This guide covers the entire Southland region. For ease of reference though, we’ve arranged the list by geographical areas – from Gore to Lumsden, down to Winton, Invercargill, Riverton, Rakiura/Stewart Island and then over to Te Anau – so scroll down if you’re looking for businesses and services in those areas specifically!
NB: All our regional guides cover as many low-waste options as we could find for food, drink, kitchen and food packaging, cleaning products and bathroom products – scroll down to view each category. At the end of each district section, we also list community groups, council services and ideas for tricky waste streams in each district, so make sure you read down to that part too!
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!
- The Kitchen Cupboard, 82 Broughton Street, Gore – this store offers a wide array of dried food in bulk bins/unpackaged (including, but not limited to, nuts, seeds, cereals, grains, legumes, flours, dried fruit and pasta), a range of spices, sweets, treats and snacks, baking goods like food-grade baking soda and several liquid foods, like vinegars, oils, syrups, honeys etc. They also have a peanut butter extruder, just BYO jar! There are even some Southland locals sewing up reusable cotton shopping bags out of upcycled material, which means customers can avoid plastic shopping bags.
- Four Square Wyndham, 43 Balaclava Street, Wyndham – while not unpackaged, they do sell large bulk brown paper bags full of sugar and flour – a good option for those staples for people living close to Wyndham.
- The Pantry, 133 Grace Street, South Invercargill – a fantastic bulk store owned by the local South Invercargill social enterprise, South Alive (so all profits go back into community development work in South Invercargill). They stock a wide range of grains, legumes, seeds, nuts, dried fruit, condiments, herbs, spices, sugar, cereals (even weetbix!), flours (gluten and gluten free), sweets, even bulk pet food, and a range of liquids for refill, including oils, syrups and vinegars (including balsamic!). They also have a peanut butter extruder, just BYO jar! As a community-oriented store, they also run kitchen/cooking related workshops in their beautiful kitchen facilities, so keep an eye out for those.
- ComplEat Wellness, 24 Windsor Street, Windsor, Invercargill – here you can find a good range of organic wholefoods in bulk bins/unpackaged, including nuts, seeds, legumes, grains, lots of flours, dried coconut and dried fruit.
- Riverton Organic Food Co-op, 154 Palmerston Street, Riverton – this excellent, long-running food co-op can be found in the Riverton Environment Centre building. The co-op provides a market for a range of local produce and creations. They also bulk order a range of organic wholefoods, including herbs, spices, legumes, flours, nuts, seeds, dried fruit etc. However, these are all prepacked into cellophane or brown paper, so if you need to stock up here make sure you have a good compost set up for breaking the packaging down. You may also want to help the co-op to find ways to stock more of the wholefoods unpackaged (i.e. in bulk bins or bulk jars) so that you can put the goods straight into your BYO jar and container. The co-op does offer refills for apple cider vinegar – just BYO bottle for this!
- Te Anau Wholefoods – this is a group that bulk buys organic wholefoods. So you can join the co-op, make an order that will arrive to the Te Anau Wholefoods headquarters, after which you can arrange to pack what you ordered from the bulk bags into your own bags/containers. Note that the co-op is still mostly buying smaller 3kg bulk bags that are plastic, so while there is a definite reduction in packaging from bulk buying, the reduction would be greater if there were more people ordering so that the group could bring in goods in larger sacks. It’s worth getting in touch with the group (if you are not a member already) to see how being part of Te Anau Wholefoods could help you to reduce waste.
- Supermarkets (New World Gore, 2-8 Irk Street, Gore, New World Windsor, 51 Windsor Street, Windsor, Invercargill New World Elles Road, 244 Elles Road, South Invercargill, New world Winton, 293 Great North Road, Winton, FreshChoice, 5 Milford Crescent, Te Anau) – these supermarkets have bulk bin/pick and mix sections with wholefoods (BYO bags for these). However they’re pretty expensive, often more so than equivalent ingredients in packets (bah!), and more so than the bulk bins at places like The Kitchen Cupboard and The Pantry.
Places that sell unpackaged meat, sausages, smallgoods and seafood, who are happy for you to BYO container to put the goods in.
