Zero Waste in Wairarapa

Zero Waste in Wairarapa

This guide covers Wairarapa only. For other parts of the Greater Wellington Region, please refer to the Zero Waste in the Greater Wellington Region homepage.



Our heartfelt gratitude to Sugarcube Studios, the creators of EcoSpot, for bringing our guides to life – designing a map for us and creating such joyful imagery to go with it!

Lots of pantry staples – from flours, grains and rice, through to condiments, spices, legumes, nuts, seeds and liquid foods – usually come in single-use packets. These shops stock all manner of pantry foods loose in bulk bins (or operate return & refill systems for their packaging), allowing you to put these goods straight into your own bags, jars, containers and bottles, and skip the packaging!

  • Bin Inn Masterton, 333 Queen St, Masterton – 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 – including local oil by Loopline (see below) – and syrups), and sweets and treats. They also have a peanut butter machine. All Bin Inn around New Zealand stores are currently offering 5% discount when you bring your own containers!
  • Food Forest Organics, 101 Main St, Greytown – sells some unpackaged seasonal food (such as nuts!)
  • Loopline Olives, 91 Loop Line, Lansdowne, Opaki – refill your BYO bottles with award-winning olive oil at the olivery (also at Bin Inn Masterton or Wairarapa Farmers’ Market).
  • Union Square Boulangerie, 3 Kitchener Street, Martinborough – stocks local olive oil on tap – BYO bottles!
  • Supermarkets – most supermarkets have bulk bin/pick and mix sections with wholefoods (BYO bags for these). For example, you’ll find bulk bins at Fresh Choice, Greytown, 12 Hastwell St, Greytown and Four Square Martinborough, 14-16 Memorial Square, Martinboroug. However supermarket bulk aisles tend to be pretty expensive, often more so than equivalent ingredients in packets (bah!), and more so than the bulk bins at places like Bin Inn. 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!

  • Joe’s Meat Market, 435 Queen Street, Kuripuni, Masterton – can put most cuts of meat into a container, even the meat that is usually prepacked, you can ask in advance and they’ll set aside some for you unpackaged.
  • Moore Wilson’s, 120 Dixon St, Masterton – stocks Bostock’s organic free range chicken which comes in Grounded home compostable packaging (except for the whole chicken packs).
  • Eketahuna Country Meats, 110A Bentley Street, Masterton
  • Scotty’s Meats, 18 Jellicoe Street, Martinborough
  • Greytown Butchery, 67 Main Street, Greytown
  • Main Street Deli Cafe, 88 Main Street, Greytown – sells olives and dolomades (stuffed vine leaves) unpackaged
  • C’est Cheese, 19 Fitzherbert St, Featherston – will put cheese cut from the wheel into BYO containers.
  • Kingsmeade Artisan Cheese will put cuts from the wheel into your BYO containers, but only at the Wairarapa Farmers’ Market, 4 Queen St North, Masterton (not at its physical store).
  • 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 Countdown Masterton, corner Worksop & Queen Streets, Masterton; PAK’nSAVE Masterton, Queen Street, Kuripuni, Masterton; FreshChoice, 12 Hastwell Street, Greytown.
  • 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).


