This guide covers North Canterbury only (from Kaikōura to Rakaia River) but it EXCLUDES Christchurch City. For the rest of the Canterbury region, please click here.
NB: This guide is arranged roughly from the North of North Canterbury, to the South (skipping over Christchurch but including Selwyn District), so scroll through to find your neck of the woods! All our regional guides cover as many low-waste options as we could find for food, drink, kitchen and food packaging, cleaning products and bathroom products – scroll down to view each category.
FOOD OPTIONS (I.E. STORES THAT OFFER LOOSE ITEMS WHICH YOU CAN PUT, UNPACKAGED, INTO YOUR OWN BYO BAGS/CONTAINERS)
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!
- Wildflower Botanicals, 8 West End, Kaikōura – a beautiful little shop that sells a range of sugar, spice, pepper and salt blends that can be put in your own containers – 10% discount on these if you BYO containers!
- Four Square, 12 Conical Hill Road, Hanmer Springs – has a small bulk section with snacks, lollies, nuts, and dried fruit.
- Four Square, 94 Carters Road, Amberley – has a tiny bulk section selling nuts, snacks and dried fruit.
- Bin Inn Rangiora, 87 Ivory Street, Rangiora – offers a wide array of dried food in bulk (including, but not limited to, nuts, seeds, cereals, grains, flours, pasta and legumes), a range of spices, plenty of unpackaged sweets, treats and snacks, and liquid foods like vinegar and oil. They also both have a peanut butter extruder, just BYO jar! This particular Bin Inn also stocks Loving Earth chocolate (which comes in home compostable packaging). All Bin Inns across the country offer a 5% discount if you bring your own bags and containers.
- Rangiora Produce Market, 73 Ivory Street, Rangiora – apart from the produce, this store also stocks bulk snacks, nuts, sweets and rice cheaper than you can usually find in a supermarket. AND they make peanut butter in-store which they will happily put in your own jar/container.
- Supermarkets – all major supermarkets have well stocked 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.
Places that sell unpackaged meat, sausages, smallgoods, seafood, cheese and/or deli foods who will happily put your unwrapped purchases straight into a BYO container – woohoo!
- Cods & Crayfish, 81 Beach Road, Kaikōura – BYO container for fresh fish, crayfish and mussels.
- Kaikōura Cheese, 45 West End, Kaikōura – you can get cuts of these beautiful locally made cheeses into your own container.
- Harris Meats, 23 Hall Street, Cheviot – here they are happy for you to BYO container to avoid having your meat wrapped in disposable plastic.
- The Butcher’s Mistress, 84 High Street, Rangiora – here they are happy for you to BYO container to avoid having your meat, sausages and small goods wrapped in disposable plastic.
- North Canterbury Seafood Market, 2 High Street, Rangiora, and Ohoka Market, 531 Mill Road, Ohoka – while you are welcome to BYO container for fresh seafood, they do prefer to use a plastic sheet on scales for hygiene reasons. We would recommend asking if they can just put your container on the scales, tare it, and then put the fish directly in the container (to avoid the plastic sheet!)
- Cattermoles Butchery, 159 Williams Street, Kaiapoi – here they are happy for you to BYO container to avoid having your meat, sausages and smallgoods wrapped in disposable plastic.
- The Lincoln Pantry, 5 Robert Street, Lincoln – you can get cuts of cheese off the round into your own BYO container, as well as unpackaged salami.
- 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, 124-128 Beach Road, Kaikōura; New World, 52 Charles Street, Kaiapoi; and New World, 92 Rolleston Drive, Rolleston.
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).
- Hislops, 33 Beach Road, Kaikōura – you can buy Hislop’s freshly baked organic wholemeal bread, made with flour milled by Hislop’s themselves, unpackaged (BYO bag!)
- Kaikōura Bakery, 69a Beach Road, Kaikōura – sells bread and bakery goods unpackaged (BYO bag).