- Goodmeats Butchery, 28 Huron Street, Gore
- Gore Meat Processors, corner of Richmond & Irwell Streets, Gore
- Churchy’s Quality Meats, 84 Broughton Street, Gore
- Mataura Butcher Shop, 30 Bridge Street, Mataura
- Uppercuts Butchery, 166 Florence Road, Winton
- Mighty Meats, 50 Centre Street, South Invercargill
- Kings Ocean Fresh Fish, 59 Ythan Street, Invercargill – lots of unpackaged seafood. Happy to put in BYO containers
- Riverton Butchery Limited, 5 Jetty Street, Riverton – while all the meat that you see when you walk into this store is packaged, you can ask the butcher to put unpackaged cuts of meat from out the back into your own containers (or ask in advance for cuts to be left aside for you, unpackaged, to pick up with your own containers).
- Unpackaged live mussels – there are a few stores around town that stock unpackaged live mussels at self-serve counters. We put them straight into upcycled ice cream containers/BYO containers rather than the plastic bags the stores usually provide. You can find unpackaged live mussels at Southern Seafood Products, 133 Clyde Street, South Invercargill and FreshChoice, 5 Milford Crescent, Te Anau.
- Try your luck with BYO containers at the supermarket delis – Most supermarkets have a deli section offering meat, seafood, olives and other antipasti, salads, lunch foods and more – all unpackaged. Some supermarkets will allow you to BYO container for these goods, while others won’t. It can be hit and miss, often depending on the staff member you talk to. For example, New World supermarkets have a flexible franchise model which means they can usually make their own in store decisions about whether to allow BYO containers or not, whereas pretty much any Countdown will not accept BYO containers. It’s always worth asking though! Supermarkets with delis: New World Gore, 2-8 Irk Street, Countdown Gore, 24 Medway Street, New World Winton, 293 Great North Road, Winton, New World Windsor, 51 Windsor Street, Windsor, PAK’nSAVE, 95 Tay Street, Invercargill, Super Value Invercargill, 103 Yarrow Street, Invercargill, New World Elles Road, 244 Elles Road, South Invercargill.
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).
Colonial Bakery, 25 Gala Street, North Invercargill
- Waipiti Bakery & Cafe, 2 The Lane, Te Anau – although this bakery pre-packs all its loaves of bread that go on the shelves, if you go in and ask the day before, they are happy to set aside a loaf for you, unpackaged, which you can pick up the next day and put straight into your BYO bag.
- The following supermarkets stock unpackaged bread and/or bakery goods, just BYO bags: New World Gore, 2-8 Irk Street, Gore, New world Winton, 293 Great North Road, Winton, New World Elles Road, 244 Elles Road, South Invercargill, New World Windsor, 51 Windsor Street, Windsor (rolls and other bakery goods only, no loaves), PAK’nSAVE, 95 Tay Street, Invercargill (unpackaged bread loaves, rolls and bakery goods), Super Value Invercargill, 103 Yarrow Street, Invercargill (no bread, only bakery goods), FreshChoice, 5 Milford Crescent, Te Anau and Four Square Te Anau, 30 Town Centre, Te Anau (unpackaged bread rolls and some bakery goods, no loaves).
Markets and other low-waste goodies you might not have thought of
- Trade Aid – Trade Aid‘s entire chocolate range comes in Econic home compostable packaging! Their 2kg sugar bags are also great for upcycling as bulk bin bags, and are home compostable also. Trade Aid’s coconut oil is one of the few on the market that does not have a plastic seal around the lid. There are several stockists of these products around Southland, particularly around Invercargill: Orphan’s Aid Opshop, 106 Spey Street, Invercargill stocks all of these products; ComplEat Wellness, 24 Windsor Street, Windsor, Invercargill stocks the chocolate and coconut oil; Holistic Health, 29 Kelvin Street, Invercargill stocks the chocolate and sugar; Riverton Environment Centre, 154 Palmerston Street, Riverton stocks the chocolate (as well as stocking another raw treat: Ceres Organics RAW Goodness bars, which are wrapped in Econic home compostable packaging too); and both DOC Rakiura National Park Visitor Centre, 15 Main Road, Oban, Rakiura/Stewart Island, and DOC Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre, Lakefront Drive, Te Anau stock Trade Aid chocolate.
