This guide covers Hutt Valley only. For other parts of the Greater Wellington Region, please refer to the Zero Waste in the Greater Wellington Region homepage.
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. These shops stock all manner of pantry foods loose in bulk bins (or operate return & refill systems for their packaging), allowing you to put these goods straight into your own bags, jars, containers and bottles, and skip the packaging!
- Bin Inn Lower Hutt, 211 Jackson St, Petone – offers a wide array of dried food in bulk (including, but not limited to, nuts, seeds, cereals, grains, flours, and legumes), a range of spices, liquid foods (including vinegars, oils, chutneys, sauces and syrups), and sweets and treats. They also have a peanut butter machine. All Bin Inn around New Zealand stores are currently offering 5% discount when you bring your own containers!
- Yogiji’s Food Mart, 56 Hutt Road, Petone – stocks a wide array of dried pantry staples in bulk bins, including, but not limited to, nuts, seeds, grains, legumes, flours, spices and condiments. Just BYO bags!
- Commonsense Organics, 37 Waterloo Rd, Lower Hutt – offers a wide array of dried food in bulk (including, but not limited to, nuts, seeds, cereals, grains, flours, and legumes), liquid foods (including vinegars, oils and tamari).
- Common Grocer at Common Unity Project Aotearoa, 310 Waiwhetu Road, Epuni, Lower Hutt – this is a community bulk store open to members who sign up and it is definitely worth signing up because the prices are AMAZING!! Very affordable. No single use plastic bags are available and members are encouraged to BYO bags/containers. The store stocks a range of dried food in bulk, including grains, flours, legumes/pulses, dried fruit, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices. They also stock liquid foods like oil and vinegars. There are various annual “payment” options for membership: paying $1 each time you use the shop and 2 hours per month volunteering at the grocer; $52 upfront and 1 hour per month volunteering at the grocer; or $100 upfront and no time commitment. Members of the grocer can also take part in workshops about how to cook from scratch using the ingredients at the grocer, and make things like natural cleaning products!
- Supermarkets – most 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 places like Bin Inn or Commonsense Organics. But look out for when things in the bulk bin aisle in supermarkets are on special because sometimes you can get a good deal!
The following shops sell unpackaged meat, sausages, smallgoods, seafood, cheese and/or deli foods and will happily put these straight into a BYO container – woohoo!
- The Dutch Shop, 89 Jackson St, Petone – BYO containers to get unpackaged cheese cut off the wheel, and unpackaged cured meats.
- Ontrays, 38 Fitzherbert St, Petone – BYO containers to fill up unpackaged goodies at the deli, including cheese and cured meats.
- La Bella Italia, 10 Nevis St, Petone – great deli food, including cheese and cured meats – BYO containers to fill up!
- Wellington Seamarket, 87 High Street, Lower Hutt
- Pak’NSave Hutt City, Brunswick Street, Lower Hutt – self-serve whole fish outside deli, so help yourself in a BYO container 😉
- Pak’NSave Upper Hutt – self-serve whole fish outside deli
- Kiwi Halal Meats, 286 High Street, Lower Hutt
- Hardy Street Quality Meats, 15 Hardy Street, Waterloo – good range, will tare container.
- Park Avenue Continental Meats, 829 High Street, Epuni – huge range of european style meat, sausages, small goods and other meat products. Also have wheels of gouda cheese you can have sliced into your own container.
- Hillary Court Fisheries, 34 Hillary Court, Naenae
- Woody’s Quality Meats, 32 Hillary Court, Naenae
- Olympic Butchery, 24 Hillary Court, Naenae
- Cameron Harrison, 3 Geange Street, Upper Hutt
- 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 Pak’NSave Petone, Jackson Street, Pak’NSave Lower Hutt, High Street, New World Hutt City, Bloomfield Terrace, Wellington Seamarket, 87 High Street, Lower Hutt, New World Silverstream and Pak’NSave Upper Hutt.
- Supermarket delis – Most supermarkets have a deli section offering unpackaged meat, seafood, olives and other antipasti, salads, lunch foods and more. All Countdown, New World and PAK’nSAVE supermarkets officially allow you to BYO container for these goods! PAK’NSave Petone, 114-124 Jackson Street, Petone has a large deli section, including wheels of cheese.
The following stores bake and sell unpackaged bread and bakery goods (in some of these stores some items might be pre-packed or wrapped in cling film, just avoid those things!). Simply BYO bread 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 before they do that (i.e. before 1pm).
