Zero Waste on the Kāpiti Coast

Zero Waste on the Kāpiti Coast

This guide covers the Kāpiti Coast 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 Kāpiti, 128 Kapiti Rd, Paraparaumu – 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 and syrups), and sweets and treats. They also have a peanut butter machine. This Bin Inn also has an almond butter and a cashew butter machine (woah!).  All Bin Inn around New Zealand stores are currently offering 5% discount when you bring your own containers!
  • Commonsense Organics, Coastlands Mall, Paraparaumu – offers a wide array of dried food in bulk (including, but not limited to, nuts, seeds, cereals, grains, flours, and legumes), liquid foods (including vinegars, oils and tamari).
  • DreamCatcher Co-op – while not 100% zero waste, this non-profit, community food co-op running out of Te Horo allows you to get a range of foods packaging-free if you order the items that come without packaging (i.e. most of the fresh produce). Sign up to become a member (a one-off $20 fee) and expect to do a small amount of volunteering for the co-op (find out more about that here). You’ll then have access to a wide range of affordable, mostly organic foods, delivered to you in upcycled banana boxes. Most produce comes packaging-free, so it’s a great way to get fruit/vege without waste. The dried foods do get re-packed into brown paper bags, though you can avoid those by coming to the packing house on a packing day and packing your order into your own bags/containers.
  • Supermarkets – most major supermarkets 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 Commonsense Organics or Bin Inn.

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!

  • Bin Inn Kāpiti, 128 Kāpiti Road, Paraparaumu – has cheese and other deli items (such as olives) loose which can be put into BYO containers.
  • M&M Master Butchers, 144 Kapiti Road, Paraparaumu
  • Kapiti Coast Meats, 22 Maclean Street, Paraparaumu Beach 
  • Waikanae Butchery, 42 Main Road, Waikanae
  • CJ’s Seafood, 36 Main Road, Waikanae
  • Otaki Meats, 78 Main Street, Ōtaki
  • Pak’NSave Kāpiti, Coastlands, Paraparaumu – stocks self-serve whole fish unpackaged (just put in BYO container like a large tub/bucket…)
  • L’Amour en Cage, 8 Margaret Road, Raumati Beach – French cheeses on the wheel which you can get cuts of put into BYO 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 Pak’NSave Kāpiti, Coastlands, Paraparaumu, and New World Paraparaumu, 159 Kāpiti Road, Paraparaumu.
  • 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).

  • The Village Baker, 14 Margaret Road, Raumati South
  • Kapiti Cakes and Bakery, Coastlands Parade, Paraparaumu
  • Ben’s Buns, 3a MacLean Street, Paraparaumu Beach.
  • Olde Beach Bakery, 3 Ono Street, Waikanae Beach
  • Waikanae Hot Bread, 6B Mahara Place, Waikanae
  • Main Street Bakery Company, 1 Main Street, Ōtaki
  • 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! For example, Pak n Save, 200 Rimu Road, Paraparaumu – stocks unpackaged loaves of bread at the bakery section, just BYO bag!

  • 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. Check out this list of markets across Kāpiti.
  • 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. Some box and/or co-op schemes to look at are Wairarapa Eco Farm or the Dreamcatcher Co-op in Kāpiti.
  • Trade Aid – Trade Aid‘s 2kg sugar bags are also 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 Kapiti, Shop 41 Coastlands Shoppingtown, Paraparaumu, and Commonsense Organics, Coastlands Mall, Paraparaumu.

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:

  • Dark Horse Coffee Roastery, 2 Sheffield St, Paraparaumu
  • Commonsense Organics, Coastlands Mall, Paraparaumu
  • Bin Inn Kāpiti, 128 Kapiti Road, Paraparaumu
  • New World Otaki, 155 Main Road, Ōtaki (Caffe L’affare range, including fair trade organic option, in the bulk dispensers).

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:

  • Nowhere yet!! Has anyone else spotted somewhere?! A life without tea seems a bit sad! For the meantime, note that Bell Loose Leaf black tea comes in a cardboard box with a paper lining on the inside – no plastic wrapping. This is available in basically all supermarkets and Four Squares across the country.

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 – get unpasteurised (raw) A2 milk on tap at the Faith Farm Fresh vending machine, 877 State Highway 1, Te Horo – BYO 1L bottles, or buy one of theirs to reuse.
  • Milk delivery in reusable glass bottles – You’ve got TWO options!
    • Eketahuna Country Meats 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!
    • MannaMilk is a raw milk company delivering raw milk all across the Lower North Island, including drop-off points throughout Wellington. The milk is delivered in single-use plastic bottles, which isn’t zero waste. HOWEVER, you can request that the milk be dropped-off in a reusable 10L pail, which you can pour into BYO bottles. As this is a large quantity of milk, you can either get a lot and freeze some, or go in with a group of others and share the milk and the cost between you. You can see MannaMilk’s delivery routes, days and drop-off points here.
  • Milk Powder in bulk bins – available at Bin Inn Kāpiti, 128 Kapiti Road, Paraparaumu.