- Markets: Hokonui Community Market, St Andrews Presbyterian Church Hall, Corner of Ardwick and Devon Streets, Gore; Winton Community Market, Winton Presbyterian Church, 11 Meldrum Street, Winton; Southern Farmers Market, Southland Masonic Centre, 80 Forth Street, Invercargill; Te Anau Community Market, 20-22 Luxmore Drive, Te Anau – there’s nothing like going along to your local market to find packaging-free food. Shopping local is a great way to reduce waste because the food and goods don’t have to travel long distances and because you can have direct one-on-one conversations with the grower or producer, explaining that you don’t want their beautiful product in a packet, and brainstorming alternatives together (a kind of conversation/collaboration that is very difficult to have with a supermarket!!). For example, even if the seller has already packaged up the goods, often you can ask to have them transferred to your own bag/container and have the seller keep their bag/container for reuse. Or ask the seller if they ever take back returned empties (whether glass jars for preserves or glass pottles for cosmetics/beauty products) for sterilisation and refill. Often the answer is yes!
- Milk – Southland is totally sorted for zero waste milk as there are a bunch of companies who either deliver milk in glass bottles that you return to the company for sterilisation or reuse, or who provide milk vending machines at the farm gate so you can go there with your own bottles (or buy a reusable glass bottle the first time you go) and fill up over and over again. There are three companies providing one or both of these services in Southland (all selling raw milk). In Gore district there’s Henderson’s Dairy, just a 10 min drive out of Gore itself. You can either get their milk direct from the farm from the vending machine, or have it delivered to you (within Gore district) in a glass bottle that you swap on each delivery – empty bottles are washed, sterilized and reused. Near Invercargill is Farm Fresh South, another raw milk producer based in Woodlands. Again, you can either go to the farm and fill up a bottle at their vending machine, or sign up for delivery if you live in and around Invercargill. Finally there is Go 2 Raw Milk, based in Otautau. The delivery area for this milk is much wider than the other companies – in Southland they deliver to Invercargill, Winton, Otautau and Te Anau. So take your pick!
- Other milk options – If you’re not keen on the glass reuse system, for whatever reason, there’s always milk powder – you can buy this unpackaged at The Kitchen Cupboard, 82 Broughton Street, Gore and The Pantry, 133 Grace Street, South Invercargill. If you’re into non-dairy milk and want to avoid non-recyclable TetraPaks, there are a couple of options in Invercargill: The Pantry stocks coconut milk powder (something we haven’t seen before!), and ComplEat Wellness, 24 Windsor Street, Windsor stocks Vigour & Vitality Mylk, which comes in a glass jar – it’s a butter which you add to water to make into non-dairy milk. There are many different options available, from coconut through to hemp and a special barista blend.
- 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. There is only ONE roastery in the entirety of Southland – Roar Coffee, 6 Hill Road, Lumsden – the world’s southernmost coffee roastery, and they are amazing! More than happy for customers to BYO container to fill up with their delicious coffee beans, whole or ground. Unfortunately they are only available in Lumsden in this way, although in Gore you can get Roar Coffee beans put straight into a BYO container from One Chef Kitchen, 5 Main Street, Gore – they will pour the amount you want into your own container from a larger bag (so it’s not entirely zero waste, but it is less waste overall). The only other place that we found in Southland that sells coffee unpackaged is The Kitchen Cupboard, 82 Broughton Street, Gore, where they also have a grinder. Although, we heard through the grapevine that you can get coffee beans loose/unpackaged from a bulk bin at Super Value Invercargill, 103 Yarrow Street, Invercargill – go and check it out for yourself if you live in Invercargill (and if it’s true, let us know so we can confirm for sure here!)
- Instant Coffee – Trade Aid instant coffee comes in Econic home compostable packaging. You can find this at ComplEat Wellness, 24 Windsor Street, Invercargill, Orphan’s Aid Opshop, 106 Spey Street, Invercargill and at the Riverton Environment Centre, 154 Palmerston Street, Riverton.
- Tea – most tea bags have plastic in them, so we encourage people to drink loose leaf teas. We’re always on the lookout for loose leaf teas that you can get unpackaged. You can get loose leaf black tea at The Pantry, 133 Grace Street, South Invercargill.