- Brezelmania – The Original German Bakery, 378 Jackson Street, Petone
- La Bella Italia, 10 Nevis St, Petone
- Fix Federation, 79 High Street, Lower Hutt
- Daily Bakery, 457 High Street, Lower Hutt – ask to have without paper bags and BYO!
- Saigon Paris Bakery & Cafe, 90 Queens Drive, Lower Hutt
- Le Bon Pain LTD, 80 Queens Drive, Lower Hutt
- Taste of Europe, 213 Waiwhetu Road, Epuni
- Janus Bakkerij, 700 High Street, Epuni
- Fuda Bakery, corner Waiwhetu Road and Porutu Street, Epuni – ask about getting loaves of bread unpackaged.
- Avalon Bakery, 810 High Street, Avalon
- Naenae Hot Bread Shop, 19 Hillary Court, Naenae
- Bun Heng Bakery, 585 Fergusson Drive, Upper Hutt – loaves are usually put in plastic, so ask if you can get them unpackaged.
- Corner Bakery, Corner of Russell and Main Street, Upper Hutt
- Most supermarkets (and even some Four Squares) stock unpackaged bread, bread rolls and/or bakery goods in their bakery section – just pop them into your BYO bags!
- Markets – No two ways about it, if you want to get a good source of unpackaged (often locally grown) produce, markets are the place to go! By and large, we’ve found that markets, where you can meet the grower/producer face-to-face, are really great for starting fruitful conversations about waste-free food, and developing relationships and systems that enable you to get your favourite fruit, vege and preserves without the packaging. Many of the Wellington markets have local producers of pre-made foods like tofu, noodles, preserves etc. Have a chat to see if you can leave containers with the stall holders for them to fill with your desired product for you to pick up from them the following week, or if the stallholder uses glass jars for packaging, ask whether they will take their empty glass jars back for sterilisation and reuse. BYO bags and containers to markets such as the Riverbank Market Lower Hutt, Riverbank Car Park off Rutherford and Daly Streets, Saturday 6am-2pm.
- Veggie boxes/co-ops – there are lots of fruit, veg + food co-ops around town from whom you can order your veggies each week. Around the country we’ve found that unless these co-ops have a zero waste policy, the fruit and veg will usually be pre-packed, so it’s essential to contact them before ordering and have a conversation about whether the co-op is willing to use reusable bags for your box, or to leave things unpackaged (you may be the first person who’s ever asked, so always good to plant the seed!). Generally, if it’s a local operation, it should be possible to arrange this. If it’s not possible to arrange, we recommend looking elsewhere or simply getting unpackaged fruit, vege and other staples from markets and other stores. A veggie box/co-op scheme to look out for that delivers through Hutt Valley is the Wairarapa Eco Farm.
- Trade Aid – Trade Aid‘s 2kg sugar bags are also great for upcycling as bulk bin bags, and are home compostable once they do wear out. Trade Aid’s coconut oil is one of the few on the market that does not have a plastic seal around the lid. You can get both these products at Trade Aid Petone, 125 Jackson St, Petone, as well as Commonsense Organics, 37 Waterloo Road, Lower Hutt. PAK’NSave Petone, 114-124 Jackson Street, Petone stocks the sugar.
- The Chocolate Story, 185 Jackson Street, Petone – stocks artisan chocolates and truffles unpackaged – BYO containers to put them in.
- The Dutch Shop, 89 Jackson St, Petone – stocks lots of sweets and licorice unpackaged in bulk bins – BYO containers/bags!
- Village Beads, 129 Jackson Street, Petone – stocks unpackaged fudge – BYO container to have it put in.
Look out for places that sell whole or ground coffee beans unpackaged, and bring your own bag and container to fill. Going direct to coffee roasters is the best option, but you can also look out for bulk dispensers of coffee in other stores. Here are some spots we found:
- Good Fortune Coffee Co, 160 The Esplanade, Petone
- Ripe Coffee, 22 Waione Street, Petone
- Mo Town Cafe, 121 Randwick Road, Moera you can get Ripe Coffee’s Pito-One blend of beans unpackaged (the other blends are all pre-packed).
- PAK’NSave Petone, 114-124 Jackson Street, Petone (Screaming Turtle in the bulk dispensers)
- New World Hutt City, Bloomfield Terrace (Caffe L’affare in the bulk dispensers)
- Bin Inn Lower Hutt, 211 Jackson St, Petone (Screaming Turtle in the bulk dispensers).