- Paris Bakery & Cafe, 96b Carters Road, Amberley – makes and sells sourdough and French breads/pastries unpackaged.
- Artisan Bakery, 18 High Street, Rangiora – makes and sells fresh unpackaged bread and other baked goods (BYO bag).
- Mediterranean Food Co, 7/188 High Street, Rangiora
- The Lincoln Pantry, 5 Robert Street, Lincoln
- 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 and other low-waste goodies you might not have thought of
- 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 frequent. 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. 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! We loved the Ohoka Farmers’ Market, 531 Mill Road, Ohoka – a great little market with plenty of low waste options, including lots of unpackaged produce, cheeses, olives/sundried tomatoes/artichokes/hummus and other antipasto goods (by Volcano) – just BYO bags and containers for all of it! Another great market to check out is Kaiapoi Farmers’ Market (Saturday mornings from 9:30-12:30).
- Kaikōura Fruit/Vege Co-op – if you’d like to get unpackaged fruit and veges, you could consider joining a co-op organised by Megan (from Wildflower Botanicals, 8 West End, Kaikōura). The fruit and vege is ordered in advance and it arrives in crates without packaging! If you’d like to join, just drop into Wildflower Botanicals to chat with Megan, or contact her. With more members on board, it could be possible to expand the co-op to bulk buy dried foods etc. through Chantal/Ceres (at the moment the membership is probably too small to make this viable, but with some more keen members and people who might be willing to help organise, it could be possible!)
- Fresh Organic and Produce, Rolleston – this was a great store which we found as we were leaving Rolleston with HEAPS of organic, non-packaged produce. However we can’t retrace our steps to find the address! If anyone knows which store we are talking about, can you please let know so we can update this. We have a hunch this may be Tuahiwi Organic Gardens‘ Rolleston store… are we right??
- Trade Aid – Trade Aid‘s entire chocolate range comes in Econic home compostable packaging! You can get Trade Aid’s chocolate at the Mediterranean Food Co, 7/188 High Street, Rangiora; New World, Good Street, Rangiora; New World Lincoln, 77 Gerald Street, Lincoln; New World, 92 Rolleston Drive, Rolleston (also stocks Trade Aid’s 2kg sugar bags which are also great for upcycling as bulk bin bags, and are home compostable also).
- Other pre-made food in home compostable packaging – Loving Earth chocolate comes in home compostable packaging and you can find it at The Lincoln Pantry, 5 Robert Street, Lincoln; and New World, 92 Rolleston Drive, Rolleston. There’s also Ceres Organics Raw bars in Econic packaging sold at New World, 77 Gerald Street, Lincoln and New World, 92 Rolleston Drive, Rolleston.
- Unpackaged chocolate/truffles/fudge/sweets – these stores have sweet treats unpackaged that you can have put into your own containers:
- Tea – as most tea bags have plastic in them, we drink loose leaf teas. So we’re always on the lookout for loose leaf teas that you can get unpackaged. Usually this is not very easy in New Zealand. However, if you’re in Kaikōura then you’re super lucky than you can get a range of locally-blended herbal and infused teas put into your own containers (in fact, you’ll get a 10% discount for BYO packaging!) at Wildflower Botanicals, 8 West End, Kaikōura.
