This guide covers Northern Auckland only. For other areas of Auckland, please refer to the Zero Waste in the Auckland Region post.
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!
- Bulk Bin Orewa, 27 Bakehouse Lane, Orewa – 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, syrups, even marmalade!), sweets and treats, and items essential for zero waste living, such as baking soda, salt and other specialty baking/cooking goods.
- Bin Inn Warkworth, 11 Elizabeth Street, Warkworth – 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, syrups, honey even jams!), sweets and treats (including from Little Bird Organics), items essential for zero waste living, such as baking soda, salt and other specialty baking/cooking goods, and even pet food in bulk! BYO containers/bags/jars for all of these goodies and you get 5% off your shop.
- The Matakana Deli, 2 Matakana Valley Road, Matakana – sells local extra virgin olive oil, as well as maple water (unrefined syrup) from Canada, on tap – BYO bottle.
- 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 much pricier than the bulk bins at the stores listed above (even organic stores’ bulk bins!). 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!
- Warkworth Butchery, 10 Queen Street, Warkworth – this butcher also stocks Bostock’s Organic Chicken which comes in Grounded certified home compostable packaging.
- The Village Butchery, 66 Matakana Valley Road, Laly Haddon Place, Matakana
- The Matakana Deli, 2 Matakana Valley Road, Matakana – a couple of very expensive cheese options can be cut off the wheel into your own container.
- 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 get some at New World Warkworth, 6 Percy Street, Warkworth; Four Square Wellsford, 201 Rodney Street, Wellsford.
- 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!
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).
- Savan’s Bakery, 56 Queen Street, Warkworth
- Ringawera Baker, 2 Matakana Valley Road, Matakana; or at the Matakana Village Farmers Market – beautiful artisan sourdough bread baked fresh in-store.
- Plume Cafe, 1335 Leigh Road, Matakana – artisan sourdough and specialty bread
- The Matakana Deli, 2 Matakana Valley Road, Matakana – artisan sourdough bread, not made in NZ
- Euro Bakery, 70 Matakana Valley Road, Matakana
- Markets – No two ways about it, if you want a good source of unpackaged (often locally grown) produce, markets are the place to go! Across Auckland, be sure to check out your local markets and farmers’ markets because you will almost ALWAYS be able to get items without packaging. All the better when it’s grown locally and you can support sustainable growing practices. Check out a market near you in North Auckland, such as the Matakana Village Farmers Market on Saturdays, for a range of low-waste goodies. 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. Often stallholders with other products may also allow you to leave containers with 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.
- Charlies Gelato Garden, 17 Sharp Road, Matakana – get strawberries unpackaged into a BYO container!!
- Other pre-made food in home compostable packaging – Loving Earth raw chocolate (which comes in home compostable packaging) is sold at Hungry Elephant, 615 Matakana Road, Matakana; and Four Square Matakana, 21 Matakana Valley Road, Matakana.
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 the spots we found:
- Bulk Bin Orewa, 27 Bakehouse Lane, Orewa (coffee in bulk bins + in-store grinder)
- Bin Inn Warkworth, 11 Elizabeth Street, Warkworth stocks Matakana Coffee Roasters coffee beans in bulk, plus in-store grinder.
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! You’ll find loose tea leaves in bulk dispensers at:
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:
- Milk on tap or from a vending machine – raw milk is available on tap/from a vending machine at Bakewell Creamery, corner of Wayby Valley Road & SH1, Wayby, Wellsford. Simply BYO bottle to fill up, or purchase a reusable glass bottle there that you can then refill on future occasions.
- Milk delivery in reusable glass bottles – Bakewell Creamery also do home delivery of their raw milk (minimum order of 4L). So, you can have the 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 Bakewell Creamery for sterilisation and refill. YAY! See delivery details and routes here.
- Return & Refill glass bottle scheme – Bella Vacca Jerseys sells pasteurised, non-homogenised milk in reusable glass bottles at various outlets around Northern Auckland: Fruit World Silverdale, 17 Hibiscus Coast Highway, Silverdale; Warkworth Butchery, 10 Queen Street, Warkworth; Matakana Milk Maid at the Matakana Village Farmers Market; and Four Square Wellsford, 201 Rodney Street, Wellsford.
- How does the system work? The first time you buy a bottle of milk, you pay a little extra to cover the cost of the bottle and to ensure that you return it when you’re done. Return empty bottles to any stockist of the milk, and exchange it for a full bottle for only the price of the milk (or else get your deposit back). The empties are then returned to Bella Vacca Jerseys for sterilisation and reuse – so the bottles just go around and around – true zero waste!
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:
- The Sawmill Brewery , 1004 Leigh Road, Matakana & 142 Pakiri Road, Leigh – a bit of an institution in Northern Auckland – this brewery has two locations where you can beer on tap filled into BYO riggers – yay!
