouth local – BYO bag when you pick it up! It isn’t called the Occasional Bakery for nothing though, so keep an eye out on the Taieri Mouth Community Facebook page for baking days and note that you need to request bread in advance.
  • Night ‘n Day Balclutha, 25 Essex Street, Balclutha – stocks unpackaged bread rolls, just BYO bag.
  • New World Balclutha, 9 Lanark Street, Balclutha – stocks a few unpackaged bread rolls and bakery things, just BYO bag.
  • Four Square Tokomairiro, 207 Union Street, Milton – here they sell some bread and bakery goods baked at the New World in Balclutha, but they are all pre-bagged in plastic before they arrive. It may be worth asking if they might be able to truck them over unpackaged.

DRINK OPTIONS

  • Milk – Clutha is very lucky to have Windy Ridge Farmwho sell milk in reusable/reused glass bottles. Windy Ridge Farm milk can be bought at Blue Spur Butchery, 13a Ross Place, Lawrence, Cafe Lola, 81 Union Street, Milton, Suzie’s Milton Butchery, 66 Union Street, Milton, Four Square Rosebank, 180 Clyde Street, Balclutha, Liquorland Clutha, 70 Clyde Street, Balclutha, Kai’s T & P Takeaways, 35 Eddystone St, Kaitangata, Four Sqaure Owaka, 3 Ovenden Street, Owaka. Windy Ridge Farm uses glass milk bottles which you bring back when empty for sterilisation and reuse. So, when you buy your first bottle, you pay slightly more to cover the deposit on your bottles. When you’ve finished the milk, return the empty bottles and labels clean and you can either have your deposit refunded or just buy your next bottle of fresh milk (at a lower price the second time).
  • Beer – look out for places that sell beer on tap and BYO bottles/flagons to fill up. Liquorland Clutha, 70 Clyde Street, Balclutha does this, and don’t forget about ‘swappa crates’ of beer (which you can get at Liquorland Clutha and Liquorland Milton, 147 Union Street, Milton) – i.e. crates of twelve 745ml bottles of classic NZ beer (e.g. Lion Red/Brown, Speights, DB, Tui, Export Gold etc.) which can be returned (when the bottles are empty) so that the bottles can then be sterilised and reused (a better outcome for glass bottles than recycling because reusing the same bottle over and over requires way less energy and resources than recycling).

KITCHEN/FOOD PACKAGING ALTERNATIVES

Reusable water bottles

Say “no more” to plastic water bottles by getting yourself a reusable instead! Get stainless steel water bottles at Black Swan Cafe Gift Shop, 40 Greenwich Street, Waihola and Ladybird Junction, 12 Elizabeth Street, Balclutha.

Beeswax wrap
 
These are a great reusable alternative to cling film. You can get the local Kaka Point Honey Company beeswax wraps at Ladybird Junction, 12 Elizabeth Street, Balclutha. NOTE: making your own beeswax wrap is much cheaper than buying it pre-made. To make it yourself you need to get natural fibre fabric (cotton) and unpackaged beeswax. Ladybird Junction sells fat quarters with pretty patterns. Get unpackaged beeswax from Bennie’s Honey at the Otago Farmers Market in Dunedin (super cheap!).

Low-waste dishcloths

We encourage people to move away from using dishclothes, sponges and bench wipes made out of synthetic material (as these leach microfibres and they’re also destined for landfill when they wear down) and to use natural fibre cloths instead.  Four Square Lawrence, 19 Ross Place, Lawrence and New World Balclutha, 9 Lanark Street, Balclutha stock the Budget brand 100% cotton dishcloths.

CLEANING PRODUCTS

  • New World Balclutha, 9 Lanark Street, Balclutha – stocks Eco Planet laundry powder (which comes in a cardboard box with a cardboard scoop – no plastic lining!).
  • Health 2000 Clutha, 68a Clyde Street, Balclutha – stocks bars of Dr Bronner’s castile soap which you can use as a base for homemade dishwashing and laundry liquid (see how it works here), and SoapNuts – a compostable alternative to laundry detergent (this brand comes in a cardboard box with no plastic lining).

