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 Waitara, 61 McLean Street, Waitara – 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, syrups and tahini, which are stored in beautiful large glass containers instead of the usual plastic), and plenty of sweets and treats. They also both have a peanut butter extruder, just BYO jar! This particular Bin Inn has plenty of organic options, and they even sell cheese off the round at a small deli – you know what to do, BYO container! Also, all Bin Inns across the country now offer a 5% discount if you bring your own bags and containers.
- Moturoa Four Square, 3 Lawry Street, New Plymouth – this is no ordinary Four Square. This store offers a decent range of cheap, unpackaged goods in bulk bins, including flours, baking powder, legumes, oats and cereals, cocoa powder, dried fruit, sweets, stock powder, pet food, and even liquids such as honey, golden syrup and white vinegar.
- Taranaki Fresh, 629 Devon Road, New Plymouth – this Indian grocery store offers a wide range of unpackaged goods in bulk bins, including nuts, seeds, dried fruit, cocoa, coconut, sugar, spices, beans/legumes, flours, grains, baking soda, baking powder, black salt and starches.
- Big Basket Fiztroy, 562 Devon Street East, New Plymouth – this Indian grocery store offers a range of unpackaged goods in bulk bins, including flours, legumes, spices, nuts, sugar and baking powder.
- Fresh World, Richmond Centre, 10/4 Egmont St, New Plymouth – a centrally located grocery store that sells fresh fruit and veges, as well as a small range of spices and legumes in bulk bins.
- Down to Earth, 268 Devon Street West, New Plymouth – the only organic store in New Plymouth. While they don’t offer bulk bins, they are happy for customers to BYO bags/containers to fill with any of the dry goods that the store otherwise pre-packs out back (e.g. spices, nuts, seeds, flours, legumes, grains, dried fruit) – just be sure to go when it’s not busy! They also offer refills of liquids such as apple cider vinegar, tamari, olive and sunflower oil, and mānuka and blended honeys.
- Bees-R-Us, 253a Devon Street West, New Plymouth – get honey refills straight into your own jar/container.
- Beach Road Milk, 20 Beach Road, Omata – apart from milk, this is the place to come to get the amazing fresh, local, organic produce grown by Kaitake Farm, most of which should be unpackaged (BYO produce bags!)
- Ravji G S and Co, 235/237 High St, Hawera – this fresh produce store also stocks a few spices and legumes in bulk bins, though these bins seem very underutilised – it may be worth asking whether they would be willing to use them properly!
- Supermarkets – most supermarkets in Taranaki (from Four Squares in small towns to large supermarkets in Stratford and South Taranaki) have some amount of bulk bin/pick and mix sections with wholefoods (BYO bags for these), some with an extensive range. 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 and Taranaki Fresh.
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!
- TLC Meats, Richmond Centre, Shop 12 Corner St Aubyn Street and Egmont Street, New Plymouth – this butcher is happy to put unpackaged cuts of meat and smallgoods into BYO containers.
- The Fridge Butchery & Delicatessen, 47 Devon Street East, New Plymouth – right in the centre of town, this store is more than happy to put its various unpackaged cheeses and meats in a BYO container. They also wrap their goods in paper if you forget/don’t want to use your own container.
- Mad Butcher Taranaki, 215 Courtenay Street, New Plymouth – this store allows you to order meat to be put into your own containers. You need to bring your containers into the store at least the day before so that the store has them for when they do the morning packing the next day.
- Central Butchery/Slaghuis, 236 Broadway, Stratford
- Normanby Butchery, 12 Mawhitiwhiti Road, Normanby
- Hurley’s Butchery, 67 Egmont Street, Patea
- 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 New World Stratford, 124 Regan Street, Stratford; PAK’nSAVE Hawera, 54 Princes Street, Hawera; and Countdown Hawera, corner Union and Nelson Streets, Hawera.
- 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).
