Zero Waste on Waiheke Island
This guide covers Waiheke Island only. For other areas of Auckland, please refer to the Zero Waste in the Auckland Region post.
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!
- Plastic Free Pantry – Waiheke is incredibly lucky to have Plastic Free Pantry – a family-run, zero waste grocery delivery service (one of a kind in New Zealand)! Visit their website to order a wide (and ever-expanding) range of dried bulk foods and pantry staples (including organic) such as grains, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, flours, spices, muesli, sweets and snacks, recipe kits and more. All you do is order online and your goods will be delivered on a Friday in glass jars (in an EV – whoop!) – OR you can pick-up your order from 4-6 Beatty Parade on Friday morning. When your jars are empty, simply leave them out on the next delivery day and Plastic Free Pantry will take them back for sterilisation and refill. Woah! This means that the glass jars go around and around the system (just like the old-school milk run)! Plastic-Free Pantry’s glass jar refill and return system is a true zero waste delivery option. For more details, check out the Plastic Free Pantry website.
- Gulf Foods, 19 Tahi Road, Ostend – stocks a great range of bulk bins with a mixture of both organic and non-organic items at affordable prices, including grains, flours, legumes, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, sugars, spices and condiments. Also has liquid foods on tap, such as oils, vinegars, and tamari.
- Green Space, 20 Tahi Road, Ostend – while most of the bulk food here is packaged in cellophane, Greenspace now hosts several shelves of Plastic Free Pantry‘s returnable/refillable glass jars – yay! When the jars are empty you can return them to any Plastic Free Pantry jar drop off on the island to claim back you jar deposit. There are a few additional products available unpackaged in bulk: fresh organic dates, maple syrup and apple cider vinegar on tap, which you can fill into your own bottles. There’s a great range of unpackaged, organic fruit and veg too!
- Upcycle Re-Design Store in Pendragon Mall, Oneroa – hosts several shelves of Plastic Free Pantry‘s returnable/refillable glass jars – yay! When the jars are empty you can return them to any Plastic Free Pantry jar drop off on the island to claim back you jar deposit.
- The Island Grocer, 110 Oceanview Road, Oneroa – has a range of bulk bins with organic ingredients, including grains, legumes, flours, seeds and nutritional yeast (on the pricey end of the spectrum). Also stocks vanilla essence and paste in glass jars/bottles (rather than plastic). Most of the fruit and vegetables in the store are unpackaged, just remember to BYO bags to put them in.
- Supermarkets – Waiheke’s supermarket does have a bulk bin/pick and mix section with wholefoods (BYO bags for these). However, the items in the bulk bins are pretty pricey, often more so than equivalent ingredients in packets (bah!), and pricier than the bulk bins at Gulf Foods (even the organic products through Plastic Free Pantry or in bulk bins at Gulf Foods!). 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!
- Village Butchery, 102 Oceanview Road, Oneroa – this shop is more than happy to put your cuts of meat into a BYO container.
- Te Matuku Oysters, 17 Belgium Street, Ostend – fresh fish and shellfish available unpackaged into your own containers.
- Unpackaged live mussels – there are a few stores around town that stock unpackaged live mussels at self-serve counters (look out especially in supermarkets). We put them straight into upcycled ice cream containers/BYO containers rather than the plastic bags the stores usually provide. Get them at Countdown, 13-19 Belgium Street, Ostend; and Te Matuku Oysters, 17 Belgium Street, Ostend
- 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 Island Grocer, 110 Oceanview Road, Oneroa
- Franco’s, 30 Belgium Street, Ostend
- Helios at the Waiheke Ostend Market, Belgium Street, Ostend
- RAW at Waiheke, 4 Putiki Road, Ostend
- Four Square, 151 Oceanview Road, Oneroa
- Countdown, 13-19 Belgium Street, Ostend.
- 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 the Waiheke Ostend Market, Belgium Street, Ostend, every Saturday, for excellent produce – BYO bags to put fresh fruit and veges in. Here you can also get cheese straight off the round into your own container at the Helios stall (try the amazing bread too!).
- Co-ops – Waiheke has various co-ops from which you can benefit from bulk buying power – for example, check out The Waiheke Co-op. As with any co-op, ensuring your share is divvied up into your own reusable bags and containers might require negotiation when you first sign up.
- Crop Swap – You may also be interested in the monthly crop swap running at the Waiheke Sustainability Centre, Mako Street, Oneroa – this is a money-less exchange, just bring some of your homegrown produce or homemade baking and preserves to share and exchange for the produce, baking and preserves of others in the community.
- 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 The Island Grocer, 110 Oceanview Road, Oneroa.