- 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. In Kaikōura, your best option is Star Roast Coffee, 598 Kincaid Road, Hapuku – just give them a call before you go to make sure they’re around. Waimakariri has several options for coffee: both the Rangiora New World on Good Street, and Bin Inn Rangiora at 87 Ivory Street sell loose coffee beans and have grinders available. For locally roasted options, head to Crema Cafe, 196 High Street, Rangiora, who stores their ‘Custom Roast Coffee’ in glass jars, the contents of which can be transferred into a BYO bag or container; Coffee Culture, 113 High Street, Rangiora, 121 Raven Quay, Kaiapoi; and Three Llamas Gourmet Coffee, 65 Main North Road, Woodend, who are more than happy to put their ethically sourced and organic beans/grinds straight into your BYO container. In Selwyn, you can get fresh coffee beans/grinds in BYO bags/containers at Coffee Culture, 19 Gerald Street, Lincoln; at The Lincoln Pantry, 5 Robert Street, Lincoln or at New World Rolleston, 92 Rolleston Drive, Rolleston. Apart from loose/unpackaged coffee beans, New World Rolleston also stocks Christchurch Roaster Caffe Prima‘s coffee, which comes in Econic‘s home compostable packaging. If you’re into instant coffee, Trade Aid’s Instant comes in home compostable packaging. We saw this stocked at New World Lincoln, 77 Gerald Street, Lincoln and New World Rolleston, 92 Rolleston Drive, Rolleston.
- Milk – a great way to get milk zero waste is to look out for milk vending machines that allow you to get milk in reusable glass bottles – you simply pay for the glass bottle(s) the first time you get milk, and from then on you just refill these bottles whenever you visit. In Waimakariri there’s one such vending machine at Cavan Farm Fresh Milk, 56 Ashley Gorge Road, Oxford. In Selwyn District, there’s a milk vending machine in Kirwee at Aylesbury Creamery, 862 Aylesbury Road, Kirwee. Otherwise, your best bet is probably going to be milk powder from a bulk bin at Bin Inn Rangiora, 87 Ivory Street, Rangiora (or the ingredients to make non-dairy milk – oats, threaded coconut, nuts – from a bulk bin).
- Beer – there are several breweries and liquor stores throughout the region where you can BYO bottle/rigger/flagon to fill with beer. In Kaikōura, there’s Emporium Brewing, 57A Beach Rd. In Amberley, your options are the famous Brew Moon Brewing Company, 12 Markham Street, or head to the Super Liquor, Brackenfield Shopping Centre, 121 Carters Road, who sell Speights and Mac’s on tap. In Rangiora, you’ll find The Good Drop, 7 Durham Street, which has 20 (!) craft beers on tap. You can either BYO bottle, or for $10 get a new glass rigger (screw top or flip top) which includes a fill. There’s also The Plough Hotel, 398 High Street, Rangiora, who’ll supposedly (we’ve heard through the grapevine) fill riggers over the bar. You can also find Christchurch-made craft beer by Brewers Union at the Ohoka Farmers’ Market, 531 Mill Road. Finally, The Bottle-O Kaikanui, 67 Williams Street, Kaiapoi, has Speights and Mac’s on tap.
KITCHEN/FOOD PACKAGING ALTERNATIVES
Say “no more” to disposable takeaway coffee cups and plastic water bottles by getting yourself reusables instead (shout out to The Lincoln Pantry who have gone disposable takeaway cup free – leading the way!!). Get reusable water bottles at Jade Kiwi, 78 West End, Kaikōura (glass and metal); Little Rock, 60 West End, Kaikōura (glass and metal); Genevieve’s, 47 West End, Kaikōura (glass and metal); Haven, West End, Kaikōura (glass); Wee Kiwi, 4/176 High Street, Rangiora (small size, metal); and Industria, 15 Masefield Drive, Rolleston (metal).
There are heaps of places to buy reusable takeaway coffee cups in North Canterbury:
- Find the Keep Cup brand at Coffee Culture, 113 High Street, Rangiora; 121 Raven Quay, Kaiapoi; and 19 Gerald Street, Lincoln; Stevens, 151-183 High Street, Rangiora; The Lincoln Pantry, 5 Robert Street, Lincoln (also sells cheaper cup options here as well).
- Get the NZ-made Cuppa Coffee Cup at Jade Kiwi, 78 West End, Kaikōura; Genevieve’s, 47 West End, Kaikōura; Fools of Desire (F.O.D) Cafe, Conway Lane, 176 High St, Rangiora; Reality Bites Cafe, 96 High Street, Rangiora; Dragonfly Cafe, Rolleston Shopping Centre, 9/92 Rolleston Drive, Rolleston; and Industria, 15 Masefield Drive, Rolleston.