  • Markets – No two ways about it, if you want to get a good source of unpackaged (often locally grown) produce, markets are the place to go! By and large, we’ve found that markets, where you can meet the grower/producer face-to-face, are really great for starting fruitful conversations about waste-free food, and developing relationships and systems that enable you to get your favourite fruit, vege and preserves without the packaging. For example, if the stallholder uses glass jars for packaging, ask whether they will take their empty glass jars back for sterilisation and reuse. Wairarapa has lots of lovely markets for fresh produce and other specialty items, whether it’s the Featherston Market33 Fitzherbert Street on a Saturday, the Carterton Farmers Market on Sundays at Memorial Square, or Masterton’s Sunday Car Boot Market, just bring your own bags and containers to avoid waste! On Saturday at Wairarapa Farmers’ Market, 4 Queen Street North, Masterton you can get low-waste goodies (for example, Kingsmeade Artisan Cheese will put cuts from the wheel into your BYO containers, Loopline Olives allows you to do oil refills into BYO bottles, and Papa Ora sells delicious kombucha and other dips and tasty treats in glass jars and bottles which you can return). 
  • Veggie boxes/co-ops – there are lots of fruit, veg + food co-ops around town from whom you can order your veggies each week. Around the country we’ve found that unless these co-ops have a zero waste policy, the fruit and veg will usually be pre-packed, so it’s essential to contact them before ordering and have a conversation about whether the co-op is willing to use reusable bags for your box, or to leave things unpackaged (you may be the first person who’s ever asked, so always good to plant the seed!). Generally, if it’s a local operation, it should be possible to arrange this. If it’s not possible to arrange, we recommend looking elsewhere or simply getting unpackaged fruit, vege and other staples from markets and other stores. A great local box/co-op scheme to check out is Wairarapa Eco Farm.
  • Trade Aid – Trade Aid‘s 2kg sugar bags are great for upcycling as bulk bin bags, and are home compostable once they do wear out. Trade Aid’s coconut oil is one of the few on the market that does not have a plastic seal around the lid. You can get both these products at Trade Aid Masterton, 96 Queen Street, Masterton.
  • Martinborough Sweet Shop, 8 Kitchener Street, Martinborough – stocks unpackaged lollies and chocolate in bulk dispensers – BYO bags/containers
  • You can get unpackaged pet food biscuits at PAK’nSAVE Masterton, Queen Street, Kuripuni, Masterton – just BYO containers.

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:

  • Local coffee roasters Neighbourhood Coffee, 4 Memorial Square, Martinborough.
  • Gracias Coffee, roasted at Don Luciano, corner King and Chapel streets, Masterton.
  • You can also buy unpackaged coffee beans at Bin Inn Masterton.

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:

  • Bin Inn Masterton, 333 Queen St, Masterton.

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 – milk is available on tap at Eketahuna Country Meats110a Bentley Street, Masterton. 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 bottlesEketahuna Country Meats also do home delivery of milk in reusable glass bottles (just like the old days!) across the Wellington Region – to check out which day they deliver to your area, you’ll need to begin the registration process on their website. You’ll have milk delivered to your door in reusable glass bottles – leave your empty bottles out on the next delivery day so they can be returned to Eketahuna Country Meats for sterilisation and refill. YAY!
  • Milk powder in bulk bins – available at Bin Inn Masterton, 333 Queen St, Masterton.

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:

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 – Kate’s Kombucha – Papa Ora Creations sells delicious, locally-made kombucha in glass bottles that you can return for sterilisation and refill! Sold at the Wairarapa Farmers’ Market.

Reusable drinking vessels (cups and water bottles)

Say “no more” to disposable takeaway coffee cups and plastic water bottles by getting yourself reusables instead! Get reusable water bottles at Urban Naturals, 442 Queen Street, Kuripuni, Masterton; Unichem Southend Pharmacy, 266 Queen Street, Masterton; Take Note, 80 High Street North, Carterton; Blackwell & Sons, 101 Main Street, Greytown; Linarte, 108 Main Street, Greytown; Flax Gallery, 96 Main Street, Greytown; Deluxe, 76 Main Street, Greytown.

The following places sell reusable takeaway coffee cups in Wairarapa:

  • Find the Keep Cup brand at Moore Wilson’s, 120 Dixon St, Masterton; Paper Plus, 181/183 Queen Street, Masterton
  • Sup Cup at Urban Naturals, 442 Queen Street, Kuripuni, Masterton.
  • Get the NZ-made Cuppa Coffee Cup at The Offering65 Main Street, Greytown; Flax, 96 Main Street, Greytown; and Neighbourhood Coffee, 4 Memorial Square, Martinborough.
  • Hutt-made Ideal Cups are sold at Neighbourhood Coffee, 4 Memorial Square, Martinborough.
  • The glass Joco brand at Blackwell & Sons, 101 Main Street, Greytown
  • Another brand that does glass cups, Sol, is available at Urban Naturals, 442 Queen Street, Kuripuni, Masterton; Moore Wilson’s, 120 Dixon St, Masterton and Clareville Bakery, 3340 SH2, Clareville.
  • Think cup is available at Deluxe, 76 Main Street, Greytown
  • Ceramic takeaway cups are sold at Mint at Martinborough, 14d Ohio Street, Martinborough; Neighbourhood Coffee, 4 Memorial Square, Martinborough.
  • The Oasis Eco Cup is available at Take Note, 80 High Street North, Carterton.
  • Unbranded cups are sold at Everest Bakery Cafe Bistro, 17 Fitzherbert Street, Feahterston.