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:
- Island Coffee, 21 Belgium Street, Ostend is more than happy to put their freshly roasted unpackaged beans or grinds straight into your BYO bag/container – just ask at the counter. FYI that the roastery is only open in the mornings!
- The Waiheke Bean sells their yummy freshly roasted beans and grinds inside at the Waiheke Ostend Market. It’s all prepackaged, but if you ask nicely then you can get a prepacked bag of coffee poured into your own bag or container, the owners are then happy to repack that bag rather than chucking it out. The Waiheke Bean also does home deliveries of coffee and might be open to delivering in your own containers if you ask nicely and can work out a system with them that works (you could have a glass jar exchange where you use two glass jars. You put one empty one in your letterbox, and they swap it for your other full one and take the empty away to refill for next time).
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! Here are the options we tracked down:
- Timmy Smith, 143 Oceanview Road, Oneroa – this store can weigh out 25g portions of what they already have open into your jar.
- Green Space, 20 Tahi Road, Ostend sells loose leaf tea in returnable/refillable glass jars
- You can order a range of loose leaf teas through Plastic Free Pantry.
Sourcing cow’s milk without the plastic bottles in refillable glass bottles, or getting non-dairy milk without the dreaded Tetra-pak, is no mean feat! Unfortunately we’ve not come across any waste-free options on the island yet… 🙁
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:
- Waiheke Island Brewery, located at Wild on Waiheke, 82 Onetangi Road, Onetangi – one of the oldest craft beers in New Zealand, by master brewer Alan Knight!
- Boogie Van Brewing, 29B Tahi Road.
- Alibi Brewing Company, 70/72 Onetangi Road.
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 – get cocoa powder in from the bulk bins at Gulf Foods, 19 Tahi Road, Ostend.
- Waiheke-made ginger beer – available on tap at Waiheke Island Brewery, located at Wild on Waiheke, 82 Onetangi Road, Onetangi.
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 Veranda, 2/116 Oceanview Road, Oneroa; Island Design, 114 Oceanview Road, Oneroa; Eclectic Boutique, 28 Belgium Street, Ostend; True Blue, 21 Belgium Street, Ostend; and The Living Room Studio, Whakarite Road, Ostend.
There are plenty of reusable takeaway coffee cups available on Waiheke:
- Find the Keep Cup brand at The Island Grocer, 110 Oceanview Road, Oneroa; Veranda, 2/116 Oceanview Road, Oneroa; Likerish, 23D Belgium St, Ostend; Island Coffee, 21B Belgium Street, Ostend; or order one with your next delivery with Plastic Free Pantry.
- Various glass cups are available: the Joco brand at Waiheke Central Supply Co., 118 Oceanview Road, Oneroa; Uppercup at Eclectic Boutique, 28 Belgium Street, Ostend; Think Cup at True Blue, 21 Belgium Street, Ostend; Sol cup at Veranda, 2/116 Oceanview Road, Oneroa
- You can also get the NZ-made Cuppa Coffee Cup and European made Zuperzozial bamboo/corn based cups at True Blue, 21 Belgium Street, Ostend.
- NZ-made ceramic cups that are made to fit silicone lids are sold at Island Design, 114 Oceanview Road, Oneroa
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 The Living Room Studio, Whakarite Road, Ostend (recently relocated from Tahi Road…)
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% cotton produce, bulk bin and/or shopping bags at The Island Grocer, 110 Oceanview Road, Oneroa; Veranda, 2/116 Oceanview Road, Oneroa; and Green Space, 20 Tahi Road, Ostend. For reusable shopping bags, look no further than the BYO Bag Waiheke bags available at Upcycle Re-Design Store in Pendragon Mall, Oneroa.
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 The Island Grocer, 110 Oceanview Road, Oneroa; Eclectic Boutique, 28 Belgium Street, Ostend; metal AND glass straws from Oneroa Pharmacy, 120 Oceanview Road, Oneroa; or order metal straws with your next delivery with Plastic Free Pantry.
Alternatives to plastic cling wrap, plastic sandwich bags and tin foil
- Beeswax wrap
- Purchase at Veranda, 2/116 Oceanview Road, Oneroa; Green Space, 20 Tahi Road, Ostend; Upcycle Re-Design Store in Pendragon Mall, Oneroa; and The Island Grocer, 110 Oceanview Road, Oneroa.
- DIY (waaaay cheaper): You just need to get natural fibre fabric (cotton) and unpackaged beeswax. Keep an eye out at secondhand stores and fabric stores for off-cuts of cotton. Get unpackaged beeswax candles at Green Space, 20 Tahi Road, Ostend.
