Zero Waste in Whāngārei (including Waipū & Hikurangi)

Zero Waste in Whāngārei (including Waipū & Hikurangi)

This guide covers Whāngārei City & District only. For other areas of Northland, please refer to the Zero Waste in Northland post.


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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 Kamo, 386 Kamo Road, Kamo and Bin Inn Whangarei, 75 Walton Street, Whāngārei – offer 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 and tahini), and sweets and treats.  They also both have a peanut butter extruder, and the one in town also has one for almond butter just BYO jar! The Kamo store even has gluten-free pasta in bulk, a real rarity! Also, all Bin Inns across the country now offer a 5% discount if you bring your own bags and containers!
  • Putiputi Ra79 Walton Street, Whāngārei – stocks a small range of organic bulk bin dried goods including grains, pulses/legumes, seeds and flours, as well as organic fresh fruit and veges. BYO bottles to refill with organic sunflower oil, tamari and apple cider vinegar. 
  • NZ VEGE & SPICE, 3 Maunu Road, Whāngārei – offers a wide range of unpackaged dried food in bulk, including grains, flours, nuts, seeds, legumes, dried fruit, flours, lots of spices and even a few specialty & baking ingredients such as baking powder and xantham and guar gum.
  • Fruit and Vege Warehouse, 28 Maunu Road, Whāngārei – stocks a range of bulk bin dried goods, including spices, grains, pulses/legumes, nuts, seeds and flours.
  • Whāngārei Food Coop/Whole Food Hub/Northland Natural Food Coop, 50 John Street, Whāngārei CBD – Whāngārei has an absolutely humming food coop running out of John Street where you can get all kinds of dried and liquid foods in bulk, including flours, grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, oils, vinegars, tamari, tahini and syrups. Well worth signing up!
  • Eko Hub, 81 Walton Street, Whāngārei – you can get refills of apple cider vinegar here – just BYO bottles.
  • Supermarkets – all major supermarkets in Whāngārei have well stocked bulk bin/pick and mix sections with wholefoods (BYO bags for these). However they’re pretty expensive, often more so than equivalent ingredients in packets (bah!), and more so than the bulk bins at places like Bin Inn or Putiputi Ra.


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!

  • Whangarei Gourmet Meats, 167 Kamo Road, Whāngārei
  • Adriatic Fisheries, 91 Kamo Road, Whāngārei – get fresh filleted fish into your own container.
  • West End Schnapper Bar, 47 Maunu Road, Whāngārei – fresh fish fillets
  • Tikipunga Fresh Foods, 161 Kiripaka Road, Tikipunga, Whangārei – this butcher can put cuts of meat into your own container, just come early in the morning or leave containers behind to pick up the next day
  • The Butcher Shoppe, Shop 18, Paramount Plaza, Paramount Parade, Tikipunga, Whāngārei
  • Omak Meats, 525 Kamo Road, Kamo
  • Hook Inn, 388 Kamo Road, Kamo – fresh fish fillets unpackaged
  • Putiputi Ra, 79 Walton Street, Whāngārei – stocks Bostock’s Organic Chicken which comes in Grounded certified home compostable packaging.
  • Miller’s Meats, 19 The Centre, Waipu
  • 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 PAK’nSAVE Whāngārei, corner of Walton and Dent Streets, Whāngārei CBD; New World Regent, 167 Bank Street, Whāngārei; Countdown Regent, 11 Kamo Road, Whāngārei; New World Onerahi, 128 Onerahi Road, Onerahi, Whāngārei; Countdown Tikipunga, corner Paramount Parade &, Wanaka Streets, Tikipunga, Whangarei
  • BYO Containers to 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 accept BYO containers 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).