We avoid teabags as most have plastic in them, which we don’t want in our tea or our soil. Using loose leaf tea is an easy way to get around this. The trick is to find somewhere that sells loose leaf tea packaging-free, so you can put the leaves straight into BYO jars/containers! In the Hutt Valley, you do have options!
- You can get unpackaged loose leaf tea put straight into BYO containers from the t leaf T factory at 64 Victoria Street, Petone. They can’t take glass jars into the factory, so BYO plastic containers – you can dispense the contents into a glass jar when you get home.
- Vibrant Health Petone, 153 Jackson Street, Petone – stocks Heke Homemade Herbals scoop-your-own loose leaf tea – owner Emma Heke sends the bulk teas to stores around NZ in various recyclable or compostable packaging options and 90% of the teas are grown in NZ!
- Bin Inn Lower Hutt, 211 Jackson St, Petone stocks black tea in bulk bins.
- Ekko Naturals, Shop 6, City Arcade, 123 Main Street, Upper Hutt – also stocks Heke Homemade Herbals scoop-your-own loose leaf tea – owner Emma Heke sends the bulk teas to stores around NZ in various recyclable or compostable packaging options and 90% of the teas are grown in NZ!
Psst! Did you know you can get reusable teabags for your loose leaf teas? Local Hutt Valley company The Native Loom, stocks 100% organic cotton reusable tea bags, sustainably made in India using traditional loom techniques – find The Native Loom stall at markets or you can order online and arrange pick-up if you’re local, to save on shipping packaging!
Sourcing cow’s milk without the plastic bottles or non-dairy milk without the dreaded Tetra-pak is no mean feat! We’ve found the following options:
- Refills of cow’s milk – milk refills are available through Eketahuna Country Meats at the Riverbank market in Lower Hutt on Saturdays – simply BYO bottle to fill up, or purchase a reusable glass bottle there that you can then refill on future occasions.
- Cow’s milk delivery in reusable glass bottles – You’ve got TWO options!
- Eketahuna Country Meats do home delivery of milk in reusable glass bottles (just like the old days!) across the Wellington Region – to check out which day they deliver to your area, you’ll need to begin the registration process on their website. You’ll have milk delivered to your door in reusable glass bottles (just like the old days!) – leave your empty bottles out on the next delivery day so they can be returned to Eketahuna Country Meats for sterilisation and refill. YAY!
- MannaMilk is a raw milk company delivering raw milk all across the Lower North Island, including drop-off points throughout Wellington. The milk is delivered in single-use plastic bottles, which isn’t zero waste. HOWEVER, you can request that the milk be dropped-off in a reusable 10L pail, which you can pour into BYO bottles. As this is a large quantity of milk, you can either get a lot and freeze some, or go in with a group of others and share the milk and the cost between you. You can see MannaMilk’s delivery routes, days and drop-off points here.
- Milk Powder in bulk bins – available at Bin Inn Lower Hutt, 211 Jackson St, Petone.
Look out for places that sell beer on tap and BYO bottles/flagons to fill up. Breweries are awesome, but lots of liquor stores offer this option too! We found beer on tap at:
- Any of the local breweries in the Hutt Valley, including four in one place in Upper Hutt’s aptly-named Brewtown!! Check out this fabulous list to find more across the Wellington Region.
- Liquor King Petone, 63-69 Jackson Street, Petone
- Sprig and Fern Tavern, 146 Jackson Street, Petone
- Queen of Jackson, 181 Jackson Street, Petone
- Liquorland Waterloo, 2 Trafalgar Square, Waterloo, Lower Hutt
- Liquorland Upper Hutt, 767 Fergusson Drive, Elderslea, Upper Hutt.
Also, don’t forget that most liquor stores do ‘swappa crates’ of beer – i.e. crates of twelve 745ml bottles of classic NZ beer (e.g. Lion Red/Brown, Speights, Tui, Export Gold etc.) which can be returned (when the bottles are empty) and are then sent back to the brewery for sterilisation and refill (a better outcome for glass bottles than recycling because reusing the same bottle over and over requires way less energy and resources than recycling).
- Drinking Chocolate – Bin Inn Lower Hutt, 211 Jackson Street, Petone, and the Common Grocer, 310 Waiwhetu Road, Fairfield, Lower Hutt, stock cocoa powder in bulk bins.