- Reusable cloth pot/bowl covers – available at Upcycle Re-Design Store in Pendragon Mall, Oneroa
- Reusable sandwich wraps – available at Upcycle Re-Design Store in Pendragon Mall, Oneroa.
- Silicone covers for pots/bowls (an alternative to plastic cling wrap and tin foil) are available at True Blue, 21 Belgium Street, Ostend.
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:
- Gulf Foods, 19 Tahi Road, Ostend – stocks a great range of bulk Wendyl’s, Dream Eco, and Earthwise cleaning products, simply BYO bottle to refill. Gulf Foods also stocks refills of powdered cleaning products (like laundry powder).
- Green Space, 20 Tahi Road, Ostend – stocks Wendyl’s cleaning products on tap (Wendyl’s takes back the store’s empty dispensers and refills them – so it’s a great zero waste option!)
- Waiheke Sustainability Centre, Mako St, Oneroa – stocks a huge range of bulk Ecostore cleaning products, simply BYO bottle to refill – including laundry liquid and dishing liquid, multipurpose cleaner, glass cleaner, floor cleaner, toilet cleaner… the list goes on. Ecostore does not take empty dispensers back for refill once empty though – so something to bear in mind when thinking about waste reduction up the supply chain.
You can find dishbrushes with wooden handles and removable + replaceable, home compostable heads at Waiheke Sustainability Centre, Mako St, Oneroa; Veranda, 2/116 Oceanview Road, Oneroa; Te Matuku Oysters, 17 Belgium Street, Ostend; Eclectic Boutique, 28 Belgium Street, Ostend; and Green Space, 20 Tahi Road, Ostend.
You can also get wooden/plant fibre (thus home compostable) veggie brushes which also work well as dish scrubbers from Te Matuku Oysters, 17 Belgium Street, Ostend; and Green Space, 20 Tahi Road, Ostend.
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 Wet-it! 100% cotton + cellulose dishcloth sponges (home compostable at the end of their life) which are available at Te Matuku Oysters, 17 Belgium Street, Ostend. Another brand of the same type of cloth is SPRUCE, which you can order with your next delivery with Plastic Free Pantry.
- You can get 100% cotton dishcloths at Veranda, 2/116 Oceanview Road, Oneroa.
- Japanese made Nawrap linen/cotton/rayon dishcloths at Eclectic Boutique, 28 Belgium Street, Ostend; and Veranda, 2/116 Oceanview Road, Oneroa
- There are also bamboo fibre scourers by Safix sold at Green Space, 20 Tahi Road, Ostend and Plastic Free Pantry.
- Soapnuts – natural nut shells that release saponin (like soap) in water and can be used for laundry. Once spent, the shells can be composted. The SoapNuts NZ brand comes only in a cardboard box with no inner plastic lining. You can order with your next delivery with Plastic Free Pantry.
- Non-plastic clothes pegs – Go Bamboo pegs are available at The Island Grocer, 110 Oceanview Road, Oneroa; Green Space, 20 Tahi Road, Ostend; RAW at Waiheke, 4 Putiki Road, Ostend or through Plastic Free Pantry. You can also get metal pegs at Green Space, 20 Tahi Road, Ostend and The Island Grocer, 110 Oceanview Road, Oneroa.
Ingredients for DIY cleaning products
- Green Space, 20 Tahi Road, Ostend – stocks a range of Wendyl’s basic ingredients for DIY toiletries and cleaners in bulk dispensers that you can fill into your own bottles and containers, including baking soda, soda ash and white vinegar. The bulk dispensers that Green Space uses get returned to Wendyl’s when empty for refill – so very low waste!
- Baking soda/vinegar – also available unpackaged in bulk bins/refills at Gulf Foods, 19 Tahi Road, Ostend. Or you can get baking soda through Plastic Free Pantry.
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 The Island Grocer, 110 Oceanview Road, Oneroa; Oneroa Unichem Pharmacy, 120 Oceanview Road, Oneroa; Green Space, 20 Tahi Road, Ostend; RAW at Waiheke, 4 Putiki Road, Ostend or order one with your next delivery with Plastic Free Pantry.
- Dental Floss – Countdown 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, 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 www.dogooder.co.nz – just pop the refill into your original metal/glass dispenser. Alternatively, Green Space, 20 Tahi Road, Ostend, and The Island Grocer, 110 Oceanview Road, Oneroa, stock 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.
Unpackaged Bars of Soap
You can get totally naked bars of soap at:
- Waiheke Sustainability Centre, Mako St, Oneroa
- Veranda, 2/116 Oceanview Road, Oneroa
- Waiheke Island Botanicals at the Waiheke Ostend Market.