- Get the made in Hutt Valley Ideal Cups at Coffee Worx, 13 Blackett Street, Rangiora
- Get the very leak proof Frank Green cups at Coffee Culture, 113 High Street, Rangiora; 121 Raven Quay, Kaiapoi; and 19 Gerald Street, Lincoln.
- The glass Joco brand at Little Rock, 60 West End, Kaikōura; and Industria, 15 Masefield Drive, Rolleston.
- General Eclectic glass cups are sold at Haven, West End, Kaikōura; and Dragonfly Cafe, Rolleston Shopping Centre, 9/92 Rolleston Drive, Rolleston.
- FLOX ceramic takeaway coffee cups are sold at Jade Kiwi, 78 West End, Kaikōura.
- The Gift Box, 19 Gerald Street, Lincoln – stocks reusable takeaway coffee cups made of bamboo.
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 Bento Ninja stainless steel lunchboxes at Tai Tapu Milk Company, 573 Old Tai Tapu Road, Tai Tapu.
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. Locally made produce bags (by Lascivo) are sold at Four Square, 94 Carters Road, Amberley and Veg’n Out, 73 Main North Road, Woodend. You can get Christchurch made My Vita Bag 100% organic cotton produce and bulk bin bags at New World, 52 Charles Street, Kaiapoi; and New World Rolleston, 92 Rolleston Drive, Rolleston. Get 100% organic cotton produce and/or bulk bin bags by Rethink at Four Square, 12 Conical Hill Road, Hanmer Springs; New World, Good Street, Rangiora. OR, check out ReCycle and ReCreate – a local business based in Prebbleton, Selwyn, run by Shelley Bakker. Shelley makes bags and produce bags out of recycled materials under the clever label BAGS NOT Plastic. She also makes a variety of other products that help with low-waste living, such as cutlery holders. One of her preferred materials to work with are upcycled tents otherwise destined for landfill. If you’d like to catch Shelley and check out her awesome upcycled products, you can find her stall at the Prebbleton Community Market (a market where you can also find many other products with a sustainability focus, so put it in your diary!), or get BAGS NOT Plastic at The Lincoln Pantry, 5 Robert Street, Lincoln
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 Little Rock, 60 West End, Kaikōura; Ruby Six, 6 Markham Street, Amberley; Fools of Desire (F.O.D) Cafe, Conway Lane, 176 High Street and Reality Bites Cafe, 96 High Street, Rangiora (these two cafes use metal or paper straws rather than plastic ones, and the owner is the pioneer of Plastic Straw Free Rangiora!); The Lincoln Pantry, 5 Robert Street, Lincoln; and Industria, 15 Masefield Drive, Rolleston.
Alternatives to plastic cling wrap, plastic sandwich bags and tin foil
- Beeswax wrap
- Purchase at – Gecko Gearz, 64 West End, Kaikōura; Homestead Interiors, The Village Shopping Centre, Hanmer Springs; Ruby Six, 6 Markham Street, Amberley; Ohoka Farmers’ Market, 531 Mill Road, Ohoka; The Lincoln Pantry, 5 Robert Street, Lincoln; and Industria, 15 Masefield Drive, Rolleston.
- 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.
- 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 and will also keep hot food warm when transporting). You can buy these at Genevieve’s, 47 West End, Kaikōura; and The Lincoln Pantry, 5 Robert Street, Lincoln.
You can find dishbrushes with wooden handles and removable + replaceable, home compostable heads at Stevens, 151-183 High Street, Rangiora. Also, you can get Go Bamboo wooden veggie brushes with plant fibre bristles which can also be used as dishbrushes (they just don’t have a handle) at Four Square, 94 Carters Road, Amberley; and The Lincoln Pantry, 5 Robert Street, Lincoln – as these are made only of bamboo and plant fibre, they’re home compostable should they ever wear down.