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:

  • Any brewery! Kāpiti is home to the famous Tuatara Brewery (7 Sheffield St, Paraparaumu), while Waikanae hosts North End Brewery whose beer you can get on tap at The Salt and Wood Collective, Ngaio Road, Waikanae. Check out this list here for more local breweries.
  • Liquorland Paraparaumu, 3/140 Kāpiti Road, Paraparaumu.

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).

Drinking Chocolate  Bin Inn Kāpiti, 128 Kapiti Road, Paraparaumu stocks cocoa powder in the bulk bins. 

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 Commonsense Organics, Coastlands Mall, Paraparaumu, Simply New Zealand, Coastlands Mall, Paraparaumu, State One Designs, MacLean Street  Paraparaumu Beach and 196 Main Road, Ōtaki (metal & glass) and Cream Design, 215 Main Road, Ōtaki.

And for a reusable takeaway coffee cup, find the Keep Cup brand at Commonsense Organics, Coastlands Mall, Paraparaumu, Steven’s, Coastlands Mall, Paraparaumu and Coast Kitchen & Catering, 43 Seaview Road, Paraparaumu Beach; the Sol brand is sold at State One Designs, MacLean Street, Paraparaumu Beach and 196 Main Road, Ōtaki; the NZ made Cuppa Coffee Cup brand can be found at Artel, Outdoor Mall, Waikanae; River Stone Cafe, Main Road, Ōtaki stocks Ideal CupsJoco cups can be found at Olde Beach Bakery, 3 Ono Street, Waikanae Beach. Cream Design, 215 Main Road, Ōtaki stocks a range of different 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. You can get Meals in Steel stainless steel lunchboxes and food containers at Commonsense Organics, 37 Waterloo Rd, Lower Hutt.

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 Rethink produce and bulk bin bags at Commonsense Organics, Coastlands, Paraparaumu and Artel Gallery + Store, 9 Mahara Place, Waikanae.

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 Commonsense Organics, Coastlands, Paraparaumu; Bin Inn Kāpiti, 128 Kāpiti Road, Paraparaumu, Coast Kitchen & Catering, 43 Seaview Road, Paraparaumu Beach and State One Designs, 196 Main Road, Ōtaki.

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

  • Beeswax wrap –
    • Purchase at – Commonsense Organics, Coastlands, Paraparaumu, Artel Gallery + Store, 9 Mahara Place, Waikanae and Lovely Living, 2 Mahara Place, Waikanae.
    • DIY – it’s way cheaper! You just need off cuts of natural fibre fabric (check out Kapiti Knitting and Lotto, 24 MacLean Street, Paraparaumu Beach, or Fibre Flair, 54 Main Road, Waikanae) and get unpackaged beeswax from Commonsense Organics, Coastlands, Paraparaumu. Bin Inn Kāpiti, 128 Kāpiti Road, Paraparaumu also stocks beeswax but it’s pre-packed into a plastic pottle. However, you can request it to be taken out of the plastic pottle into your own container and they’ll reuse the pottle.
  • Reusable sandwich bags – you can get Munch reusable sandwich bags and/or wraps from Commonsense Organics, Coastlands, Paraparaumu. Cream Design, 215 Main Road, Ōtaki stocks reusable sandwich wraps by Roll’eat.
  • Silicone Pot/Bowl CoversGorgeous Things, 22 Raumati Road, Raumati Beach and Cream Design, 215 Main Road, Ōtaki.

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:

  • Commonsense Organics, Coastlands Mall, Paraparaumu
  • Bin Inn Kāpiti, 128 Kapiti Rd, Paraparaumu

Low-waste dishwashing

You can find dishbrushes with wooden handles and removable + replaceable, home compostable heads at Commonsense Organics, Coastlands, Paraparaumu; Bin Inn Kāpiti, 128 Kāpiti Road, Paraparaumu; and Steven’s, Coastlands Mall, Paraparaumu.

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! 100% cotton + cellulose dishcloth sponges (home compostable at the end of their life) which are available at Commonsense Organics, Coastlands, Paraparaumu
  • If you’re after a coarser scrubby, you can get 100% coconut fibre coarse scrubby from Commonsense Organics, Coastlands, Paraparaumu.
  • For something fancy, Madame Treacle, Cnr Margarent Road and Raumati Road, Raumati Beach and Cream Design, 215 Main Road, Ōtaki stock Bianca Lorenne 100% cotton cloths.


  • Eco Planet laundry powder comes in a cardboard box, no plastic lining, with a cardboard scoop, and it’s septic tank safe. You can find it at Pak’NSave Kāpiti, Coastlands, Paraparaumu, New World Paraparaumu, 159 Kāpiti Road, Paraparaumu, New World Waikanae, 5 Parata Street, Waikanae and New World Otaki, 155 Main Road, Ōtaki
  • Non-plastic clothes pegs – Go Bamboo clothes pegs with metal spring mechanism available at Commonsense Organics, Coastlands, Paraparaumu.