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).
- Kombucha – while kombucha is great to make at home, packaging-free, you can also get it on tap at Bin Inn Warkworth, 11 Elizabeth Street, Warkworth.
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 metal water bottles at Arcadia Natural Health Store, Riverside Arcade, 62 Queen Street, Warkworth; Hungry Elephant, 615 Matakana Road, Matakana; Tea and Tonic, 5A/2 Matakana Valley Road, Matakana; and Studio Matakana, 12/2 Matakana Valley Road, Matakana
There are heaps of places to buy reusable takeaway coffee cups in Tauranga:
- Find the Keep Cup brand at Savan’s Bakery, 56 Queen Street, Warkworth; Cafe Savan, 23-25 Queen Street, Warkworth
- Get Joco glass cups at Bin Inn Warkworth, 11 Elizabeth Street, Warkworth
- Hungry Elephant, 615 Matakana Road, Matakana – stocks various reusable takeaway coffee cups (including ceramic varieties)
- Zuperzozial coffee cups are sold at Hungry Elephant, 615 Matakana Road, Matakana; and Studio Matakana, 12/2 Matakana Valley Road, Matakana.
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 Hungry Elephant, 615 Matakana Road, Matakana;
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% cotton produce, bulk bin and/or string shopping bags by Rethink at Bin Inn Warkworth, 11 Elizabeth Street, Warkworth; Hungry Elephant, 615 Matakana Road, Matakana; and just the produce bags at Four Square Matakana, 21 Matakana Valley Road, Matakana. You can even get reusable bin liners (if you really need one!) at Bin Inn Warkworth, 11 Elizabeth Street, Warkworth.
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 Hungry Elephant, 615 Matakana Road, Matakana; Tea and Tonic, Shop 5A, 2 Matakana Valley Road, Matakana; Bin Inn Warkworth, 11 Elizabeth Street, Warkworth; or get some glass straws from Harts Pharmacy, 27 Queen Street, Warkworth
Alternatives to plastic cling wrap, plastic sandwich bags and tin foil
- Beeswax wrap
- Purchase at Bin Inn Warkworth, 11 Elizabeth Street, Warkworth (inlcuding vegan wax wraps); Tea and Tonic, Shop 5A, 2 Matakana Valley Road, Matakana; and Drummers Homestore, 225 Rodney Street, Wellsford.
- DIY (waaaay 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. Get unpackaged beeswax at Tea and Tonic, Shop 5A, 2 Matakana Valley Road, Matakana; or at the Matakana Village Farmers Market.
- Reusable sandwich bags – you can get Zuperzozial sandwich pouches at Hungry Elephant, 615 Matakana Road, Matakana.
- 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 Hungry Elephant, 615 Matakana Road, Matakana; Hobbs Gifts and Homewares, 163 Rodney Street, Wellsford; and Drummers Homestore, 225 Rodney Street, Wellsford
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:
- Bulk Bin Orewa, 27 Bakehouse Lane, Orewa – stocks a wide range of both liquid and powdered cleaning products/ingredients you can fill your own bottles and containers with.
- Bin Inn Warkworth, 11 Elizabeth Street, Warkworth – stocks a wide range of both liquid and powdered cleaning products/ingredients (including Ecostore products) that you can fill your own bottles and containers with.
You can find dishbrushes with wooden handles and removable + replaceable, home compostable heads at Bin Inn Warkworth, 11 Elizabeth Street, Warkworth; and Hungry Elephant, 615 Matakana Road, Matakana (we were told by a store keeper that they intended to phase out this product unless locals wanted them to retain it, so might be worth going in and saying you’d like them to retain it!). Also, you can get wooden veggie brushes with plant fibre bristles which can also be used as dishbrushes (they just don’t have a handle) at Bin Inn Warkworth, 11 Elizabeth Street, Warkworth – 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 Kuitukuu 100% cotton + cellulose dishcloth sponges, or White Magic corn and soy sponges (which are both home compostable at the end of their life) which are available at Drummers Homestore, 225 Rodney Street, Wellsford
- You can buy locally knitted 100% cotton or organic bamboo fibre dishcloths at Tea and Tonic, Shop 5A, 2 Matakana Valley Road, Matakana.
- If you’re after a scouring cloth, you can get Safix 100% coconut fibre coarse scrubby from Bin Inn Warkworth, 11 Elizabeth Street, Warkworth
- Eco Planet laundry powder comes in a cardboard box with a cardboard scoop – no plastic lining! You can get this at New World Warkworth, 6 Percy Street, Warkworth.
- Soapnuts NZ soapnuts come in a cardboard box with no plastic lining. You can get them at Hungry Elephant, 615 Matakana Road, Matakana.