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 stainless steel reusable lunchboxes and food containers at Urban Naturals, 442 Queen Street, Kuripuni, Masterton.

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

Plastic shopping bags are a menace, but so too are those plastic produce bags for fruit and vege or the plastic bags often offered alongside bulk bins at bulk stores. You can avoid them by bringing your own bags or buying a set of reusable produce bags. You can get 100% organic cotton produce and bulk bin bags by My Vita Bag at FreshChoice, 12 Hastwell Street, Greytown, or those by Rethink at Tryst on High, 40 High Street, Carterton; and Four Square Martinborough, 14-16 Memorial Square, Martinborough; and other brands at Mint at Martinborough, 14d Ohio Street, Martinborough. Get locally made produce bags at Carterton Craft Market, 80 High Street North, Carterton. There are also beautiful organic, fairtrade cotton shopping bags (look up the amazing ethical business model this company has!) at Wild Grey Fox, 81 Main Street, Greytown.

Reusable straws

Say “no straw thanks” next time you order a drink out and either use your mouth to drink, or get yourself a reusable metal straw instead. If you’re keen on a reusable metal straw, you can get them from Urban Naturals, 442 Queen Street, Kuripuni, Masterton; Bin Inn Masterton, 333 Queen St, Masterton; Unichem Southend Pharmacy, 266 Queen Street, Masterton; Tryst on High, 40 High Street, Carterton; Linarte, 108 Main Street, Greytown; Supervalue Featherston, 47 Fitzherbert Street, Featherston; Peonies Home & Living, 9 Kitchener Street, Martinborough; The Grocer, 3 Kitchener Street, Martinborough.

Alternatives to plastic cling wrap, plastic sandwich bags and tin foil

  • Beeswax wrap
    • Purchase at The Sanctuary, 209 Queen Street, Masterton; Room 2 Room, 152 Queen Street, Masterton (locally made, although annoyingly wrapped in plastic); Tryst on High, 40 High Street, Carterton; Greytown Honey, Greytown; The Offering, 65 Main Street, Greytown (locally made, only in a paper packet); Linarte, 108 Main Street, Greytown (unpackaged); Mr Feather’s Den, 19 Fitzherbert Street, Featherston; Mint at Martinborough, 14d Ohio Street, Martinborough; The Grocer, 3 Kitchener Street, Martinborough. You can also get locally made beeswax wrap from local company Chalk and Cheese, just send them a message and they’ll make some up for you. If you’re local, you can arrange a pick up to avoid packaging cost and waste.
    • DIY (waaaay cheaper): You just need to get natural fibre fabric (cotton) and unpackaged beeswax. For off-cuts of cotton, keep an eye out for discount/off-cut bins at secondhand stores and fabric stores or fat quarters at quilting stores. For example, check out Evans of Masterton, Cnr Bannister St and Dixon St, Masterton; The Embroidery Shop, 250 Queen Street, Masterton; Quilter’s Lane, 50a Queen St, Masterton; Carterton Craft Market, 80 High Street North, Carterton; J E T, 130 Main Street, Greytown; Graham & Sons, 21 Kitchener Street, Martinborough
  • Reusable sandwich bags – you can get reusable sandwich bags and/or wraps by Munch from Kuripuni Gift Shop, 437 Queen St, Masterton; or beeswax coated snack bags at The Grocer, 3 Kitchener Street, Martinborough
  • Agreena Wrap – a reusable, silicone 3-in-1 replacement for baking paper, tin foil and cling wrap. Available at Urban Naturals, 442 Queen Street, Kuripuni, Masterton.
  • 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 Kuripuni Gift Shop, 437 Queen Street, Masterton; Taylor Road, 76 Main Street, Greytown; Mint at Martinborough, 14d Ohio Street, Martinborough
  • Silicone freezer bags – reusable bags for freezing meat and other food are available at Mint at Martinborough, 14d Ohio Street, Martinborough – they’re pricey, but will last your lifetime and can replace soft plastics for freezing.