- Villa Bumblebee – a beautiful local artisan sourdough bakery, whose bread is available in several locations around New Plymouth: at the Farmers’ Market Taranaki, Sundays at Currie Street, New Plymouth; Beach Road Milk, 20 Beach Road, Omata on Mondays and Thursdays; and on Fridays and Saturdays at Vetro Taranaki, 322 Devon Street East, New Plymouth.
- 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 and containers for a range of goodies available at Farmers’ Market Taranaki, Sundays at Currie Street, New Plymouth. You can get a range of unpackaged food here, including fresh fruit and veges (including the urban-grown spray-free produce from our friends at Freeman Farms), fresh-baked bread, preserves, eggs, and much more – just check out the website for stallholders, or rock up on a Sunday! Another market to check out is Prospero Farmers’ Market (last Saturday of the month, 9am-1pm) in Stratford.
- Trade Aid – Trade Aid‘s 1.5kg 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 all these products at Trade Aid, 82 Devon Street East, New Plymouth.
- HokoLoko – an amazing project that connects consumers with local food producers. You simply register on the website, see what goods are available, make your order (over the weekend), then head down to the weekly hui to pick your order up and meet the people who grow/make/prepare it too! The hui is every Wednesday 5.15-6.15pm, held at The Open Space, 33 Devon Street West, New Plymouth. As HokoLoko connects consumers with local producers, it’s a perfect opportunity to have a conversation with the person you intend to buy your food from about how you can get their beautiful produce without the packaging. There’ll almost always be a workaround, so be sure to ask and be ready to provide some ideas to make it easier for everyone 🙂
- Unpackaged chocolate/sweets/snacks – Sweet Life, 51 Egmont Street, New Plymouth stocks a wide selection of unpackaged sweets – plenty of GF, DF and vegan options too! BYO jar/bags!
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 unpackaged coffee in other stores (which usually have in-store grinders also). Here are the spots we found that offer these options:
- Escape Coffee Roasters (fair trade, organic) at 15 Liardet Street, New Plymouth – just try to go when they aren’t busy (they also give a 50c discount for BYO reusable cups)
- Ozone (fair trade, organic), 47a King Street, New Plymouth
- Pr%f & Stock, Cutfield Road (between St Aubyn Street & Devon Street West), New Plymouth
- IncaFé, 6 Cody Place, Waiwhakaiho, New Plymouth
- Wildcat Coffee, 26 Queen Street, New Plymouth
- The Laughing Pug, 1 Glenpark Avenue, Sushi Ninja, 89 Devon Street East, New Plymouth or find them on Sunday at the Farmer’s Market Taranaki on Currie Street (it might be good to give these guys a call first to let them know you’d like to get coffee in BYO bags/containers so that they bring loose beans with them).
- Devils Cup Coffee, 44 Bedford Street, Patea (fair trade and organic)
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:
- Down to Earth, 268 Devon Street West, New Plymouth – ask if they can fill your own bag with tea from out the back of the store.
Sourcing cow’s milk without the plastic bottles or non-dairy milk without the dreaded Tetra-pak is no mean feat! We’ve found the following options:
- Milk on tap or from a vending machine – milk is available on tap from a vending machine at THREE locations: Beach Road Milk, 20 Beach Road, Omata, New Plymouth; Dolly’s Milk, 209 Manutahi Road, Bell Block, New Plymouth AND 297 Warwick Road, Stratford. Simply BYO bottle to fill up, or purchase a reusable glass bottle there that you can then refill on future occasions.
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:
- Liquorland Fitzroy, 594 Devon Street East, New Plymouth has the best selection with 8 craft beers on tap!
- Liquorland Powderham, 2 Powderham Street, New Plymouth
- Liquor King, corner Devon and Mount Edgecumbe Streets, New Plymouth.
- If you’re near Bell Block, check out The Theoretical Brewer, 11 Corbett Road, Bell Block, New Plymouth a local nano-brewery!
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/Cocoa – a few places sell cocoa powder in bulk bins: Moturoa Four Square, 3 Lawry Street, New Plymouth; Taranaki Fresh, 629 Devon Road, New Plymouth; as does Bin Inn Waitara, 61 McLean Street, Waitara.