- Non-plastic clothes pegs – Go Bamboo pegs available at Bin Inn Warkworth, 11 Elizabeth Street, Warkworth
Ingredients for DIY cleaning products
- Baking soda – available unpackaged in bulk bins at Bulk Bin Orewa, 27 Bakehouse Lane, Orewa; and Bin Inn Warkworth, 11 Elizabeth Street, Warkworth
- Other ingredients – Bin Inn Warkworth, 11 Elizabeth Street, Warkworth – as well as baking soda, this store also stocks borax, washing soda, and epsom salts in bulk, and white vinegar on tap. BYO containers/bottles for these.
- Bars of castile soap, which you can use as a base for homemade dishwashing and laundry liquid (see how it works here) – get US made Dr Bronner’s castile bars at Health by Logic, 20 Silverdale Street, Silverdale; Hibiscus Health Shop, 3 Tamariki Avenue, Orewa; Bulk Bin Orewa, 27 Bakehouse Lane, Orewa; Bin Inn Warkworth, 11 Elizabeth Street, Warkworth; Arcadia Health Shop, Shop 4, Riverside Arcade, 62 Queen Street, Warkworth; Hungry Elephant, 615 Matakana Road, Matakana.
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 Hibiscus Health Shop, 3 Tamariki Avenue, Orewa; Bin Inn Warkworth, 11 Elizabeth Street, Warkworth; New World Warkworth, 6 Percy Street, Warkworth; Harts Pharmacy, 27 Queen Street, Warkworth; Arcadia Natural Health Shop, Riverside Arcade, 62 Queen Street, Warkworth; Four Square Matakana, 21 Matakana Valley Road, Matakana; Tea and Tonic, 5A/2 Matakana Valley Road, Matakana; and Wellsford Health and Wellness, 155 Rodney Street, Wellsford.
- Dental Floss – Tea and Tonic, 5A/2 Matakana Valley Road, Matakana stocks The Eco Floss in a glass dispenser. The floss is PLA, which is compostable. Sometimes PLA can’t be hard to break down in a home compost but in floss form it is probably OK. This is a good alternative for vegans who may not want to use silk floss.
Unpackaged Bars of Soap
The following stores sell totally naked bars of soap:
- Health by Logic, 20 Silverdale Street, Silverdale
- The French Cupboard, two locations: 1/44 Silverdale Street, Silverdale; and Riverside Arcade, 62 Queen Street, Warkworth.
- Bin Inn Warkworth, 11 Elizabeth Street, Warkworth
- Studio Matakana, 12/2 Matakana Valley Road, Matakana
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 Bin Inn Warkworth, 11 Elizabeth Street, Warkworth; and Tea and Tonic, Shop 5A, 2 Matakana Valley Road, Matakana (though only a few of their products).
Reusable Menstrual Products
There are zero waste, low cost alternatives to disposable sanitary items like tampons and pads.
- Menstrual cups are readily available around North Auckland, including at Bin Inn Warkworth, 11 Elizabeth Street, Warkworth; Arcadia Health Shop, Riverside Arcade, 62 Queen Street, Warkworth; Life Pharmacy Franklin’s, 48 Queen Street, Warkworth; New World Warkworth, 6 Percy Street, Warkworth; Hungry Elephant, 615 Matakana Road, Matakana; Tea and Tonic, Shop 5A, 2 Matakana Valley Road, Matakana; and Four Square Matakana, 21 Matakana Valley Road, Matakana.
- Reusable pads – available at Arcadia Health Shop, Riverside Arcade, 62 Queen Street, Warkworth
Liquid Toiletries on Tap
The following stores stock a range of liquid toiletries in bulk dispensers that you can fill your own bottles/containers with:
- Bulk Bin Orewa, 27 Bakehouse Lane, Orewa
- Bin Inn Warkworth, 11 Elizabeth Street, Warkworth
Ingredients for DIY cosmetics/toiletries
- Baking Soda is an essential ingredient in lots of homemade toiletries such as toothpaste and deodorant, as well as a great general cleaner when teamed up with vinegar. You can get it unpackaged in bulk bins from Bulk Bin Orewa, 27 Bakehouse Lane, Orewa; Bin Inn Warkworth, 11 Elizabeth Street, Warkworth
- Toilet Paper – Greencane toilet paper is wrapped in home compostable packaging, which you can get from New World Warkworth, 6 Percy Street, Warkworth; and Hungry Elephant, 615 Matakana Road, Matakana.
- Cotton Buds – Go Bamboo makes home compostable buds so you can avoid the single-use, unrecyclable plastic ones. Get them from Bin Inn Warkworth, 11 Elizabeth Street, Warkworth.
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! Luckily, in Auckland there are lots of options.
- Home composting/worm farming/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, did you know that Auckland City Council offers FREE composting workshops through their programme, the Compost Collective? Worth checking out!
- Edible food waste – there are two food rescue organisations in Auckland – Fair Food and Kiwi Harvest – who take food that would otherwise go to waste from businesses and redistribute it to organisations with a social justice function.