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:

  • Urban Naturals, 442 Queen Street, Kuripuni, Masterton – stocks locally-made Figgy & Co cleaning products in bulk dispensers. OR any of the containers of the Figgy and Co pre-packed cleaners can be returned for refill when empty!
  • Bin Inn Masterton, 333 Queen Street, Masterton – stocks a wide range of both liquid and powdered cleaning products/ingredients you can fill your own bottles and containers with.

Low-waste dishwashing

You can find dishbrushes with wooden handles and removable + replaceable, home compostable heads at Urban Naturals, 442 Queen Street, Kuripuni, Masterton; Linarte, 108 Main Street, Greytown; Vintage European, 78 Main Street, Greytown (a range of brushes); and Deluxe, 76 Main Street, Greytown. 

You can also get Go Bamboo veggie brushes (which can also be used as a dishbrush, and are also home compostable) at Tryst on High, 40 High Street, Carterton; Vintage European, 78 Main Street, Greytown; Deluxe, 76 Main Street, Greytown; Four Square Martinborough, 14-16 Memorial Square, Martinborough; and The Grocer, 3 Kitchener Street, Martinborough.

We encourage people to move away from using dishclothes, sponges and bench wipes made out of synthetic material (as these leach microfibres and they’re also destined for landfill when they wear down) and to use natural fibre cloths instead:

  • Cheap 100% cotton dishcloths are sold at Moore Wilson’s, 120 Dixon Street, Masterton; FreshChoice, 12 Hastwell Street, Greytown
  • Get the SPRUCE 100% cotton/cellulose (home compostable) dishcloths at Tryst on High, 40 High Street, Carterton; Mint at Martinborough, 14d Ohio Street, Martinborough
  • Locally knitted 100% cotton dishcloths are sold at The Grocer, 3 Kitchener Street, Martinborough.
  • Fancy Bianca Lorenne 100% cotton cloths are sold at Taylor Road, 76 Main Street, Greytown; Deluxe, 76 Main Street, Greytown
  • Course scourers made with coconut fibre are sold at Bin Inn Masterton, 333 Queen Street, Masterton
  • Ask if someone will knit or crochet you a 100% cotton dishcloth at Carterton Craft Market, 80 High Street North, Carterton.
  • If you want to try your hand at knitting/crocheting your own (do it!), check out the recycled cotton yarn at The Embroidery Shop, 250 Queen Street, Masterton.


  • Eco Planet and Earthwise 1kg laundry powder both come in a cardboard box with no inner plastic lining, and Eco Planet’s scoop is made of cardboard while Earthwise has no scoop at all. Find both at New World Masterton, corner Bruce and Queen Streets, Masterton; New World Carterton, 60-72 High Street South, Carterton (which also stocks Next Generation laundry powder, which is the same deal – cardboard box, cardboard scoop, no plastic lining); and just Earthwise at Supervalue Featherston, 47 Fitzherbert Street, Featherston; Four Square Jellicoe, 27 Jellicoe Street, Martinborough; and Four Square Martinborough, 14-16 Memorial Square, Martinborough.
  • 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 Polka Dots, 446 Queen Street, Masterton.
  • Clothes pegs – bamboo pegs are available at Tryst on High, 40 High Street, Carterton; Food Forest Organics, 101 Main St, Greytown; The Grocer, 3 Kitchener Street, Martinborough; Four Square Martinborough, 14-16 Memorial Square, Martinborough; or stainless steel pegs at Supervalue Featherston, 47 Fitzherbert Street, Featherston; Bars of Laundry Soap – get from Medina, 113 Main Street, Greytown (made in store, totally unpackaged); and Linarte, 108 Main Street, Greytown (comes with a natural fibre/wooden scrubbing brush, wrapped in cardboard). And get an old school soap shaker to go with it – at The Grocer, 3 Kitchener Street, Martinborough!

Ingredients for DIY cleaning products

  • Baking soda – available unpackaged in bulk bins at Bin Inn Masterton, 333 Queen St, Masterton.
  • Bars of castile or Sunlight soap, which you can use as a base for homemade dishwashing and laundry liquid (see how it works here) – you can get Sunlight soap at New World Masterton, corner Bruce and Queen Streets, Masterton, and Countdown Masterton, corner Worksop & Queen Streets, Masterton.