Reusable drinking vessels (cups and water bottles)
Say “no more” to disposable takeaway coffee cups and plastic water bottles by getting yourself reusables instead! Get reusable water bottles at The Table, 274 Jackson Street, Petone, Commonsense Organics, 37 Waterloo Rd, Lower Hutt, Ekko Naturals, Shop 6, City Arcade, 123 Main Street, Upper Hutt, and Tigerlily, 103 Main Street, Upper Hutt, Created, 133 Main Street, Upper Hutt (metal and glass)
There are heaps of places to buy reusable takeaway coffee cups in the Hutt Valley:
- Find the Keep Cup brand at Good Fortune, 160 The Esplanade, Petone, Commonsense Organics, 37 Waterloo Rd, Lower Hutt and The Coffee Box, 424 High Street, Lower Hutt
- Get the NZ-made Cuppa Coffee Cup at Espresso Cafe, Silverstream, Ekko Naturals, Upper Hutt.
- Even more local, get Hutt made Ideal Cup from Shine Cafe, 2 Waterloo Road, Lower Hutt
- You can get Joco Cups at Fellow Cafe, 60 Queens Drive, Lower Hutt, the Little Theatre Cafe, 2 Queens Drive, Lower Hutt, Ekko Naturals, Shop 6, City Arcade, 123 Main Street, Upper Hutt (also stocks Sol cups, similar to Joco), Created, 133 Main Street, Upper Hutt.
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. You can get Meals in Steel stainless steel lunchboxes and food containers at Commonsense Organics, 37 Waterloo Rd, Lower Hutt.
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. You can get 100% organic cotton Rethink produce and bulk bin bags at Commonsense Organics, 37 Waterloo Road, Lower Hutt. The incredible Common Unity Project Aotearoa, 310 Waiwhetu Road, Epuni, Lower Hutt sells locally made reusable shopping bags and bulk and produce bags, all made from repurposed fabrics. House of Knives, 171 Jackson Street, Petone sells 100% cotton string bags. Ekko Naturals, Shop 6, City Arcade, 123 Main Street, Upper Hutt stocks a range of reusable carry and produce bags. Also, check out local Hutt Valley company The Native Loom, which stocks 100% organic cotton reusable produce and bulk bin bags, as well as hessian shopping bags, sustainably made in India using traditional loom techniques – find The Native Loom stall at markets or you can order online and arrange pick-up if you’re local, to save on shipping packaging!
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 The Dutch Shop, 89 Jackson St, Petone, Bin Inn Lower Hutt, 211 Jackson St, Petone, Commonsense Organics, 37 Waterloo Road, Lower Hutt, Belle La Vie, 265 Waiwhetu Road, Epuni, Ekko Naturals, Shop 6, City Arcade, 123 Main Street, Upper Hutt, Created, 133 Main Street, Upper Hutt. Also, check out local Hutt Valley company The Native Loom, which stocks stainless steel straws – find The Native Loom stall at markets or you can order online and arrange pick-up if you’re local, to save on shipping packaging!
Alternatives to plastic cling wrap, plastic sandwich bags and tin foil
- Beeswax wrap
- Purchase at – The Dutch Shop, 89 Jackson St, Petone (HoneyWrap and Lily Bee Wrap brands); Commonsense Organics, 37 Waterloo Road, Lower Hutt; Common Unity Project Aotearoa, 310 Waiwhetu Road, Epuni, Lower Hutt; and Ekko Naturals, Shop 6, City Arcade, 123 Main Street, Upper Hutt.
- DIY – it’s way cheaper! You just need to get natural fibre fabric (cotton) and unpackaged beeswax. Keep an eye out at secondhand stores and fabric stores for off-cuts of cotton. You can get off cuts of fabric and fat quarters at Thimbles & Threads, 84 Main Street, Upper Hutt. You can get unpackaged beeswax from Commonsense Organics, 37 Waterloo Road, Lower Hutt, but you might also be able to find a local beekeeper to share some unpackaged beeswax with you!
- Reusable sandwich bags – you can get Munch reusable sandwich bags and/or wraps from Commonsense Organics, 37 Waterloo Road, Lower Hutt. Or, get local Hutt Valley made reusable lunch pouches and sandwich wraps made from repurposed fabrics from Common Unity Project Aotearoa, 310 Waiwhetu Road, Epuni, Lower Hutt. Ekko Naturals, Shop 6, City Arcade, 123 Main Street, Upper Hutt stocks Pip Pottage lunch bags and a range of Munch lunch pockets/wraps.