BATHROOM PRODUCTS

  • Bamboo Toothbrushes – these are a great alternative to plastic toothbrushes because they have wooden, home compostable handles (though bristles are still plastic and need to be removed from the handle and put in a rubbish bin). You can get the Humble Brush brand at Milton Pharmacy, 71 Union Street, Milton; the Go Bamboo brand at Health 2000 Clutha, 68a Clyde Street, Balclutha; the Grin brand at Unichem Grays Pharmacy, 62 Clyde Street, Balclutha; and an unbranded bamboo toothbrush at Ladybird Junction, 12 Elizabeth Street, Balclutha.
  • Unpackaged bars of Soap – find hand made soaps at Unique Living, 11 Ross Place, Lawrence, and the lovely Dunedin-made Inga Ford soaps unpackaged at Black Swan Cafe Gift Shop, 40 Greenwich Street, Waihola. There’s also Horse & Hound animal shampoo bars for sale either unpackaged or in cardboard at Matau Garden Centre, 33 Charlotte Street, Balclutha.
  • Bars for Shampoo/Shaving/Deodorant/Moisturiser – We’d encourage you to get your everyday toiletries – from shampoo through to shaving soap – in bar form, which means you totally avoid the plastic/aluminium bottles that liquid products usually come in! Luckily, there’s a wonderful local Balclutha soap maker who makes a wide range of such toiletries in bar form Simple Naked Soap. You can buy these online or at a farmers market near you! You can order them unpackaged, or else in a small reusable cotton bag.
  • Shaving Brushes – instead of using shaving foam that comes in an aerosol can, use a bar of shaving soap (e.g. from Simple Naked Soap or Ethique) – but you’ll need a shaving brush to make this work. You can buy these brushes from Milton Pharmacy, 71 Union Street, Milton and Unichem Grays Pharmacy, 62 Clyde Street, Balclutha.

Community groups, supportive networks and help with tricky waste streams

  • Food waste – food waste and scraps going to landfill not only produces methane, but also represents the loss of an excellent resource that could be turned into compost to enrich our soil, or, if the discarded food was still edible, the loss of perfectly good food that could go to someone that wants to eat it! If you would like to set up your own home compost, worm farm or bokashi system, check out the handy resources on the Clutha District Council page and note that the Council does subsidise the price of a bokashi bin, which you can pick up at the Mt Cooee Landfill in Balclutha. You can also check out your local community garden (see below) to see if they can help you with composting or if they’re running composting/worm farming workshops. Note that greenwaste in landfill also produces methane so shouldn’t be landfilled either. If you can’t process all your greenwaste at home, then if you take it to the Mt Cooee landfill and drop it off at the designated “green waste” site (where it will be mulched/composted rather than landfilled) then you’ll receive 50% off the disposal cost.
  • E-waste – electronic waste is the world’s fastest growing waste stream, with huge environmental implications because of the toxins that can be leached from this waste, but also the loss of incredibly precious resources embedded in these items that are not recovered when the waste is dumped in landfill. Rather than throwing you broken electronics out – have you considered trying to get them repaired first? You could pay someone to do it, or look out for Repair or Fix-it Cafes where experts donate their time to fix people’s broken items for free at a designated repair event (usually run by community centres, churches or councils). If your electronics really have given up the ghost, rather than chucking them out, take them to the Mt Cooee landfill (outskirts of Balclutha on the Kaitangata Highway) where they will be sent on to Cargill Enterprises, a Dunedin-based social enterprise that accepts a wide range of electronics for recycling. This recycling service will come at a cost to you (until the Government starts to regulate manufacturers of these products), but it’s a small cost relative to damage these items otherwise cause in landfill. See the costs and further details here. For those closer to Dunedin, e-waste can also be taken to the Green Island Resource Recovery Park, 9 Brighton Road, Green Island, where there is a collection point at the Rummage Store.
  • Community gardens – community gardens are an excellent way for residents to get kai without packaging, and to learn skills of growing food and setting up composts – both very useful skills for low-waste living. There are community gardens dotted around the region, including the Balclutha Community Garden, 38 James Street, Balclutha, and the Moturata Organic Community Garden, Taieri Mouth. Community gardens are always looking for volunteers to help out and come along to working bees, so if you are interested in picking up gardening skills, or if you are already a keen gardener and would like to have the opportunity to share your skill with others, consider getting involved with your local community garden.
  • Clutha Change Collective – a group of Clutha locals supporting each other, and the wider community, to live more sustainably. If you have ideas for low-waste projects in the region, you could get a group together through this page. The group shares interesting sustainability-related events around the region and in the past have teamed up with the Clutha District Council and the Dunedin Curtain Bank to produce “koha bags” – reusable shopping bags made from secondhand/repurposed/upcycled materials that were given out at the Balclutha New World to help locals reduce their use of plastic shopping bags.
  • Project Bruce, 61-63 Union Street, Milton – a community-led development project in Milton-Tokomairiro, Taieri Mouth and Waihola. The core concept is that the people of the Bruce identify their vision of a resilient community and sustainable solutions for achieving it. It’s early days in the project and Project Bruce is still gathering ideas from the community about what they’d like to see happen throughout the area. So there’s huge scope for ideas that incorporate concepts of waste reduction alongside community resilience – things like sewing/knitting/crochet groups, repair cafes, community sheds and community gardens, crop swaps and other ideas. Go have a chat with Lucy Hardy, the Project Bruce Community Development Worker, based at the Tokomairiro Community Hub. 
  • Tokomairiro Community Hub, 61-63 Union Street, Milton – there’s lots going on at the community hub, including activities that help with waste reduction and resource sharing. If you have spare children’ clothes that are no longer of use to you, don’t chuck them out, bring them down to the hub! If you’re in need of children’s clothing, the hub has secondhand clothing for 0-6 year olds available for those who need it! The hub also runs a market day every Tuesday where you can get local bread, fruit and veg (packaging-free!). Recently the market hub went bagless (yus!), so remember to BYO bag for the goodies!
  • Menzshed/Community Sheds – Menzsheds provide a great opportunity for men of all ages to share tools and a workspace (reducing the wasteful overduplication of these resources) and to pass on skills of woodworking and other trades. Menzsheds frequently offer communities the service of repairing broken items like furniture (at a small cost), and also creating bespoke items for community and charitable purposes. Definitely look up your local!
  • Toy Libraries – reduce the wasteful over-consumption of toys and save money by joining a toy library! Check out this guide to find the nearest Toy Library to you.
  • Second Hand Sundays – Do you have stuff you’d like to get rid of but is too good to put in the rubbish or too bulky to take to your local second-hand store? You can take part in Clutha District Council’s Second Hand Sundays initiative. All you need to do is put the items you no longer want outside your gate with a sign and wait for someone to find your treasure (remember not to leave them out overnight). For more information about Second Hand Sundays, check this page out.