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 Wet-it! or Scandicloth 100% cotton + cellulose dishcloth sponges (home compostable at the end of their life) which are available at Up the Garden Path, 5 Conical Hill Road, Hanmer Springs; and Mumma T, 86 Carters Road, Amberley, respectively (though the cloths at Mumma T are wrapped in plastic, unfortunately).
- Get Budget brand 100% cotton dishcloths at New World, 124-128 Beach Road, Kaikōura; Four Square, 2 Rolleston Street, Cheviot; New World, 52 Charles Street, Kaiapoi; New World Lincoln, 77 Gerald Street, Lincoln; and New World Rolleston, 92 Rolleston Drive, Rolleston.
- You can get the fancy Bianca Lorenne cotton dishcloths at Blossom, 44 West End, Kaikōura; and Ruby Six, 6 Markham Street, Amberley.
Refills of cleaning products
- Bin Inn Rangiora, 87 Ivory Street, Rangiora – stocks a wide range of both liquid and powdered cleaning products/ingredients you can fill your own bottles and containers with.
- Eco Planet and Next Generation laundry powder both come in a cardboard box with a cardboard scoop – no plastic lining! You can get one or the other (or both) from PAK’nSAVE Rangiora, 2 Southbrook Road, Rangiora; New World, 52 Charles Street, Kaiapoi; New World Lincoln, 77 Gerald Street, Lincoln; and New World Rolleston, 92 Rolleston Drive, Rolleston.
- Soap Nuts – these are a fruit that contains saponin and thus good for laundry. You can get That Red House Soapberries which come in a paper bag inside a cotton bag at Mumma T, 86 Carters Road, Amberley; and The Lincoln Pantry, 5 Robert Street, Lincoln.
- Non-plastic clothes pegs – Go Bamboo pegs available at Four Square, 94 Carters Road, Amberley; The Lincoln Pantry, 5 Robert Street, Lincoln
Ingredients for DIY cleaning products
- Bin Inn Rangiora, 87 Ivory Street, Rangiora stocks baking soda, epsom salts, borax, and washing soda unpackaged in bulk bins.
- Bars of castile soap, which you can use as a base for homemade dishwashing and laundry liquid (see how it works here) – Wildflower Botanicals, 8 West End, Kaikōura stocks locally made castile soap. Or else you can get USA-made Dr Bronner’s castile soap at Bin Inn Rangiora, 87 Ivory Street, Rangiora.
- Essential Oil refills – available at Wildflower Botanicals, 8 West End, Kaikōura.
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 Wildflower Botanicals, 8 West End, Kaikōura; New World, 124-128 Beach Road, Kaikōura; Health Works Pharmacy, 7/5 Conical Hill Road, Hanmer; Four Square, 2 Rolleston Street, Cheviot; Four Square, 94 Carters Road, Amberley; Mumma T, 86 Carters Road, Amberley; Unichem Medical Corner Pharmacy, 237A High Street, Rangiora; Reality Bites Cafe, 96 High Street, Rangiora; Bin Inn Rangiora, 87 Ivory Street, Rangiora; The Lincoln Pantry, 5 Robert Street, Lincoln; Selwyn Community Pharmacy, 5B Gerald Street, Lincoln; Lincoln Pharmacy, 8 Gerald Street, Lincoln; New World Lincoln, 77 Gerald Street, Lincoln; New World Rolleston, 92 Rolleston Drive, Rolleston; and Unichem Rolleston Central Pharmacy, 9 Masefield Drive, Rolleston.
Unpackaged Bars of Soap
It’s easy to get soap without packaging in Wellington. The following stores sell totally naked bars of soap:
- Wildflower Botanicals, 8 West End, Kaikōura – locally made.