Refills of cleaning products
The following stores stock a range of liquid and/or powdered cleaning products in bulk dispensers that you can fill your own bottles/containers with:
- Commonsense Organics, 37 Waterloo Rd, Lower Hutt
- Bin Inn Lower Hutt, 211 Jackson St, Petone
- Ekko Naturals, Shop 6, City Arcade, 123 Main Street, Upper Hutt – stocks Kahuku Natural liquid cleaning products on tap. The in-store bulk dispensers are stainless steel kegs which, when empty, are returned to Kahuku Natural for refill – so it’s truly zero waste!
You can find dishbrushes with wooden handles and removable + replaceable, home compostable heads at Commonsense Organics, 37 Waterloo Road, Lower Hutt and Belle La Vie, 265 Waiwhetu Road, Epuni (Dishy). Alternatively, you can get Go Bamboo veggie brushes at Bin Inn Lower Hutt, 211 Jackson St, Petone, which can also be used as dishbrushes (just without a handle) and which are also totally home compostable, should they ever wear out.
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:
- For something more like a traditional dishcloth sponge, check out the SPRUCE or Wet-it! 100% cotton + cellulose dishcloth sponges (home compostable at the end of their life) which are available at Commonsense Organics, 37 Waterloo Road, Lower Hutt, Belle La Vie, 265 Waiwhetu Road, Epuni, Ekko Naturals, Shop 6, City Arcade, 123 Main Street, Upper Hutt.
- If you’re after a coarser scrubby, you can get 100% coconut fibre coarse scrubby from Commonsense Organics, 37 Waterloo Road, Lower Hutt.
- Belle La Vie also stocks a 100% Rayon dishcloth.
- You can get 100% Cotton dishcloths at The Dutch Shop, 89 Jackson St, Petone and Ekko Naturals, Shop 6, City Arcade, 123 Main Street, Upper Hutt.
- You can get fancy 100% cotton cloths by Bianca Lorenne at Avisons, 110 Main Street, Upper Hutt
- Eco Planet laundry powder comes in a cardboard box with a cardboard scoop – no plastic lining! You can find it at PAK’NSave Petone, 114-124 Jackson Street, Petone, Pak’NSave Hutt City, Brunswick Street, New World Hutt City, Bloomfield Terrace (also stocks Next Generation), New World Stokes Valley, New World Silverstream, Pak’NSave Upper Hutt
- Soapnuts – these are berries that naturally produce saponin that can be used for laundry and then home composted when they’re spent. Ekko Naturals, Shop 6, City Arcade, 123 Main Street, Upper Hutt stocks unpackaged soapnuts in bulk bins. Meanwhile, the SoapNuts NZ brand, which comes in a compostable cardboard box with no plastic inner lining, is available at Bin Inn Lower Hutt, 211 Jackson St, Petone.
- Non-plastic clothes pegs – Go Bamboo pegs with metal spring mechanism available at Commonsense Organics, 37 Waterloo Road, Lower Hutt.
Ingredients for DIY cleaning products
- You can get a whole range of DIY cleaning product ingredients in bulk bins from Ekko Naturals, Shop 6, City Arcade, 123 Main Street, Upper Hutt (including arrowroot, critic acid, soda ash, epsom salts and baking soda).
- Baking soda – available in bulk bins from Bin Inn Lower Hutt, 211 Jackson Street, Petone, Yogiji’s Food Mart, 56 Hutt Road, Petone, and Common Grocer, 310 Waiwhetu Road, Epuni, Lower Hutt.
- White vinegar – available on tap from Commonsense Organics and Bin Inn Lower Hutt, 211 Jackson St, Petone.
- Essential oils – we’ve heard through the grapevine that you can get refills of essential oils from Aromasense, 185 Jackson Street, Petone :-O
- Bars of castile soap, which you can use as a base for homemade dishwashing and laundry liquid (see how it works here) – New Zealand-made unpackaged castile bars are available at Knit World, 62 Queens Drive, Lower Hutt. Vibrant Health, 153 Jackson Street, Petone stocks bars of Dr Bronner’s castile soap.
Zero waste teeth and mouth
- Bamboo toothbrushes – 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 find bamboo toothbrushes at Commonsense Organics, 37 Waterloo Road, Lower Hutt; Pak’NSave Hutt City, Brunswick Street; Vibrant Health, 153 Jackson Street, Petone; Bin Inn Lower Hutt, 211 Jackson St, Petone, Silverstream Pharmacy (Grin bamboo), New World Silverstream (Grin bamboo), and Ekko Naturals, Shop 6, City Arcade, 123 Main Street, Upper Hutt.