- Beer/alcohol – look out for places that sell beer on tap and BYO bottles/flagons to fill up. Lots of places in Southland have this option, whether you’re looking for classic commercial beers (e.g. Speights, DB, etc.) or craft beer. For commercial beer, head to
Super Liquor Gore, 225 Main South Road, Gore (also does cider), Super Liquor Winton, 232 Great North Road, Winton, Woodlands Tavern, 3 Wyeth Road, Woodlands, Super Liquor Collingwood, 44 North Road, Invercargill, Liquorland Centrepoint, 252 Dee Street, Invercargill, Super Liquor Southland, 406 Elles Road, South Invercargill, East End Liquor, 12 Bamborough Street, Invercargill (which also has craft beer on tap such as Emerson’s, Tuatara, Panhead, Garage Project), The Riverton Lodge Hotel, 57 Princess Street, Riverton and Thirsty Liquor Tuatapere, 2 McFeely Street, Tuatapere. Last, but definitely not least, try out Invercargill Brewery, 72 Leet Street, Invercargill for great locally brewed craft beer and cider (and if you’re having a glass of wine at the bar here, they even do wine on tap, thus avoiding the need for a bar tender to have to crack open a bottle on your behalf!)
Drinking Chocolate – The Kitchen Cupboard, 82 Broughton Street, Gore stocks unpackaged/loose drinking chocolate, and The Pantry, 133 Grace Street, South Invercargill stocks unpackaged drinking chocolate, cocoa powder and raw organic cacao powder in bulk.
KITCHEN/FOOD PACKAGING ALTERNATIVES
Say “no more” to disposable takeaway coffee cups and plastic water bottles by getting yourself reusables instead! Get reusable water bottles at H & J Smith Gore, 58 Main Street, Gore and H & J Smith Invercargill, 66/74 Tay Street, Invercargill (both glass and metal), Woodstock on Windsor, 20 Windsor St, Windsor, Invercargill (metal), Holistic Health, 29 Kelvin Street, Invercargill (metal), Steven’s, 150 Dee Street, Invercargill (metal), Found my Way, 38 Windsor Street, Windsor, Invercargill (metal), The Red Shed (Oban Visitor Centre), 12 Elgin Terrace, Oban, Rakiura/Stewart Island (metal) and Kiwi Country, 63 Town Centre, Te Anau (metal).
- Find the Keep Cup brand at One Chef Kitchen, 5 Main Street, Gore and Steven’s, 150 Dee Street, Invercargill.
- Get the NZ-made Cuppa Coffee Cup at The Pantry, 133 Grace Street, South Invercargill, The Good Studio, 127 Palmerston Street, Riverton, DOC Rakiura National Park Visitor Centre, 15 Main Road, Oban, Rakiura/Stewart Island, Inspire Te Anau, 1 The Lane, Te Anau and Kiwi Country, 63 Town Centre, Te Anau.
- The Oasis Eco Cup (made with a bamboo fibre/plastic composite mix) is sold at H & J Smith Invercargill, 66/74 Tay Street, Invercargill.
- The Joco brand at Found my Way, 38 Windsor Street, Windsor, Invercargill.
New World Windsor, 51 Windsor Street, Windsor, Invercargill sells unbranded stainless steel reusable coffee cups.
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. ComplEat Wellness, 24 Windsor Street, Windsor, Invercargill sells Meals in Steel stainless steel lunchboxes and plastic bento lunch boxes.
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 Rethink 100% organic cotton produce bags at Veggie Boys, 99 Leven Street, Invercargill and Super Value Invercargill, 103 Yarrow Street, Invercargill. Found my Way, 38 Windsor Street, Windsor, Invercargill stocks Green Collective Loot Bags (100% cotton bulk bags), and you can get locally hand crafted produce bags and shopping bags made from upcycled materials (yahoo!) at the Riverton Environment Centre, 154 Palmerston Street, Riverton.
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 ComplEat Wellness, 24 Windsor Street, Windsor, Invercargill (although these are sadly packaged in plastic), H & J Smith Invercargill, 66/74 Tay Street, Invercargill and The Good Studio, 127 Palmerston Street, Riverton.