- RAW at Waiheke, 4 Putiki Road, Ostend
- True Blue, 21 Belgium Street, Ostend
- Green Space, 20 Tahi Road, Ostend
- Or order one with your next delivery with Plastic Free Pantry.
At Upcycle Re-Design Store, Pendragon Mall, Oneroa you can get locally-made bars of soap wrapped in weaved grass/flax. Also, look out for Waiheke Soap Company soap, which is all over the island and is virtually naked (just a wee bit of home compostable wrapping on it).
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). The range is stocked at Oneroa Unichem Pharmacy, 120 Oceanview Road.
- For a locally-made, very popular shampoo bar, check out Waiheke Island Botanicals at the Waiheke Ostend Market. Alternatively, you can get a local shampoo by Angelica at Green Space, 20 Tahi Road, Ostend.
- Dirty Hippie bars are also available on the island. Get their shampoo bars and shaving bars from Green Space, 20 Tahi Road, Ostend or their shampoo bars through Plastic Free Pantry.
- Dream Eco shampoo bars (wrapped in beeswax wrap) are available at Gulf Foods, 19 Tahi Road, Ostend.
- Deodorant – If you’re looking for some sustainably packaged deodorant, Plastic Free Pantry stocks Raw Nature deodorant and insect repellent, both of which come in cardboard (home compostable) tubes. Also get Dirty Hippie deodorant in a cardboard tube at Green Space, 20 Tahi Road, Ostend, or Aotea Road deodorant in a cardboard tube at RAW at Waiheke, 4 Putiki Road, Ostend.
Reusable Menstrual Products
There are zero waste, low cost alternatives to disposable sanitary items like tampons and pads.
- Menstrual cups are available at Oneroa Unichem Pharmacy, 120 Oceanview Road, Oneroa; The Island Grocer, 110 Oceanview Road, Oneroa; or Countdown.
Liquid Toiletries on Tap
- Waiheke Sustainability Centre, Mako St, Oneroa
- Gulf Foods, 19 Tahi Road, Ostend.
- Angelica Skincare makes a range of lovely skin care products in jars which can be refilled if brought back. You can find Angelica at the Waiheke Ostend Market on Saturdays.
Ingredients for DIY Toiletries
- Green Space, 20 Tahi Road, Ostend – stocks a range of Wendyl’s basic ingredients for DIY toiletries in bulk dispensers that you can fill into your own bottles and containers, including baking soda. The bulk dispensers that Green Space uses get returned to Wendyl’s when empty for refill – so very low waste!
- Baking soda/starches – available unpackaged in bulk bins/refills at Gulf Foods, 19 Tahi Road, Ostend or through Plastic Free Pantry.
- Cotton Buds – Go Bamboo makes home compostable buds so you can avoid the single-use, unrecyclable plastic ones. Get them from Oneroa Pharmacy, 120 Oceanview Road, Oneroa; The Island Grocer, 110 Oceanview Road, Oneroa; RAW at Waiheke, 4 Putiki Road, Ostend; Green Space, 20 Tahi Road, Ostend; or order some with your next delivery with Plastic Free Pantry.
- Toilet Paper – both Smartass and Greencane toilet paper come wrapped in home compostable packaging.
- Greencane is available at The Island Grocer, 110 Oceanview Road, Oneroa; and RAW at Waiheke, 4 Putiki Road, Ostend.
- Smartass is stocked at The Island Grocer, 110 Oceanview Road, Oneroa; Gulf Foods, 19 Tahi Road, Ostend; Green Space, 20 Tahi Road, Ostend; or can be ordered with your next delivery with Plastic Free Pantry.
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! Luckily, on Waiheke there are lots of 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, the Waiheke Resources Trust has teamed up with Grow Inspired with Claire Mummery to run the Compost Collective programme FREE composting workshops. Worth checking out!
- Food scrap collections – If you are a business on Waiheke and would like your food scraps to be composted, The Compost Co. can take your organic waste and commercially compost it for you for a great price!
- Edible business food waste – food that is still edible that goes to waste is a crying shame. On Waiheke you can get in touch with Kai Conscious who redistribute business’ edible food waste from the Waiheke Sustainability Centre and also use this food to create a weekly community lunch every Friday!
- 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). Check out Repair Cafe Auckland to see where the next repair cafe is happening near you! If your electronics really have given up the ghost, rather than chucking them out, take them to be recycled responsibly. In Auckland there are a range of places you can take your e-waste to be recycled or disposed of more safely. These include community recycling centres (see below), Resource Rescue, Abilities, Ecomatters, and E-Cycle.