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 @cquisitions, Centre City Mall, 11 Gill Street, New Plymouth; Steven’s, Centre City Mall, 11 Gill Street, New Plymouth; Arthaus, 62 Devon Street West, New Plymouth; Essence of Style, 21-23 Devon Street East, New Plymouth; Len Lye Centre shop, 42 Queen Street, New Plymouth; Peta M Gifts, 184 High Street, Hawera; Paper Plus, 162 High Street, Hawera; and Maple and Wild, 83 Regent Street, Hawera.
There are heaps of places to buy reusable takeaway coffee cups in Taranaki:
- Find the Keep Cup brand at the Len Lye Centre shop, 42 Queen Street, New Plymouth; and This + That, 220 High Street, Hawera.
- Get the NZ-made Cuppa Coffee Cup at @cquisitions, Centre City Mall, 11 Gill Street, New Plymouth; Arthaus, 62 Devon Street West, New Plymouth; Essence of Style, 21-23 Devon Street East, New Plymouth; Country Connections, 80 Tasman Street, Opunake;
- The Joco brand at Arthaus, 62 Devon Street West, New Plymouth;
- Another couple of glass cups brands are Sol cups, which are sold at Marracbo Cafe, in the Countdown carpark on Nelson Street, Hawera; and Think cups, which are available at This + That, 220 High Street, Hawera.
- Various other styles are sold at Vintage Industries, 97 King Street, New Plymouth; Kina NZ Design + Artspace, 101 Devon Street West, New Plymouth; and Four Square Oakura, 1129 South Road, Oakura.
Reusable bags (shopping bags, produce bags and bulk bin bags)
Plastic shopping bags are a menace, but so too are those plastic produce bags for fruit and vege or the plastic bags often offered alongside bulk bins at bulk stores. You can avoid them by bringing your own bags or buying a set of reusable produce bags. You can get 100% organic cotton produce, bulk bin and/or string shopping bags at Len Lye Centre shop, 42 Queen Street, New Plymouth and Maple and Wild, 83 Regent Street, Hawera. Len Lye Centre shop, 42 Queen Street, New Plymouth also stocks washable brown paper bags. Papa Toa, Lynmouth, New Plymouth stocks reusable produce bags (either order online or arrange to pick up from Papa Toa’s shed store in Lynmouth). Also, Four Square Okato, 66 Carthew Street, Okato is giving away its own Four Square branded boomerang bags – woohoo!
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 Arthaus, 62 Devon Street West, New Plymouth; Len Lye Centre shop, 42 Queen Street, New Plymouth; This + That, 220 High Street, Hawera; and Maple and Wild, 83 Regent Street, Hawera.
Alternatives to plastic cling wrap, plastic sandwich bags and tin foil
- Beeswax wrap
- Purchase – Check out Petals & Co, an online shop run by a Taranaki local selling her beautiful handmade wares. She stocks beautiful handmade beeswax wraps so you can ditch the plastic cling wrap! Send her a private message on Facebook to see if you can arrange a pick-up to avoid the delivery packaging. Or also see Waxy Wraps, beautiful beeswax wraps made locally in Oakura by Queen Bee Enterprises. You can get your hands on one at various markets around Taranaki, or through the Waxy Wraps FB page – yus! Other (non-local) varieties of beeswax wraps are also available at Waitara Floral Studio + Gifts, Shop 4, 60 McLean Street, Waitara; Arthaus, 62 Devon Street West, New Plymouth; Len Lye Centre shop, 42 Queen Street, New Plymouth; Kina NZ Design + Artspace, 101 Devon Street West, New Plymouth; Fresha, 281 Devon Street West, New Plymouth; and Maple and Wild, 83 Regent Street, Hawera.
- DIY: waaaay cheaper! You just need natural fibre fabric and beeswax. Look out for fabric offcuts and fat quarters from second hand stores, or fabric shops like Gabriele’s, 184 High Street, Hawera. You’ll also need beeswax, so keep an eye for some that is unpackaged – perhaps you know a local beekeeper who could help you out?