- 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 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). Check out Repair Cafe Auckland to see where the next repair cafe is happening near you! In Northern Auckland, Mahurangi Wastebusters runs repair cafes, so follow their website also to make sure you don’t miss out!
- Recycle: If your electronics really have given up the ghost, rather than chucking them out, take them to be recycled responsibly. In Auckland there are a range of places you can take your e-waste to be recycled or disposed of more safely. These include community recycling centres (see below), Resource Rescue, Abilities, Ecomatters, and E-Cycle.
- Community Recycling Centres are popping up all over Auckland now that the council has the aim of having at least 12 in the city in order to reach its goal of becoming a zero waste city by 2040. Community recycling centres are community-run and very effective at diverting waste from landfill, whether by arranging recycling, or repurposing or reselling of items back to the community at low cost. They are often drop-off points for all manner of recyclables, from plastics, paper/cardboard, glass and metals, through to hard to recycle items like e-waste, building and construction materials and other bits and bobs. Check out this list of Auckland community recycling centres to find your local. In Northern Auckland, Mahurangi Wastebusters now operates the Lawrie Road and Rustybrook Road community recycling centres and are in the process of expanding the range of items they’ll accept for recycling, while developing resource recovery and reuse shops on-site, so give them your support! The range of things the community can drop-off makes community recycling centres a GREAT place to get your magpie on and scavenge some real treasures at the re-use shops – a perfect place to find secondhand items rather than buying them new. If you’re wanting a new appliance or gadget, new toys or bikes, or 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, go to your local community recycling centre before you go anywhere else – you’ll be amazed at what you can find, at super low prices.
- EcoMatters’ Adopt a Resource – one person’s waste is another person’s treasure. Daily industry throws out tonnes of ‘waste’ that might actually be useful to other people. EcoMatters, an amazing Environment Centre in New Lynn, is taking ‘waste’ off the Rosebank Business Community and rehoming it to whoever might want it! Check out their website – you never know what kind of goodies you might be able to get, while saving it from a sad fate in landfill :-O
Zero Waste Information and Support Networks
- Mahurangi Wastebusters – aside from running two refuse and recycling stations, Mahurangi Wastebusters runs community events and workshop on low-waste living, so follow their website to keep abreast of their work. You may also be keen to get involved and volunteer with them!
- Waste-free advocates – Auckland is full of groups and individuals who provide support and inspiration for people to reduce their waste, both online and offline. You may have heard of Amanda Chapman from Amanda in Waste-free Land, Kristy Lorson from EarthSavvy (who is also the creator of the incredibly useful Zero Waste in NZ! Facebook page), the Weir-Barwells of Waste-Less Living, the trail-blazing Matthew Luxon and Waveney Warth from Rubbishfree.co.nz, and the Archer family of 6 who are documenting their year without a bin this year (2018). Have a look at their websites – they are all excellent resources for waste-free living in Auckland, and NZ generally. If you’re lucky, you might be able to twist one of their arms to do a public talk/workshop as well… 😀
- Running a Zero Waste Event – Are you running an event – big or small – and keen to keep it low-waste?Well, EcoMatters has developed an AMAZING website on Zero Waste Events in collaboration with Auckland Council to encourage event organisers and stallholders to design an event that generates less waste, and/or the right kind of waste for reuse. There’s so much useful information on this website, so definitely check it out – proper impressive! In Northern Auckland, Mahurangi Wastebusters helps to run zero waste events – so get in touch if you need a hand!
Share and Exchange/Skills and Resilience in Communities
- 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.
- Menzshed – there are Menzsheds throughout Auckland. 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!
- Community gardens and urban growing – if you are wanting to try your hand at gardening and have access to some unpackaged, locally grown veges, look up your local community garden. We’ve seen some great ones, including in Matakana, but there are many more! Check out a full list (plus map) here. Better yet, check out the truly amazing For the Love of Bees – an artistic project that has morphed into a next level community-mobilising force for making Auckland a city that is good for bees (and thus, for us), incredible stuff!
- Sharing Sheds/Community Fruit and Veg Stands – these are stands/shelves in the community where anyone can drop off excess fruit and veg from their garden, and anyone is free to take what’s there, free of charge. The wonderful art of sharing means that excess produce doesn’t go to waste. Furthermore, items can be shared without excessive amounts of packaging. These are popping up around the country and there are heaps in Auckland – find your nearest through the new website Free Food.
- Crop Swap – Another fantastic thing going is Crop Swaps – at a crop swap, individuals who have veges they’ve grown, or preserves or baking they’ve made (or similar), 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. There are crop swaps dotted around Auckland, including the Green Swap in Matakana. Check out this website for a location near you (note the website is still being developed and currently missing many locations – you may need to ask around).