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.
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!
The following shops sell unpackaged meat, sausages, smallgoods, seafood, cheese and/or deli foods and will happily put these straight into a BYO container – woohoo!
The 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).
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:
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:
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.
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; PaperPlus, 181/183 Queen Street, Masterton; Farmers Masterton, 184-188 Queen Street; 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:
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; Farmers Masterton, 184-188 Queen Street; and Bin Inn Masterton, 333 Queen St, Masterton.
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.
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; Moore Wilson’s, 120 Dixon 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.
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:
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:
The following stores sell totally naked bars of soap:
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!
There are zero waste, low cost alternatives to disposable sanitary items like tampons and pads.
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; Bin Inn Masterton, 333 Queen St, 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.