Alternatives to plastic cling wrap, plastic sandwich bags and tin foil
- Beeswax wrap – H & J Smith Gore, 58 Main Street, Gore stocks the Nil brand, H & J Smith Invercargill, 66/74 Tay Street, Invercargill stocks the Bee Wrapt brand, The Good Studio, 127 Palmerston Street, Riverton stocks the Honeywrap brand, LilyPond Children’s Boutique, 30 Cleddau Street, Te Anau (in the Lime and White Caravan Shop) makes beautiful and affordable beeswax wraps in Te Anau, including First Lunch Sets that are perfect for kids’ lunchboxes, and Te Anau School, 181 Milford Road, Te Anau also sells beeswax wraps that the students have made as a fundraiser for the school. You can also make your own beeswax wraps! While you can get ‘make your own kits’ by Global Soap at ComplEat Wellness, 24 Windsor Street, Windsor, Invercargill, to make it yourself 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, such as places like The Gore Hospice Shop, 11 Ordsall Street, or Fiordland House, 3 Town Centre, Te Anau. Get local beeswax at The Kitchen Cupboard, 82 Broughton Street, Gore (you may have to ask for it not to be wrapped in plastic cling wrap!!) and Windsor Health, 63 Bourke Street, Invercargill.
Reusable sandwich bags – Kates Place, 26 Mitre Street, Gore makes and sells their own sandwich wraps/snack bags, as does LilyPond Children’s Boutique, 30 Cleddau Street, Te Anau (in the Lime and White Caravan Shop) – so get your hands on local products if you are in Gore or Te Anau! ComplEat Wellness, 24 Windsor Street, Windsor, Invercargill stocks Keep Leaf sandwich bags; and H & J Smith Invercargill, 66/74 Tay Street, Invercargill stocks Sachi lunch pouches.
- 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 H & J Smith Gore, 58 Main Street, Gore, Woodstock on Windsor, 20 Windsor St, Windsor, Invercargill (zeal brand), H & J Smith Invercargill, 66/74 Tay Street, Invercargill, E Hayes & Sons, 68 Dee Street, Invercargill and Inspire Te Anau, 1 The Lane, Te Anau.
You can find dishbrushes with wooden handles and removable + replaceable, home compostable heads at Windsor Health, 63 Bourke Street, Invercargill, ComplEat Wellness, 24 Windsor Street, Windsor, Invercargill, Steven’s, 150 Dee Street, Invercargill and at the Riverton Environment Centre, 154 Palmerston Street, Riverton (who also stock Go Bamboo home compostable veggie brushes which can also be used as dishbrushes).
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. You can get the Budget brand 100% cotton dishcloths at New World Gore, 2-8 Irk Street, Gore, Mataura Convenience Store, 6 Bridge Street Mataura, Four Square Wyndham, 43 Balaclava Street, Wyndham, Four Square Lumsden, 14 Diana Street, Lumsden, New World Windsor, 51 Windsor Street, Windsor, New World Elles Road, 244 Elles Road, South Invercargill, Stewart Island Four Square, 20 Elgin Terrace, Oban, Rakiura/Stewart Island, Four Square Tuatapere, 73 Main Road, Tuatapere and Four Square Te Anau, 30 Town Centre, Te Anau. For something slightly different, Super Value Invercargill, 103 Yarrow Street, Invercargill stocks Kiwi Home brand 100% cotton dishcloths, and H & J Smith Invercargill, 66/74 Tay Street, Invercargill stocks Country Home 100% cotton dishcloths. At Woodstock on Windsor, 20 Windsor St, Windsor, Invercargill you can get the fancy Bianca Lorenne cotton dishcloths. OR get your hands on truly beautiful, locally knitted, 100% cotton dishcloths from the Riverton Environment Centre, 154 Palmerston Street, Riverton. If you’re wanting to try your own hand at knitting/crocheting dishcloths, Wool World, 124 Dee Street, Invercargill sells organic fair trade cotton and other natural fibre yarn blends, and Fiordland House, 3 Town Centre, Te Anau also sells natural fibre yarns (avoid cotton blends because these have synthetics in them, i.e. will leach plastic microfibres).