  • Handsome Frog Cafe, 3c Bank Street, Whāngārei CBD – hearty sourdough loaves
  • Hot Bread Shop, 72 Maunu Road, Whāngārei – bakes some basic white loaves
  • The Baker’s Crust, 81 Port Road, Whāngārei
  • Onerahi Bakery, 114 Onerahi Road, Whāngārei
  • Onerahi Hot Bread Shop, 120 Onerahi Road, Whāngārei
  • Charlie’s Bakery, 161 Kamo Road, Kensington, Whangārei
  • Tikipunga Bakehouse, 161 Kiripaka Road, Tikipunga, Whangārei
  • Kamo Bakery and Hot Bread Shop, 2 Station Road East, Kamo
  • Boon’s Bakery and Cafe, 483 Kamo Road, Kamo
  • The Baker’s Crust, 475 Kamo Road, Kamo
  • Most supermarkets (and even some Four Squares) stock unpackaged bread, bread rolls and/or bakery goods in their bakery section – just pop them into your BYO bags!


Markets – No two ways about it, if you want a good source of unpackaged (often locally grown) produce, markets are the place to go! At most markets you can meet the grower/producer face-to-face, making them an ideal place to start fruitful conversations about waste-free food, and to develop relationships and systems that enable you to get your favourite fruit, vege and preserves without the packaging. At markets you may also find local producers of pre-made foods like tofu, preserves and sauces etc. Have a chat to see if you can leave containers with the stall holders for 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. BYO bags to get fresh produce from the Whāngārei Growers Market, 17 Water Street, Whāngārei. 

Trade Aid – Trade Aid‘s 2kg sugar bags are also great for upcycling as bulk bin bags, and are home compostable when 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 these products at Trade Aid, Corner of Vine Street and The Strand Shopping Centre, Whāngārei. You can also get Trade Aid sugar at Kamo Health Shop, 523 Kamo Road, Kamo.


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:

  • Bin Inn Kamo, 386 Kamo Road
  • Bin Inn Whangarei, 75 Walton Street
  • Cobe Coffee, 140 Maunu Road, Woodhill, Whangārei 


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:

  • Eko Hub, 81 Walton Street, Whāngārei, which stocks unpackaged, loose leaf herbal teas by Tea Total and Heke Homemade Herbals – yay! This is especially exciting because, apart from being delicious, Heke Homemade Herbals is super sustainable – owner Emma Heke sends the bulk teas to stores around NZ in home compostable packaging and 90% of the teas are grown in NZ!
  • Bin Inn Whangarei, 75 Walton Street (stocks loose-leaf black tea in bulk bins).


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:

  • Return & Refill glass bottle scheme – Bella Vacca Jerseys sells milk in reusable glass bottles at various outlets in and around Whāngarei, including: JJ’s Kitchen and Coffee House, 81 Bank Street, Whāngārei; New World Onerahi, 128 Onerahi Road, Onerahi, Whāngārei; The Butcher Shoppe, Shop 18, Paramount Plaza, Paramount Parade, Tikipunga, Whāngārei; Bin Inn Kamo, 386 Kamo Road, Kamo; Bin Inn Whangarei, 75 Walton Street, Whāngārei CBD; Whāngārei Food Coop/Whole Food Hub/Northland Natural Food Coop, 50 John Street, Whāngārei CBD; Huanui Fresh, corner of Maruata Road & Ngunguru Ford Road, Glenbervie; WholeyHealth!, 41 King Street, Hikurangi; and Miller’s Meats, 19 The Centre, Waipu.
    • 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!
  • Milk delivery in reusable glass bottles – Bakewell Creamery do home delivery of their raw milk (minimum order of 4L) as far North as Waipu. 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.
  • Milk powder in bulk bins – available at Bin Inn Kamo, 386 Kamo Road (BYO bags/containers!)


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 – available on tap at Putiputi Ra, 79 Walton Street, Whāngārei – BYO bottles.


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 Eko Hub, 81 Walton Street, Whāngārei (glass and steel); Intec Interiors, 14 Rathbone Street, Whāngārei (steel & glass); Gifts on Rathbone, 10 Rathbone Street, Whāngārei.