- Little Rock, 60 West End, Kaikōura
- Fresh Fudge, 16 Conical Hill Road, Hanmer Springs
- Up the Garden Path, 5 Conical Hill Road, Hanmer Springs
- Out of the Bleu, Amberley
- Amberley Pharmacy, 127A Carters Road, Amberley
- Ohoka Farmers’ Market, 531 Mill Road, Ohoka – check out the Naturalus and Atawhai Farm stalls
- The Lincoln Pantry, 5 Robert Street, Lincoln
- The Gift Box, 19 Gerald Street, Lincoln
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!
- Many places stock 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): Wildflower Botanicals, 8 West End, Kaikōura; Unichem Medical Corner Pharmacy, 237A High Street, Rangiora; Life Pharmacy, 172-176 High Street, Rangiora; and Industria, 15 Masefield Drive, Rolleston.
- Ohoka Farmers’ Market, 531 Mill Road, Ohoka – you can find unpackaged bars of shampoo & shaving bars at the Naturalus stall. The Atawhai Farm stall also sells handmade deodorant in cardboard packaging.
Reusable Menstrual Products
There are zero waste, low cost alternatives to disposable sanitary items like tampons and pads.
- Menstrual cups – stocked at New World, Good Street, Rangiora; PAK’nSAVE Rangiora, 2 Southbrook Road, Rangiora; New World Lincoln, 77 Gerald Street, Lincoln; and New World Rolleston, 92 Rolleston Drive, Rolleston.
- Cotton Buds – Go Bamboo makes home compostable buds so you can avoid the single-use, unrecyclable plastic ones. Get them from New World, 124-128 Beach Road, Kaikōura; Four Square, 94 Carters Road, Amberley; New World Lincoln, 77 Gerald Street, Lincoln; and The Lincoln Pantry, 5 Robert Street, Lincoln.
- Ingredients for homemade cosmetics/toiletries – Wildflower Botanicals, 8 West End, Kaikōura does refills of some of the cosmetics, and all of the oils and essential oils, which are useful for homemade toiletries.
- Pure and Natural Skincare, Rangiora – if you’re into getting natural, organic, chemical-free skincare without the wasteful packaging, look no further than the Precious Serum and Precious Balm by Pure and natural skincare, handmade from natural ingredients by the radiant and very talented Ute Hoffmann. Apart from being scrumptious skincare products, they are refillable! When you’re finished with your first batch, simply return the bottles to Ute, who will retain them for sterilisation and re-use, and you’ll get $1 off on your next purchase.
- Back to the Wild, 338 Williams Street, Kaiapoi (open by appointment only) – Back to the Wild is a fabulous local Kaiapoi manufacturer of skin & home products that are natural, organic where possible, and affordable. Safe for babies, great for people with sensitive skin, and anyone who wants to cut down on the amount of toxins in their life! Back to the Wild accommodates people living low-waste lifestyles because many of their products come in refillable glass jars, in fact, you get a discount if you return your jars in a good condition – or by bringing a suitable jar in good condition also. Jars are sterilized, and then re-used. This keeps the costs down, as new jars don’t have to be purchased, and saves the jar from needing to be melted down, or going into landfill! It also saves the resources that would be used to make a new jar. If you are local to Kaiapoi then contact Back to the Wild directly to arrange a pick up, so you can save on shipping packaging.
- Haven, West End, Kaikōura – stocks Blue Earth lip balm in a cardboard tube.