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:
    • Polka Dots, 446 Queen Street, Masterton (child size only); 
    • Unichem Southend Pharmacy, 266 Queen Street, Masterton; 
    • New World Masterton, corner Bruce and Queen Streets, Masterton; 
    • Countdown Masterton, corner Worksop & Queen Streets, Masterton; 
    • Tryst on High, 40 High Street, Carterton; 
    • New World Carterton, 60-72 High Street South, Carterton; 
    • FreshChoice, 12 Hastwell Street, Greytown;
    • Food Forest Organics, 101 Main St, Greytown;
    • Lang’s Pharmacy33 Fitzherbert Street, Featherston
    • Supervalue Featherston, 47 Fitzherbert Street, Featherston
    • The Grocer, 3 Kitchener Street, Martinborough;
    • Four Square Martinborough, 14-16 Memorial Square, Martinborough.
  • Dental Floss – at Countdown Masterton, corner Worksop & Queen Streets, Masterton, you can get Do Gooder floss, which comes in a refillable glass tube with a screw on metal lid. The WHITE floss is made of 100% silk and is home compostable (the black floss has polyester in it so is landfill only). When you run out of the floss, no need to get a new dispenser, you can get refills of the floss in cardboard and paper from – just pop the refill into your original metal/glass dispenser. 

Unpackaged Bars of Soap

The following stores sell totally naked bars of soap:

  • Totem, 50c Fitzherbert Street, Featherston
  • Monsieur Fox93 Fitzherbert Street, Featherston
  • Nocturnal, 4 Kitchener Street, Martinborough
  • He Putiputi, 33 Jellicoe Street, Martinborough
  • Nirvana Interiors, corner North Road and Main Street, Greytown
  • Scented, 81 Main Street, Greytown
  • Food Forest Organics, 101 Main St, Greytown
  • Medina, 113 Main Street, Greytown – made instore, totally unpackaged
  • Lady Jane Grey Boutique, 142 Main Street, Greytown
  • Adorne, 106 Main Street, Greytown
  • Tryst on High, 40 Main Street, Carterton
  • Bin Inn Masterton, 333 Queen St, Masterton
  • Urban Naturals, 442 Queen Street, Kuripuni, Masterton

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 Unichem Southend Pharmacy, 266 Queen Street, Masterton; Scented, 81 Main Street, Greytown.
  • Dirty Hippie shampoo and conditioner bars are available at Urban Naturals, 442 Queen Street, Kuripuni, Masterton.
  • You can also get your hands on the Global Soap shampoo bars at Tryst on High, 40 High Street, Carterton.
  • You can get Valor face and body soap (good for shaving, comes only in a paper wrapping) at Deluxe, 76 Main Street, Greytown.
  • Get Fair + Square shampoo and facial bars at He Putiputi, 33 Jellicoe Street, Martinborough; and Urban Naturals, 442 Queen Street, Kuripuni, Masterton.
  • Deodorant packaged only in home compostable cardboard tubes are available at Urban Naturals, 442 Queen Street, Kuripuni, Masterton.

Reusable Menstrual Products

There are zero waste, low cost alternatives to disposable sanitary items like tampons and pads.

  • Menstrual cups are available at Unichem Southend Pharmacy, 266 Queen Street, Masterton; Life Pharmacy, 132-136 Queen Street, Masterton; Health 2000, 102 Queen Street, Masterton; New World Masterton, corner Bruce and Queen Streets, Masterton; Countdown Masterton, corner Worksop & Queen Streets, Masterton; PAK’nSAVE Masterton, Queen Street, Kuripuni, Masterton; FreshChoice Greytown, 12 Hastwell Street, Greytown; Four Square Martinborough, 14-16 Memorial Square, Martinborough.
  • Reusable, washable pads made by North Canterbury-based Red Fox Reusables are available at Te Pātukituki o Wairarapa, 15 Queen Street, Masterton.


Avoid plastic shavers that are designed to be disposable and go for 100% metal razors that will last you decades and only require the 100% metal and recyclable blades to be replaced (or sharpened with a leather strop!), and remember to use a bar of shaving soap instead of shaving foam that comes in an aerosol can (see above) – note, you might want a shaving brush to make this work. You can buy razors, replacement blades, and shaving brushes at Jim’s Hairdressing, 4 Bannister Street, Masterton; and Urban Naturals, 442 Queen Street, Kuripuni, Masterton. You can get just shaving brushes at Unichem Southend Pharmacy, 266 Queen Street, Masterton; Urban Naturals, 442 Queen Street, Kuripuni, Masterton; and Taylor Road, 76 Main Street, Greytown.