There are heaps of places to buy reusable takeaway coffee cups in Whāngārei:

  • Find the Keep Cup brand at Power Plant, Civic Arcade, 37 – 41 Bank Street, Whāngāarei CBD;
  • Get the NZ-made Cuppa Coffee Cup at Kensington Pharmacy, 4 Kensington Ave, Whāngārei; Gifts on Rathbone, 10 Rathbone Street, Whāngārei; Intec Interiors, 14 Rathbone Street, Whāngārei
  • NZ-made Sup NZ cups are sold at Eko Hub, 81 Walton Street, Whāngārei
  • Moana Road stainless steel cups sold at Gifts on Rathbone, 10 Rathbone Street, Whāngārei
  • Ceramic cups with silicone lid are sold at Cuppacakes, 4 John Street, Whāngārei CBD; Gifts on Rathbone, 10 Rathbone Street, Whāngārei; Intec Interiors, 14 Rathbone Street, Whāngārei; and Gifts on Rathbone, 10 Rathbone Street, Whāngārei
  • Cups made from bamboo fibre at Gifted at the Basin, 20 Quayside, Whāngārei; Intec Interiors, 14 Rathbone Street, Whāngārei
  • The SoL Cup is sold at Eko Hub, 81 Walton Street, Whāngārei and Intec Interiors, 14 Rathbone Street, Whāngārei
  • Think Cup are sold at Gifts on Rathbone, 10 Rathbone Street, Whāngārei

Reusable lunch boxes/containers

Reusable lunch boxes or containers are great to have on you when you’re out and about in case you want to get takeaways, to carry leftovers home with you, or if you find food to forage. You can get Bento Ninja stainless steel lunchboxes and food containers at Eko Hub, 81 Walton Street, Whāngārei.

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. For beautiful produce bags locally-made from upcycled materials, check out the ones made by SewGood Whangārei. Otherwise, you can get Rethink 100% organic cotton produce + bulk bin + string + bread + nut mylk bags at Eko Hub, 81 Walton Street, Whāngārei; or just produce bags at Intec Interiors, 14 Rathbone Street, Whāngārei; Kensington Pharmacy, 4 Kensington Ave, Whāngārei.  If you need some reusable bags, get locally-made Boomerang Bags from the Whāngārei Growers Market. If you want to make your own produce bags, did you know that Frazerhurst, 148 Lower Dent Street, Whāngārei gives out offcuts of their curtain fabric FOR FREE?

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 Power Plant, Civic Arcade, 37 – 41 Bank Street, Whāngārei CBD; Intec Interiors, 14 Rathbone Street, Whāngārei; Gifts on Rathbone, 10 Rathbone Street, Whāngārei; Kensington Pharmacy, 4 Kensington Ave, Whāngārei; or a bamboo straw from Eko Hub, 81 Walton Street, Whāngārei.

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

  • Beeswax wrap
    • Purchase at – Eko Hub, 81 Walton Street, Whāngārei; Putiputi Ra, 79 Walton Street, Whāngārei; Kensington Pharmacy, 4 Kensington Ave, Whāngārei; Gifts on Rathbone, 10 Rathbone Street, Whāngārei.
    • DIY – it’s way cheaper! You just need to get natural fibre fabric (cotton) and unpackaged beeswax. Keep an eye out at secondhand stores and fabric stores (like Bernina Northland, 31 Vine Street/The Strand Shopping Centre, Whāngārei CBD) for off-cuts of cotton/fat quarters. Get unpackaged beeswax at Bin Inn Whangarei, 75 Walton Street; Putiputi Ra, 79 Walton Street, Whāngārei; Eko Hub, 81 Walton Street, Whāngārei
  • 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 Putiputi Ra, 79 Walton Street, Whāngārei; Gifted at the Basin, 20 Quayside, Whāngārei; Gifts on Rathbone, 10 Rathbone Street, Whāngārei; Intec Interiors, 14 Rathbone Street, Whāngārei
  • Silicone freezer bags – reusable bags for freezing meat and other food are available at Eko Hub, 81 Walton Street, Whāngārei – they’re pricey, but will last your lifetime and can replace soft plastics for freezing.