COMMUNITY GROUPS, SUPPORTIVE NETWORKS AND HELP WITH TRICKY WASTE STREAMS
Reuse and Recycle
- Food waste and composting – 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 live in Kaikōura or Selwyn District then, luckily for you, Innovative Waste Kaikōura, 80 Scarborough Street, Kaikōura runs a food/organic waste collection for composting at their commercial compost, and Selwyn District Council also offers a user-pays organic waste collection service. For those outside Kaikōura and Selwyn District who’d like to set up a compost, worm farm or bokashi system at home to deal with your organic waste, in Hurunui District, the council subsidises Bokashi bins and zing, which you can purchase at the Amberley Transfer Station, 52 Grays Road, Amberley, or at the Hanmer Springs, Amuri or Cheviot libraries (order and pay in advance). In Waimakariri District, you can buy discounted bokashi bins and zing at the council service centres and the ReSale store at Southbrook Resource and Recovery Park; at the ReSale Store you can also get Earthmaker compost starter kits at a discounted price. You can also attend a composting workshop by Eco Educate. If you don’t want to set up your own system, then Rangiora Community Garden, 115 East Belt, Rangiora will also accept food scraps from households for its compost, so you could take your scraps there instead! If you are a business in Hurunui and Waimakariri (especially Amberley, Kaiapoi, Rangiora) that is chucking out food that is still edible but not saleable, you can get in touch with Satisfy Food Rescue – an excellent initiative that takes edible food from businesses 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, so ask around to see if someone might be interested to run one). If your electronics really have given up the ghost, rather than chucking them out, take them to be recycled – Innovative Waste Kaikōura, 80 Scarborough Street, Kaikōura takes a wide range of electronic-related waste, from batteries and appliances through whiteware and old phones and chargers – see here. In Hurunui District, all transfer stations accept e-waste for recycling, as do the Southbrook Resource Recovery Park and the Oxford Transfer Station in Waimakariri. In some of these places, and/or for some items, you will have to pay a small fee (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.
- Innovative Waste Kaikōura, 80 Scarborough Street, Kaikōura – this place is amazing and is recognised as one of the leading community recyclers in the country, with a long legacy of diverting huge amounts of Kaikōura’s waste from landfill (over 70%). The team is passionate and super helpful – they’ll have you recycling in no time! The on-site re-use shop is beautiful and a stellar place to find secondhand items rather than buying them new. If you’re undertaking a craft, building or home maker project and need some wood off-cuts, scrap metal, bolts, nuts or other building equipment, come to Innovative Waste first, rather than buying new, you’ll be amazed at what you can find. There’s a reason why locals call this place “Mitre 11” 😉
Zero Waste Information and Support Networks
- Eco Educate – run by Lesley Ottey, Eco Educate is a force of waste minimisation wonder in Waimakariri. Eco Educate runs workshops in schools and in communities on a wide range of waste reducing topics, from composting, gardening, recycling, and rethinking waste. You may have also heard about Lesley’s toy rescue progamme, which is quite amazing! Get in touch if you’re based in Waimakariri and would like to have Lesley run a workshop for you or your local school.
- Businesses fighting disposability – In Rangiora, you’ll surely know about Plastic Straw-Free Rangiora, an initiative triggered by Elisa Leach who owns two eateries/cafes in Rangiora (Fools of Desire and Reality Bites). Elisa decided that she didn’t want her businesses to be contributing to the world’s plastic straw problem, and so she eliminated plastic straws from both Fools of Desire and Reality Bites. Since then, she’s started a larger campaign to rid Rangiora of plastic straws. Thanks to her, Rangiora is leading the way in New Zealand in encouraging businesses and cafes to go plastic straw-free. This is a great model that could spread throughout the region (and the country!), so the next time you order a drink out, give the initiative your support by saying “No straw please!”. You may also be aware that, this year, Elisa is working on making both Fools of Desire and Reality Bites “zero waste” eateries(!!) So do support Elisa in her endeavours. For those in Selwyn District, we were also really impressed by The Lincoln Pantry, 5 Robert Street, Lincoln that has recently stopped offering disposable takeaway coffee cups at their cafe. Now, coffee drinkers can either choose to have their coffee in the cafe in a washable mug, or they can bring along/purchase a reusable coffee cup for their takeaway coffee. Yay!