6 thoughts on “Zero Waste in Dunedin City and Clutha District”

  • I came to your presentation at Otago University. I’m the white head who suggestedHannah slow down 🙂 So much information to take on board and I was overwhelmed! But now here it all is in writing as a reference. (Do hope it has those recipes for clothes washing liquid and hair shampoo). You have done so much work and I thankyou for it. As a senior I welcome new and old information that will take us a step back to the world I knew in the 195’0′. No plastic and wrapping was wax paper, brown paper or newspaper. If one piece of paper was dropped it was picked up. The first rubbish I remember on a path was chewing gum and it shocks me to see so much rubbish everywhere on land and sea.
    I am co-founder of CITY RISE UP – voice for inner city residents of Dunedin who value the historic buildings, rubbish free streets and wellbeing of residents and I will attempt to put your info on our Facebook. (I say attempt, as I am not too tech savvy). Thankyou for your work and keep going.

    • Thank you for this comment, Liz, and for your support. Hope that you find the guide useful (there are so many options in Dunedin the guide itself is almost overwhelming) and yes, please share!
      The recipes for our toiletries and washing liquid etc. are elsewhere on our website (check out the Media and Resources tab and you’ll see The Rubbish Trip Resources option. All there!
      All the best,
      H and L

  • Hi guys,
    absolutely great list! Thank you very much. This will make it easier for zero waste newbies.
    High Gate Spelt bakery does great bread as well by the way.
    I will print your list and hang it in my kitchen and give it to my friends
    Cheers Susi

    • Thanks Susi! Will add High Gate Spelt in (presuming it’s unpackaged?) Thanks, H and L 🙂

      • I was going to ask about Spelt being added too 🙂 Their bread is unpackaged and they no longer provide single use bags (they have a wooden box of reusable bags which customers can borrow and return if they forgot their own). They are always happy to pop things into my BYO containers. They also stock Windy Ridge Farm milk; they’ve only just started getting this in and it’s great! It’s saving us a long drive (with a 15 month old) twice a week to go and buy milk – just an easy walk now!

        • Awesome, thanks for the heads up! Have added both about the bakery and the Windy Ridge Milk too, great to hear 😀

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