Refills of cleaning products

  • Putiputi Ra, 79 Walton Street, Whāngārei – stocks a range of Earthwise and Ecostore liquid and powdered cleaning products you can fill your own bottles/containers with.
  • Bin Inn Kamo, 386 Kamo Road and Bin Inn Whangarei, 75 Walton Street  – both stock a wide range of both liquid and powdered (e.g. laundry powder etc) cleaning products you can fill your own bottles and containers with.
  • Whāngārei Food Coop/Whole Food Hub/Northland Natural Food Coop, 50 John Street, Whāngārei CBD – if you’re signed up to this excellent coop then you can get a whole range of eco cleaning products in bulk from here

Low-waste dishwashing

You can find dishbrushes with wooden handles and removable + replaceable, home compostable heads at Eko Hub, 81 Walton Street, Whāngārei; Power Plant, Civic Arcade, 37 – 41 Bank Street, Whāngārei CBD; Bin Inn Whangarei, 75 Walton Street; Putiputi Ra, 79 Walton Street, Whāngārei; Intec Interiors, 14 Rathbone Street, Whāngārei

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 Eko Hub, 81 Walton Street, Whāngārei; Bin Inn Whangarei, 75 Walton Street; and Handsome Frog Cafe, 3c Rose Street, Whāngārei CBD – 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 SPRUCE or Wet-it! or Anneko 100% cotton + cellulose dishcloth sponges (home compostable at the end of their life) which are available at Eko Hub, 81 Walton Street, Whāngārei and Gifted at the Basin, 20 Quayside, Whāngārei
  • Get linen/rayon/cotton (all natural fibre) dishcloths by Nawrap at Eko Hub, 81 Walton Street, Whāngārei and Kensington Pharmacy, 4 Kensington Ave, Whāngārei.
  • The fancy Bianca Lorenne 100% cotton cloths can be purchased at Intec Interiors, 14 Rathbone Street, Whāngārei
  • If you’re after a coarser scrubby, you can get Safix 100% coconut fibre coarse scrubby from Eko Hub, 81 Walton Street, Whāngārei; Bin Inn Whangarei, 75 Walton Street; and Bin Inn Kamo, 386 Kamo Road, Kamo

Laundry

  • Eco Planet laundry powder comes in a cardboard box with no inner plastic lining, and the scoop is also made of cardboard. Find it at . You can also get Living Green laundry powder, which is the same deal (no plastic, septic tank safe) with a bamboo scoop, from any Countdown supermarket
  • Non-plastic clothes pegs – Go Bamboo pegs are available at Power Plant, Civic Arcade, 37 – 41 Bank Street, Whāngārei CBD; Bin Inn Whangarei, 75 Walton Street; Putiputi Ra, 79 Walton Street, Whāngārei; Bin Inn Kamo, 386 Kamo Road, Kamo; Bento Ninja stainless steel pegs available at Eko Hub, 81 Walton Street, Whāngārei, and Caliwoods brand at Bin Inn Kamo, 386 Kamo Road, Kamo
  • Soapnuts – natural nut shells that release saponin (like soap) in water and can be used for laundry. Once spent, the shells can be composted. You can find the Soapnuts brand, which comes in a cardboard box, no plastic lining, at Eko Hub, 81 Walton Street, Whāngārei; or Eco Warehouse soapnuts at Bin Inn Kamo, 386 Kamo Road, Kamo

Ingredients for DIY cleaning products

  • Baking soda – find this in bulk bins at NZ VEGE & SPICE, 3 Maunu Road, Whāngārei; Whāngārei Food Coop/Whole Food Hub/Northland Natural Food Coop, 50 John Street, Whāngārei CBD; Bin Inn Kamo, 386 Kamo Road and Bin Inn Whangarei, 75 Walton Street.
  • Washing soda – available in bulk bins at Eko Hub, 81 Walton Street, Whāngārei and Bin Inn Whangarei, 75 Walton Street; Bin Inn Kamo, 386 Kamo Road
  • Citric acid NZ VEGE & SPICE, 3 Maunu Road, Whāngārei 
  • White vinegar – available in refillable bottles at Eko Hub, 81 Walton Street, Whāngārei; and Bin Inn Kamo, 386 Kamo Road
  • Soda Ash, Borax + Epsom Salts – Bin Inn Kamo, 386 Kamo Road
  • Bars of castile soap/dishwashing bars (which you can use as a base for homemade dishwashing and laundry liquid) – get Timaru based Aoraki Naturals dishwash bar from Eko Hub, 81 Walton Street, Whāngārei; or Dr Bronner’s castile bars at Putiputi Ra, 79 Walton Street, Whāngārei.