- The Rubbish Runner – Matt Akehurst, AKA The Rubbish Runner, is based in North Canterbury. Matt has been raising awareness about litter after he decided to test whether he would be able to pick up 7000 pieces of rubbish off Kaiaraki, the beach he runs on every day, in 70 days. Unfortunately, he achieved this target in 47 days. So he then decided to try for 10,000 pieces, but achieved that in 65 days. As he stated in a recent press release, his challenge was “a disappointing success“. Matt is continuing to run and pick up rubbish, sharing his finds on his Facebook and Instagram pages. You can hear him talking about his project in this interview with Radio New Zealand. Recently, he collaborated with artist David Thorpe to produce this video. We recommend following Matt/The Rubbish Runner on social media – he’s planning on taking on new projects and maybe sharing his story in schools, so he’s one to watch in the region!
Share and Exchange
- Clothes Swap – Textile waste is becoming one of the world’s fastest growing waste streams, driven in part by the human desire to replenish our wardrobes regularly with new clothes. But what if there were a way to rejig our wardrobe without having to buy brand new clothes? Enter the idea of the clothes swap! At a clothes swap, you bring along items of clothing you no longer wear or feel you can part with, and take home with you items that you fancy that someone else has brought along. That’s a free, low-impact upgrade to your wardrobe – perfect! If this sounds like a great idea to you, check out the Prebbleton Drop ‘n’ Swap in Selwyn District.
- Toy Libraries – reduce the wasteful over-consumption of toys and save money by joining a toy library! Check out this list of toy libraries in North Canterbury to find the nearest one to you!
Skills and Resourcefulness in Communities
- Community Gardens – community gardens and 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 one run by Te Hā o Mātauranga in Kaikōura, Rangiora Community Garden and Kaiapoi Community Garden – definitely worth checking out! 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.
- Kaiapoi Food Forest, corner of Cass, Meadow Streets and Oram Place – this is a really special place overseen by Brent Cairns (with a group of awesome trustees and the support of the community) on land that was red zoned following the Canterbury earthquakes in Kaiapoi. Along with the help of the community, the Kaiapoi Food Forest trustees are transforming this land into a forager’s dream – a 1.5 acre plot filled with fruit trees, edible plants, mushrooms, and rongoā. It’s open to the public at any time and there are lots of spaces to picnic and relax. Food forests are an excellent place for people to come and learn about how to identify food without packaging, and to increase food resilience and security (i.e. moving beyond reliance on supermarkets). The Food Forest regularly holds planting days where anyone can come along, contribute a plant or some seeds, take part in the planting, or just learn a thing or two about the food forest and the kinds of kai that are growing there.
- Menzshed – 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!
- Te Hā o Mātauranga – Learning in Kaikōura, 14 Ludstone Road, Kaikōura – this place is a total hive of activity, running a wide range of projects that help with low-waste living. The organisation runs a community garden where locals can learn how to grow food and compost (and also take home freshly grown unpackaged food!). They also have a Community Shed on-site that has a shared workspace equipped with tools where locals can come to do their own projects or work with upcycled materials to create items for the community or Te Hā o Mātauranga to use (so allowing materials that might otherwise go to waste get a second life, while also creating a space where people can share tools rather than having to go out and buy their own version of everything). The organisation also runs workshops such as reusable t-shirt bag making workshops. Finally, they’re even setting up a Time Exchange – an excellent way to share skills and services without the exchange of money, allowing you to reduce waste on a budget, harness skills of creating and repairing in your community, or have someone pass these skills on to you.
- The Crafty Place, Beach Road, Kaikōura – come along to The Crafty Place on Monday or Thursday, between 10am-2pm, to carry out your craft, sewing, knitting or other crafty projects with like-minded people. You may even be able to learn new skills to boost your resourcefulness, or pass on your skills to others – like knitting dishcloths, sewing bags, or repairing clothes. Yay!