- The Kitchen Cupboard, 82 Broughton Street, Gore – stocks a range of commercial liquid cleaning products that you can BYO bottles to fill with. They also stock epsom salts, washing soda and laundry powder unpackaged in bulk.
- New World Gore, 2-8 Irk Street, Gore – stocks Eco Planet laundry powder (which comes in a cardboard box with a cardboard scoop – no plastic lining!)
- New World Winton, 293 Great North Road, Winton – stocks Eco Planet laundry powder (which comes in a cardboard box with a cardboard scoop – no plastic lining!)
- New World Windsor, 51 Windsor Street, Windsor, Invercargill – stocks Eco Planet laundry powder (which comes in a cardboard box with a cardboard scoop – no plastic lining!), and Go Bamboo pegs made from bamboo with a metal spring mechanism.
- New World Elles Road, 244 Elles Road, South Invercargill – stocks Eco Planet laundry powder (which comes in a cardboard box with a cardboard scoop – no plastic lining!).
- The Pantry, 133 Grace Street, South Invercargill – stocks a huge range of unpackaged cleaning products: from bulk/unpackaged epsom salts, baking soda, Ecostore dish powder and laundry powder, washing soda, borax, as well as liquid cleaning products that you can BYO bottles to fill with, such as Ecostore dishwashing, laundry, dishwasher and toilet cleaner liquids. There are a number of other chemical powders and liquids in bulk for whatever you need.
- Windsor Health, 63 Bourke Street, Invercargill – sells bulk soap flakes for laundry.
- ComplEat Wellness, 24 Windsor Street, Invercargill – stocks bars of both Dr Bronner’s and Global Soap castille soap (Global Soap is Nelson-based, so much more local than USA-made Dr Bronner’s!) which you can use as a base for homemade dishwashing and laundry liquid (see how it works here).
- Riverton Environment Centre, 154 Palmerston Street, Riverton – stocks baking soda in brown paper bags.
- Inspire Te Anau, 1 The Lane, Te Anau – stocks That Red House soapnuts, which come in a cotton bag lined with brown paper (no plastic).
These are a great alternative to plastic toothbrushes because they have wooden, home compostable handles (though bristles are still plastic and need to be removed from the handle and put in a rubbish bin). You’ll find the Go Bamboo brand at New World Gore, 2-8 Irk Street, Gore, New World Windsor, 51 Windsor Street, Windsor, Invercargill, ComplEat Wellness, 24 Windsor Street, Invercargill, New World Elles Road, 244 Elles Road, South Invercargill, Riverton Environment Centre, 154 Palmerston Street, Riverton and Stewart Island Four Square, 20 Elgin Terrace, Oban, Rakiura/Stewart Island. You can also get the Humble Brush brand at Windsor Health, 63 Bourke Street, Invercargill and Holistic Health, 29 Kelvin Street, Invercargill, and The Eco Brush toothbrushes at Super Value Invercargill, 103 Yarrow Street, Invercargill.
Unpackaged Bars of Soap
It’s easy to get soap without packaging in Southland. The following stores sell totally naked bars of soap:
- Health 2000, 57 Main Street, Gore
- The Pantry, 133 Grace Street, South Invercargill – while they do stock liquid refills of Ecostore handwash and body wash, you can avoid even this plastic packaging by buying Invercargill made Nellie’s Soaps in either bar form (unpackaged) or liquid soap in glass jars. They also sell Ecostore unpackaged soap.
- ComplEat Wellness, 24 Windsor Street, Invercargill (Ecostore and Global Soap)
- French Polish, 18 Windsor Street, Invercargill (Inga Ford)
- Windsor Health, 63 Bourke Street, Invercargill
- Woodstock on Windsor, 20 Windsor St, Invercargill
- Found my Way, 38 Windsor Street, Invercargill
- Holistic Health, 29 Kelvin Street, Invercargill (soap and Henrietta natural soap base in brown paper bags)
- Southern Farmers Market, Southland Masonic Centre, 80 Forth Street, Invercargill – you’ll find Nellie’s Soaps here
- Riverton Environment Centre, 154 Palmerston Street, Riverton (Ecostore)
- Inspire Te Anau, 1 The Lane, Te Anau – (Inga Ford, among others)
- Fiordland Community Pharmacy, 70b Town Centre, Te Anau.