Ingredients for DIY Toiletries/Cosmetics

  • 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 Bin Inn Masterton, 333 Queen St, Masterton.


  • Cotton Buds – Go Bamboo and The Humble Co make home compostable buds so you can avoid the single-use, unrecyclable plastic ones. Get them from Polka Dots, 446 Queen Street, Masterton; Food Forest Organics, 101 Main St, Greytown; Four Square Martinborough, 14-16 Memorial Square, Martinborough; and The Grocer, 3 Kitchener Street, Martinborough.
  • Toilet Paper – Greencane toilet paper is wrapped in home compostable packaging, which you can get from Four Square Martinborough, 14-16 Memorial Square, Martinborough

Reuse and Recycle

  • Food waste and composting – food waste in a bin gets sent to landfill where it breaks down anaerobically, producing methane (a potent greenhouse gas). No! Here are some alternatives:
    • Home composting/worm farms/bokashi – Having a composting, worm farm or bokashi bin system at home is the best and cheapest way to deal with your food scraps. If you’d like help setting one up or working out what the best system would be for you, see if you can get a hand from a local community garden.
    • Edible business food waste – food that is still edible that goes to waste is a crying shame. Across the Wellington region there are some really excellent food redistribution services that are rescuing food from businesses that is not good enough to sell, but is still good enough to eat, and redistributing it to social justice organisations who can pass it on to people who need it most. One of these is Waiwaste, based in Wairarapa. So if you’re a business with extra food at the end of the day, consider getting in touch with Waiwaste
  • E-waste – electronic waste is the world’s fastest growing waste stream, with huge environmental implications because of the toxins that can be leached from this waste, but also the loss of incredibly precious resources embedded in these items that are not recovered when the waste is dumped in landfill.
    • Repair – Rather than throwing you broken electronics out – have you considered trying to get them repaired first? You could pay someone to do it. For example, LT Campbell, 128 Tory St are excellent for appliance repairs. Looking for parts? The Recycle Centre and Second Treasures Shop takes apart broken gadgets and appliances and sells them or their usable parts on their Trademe account – it’s worth a good look! If you’d like to try your own hand at repairing your things, consider going along to a Repair or Fix-it Cafe where experts donate their time to fix people’s broken items for free at a designated repair event (usually run by community centres, churches or councils). The Carterton Fix It Lab run semi-regular repair cafes and are definitely worth checking out!
    • Recycle – If your electronics really have given up the ghost, rather than chucking them out, take them to be recycled responsibly. You can do this at the Masterton, Carterton & Martinborough Transfer Stations (these drop-offs are FREE).
  • Tip Shops/Recycling + Reuse Shops – For all your recycling and reusing needs, look out for reuse shops at local landfills. There’s the Recycle Centre and Second Treasures Shop, at the Wellington Southern Landfill, Landfill Road (off Happy Valley Road); Trash Palace, Broken Hill Road, Porirua; Earthlink, 25 Peterkin St, Wingate, Lower Hutt; and Wairarapa Resource Centre, 8 King Street, Masterton. If you’ve got a hard-to-recycle item or something that’s still functional but which you no longer want, rather than chucking such things out, take them to one of these reuse shops and see if they’ll accept them. The Second Treasures Shop has loads of great items for sale on their Trademe account – it’s worth a good look! Furthermore, if you’re ever in need of a new one-off purchase – from materials for a home fit-out, cuts of wood, building materials, through to cutlery, appliances, furniture or other knick knacks – consider coming to shop here first, before going to buy something new. You might be amazed by what you find (and the low cost)…

Zero Waste Information and Support Networks

  • Waste-ed – a local social enterprise formed to educate and advocate around waste consciousness in Wellington City. Waste-ed runs heaps of workshops, events, information sessions, and campaigns that provide information and solutions for Wellington’s waste, as well as actions individuals can take to reduce waste in their own lives. Waste-ed also has an online shop selling locally-made products that help with low-waste living (like reusable snack bags, cutlery wallets and beeswax wraps). Check out their website, which has heaps of resources and listings for upcoming waste-related events.
  • Zero Waste Wairarapa is a great social media forum for sharing ideas about low-waste living in the local area, seeking tips or recommendations, or staying on top of local activities and actions that you might like to be a part of. Worth signing up to if you are a Facebook user.
  • Para Kore – Para Kore is an amazing organisation working with marae, kura and Māori institutions and businesses to transition towards zero waste. Their resources/services are free and their regional kaiārahi are totally fabulous. Para Kore’s Kaiārahi for Wairarapa is Sam Te Tau – if you’re keen for some awhi with waste reduction, she’d be stoked to hear from you ?