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 New World Regent, 167 Bank Street, Whāngārei; Countdown Regent, 11 Kamo Road, Whāngārei; Countdown Whāngārei, 18 Okara Road, Whāngārei; Power Plant, Civic Arcade, 37 – 41 Bank Street, Whāngārei CBD; Bin Inn Whangarei, 75 Walton Street; Putiputi Ra, 79 Walton Street, Whāngārei; Eko Hub, 81 Walton Street, Whāngārei; Handsome Frog Cafe, 3c Rose Street, Whāngārei CBD; Countdown Tikipunga, corner Paramount Parade &, Wanaka St, Tikipunga, Whangarei; Bin Inn Kamo, 386 Kamo Road, Kamo
  • Dental Floss – Eko Hub, 81 Walton Street, Whāngārei; Countdown Whāngārei, 18 Okara Road, Whāngārei; Countdown Regent, 11 Kamo Road, Whāngārei; and Countdown Tikipunga, corner Paramount Parade &, Wanaka St, Tikipunga, Whangarei all stock 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, bamboo and activated charcoal 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 a cardboard box from Eko Hub, 81 Walton Street, Whāngārei – just pop the refill into your original metal/glass dispenser.
  • Power Plant also 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, however, we’re not sure where to get refills of this without needing to buy a whole new dispenser.

Unpackaged Bars of Soap

The following stores sell totally naked bars of soap:

  • Bin Inn Whangarei, 75 Walton Street
  • Putiputi Ra, 79 Walton Street, Whāngārei 
  • Eko Hub, 81 Walton Street, Whāngārei 
  • Bin Inn Kamo, 386 Kamo Road, Kamo

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): Eko Hub, 81 Walton Street, Whāngārei; Farmers, 9 Robert Street, Whāngārei CBD;
  • Your best place to find shampoo, conditioner and face bars from a range of suppliers is Eko Hub, 81 Walton Street, Whāngārei. They stock Dirty Hippie, Aoraki Naturals, Nudi Point and Pure Peoni brands.
  • Get Simple Naked Soap shampoo bars at Bin Inn Kamo, 386 Kamo
  • Deodorant – you can get natural deodorants in home compostable cardboard tubes around Whangārei. Putiputi Ra, 79 Walton Street, Whāngārei stocks the Nature Body and Aotearoad brands. Eko Hub, 81 Walton Street, Whāngārei stocks the Dirty Hippie brand.

Reusable Menstrual Products

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

  • Menstrual cups at Countdown Regent, 11 Kamo Road, Whāngārei; Countdown Whāngārei, 18 Okara Road, Whāngārei; Health Shop, Okara Shopping Centre, Whāngārei; Power Plant, Civic Arcade, 37 – 41 Bank Street, Whāngārei CBD; Eko Hub, 81 Walton Street, Whangārei; Life Pharmacy Orrs, 48 Cameron St, Whāngārei; Unichem Buchanan’s Pharmacy, corner Paramount Parade &, Wanaka St, Tikipunga, Whangarei; Countdown Tikipunga, corner Paramount Parade &, Wanaka St, Tikipunga, Whangarei Kamo Health Shop, 523 Kamo Road, Kamo, Whāngārei.
  • Period Undies are sold at Eko Hub, 81 Walton Street, Whāngārei.
  • Sea sponges, like they used to use in the old days, are available at Eko Hub, 81 Walton Street, Whāngārei

Shaving

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’ll need a shaving brush to make this work. You can buy razors, replacement blades, shaving brushes, and shaving soap from Eko Hub, 81 Walton Street, Whāngārei.

Liquid Toiletries on Tap or in Refillable Packaging

  • Eko Hub, 81 Walton Street, Whāngārei – stocks a range of liquid bathroom products that you can refill your own bottles with. They also make a range of balms and lotions in glass jars and bottles that you can bring back to refill once empty.
  • Putiputi Ra, 79 Walton Street, Whāngārei – stocks a few Earthwise and Ecostore toiletries on tap.
  • Whāngārei Food Coop/Whole Food Hub/Northland Natural Food Coop, 50 John Street, Whāngārei CBD – if you’re signed up to this excellent coop then you can get various bathroom products in bulk from here, including handwash and shampoo.