- Dental Floss – Commonsense Organics, 37 Waterloo Road, Lower Hutt stocks Do Gooder floss, which comes in a refillable glass tube with a screw on metal lid. The WHITE floss is made of 100% silk and is home compostable (the black floss has polyester in it so is landfill only). When you run out of the floss, no need to get a new dispenser, you can get refills of the floss in a paper bag from all stockists listed above – just pop the refill into your original metal/glass dispenser. Ekko Naturals, Shop 6, City Arcade, 123 Main Street, Upper Hutt stocks Dental Lace 100% silk floss which also comes in a glass dispenser with metal lid (refills are in plastic, though).
Unpackaged Bars of Soap
The following stores sell totally naked bars of soap:
- Commonsense Organics, 37 Waterloo Rd, Lower Hutt.
- Vibrant Health, 153 Jackson Street, Petone – unpackaged bars made by Dragonfly Natural Soap Co.
- Bin Inn Lower Hutt, 211 Jackson St, Petone.
- Ekko Naturals, Shop 6, City Arcade, 123 Main Street, Upper Hutt.
- Avisons, 110 Main Street, Upper Hutt.
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!
- Look out for the popular Ethique range which includes shampoo bars, conditioner bars, shaving bars, deodorant bars, moisturiser bars, etc. (all of Ethique‘s bars come in home compostable packaging). We saw it stocked at Commonsense Organics, 37 Waterloo Road, Lower Hutt; and Bud Florists, 242 Fergusson Drive, Silverstream.
- Ekko Naturals, Shop 6, City Arcade, 123 Main Street, Upper Hutt – stocks Dindi Naturals shave, beard and shampoo soap bars, and also stocks Bee Fresh deodorant in compostable cardboard.
- If you’re into an all-in-one bar, you can get the Global Soap Shave, Shampoo and Body bar made with beer (:-D) from Commonsense Organics, 37 Waterloo Rd, Lower Hutt.
- Look out for Stokes Valley company Underground Soapery who make shampoo bars (among other things) – you can buy their soap and shampoo bars online and if you’re local there’s a pick-up option so you can skip on any packaging waste. Underground Soapery can also be spotted at local markets across the Wellington region – keep your eyes peeled!
Reusable Menstrual Products
There are zero waste, low cost alternatives to disposable sanitary items like tampons and pads.
- Menstrual cups – stocked at Commonsense Organics, 37 Waterloo Road, Lower Hutt, Unichem Lower Hutt Pharmacy, 3 Margaret Street, Lower Hutt and Vibrant Health, Jackson Street, Petone.
Liquid Toiletries on Tap
- Commonsense Organics, 37 Waterloo Road, Lower Hutt stocks Ecostore liquid bathroom products on tap.
Ingredients for DIY toiletries/cosmetics
- Baking Soda is an essential ingredient in lots of homemade toiletries such as toothpaste and deodorant, as well as just a great general cleaner when teamed up with vinegar. You can get it unpackaged in bulk from Bin Inn Lower Hutt, 211 Jackson St, Petone, Yogiji’s Food Mart, 56 Hutt Road, Petone, Common Grocer, 310 Waiwhetu Road, Epuni, Lower Hutt, and Ekko Naturals, Shop 6, City Arcade, 123 Main Street, Upper Hutt.
- You can get a whole range of DIY toiletries ingredients in bulk bins from Ekko Naturals, Shop 6, City Arcade, 123 Main Street, Upper Hutt (including arrowroot, critic acid, soda ash, epsom salts and baking soda).
- We’ve heard through the grapevine that Aromasense, 185 Jackson Street, Petone will do refills of essential oils into BYO little bottles.
- You can get unpackaged beeswax from Commonsense Organics, 37 Waterloo Road, Lower Hutt and Ekko Naturals, Shop 6, City Arcade, 123 Main Street, Upper Hutt.
- Cotton Buds – Go Bamboo makes home compostable buds so you can avoid the single-use, unrecyclable plastic ones. Get them from Commonsense Organics, 37 Waterloo Road, Lower Hutt.