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): Unichem Quins Gore Pharmacy, 104 Main Street, Gore, Unichem Waikiwi Pharmacy, 280 North Road, Invercargill, Farmers, 150 Dee Street, Invercargill, The Pantry, 133 Grace Street, South Invercargill, Windsor Health, 63 Bourke Street, Invercargill and The Good Studio, 127 Palmerston Street, Riverton.
- Local Invercargill company Nellie’s Soaps makes shampoo bars, which you can buy unpackaged at The Pantry and the Southern Farmers Market, Southland Masonic Centre, 80 Forth Street, Invercargill.
- You can find Nelson’s Global Soap 3 in 1 Shower/Shampoo/Shave bar unpackaged at ComplEat Wellness, 24 Windsor Street, Invercargill and Holistic Health, 29 Kelvin Street, Invercargill.
- Or find shampoo bars with a goats’ milk base made by Balclutha company Simple Naked Soap in cotton bags at The Gift Shed, 129 Dee Street, Invercargill.
- Cotton Buds – Go Bamboo makes home compostable buds so you can avoid the single-use, unrecyclable plastic ones. Get them from New World Gore, 2-8 Irk Street, Gore and the Riverton Environment Centre, 154 Palmerston Street, Riverton.
- Unpackaged Beeswax – beeswax can be useful for making homemade cosmetics such as lip balm. Get it unpackaged from Windsor Health, 63 Bourke Street, Invercargill. The Kitchen Cupboard, 82 Broughton Street, Gore also sells local beeswax, but it’s wrapped in plastic cling wrap – perhaps ask the store if this is avoidable.
- Toilet Paper – Riverton Environment Centre, 154 Palmerston Street, Riverton stocks Pure Eco Toilet Paper which are individually wrapped in tissue paper, and FreshChoice, 5 Milford Crescent, Te Anau stocks Homebrand toilet paper also individually wrapped in tissue paper.
- Baking Soda – 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 The Kitchen Cupboard, 82 Broughton Street, Gore and The Pantry, 133 Grace Street, South Invercargill. The Riverton Environment Centre, 154 Palmerston Street, Riverton also sells it in brown paper bags.
COMMUNITY GROUPS, SUPPORTIVE NETWORKS AND HELP WITH TRICKY WASTE STREAMS
- Food waste – food waste and scraps going to landfill not only produces methane, but also represents the loss of an excellent resource that could be turned into compost to enrich our soil, or, if the discarded food was still edible, the loss of perfectly good food that could go to someone that wants to eat it! If you would like to set up your own home compost, worm farm or bokashi system, but aren’t sure where to start, WasteNet, a service run by Southland’s three district councils, has some great info in the Home and Garden section of their site, to get you started. If you’re near Riverton, the South Coast Environment Society also runs semi-regular workshops on topics like composting, so keep an eye out! Linking up with your local community garden (see below) is also a great way to pick up some composting skills, or perhaps the community garden compost has space for your food scraps! If you want something super simple, a bokashi bin may be for you – look out for places you can buy these around Southland (we saw them available at The Pantry, 133 Grace Street, South Invercargill and Riverton Environment Centre, 154 Palmerston Street, Riverton). If you’re an Invercargill-based business chucking out food that is still edible but not saleable, you can get in touch with Food Rescue – a volunteer-run, non-profit organisation that takes from businesses edible food that would otherwise go to waste, and redistributes it to agencies who pass it on to people who need it.
- E-waste – electronic waste is the world’s fastest growing waste stream, with huge environmental implications because of the toxins that can be leached from this waste, but also the loss of incredibly precious resources embedded in these items that are not recovered when the waste is dumped in landfill. Rather than throwing you broken electronics out – have you considered trying to get them repaired first? You could pay someone to do it, or look out for Repair or Fix-it Cafes where experts donate their time to fix people’s broken items for free at a designated repair event (usually run by community centres, churches or councils). If your electronics really have given up the ghost, rather than chucking them out, take them to Southland DisAbility Enterprises, which accepts a wide range of electronics for recycling. This recycling service will come at a cost to you (until the Government starts to regulate manufacturers of these products), but it’s a small cost relative to damage these items otherwise cause in landfill.