- Community Recycling Centres are popping up all over Auckland now that the council has the aim of having at least 12 in the city in order to reach its goal of becoming a zero waste city by 2040. Community recycling centres are community-run and very effective at diverting waste from landfill, whether by arranging recycling, or repurposing or reselling of items back to the community at low cost. They are often drop-off points for all manner of recyclables, from plastics, paper/cardboard, glass and metals, through to hard to recycle items like e-waste, building and construction materials and other bits and bobs. Check out this list of Auckland community recycling centres to find your local. The range of things the community can drop-off also makes community recycling centres a GREAT place to get your magpie on and scavenge some real treasures at the re-use shops – a perfect place to find secondhand items rather than buying them new. If you’re wanting a new appliance or gadget, new toys or bikes, or if you’re undertaking a craft, building or home maker project and need some wood off-cuts, scrap metal, bolts, nuts or other building equipment, go to your local community recycling centre before you go anywhere else – you’ll be amazed at what you can find, at super low prices.
- EcoMatters’ Adopt a Resource – one person’s waste is another person’s treasure. Daily industry throws out tonnes of ‘waste’ that might actually be useful to other people. EcoMatters, an amazing Environment Centre in New Lynn, is taking ‘waste’ off the Rosebank Business Community and rehoming it to whoever might want it! Check out their website – you never know what kind of goodies you might be able to get, while saving it from a sad fate in landfill :-O
- 100% Inorganic Collection Free Shop, Tahi Road, Waiheke Island – an awesome store run by the Island Waste Collective where you can get goods collected from Waiheke’s Inorganic Collection FOR FREE – whoop!
Zero Waste Information and Support Networks
- Waste-free advocates – Auckland is full of groups and individuals who provide support and inspiration for people to reduce their waste, both online and offline. You may have heard of Amanda Chapman from Amanda in Waste-free Land, Kristy Lorson from EarthSavvy (who is also the creator of the incredibly useful Zero Waste in NZ! Facebook page), the Weir-Barwells of Waste-Less Living, the trail-blazing Matthew Luxon and Waveney Warth from Rubbishfree.co.nz, and the Archer family of 6 who are documenting their year without a bin this year (2018). Have a look at their websites – they are all excellent resources for waste-free living in Auckland, and NZ generally. If you’re lucky, you might be able to twist one of their arms to do a public talk/workshop as well… 😀
- Environmental hubs – environment centres and hubs are a great place to look out for if you would like help reducing waste (in the context of sustainable living generally). The Waiheke Resources Trust, running out of the Waiheke Sustainability Centre, Mako Street, Waiheke Island runs heaps of projects related to waste reduction on the island (among other awesome things) and lots of workshops and activities to help you reduce waste – check them out, they’re the bees’ knees!
- Running a Zero Waste Event – Are you running an event – big or small – and keen to keep it low-waste? Well, EcoMatters has developed an AMAZING website on Zero Waste Events in collaboration with Auckland Council to encourage event organisers and stallholders to design an event that generates less waste, and/or the right kind of waste for reuse. There’s so much useful information on this website, so definitely check it out – proper impressive! The Waiheke Resources Trust also provides support on the island to anyone wanting to run a zero waste event, including hiring out a full ‘Towards Zero Waste’ event kit! Check out the details here.
Share and Exchange/Skills and Resilience in Communities
- Toy Libraries – reduce the wasteful over-consumption of toys and save money by joining a toy library! Waiheke has it’s very own toy library, so no need to miss out!
- Community gardens and urban growing – if you are wanting to try your hand at gardening and have access to some unpackaged, locally grown veges, look up your local community garden. There are a few community gardens and food forests on the island! Check out a full list (plus map) here. Better yet, check out the truly amazing For the Love of Bees – an artistic project that has morphed into a next level community-mobilising force for making Auckland a city that is good for bees (and thus, for us), incredible stuff!
- Sharing Sheds/Community Fruit and Veg Stands – these are stands/shelves in the community where anyone can drop off excess fruit and veg from their garden, and anyone is free to take what’s there, free of charge. The wonderful art of sharing means that excess produce doesn’t go to waste. Furthermore, items can be shared without excessive amounts of packaging. These are popping up around the country and there are heaps in Auckland – find your nearest through the new website Free Food. There’s a great sharing shelf outside the Waiheke Sustainability Centre!
- Crop Swap – Another fantastic thing going is Crop Swaps – at a crop swap, individuals who have veges they’ve grown, or preserves or baking they’ve made (or similar), 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 are crop swaps dotted around Auckland (including Waiheke Island), check out this website for a location near you (note the website is still being developed and currently missing many locations – you may need to ask around).