Ingredients for DIY Toiletries and Cosmetics

  • Eko Hub, 81 Walton Street, Whāngārei stocks a lot of unpackaged, base ingredients that can be used for making your own cosmetics including refill options for oils (such as almond oil, argan oil, jojoba oil, etc.), beeswax, witch hazel, activated charcoal, rose petals and clays. Just BYO bottles and containers and ask for them to be filled!
  • Baking Soda is 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 NZ VEGE & SPICE, 3 Maunu Road, Whāngārei; Whāngārei Food Coop/Whole Food Hub/Northland Natural Food Coop, 50 John Street, Whāngārei CBD; Bin Inn Kamo, 386 Kamo Road and Bin Inn Whangarei, 75 Walton Street.
  • Epsom salts – stocked in bulk bins at Whāngārei Food Coop/Whole Food Hub/Northland Natural Food Coop, 50 John Street, Whāngārei CBD; NZ VEGE & SPICE, 3 Maunu Road, Whāngārei; Bin Inn Kamo, 386 Kamo Road and Bin Inn Whangarei, 75 Walton Street.

Other

  • Cotton Buds – Go Bamboo makes home compostable buds so you can avoid the single-use, unrecyclable plastic ones. Get them from Power Plant, Civic Arcade, 37 – 41 Bank Street, Whāngārei CBD; Eko Hub, 81 Walton Street, Whāngārei; Bin Inn Kamo, 386 Kamo Road
  • Toilet Paper – Greencane toilet paper is wrapped in home compostable packaging and is stocked at Putiputi Ra, 79 Walton Street, Whāngārei; and Bin Inn Kamo, 386 Kamo Road, Kamo, Whāngārei.


Reuse and Recycle

  • 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, look out for Compost Connetion workshops, run by Ecosolutions across Northland. You can buy worm farm and bokashi systems from EcoSolutions in Whāngārei (141 Cameron Street). If you’re a business chucking out food that is still edible but not saleable, keep an eye out for Northland Food Rescue/Whakaora Kaian organisation rescuing and redistributing food otherwise destined for landfill through pataka and their local partners.
  • 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) – for example, TheReMakery in Whāngārei runs semi-regular Repair Cafes in Whāngārei, and the Paihia Repair Cafe is humming!

Zero Waste Information and Support Networks

  • 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 Te Taitokerau is Ngariki Ngatae – so if you’re keen for some awhi with waste reduction, she’d be stoked to hear from you 🙂
  • EcoSolutions – supports communities across Whangārei and the Far North to live sustainably, including with low-waste living. EcoSolutions also runs a waste audit system and an accreditation scheme for businesses, and does school education on sustainability and waste minimisation.
  • The Zero Waste Way – an excellent website, Facebook and Instagram dedicated to zero waste living, produced by Tania who lives in Whāngārei! The Zero Waste Way is packed full of tips and tricks and links through to resources and inspirational people across NZ and the world.

Share and Exchange

  • Toy Libraries – reduce the wasteful over-consumption of toys and save money by joining a toy library! Check out toy libraries in Northland.
  • SewGood Sew Station – are you based in Whangarei and need to use a sewing machine or overlocker, but don’t own one? There are community machines at EcoSolutions, 141 Cameron Street, Whāngārei – just book a time to come into EcoSolutions to use them, for free!

Skills and Resourcefulness in Communities

  • 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 all round the country 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. There are several Menzsheds across Northland, so look up your local!
  • 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. 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. Check out The Maunu Garden Project in Whāngārei.
  • The ReMakery – an excellent initiative of Habitat for Humanity in Whāngārei running an upcycle store and a variety of programmes to support the community to reduce, reuse and upcycle!
  • Whare Bike – an awesome community bike workshop where bike owners can come to fix their bike or take part in the initiative to rescue bikes that would otherwise go to landfill, fixing them up, and selling them to community at affordable rates.
  • 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). If you’re based in Whāngārei, check out SewGood Whangārei, who run regular sewing bees and coordinator Ann is such a pro at sewing upcycling and repairing – she’s got heaps of skills to pass on!



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