- Toilet Paper – Commonsense Organics, 37 Waterloo Road, Lower Hutt stocks Greencane toilet paper (which comes in fully home compostable packaging)
Reuse and Recycle
- Food waste and composting – food waste in a bin gets sent to landfill where it breaks down anaerobically, producing methane (a potent greenhouse gas). No! Here are some alternatives:
- Home composting/worm farms/bokashi – Having a composting, worm farm or bokashi bin system at home is the best and cheapest way to deal with your food scraps. If you’d like help setting one up or working out what the best system would be for you, you could check out some of the community gardens around the Hutt Valley, such as 9 in Lower Hutt, and about 5 in Upper Hutt!
- Food scrap collections – If you’re a business, you can sign up to have your food waste picked up by Organic Waste Management, who takes the food scraps to be commercially composted at the Wellington Southern Landfill (not dumped in the big hole in the ground!). Organic Waste Management services Lower Hutt and Porirua, as well as Wellington City.
- Edible business food waste – food that is still edible that goes to waste is a crying shame. Across the Wellington region there are some really excellent food redistribution services that are rescuing food from businesses that is not good enough to sell, but is still good enough to eat, and redistributing it to social justice organisations who can pass it on to people who need it most. One of these excellent organisations, Kaibosh, operates out to Lower Hutt. So if you’re a business with extra food at the end of the day, consider getting in touch with them.
- 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.
- Repair – Rather than throwing you broken electronics out – have you considered trying to get them repaired first? You could pay someone to do it. For example, LT Campbell, 128 Tory St are excellent for appliance repairs. Looking for parts? The Recycle Centre and Second Treasures Shop takes apart broken gadgets and appliances and sells them or their usable parts on their Trademe account – it’s worth a good look! If you’d like to try your own hand at repairing your things, consider going along to a Repair or Fix-it Cafe 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).
- Recycle – If your electronics really have given up the ghost, rather than chucking them out, take them to be recycled responsibly. You can do this at Earthlink, 25 Peterkin St, Wingate, Lower Hutt. For some of these items, you will have to pay to recycle them (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.
- Tip Shops/Recycling + Reuse Shops – For all your recycling and reusing needs, look out for reuse shops at local landfills. There’s the Recycle Centre and Second Treasures Shop, at the Wellington Southern Landfill, Landfill Road (off Happy Valley Road); Trash Palace, Broken Hill Road, Porirua; Earthlink, 25 Peterkin St, Wingate, Lower Hutt; and Wairarapa Resource Centre, 8 King Street, Masterton. If you’ve got a hard-to-recycle item or something that’s still functional but which you no longer want, rather than chucking such things out, take them to one of these reuse shops and see if they’ll accept them. The Second Treasures Shop has loads of great items for sale on their Trademe account – it’s worth a good look! Furthermore, if you’re ever in need of a new one-off purchase – from materials for a home fit-out, cuts of wood, building materials, through to cutlery, appliances, furniture or other knick knacks – consider coming to shop here first, before going to buy something new. You might be amazed by what you find (and the low cost)…
Zero Waste Information and Support Networks
- Waste-ed – a local social enterprise formed to educate and advocate around waste consciousness in Wellington City. Waste-ed runs heaps of workshops, events, information sessions, and campaigns that provide information and solutions for Wellington’s waste, as well as actions individuals can take to reduce waste in their own lives. Waste-ed also has an online shop selling locally-made products that help with low-waste living (like reusable snack bags, cutlery wallets and beeswax wraps). Check out their website, which has heaps of resources and listings for upcoming waste-related events.
- Sarah Jordan/Making0Changes – Sarah is a librarian in Petone who lives waste-free, does talks about low waste living throughout Hutt Valley, and shares info about her journey, and low-waste living in the Wellington region, on her Instagram page!
- Para Kore – Para Kore is an amazing organisation working with marae, kura and Māori institutions and businesses to transition towards zero waste. Their resources/services are free and their regional kaiārahi are totally fabulous. Para Kore’s Kaiārahi for Te Upoko o te Ika is Te Kawa Robb – if you’re keen for some awhi with waste reduction, he’d be stoked to hear from you 🙂
- Sort Waste – An excellent online resource created by Hutt City and Upper Hutt City Councils to help people in the Hutt Valley reduce waste. It’s full of tips and tricks for waste-busting, as well as stories from locals who are reducing their waste. Definitely have a look around the site!
Share and Exchange
- 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.