Share and Exchange

  • Toy Libraries – reduce the wasteful over-consumption of toys and save money by joining a toy library! Check out this guide to find the nearest Toy Library to you.
  • Crop Swap – At a crop swap, individuals who have veges or seedlings they’ve grown, preserves or baking they’ve made (or similar), or even home-made knitting/crochet (etc.) crafts (anything made or grown by your hands), come together once a fortnight or once a month, to trade their offerings without any money changing hands – all free! Just bring something to share and let the swapping begin! Trading homegrown or home created goodies with friends and locals means you can avoid all that packaging that often comes with a store setting. You can also have friendly chats about how to share goods without the waste.
  • Timebanking – Through timebanking you can share skills and services without the exchange of money, making it a great way to reduce waste on a budget because you can harness skills of creating and repairing that exist in your community (repairing broken clothes or electronics, for example), or having someone pass these skills on to you (how to garden, how to build). Perhaps you have some of these skills already that you could pass on to someone else for time credits? There’s a timebank in development for Wairarapa – perhaps you’d be keen to help get it up and running and thriving?

Skills and Resourcefulness in Communities

  • Community gardens/urban planting – community gardens are an excellent way for residents to get kai without packaging, and to learn skills of growing food and setting up composts – both very useful skills for low-waste living. There are some great community gardens around the Greater Wellington Region, including 16 throughout Wellington City9 on the Kāpiti Coast9 in Lower Hutt, and about 5 in Upper Hutt! Are there any that people know of in Wairarapa that could be showcased on this page?
  • Menzshed – there are Menzsheds throughout Wellington Region. Menzshed provides a great opportunity for men of all ages to share tools and a workspace (reducing the wasteful overduplication of these resources) and to pass on skills of woodworking and other trades. Menzsheds frequently offer communities the service of repairing broken items like furniture (at a small cost), work with upcycled material that might otherwise go to waste, and also create bespoke items for community and charitable purposes. Definitely look up your local!
  • Pins ‘N’ Needles, 6 Perry Street, Masterton – got some broken clothes but not sure how to repair them? Bring them into Linda at Pins n Needles for repairing! Not only will your clothes be as good as new, but any waste fabric from the fixing process, Linda will upcycle into a new creation – thus reducing as much textile waste from landfill as possible. Awesome! You can even check out the store to buy upcycled clothing instead of buying new or even secondhand – the clothes Linda makes for children are just divine! If you’re keen to repair your clothes yourself but just need a bit advice, drop in to Pins n Needles because Linda will surely be able to point you in the right direction 🙂
  • Resilient Carterton – a fabulous umbrella organisation bringing together groups and people that are taking actions that improve resilience in the Carterton community. By and large, a more resilient, self-sufficient community with a thriving local economy is a less wasteful community that is more resourceful and less dependent on imports of packaged goods and cheap throwaways. Have a look at some of the groups, individuals and projects that Resilient Carterton is supporting and promoting.
  • Sewing, crafts, knitting, crochet – We’re of the view that sewing, crafts, knitting and crochet are all key skills for combating waste in our lives (whether it’s the ability to make your own produce bags and beeswax wraps, knit a dishcloth, or repair broken clothes). In Greater Wellington you can find great organisations where you can get involved to either learn or pass on those skills, complete community sewing projects, attend workshops, or simply complete your own sewing projects in the company of others. Joining a group that is sewing reusable bags to give out to the community is also a great way to learn to sew while helping to reduce plastic bag consumption and these groups are always looking for volunteers (regardless of whether or not you have prior sewing knowledge). For example, check out your local Boomerang Bags group – there are branches in Featherston, and Martinborough.

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