- The Orange Pages – this is a waste directory run by WasteNet (the joint Southland region district councils’ waste service). If you’ve got a waste item that you are unsure what to do with, or how to avoid in the future, look it up on this A-Z directory for some pretty thorough, localised information! You’ll also find handy tips and tricks for managing and minimising your waste on the WasteNet website.
- The Garage Re-Use Shop, 303 Bond Street, Invercargill – an excellent re-use shop by the Invercargill Transfer Station, operated by Habitat for Humanity. If you have household items, timber, furniture, scrap metals, tools, or similar items that you no longer want that might still be usable, see if you can drop them off at The Garage rather than chucking them out! The range of things the community can drop-off makes The Garage a GREAT place to get your magpie on and scavenge some real treasures – you can find some choice 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 etc, go to The Garage before you go anywhere else – you’ll be amazed at what you can find, at super low prices.
- South Alive, Shop 6, South City Mall, South Invercargill – what an amazing initiative South Alive is – a community-led urban rejuvenation project that has revitalised South Invercargill. South Alive supports the local community to develop initiatives that are important to them. Turns out several of these touch on waste and/or waste avoidance. The Pantry is the commercial arm of South Alive, which is in itself incredible for wast reduction, but South Alive has also organised sewing bees to create reusable shopping bags out of upcycled fabric for the store (and they’re always looking for volunteers for this, so get your sew on!) South Alive also run a community garden (see below), and their Zero Rubbish initiative, which is all about locals picking an area of South Invercargill that they’d like to take responsibility for keeping free of rubbish!
- Crop Swap Invercargill, currently running on the second Saturday of the month at The Pod, 133 Grace Street, South Invercargill (behind The Pantry), but check the Facebook page for more up to date information – 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.
- Rakiura Hummingbirds – a wonderful group of Stewart Island locals who are working together to reduce waste in the Rakiura/Stewart Island community. One of the things they’re working on is improving the second hand goods shop at the island’s transfer station. They’ve also set up one of the most successful Boomerang Bags initiatives we’ve seen (because their bags actually boomerang back to the local Four Square rather than going on permanent walkabouts – woah!). If you live on Rakiura and are keen on reducing waste, check this group out, they’re always keen for new members!
- Riverton Environment Centre/South Coast Environment Society (SCES) – a total taonga in the Riverton community. The Riverton Environment Centre is not only home to the Riverton Organic Food Co-op, it’s a total hub for info about sustainable living, much of it related to waste reduction. For example, the South Coast Environment Society runs regular workshops, including the Living Lightly workshop series, which cover topics like homemade skin care/cleaning products, upcycling, and how to use baking soda (a zero waste essential). The SCES also runs the Open Orchard Project (which maps and replants heritage fruit trees across Southland – increasing the region’s food resilience and access to nutritious (unpackaged) food), and created and manages the Riverton Community Forest Garden, inspired and driven by the Guytons who have their own incredible (and legendary) food forest at their home in Riverton. By spreading information about food forests, the Guytons and SCES help to show the importance of food resilience, and demonstrate how we can grow foods in less labour intensive ways! Ultimately, the more food we can grow at home and in communities, the less of our food that needs to travel long distances or come to us in packets.
- Community gardens – community gardens are an excellent way for residents to get kai without packaging, and to learn skills of growing food and setting up composts – both very useful skills for low-waste living. There are several community gardens dotted around the region, including Mataura Community Gardens; Winton Community Garden; Great North Road by the Mitre 10; South Alive Community Gardens, 262 Ness Street, South Invercargill; Stewart Island/Rakiura Community Gardens, Argyle Street, Stewart Island; Tuatapere Community Gardens. 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 – Menzsheds provide a great opportunity for men of all ages to share tools and a workspace (reducing the wasteful overduplication of these resources) and to pass on skills of woodworking and other trades. Menzsheds frequently offer communities the service of repairing broken items like furniture (at a small cost), and also creating bespoke items for community and charitable purposes.
- 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 in Southland – there are a few, including a really amazing one at the Gore Kids Hub!
- Murihiku Time Exchange – There’s a timebank in Invercargill, yay! 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? Wellington’s Timebank is thriving and well worth getting involved with, if you aren’t already!