- Crop Swap – At a crop swap, individuals who have veges or seedlings they’ve grown, preserves or baking they’ve made (or similar), or even home-made knitting/crochet (etc.) crafts (anything made or grown by your hands), come together once a fortnight or once a month, to trade their offerings without any money changing hands – all free! Just bring something to share and let the swapping begin! Trading homegrown or home created goodies with friends and locals means you can avoid all that packaging that often comes with a store setting. You can also have friendly chats about how to share goods without the waste.
- Timebanking – Through timebanking you can share skills and services without the exchange of money, making it a great way to reduce waste on a budget because you can harness skills of creating and repairing that exist in your community (repairing broken clothes or electronics, for example), or having someone pass these skills on to you (how to garden, how to build). Perhaps you have some of these skills already that you could pass on to someone else for time credits? The are timebanks in Lower Hutt, Upper Hutt, and one running out of the Common Unity Project Aotearoa in Epuni.
- The Sharing Shelf (outside The Petone Depot, 8/193 Jackson Street, Petone) – a wee shelf where anyone can come down and drop off produce, a book or some other useful item for someone else to take, for free! Likewise, anyone can take something they fancy. You don’t have to drop something off every time you pick something up – there are no formalities. The wonderful art of sharing means that excess produce doesn’t go to waste. Furthermore, items can be shared without excessive amounts of packaging.
Skills and Resourcefulness in Communities
- Community gardens/urban planting – 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 some great community gardens around the Greater Wellington Region, including 9 in Lower Hutt, and about 5 in Upper Hutt! Another gem is the Petone Food Gardens Network which is guerilla gardening and planting edible food all around Petone – yay! 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.
- Menzshed – there are Menzsheds throughout Wellington Region. Menzshed provides 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), work with upcycled material that might otherwise go to waste, and also create bespoke items for community and charitable purposes. Definitely look up your local!
- Common Unity Project Aotearoa, 310 Waiwhetu Road, Epuni, Lower Hutt – the legend of CUPA spreads far and wide. We can say that it certainly goes above and beyond its reputation in real life. Community Unity Project Aotearoa is an absolutely incredible community centre that runs a huge range of projects that achieve many positive social outcomes, but which also advance zero waste ideas. The membership owned, on-site bulk store Common Grocer is a great example. The centre also runs a range of repurposing projects, rescuing materials that might otherwise go to waste and putting it to good use, for example, rescued timber which is available for purchase from the wood workshop for $1 a metre; and the Sew Good project that repurposes waste fabric into all manner of useful items (any person who is running a community project is welcome to come and take fabric from the fabric bank for a koha too). CUPA also raises organic seedlings which are available for purchase and is home to a seedbank, and they take care of a variety of community gardens, harvesting the goods and working with schools to use the produce for kids’ lunches! There’s also a bike workshop on site and a range of repurposed bicycles available for hire (either for koha or for an exchange of volunteering hours) and a sharing shed that will soon be home to things like camping gear that people can borrow (rather than having to buy new equipment). There are a thousand and one other projects that CUPA runs that achieve multiple positive outcomes, bringing the community together, sharing skills, having fun AND reducing waste. No wonder people all over the country are abuzz about this place! Definitely check it out
- The Petone Depot, 8/193 Jackson Street, Petone – an awesome social enterprise in the heart of Petone that’s getting behind some great reducing initiatives, from supporting Boomerang Bags and the Petone Food Gardens Network, to hosting the monthly CreateSpace where locals who are into anything creative (including crafts, growing, repairing, and arts) can get together to share projects, brainstorm new ones, or have a chance to take part in one of the community’s creative projects (including sewing and growing).
- Sewing, crafts, knitting, crochet – We’re of the view that sewing, crafts, knitting and crochet are all key skills for combating waste in our lives (whether it’s the ability to make your own produce bags and beeswax wraps, knit a dishcloth, or repair broken clothes). In Hutt Valley you can find great organisations where you can get involved to either learn or pass on those skills, complete community sewing projects, attend workshops, or simply complete your own sewing projects in the company of others. A great example is the Sew Good Cooperative at the Common Unity Project Aotearoa, 310 Waiwhetu Road, Epuni, Lower Hutt. Thimbles and Threads, 84 Main Street, Upper Hutt also runs lots of affordable sewing classes and is generally very supportive of low-waste, upcycling fabric initiatives! Joining a group that is sewing reusable bags to give out to the community is also a great way to learn to sew while helping to reduce plastic bag consumption and these groups are always looking for volunteers (regardless of whether or not you have prior sewing knowledge). For example, check out your local Boomerang Bags group – there are branches in Petone, Lower Hutt and Upper Hutt.