Ingredients for DIY cleaning products

  • Baking soda – available unpackaged in bulk bins at Bin Inn Kāpiti, 128 Kāpiti Road, Paraparaumu.
  • White vinegar – available on tap from a bulk dispenser (BYO bottle!) at Bin Inn Kāpiti, 128 Kāpiti Road, Paraparaumu.

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 Bin Inn Kāpiti, 128 Kāpiti Road, Paraparaumu; Commonsense Organics, Coastlands, Paraparaumu and New World Waikanae, 5 Parata Street, Waikanae.
  • Dental Floss – Commonsense Organics, Coastlands, Paraparaumu stocks 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 a paper bag from all stockists listed above – just pop the refill into your original metal/glass dispenser.

Unpackaged Bars of Soap

It’s easy to get soap without packaging in Kāpiti. The following stores sell totally naked bars of soap:

  • Bin Inn Kāpiti, 128 Kāpiti Road, Paraparaumu
  • Commonsense Organics, Coastlands, Paraparaumu
  • Simply New Zealand, Coastlands Mall, Paraparaumu – felted soap.
  • Gorgeous Things, 22 Raumati Road, Raumati Beach
  • Madame Treacle, Cnr Raumati Road and Margaret Road, Raumati Beach – Panna Soaps and others.
  • Jenoa, 2 Mahara Place, Waikanae
  • Artel, 9 Mahara Place, Waikanae
  • Cream Design, 215 Main Road, Ōtaki.
  • Artscape, Main Road, Ōtaki – regular and felted soap.
  • State One Designs, 196 Main Road, Ōtaki.

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’ve seen them stocked at Commonsense Organics, Coastlands, Paraparaumu, Farmers, Coastlands, Paraparaumu
  • If you’re into an all-in-one bar, you can get the Global Soap Shave, Shampoo and Body bar made with beer (:-D) from Commonsense Organics, Coastlands, Paraparaumu

Reusable Menstrual Products

There are zero waste, low cost alternatives to disposable sanitary items like tampons and pads. For example, you can find menstrual cups at Commonsense Organics, Coastlands, Paraparaumu.


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, and shaving brushes from Andy’s Barber Shop, 18 Mclean Street, Paraparaumu Beach. Or else if you’re just after a shaving brush, you can also get these from Commonsense Organics, Coastlands, Paraparaumu, Life Pharmacy, Coastlands, Kapiti Road, Paraparaumu, Paraparaumu Beach Pharmacy, 17 Seaview Road, Gorgeous Things, 22 Raumati Road, Raumati Beach and Cream Design, 215 Main Road, Ōtaki.

Liquid Toiletries on Tap

The following stores stock a range of liquid bathroom products on tap that you can refill your own bottles with: 
  • Commonsense Organics, Coastlands, Paraparaumu
  • Bin Inn Kāpiti, 128 Kāpiti Road, Paraparaumu  stock Ecostore liquid bathroom products on tap (just BYO bottles!)

Ingredients for DIY Toiletries/Cosmetics

  • 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 Bin Inn Kāpiti, 128 Kāpiti Road, Paraparaumu.
  • You can get unpackaged beeswax from Commonsense Organics, Coastlands, Paraparaumu.


  • Cotton Buds – Go Bamboo makes home compostable buds so you can avoid the single-use, unrecyclable plastic ones. Get them from Bin Inn Kāpiti, 128 Kāpiti Road, Paraparaumu; and Commonsense Organics, Coastlands, Paraparaumu
  • Toilet Paper – Commonsense Organics, Coastlands, Paraparaumu stocks Greencane toilet paper (which comes in fully home compostable packaging).

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! 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, check out the Green Gardener in Kāpiti. Also, various community gardens around the Wellington region offer composting workshops.
  • 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 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). These occur regularly around Kāpiti, so keep your eyes peeled!
    • 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 Sustainability Trust‘s EcoShop, 2 Forrester’s Lane, Te Aro, Wellington; the Recycle Centre and Second Treasures Shop, at the Wellington Southern Landfill; Trash Palace, Broken Hill Road, Porirua; Earthlink, 25 Peterkin St, Wingate, Lower Hutt; Masterton, Carterton & Martinborough Transfer Stations (these drop-offs are FREE); or Wairarapa Resource Centre, 8 King Street, Masterton. For some of these items, you will have to pay to recycle them (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. E-waste drop offs for recycling is FREE at the Masterton, Carterton & Martinborough transfer stations.
  • 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.
  • The Waste Free Kapiti Facebook group is a great 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. Similarly, check out Plastic Free Kāpiti, a Facebook page set up by Paekākāriki local Rachel Benefield who lives plastic free with her family of 5. The page intends to support households and individuals aiming to live without plastic.
  • 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 Upoko o te Ika is Te Kawa Robb – if you’re keen for some awhi with waste reduction, he’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. There’s a monthly crop swap in Wellington at the Newtown Cultural and Community Centre.

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 9 on the Kāpiti Coast. 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 – 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!
  • 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. Great examples are the Sew Good Cooperative at the Common Unity Project Aotearoa, 310 Waiwhetu Road, Epuni, Lower Hutt or Vinnies Re Sew in Wellington City. 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.




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