- 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 100% Waitara Home Appliances and Furniture, 57 McLean St, Waitara; Kode Boutique, 62 Devon Street East, New Plymouth; @cquisitions, Centre City Mall, 11 Gill Street, New Plymouth; Essence of Style, 21-23 Devon Street East, New Plymouth; and Peta M Gifts, 184 High Street, Hawera.
Refills of cleaning products
The following stores stock liquid and/or powdered cleaning products in bulk dispensers – BYO bottles/containers!
- Bin Inn Waitara, 61 McLean Street, Waitara
- Moturoa Four Square, 3 Lawry Street, New Plymouth
- Watts Good Creations, Hawera – an amazing zero waste business run by Krystel from Hawera. Krystel makes a range of palm oil-free cleaning products from 100% natural ingredients, including natural spray and wipe, laundry powder, and a (soon to be released) dishwash soap bar. Check the Watts Good Creations Facebook shop to see a full range of products. All Krystel’s products can be refilled into your own bottles/containers (or refilled into the original bottles that your first batch of Watts Good Creations cleaning product came in!). To order, simply get in touch with Krystel through the Watts Good Creations Facebook page. To avoid delivery costs and delivery packaging, you can arrange to pick-up your order, have a friend pick it up for you if they’re going to be around Hawera, or Krystel can arrange a way to get the goods to you 🙂
You can find dishbrushes with wooden handles and removable + replaceable, home compostable heads at Steven’s, Centre City Mall, 11 Gill Street, New Plymouth; Willow & Ash, 36 Devon Street East, New Plymouth; and This + That, 220 High Street, Hawera.
Home compostable veggie brushes (which you can use as a handle-less dishbrush) are also sold at This + That, 220 High Street, Hawera.
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 This + That, 220 High Street, Hawera. You can also get the similar Swedish Kitchen Culture brand at Kode Boutique, 62 Devon Street East, New Plymouth and Essence of Style, 21-23 Devon Street East, New Plymouth, though unfortunately they are wrapped in plastic, doh!
- You’ll find other varieties of 100% cotton dishcloths at Essence of Style, 21-23 Devon Street East, New Plymouth (Full Circle brand); Tempt, 110 Devon Street West, New Plymouth; and New World Stratford, 124 Regan Street, Stratford.
- Fancy Bianca Lorenne 100% cotton cloths are available at This + That, 220 High Street, Hawera.
- Eco Planet and Next Generation laundry powders come in a cardboard box with a cardboard scoop – no plastic lining! You can get it from most supermarkets, but ones we saw it at were New World Stratford, 124 Regan Street, Stratford and PAK’nSAVE Hawera, 54 Princes Street, Hawera.
- There’s also a new brand, Living Green, which appears to have no plastic lining, and a bamboo scoop, which is available at Countdown Hawera, corner Union and Nelson Streets, Hawera.
- Alternatives to plastic clothes pegs – Willow & Ash, 36 Devon Street East, New Plymouth stocks beautiful bamboo pegs by MiEco.
Ingredients for DIY cleaning products
- Watts Good Creations, Hawera – stocks a wide range of natural ingredients for DIY cleaning products in bulk – just arrange a time with Krystel to BYO your jars/containers.
- Baking soda – available unpackaged in bulk bins at Bin Inn Waitara, 61 McLean Street, Waitara; and Taranaki Fresh, 629 Devon Road, New Plymouth.
- Bars of castile soap, which you can use as a base for homemade dishwashing and laundry liquid (see how it works here) – get bars of Dr Bronner’s castille soap at Bin Inn Waitara, 61 McLean Street, Waitara; and Down to Earth, 268 Devon Street West, New Plymouth.
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 Waitara, 61 McLean Street, Waitara; Willow & Ash, 36 Devon Street East, New Plymouth; Down to Earth, 268 Devon Street West, New Plymouth; Len Lye Centre shop, 42 Queen Street, New Plymouth; Papa Toa, Lynmouth, New Plymouth; and New World Stratford, 124 Regan Street, Stratford. You can also buy some at PAK’nSAVE Hawera, 54 Princes Street, Hawera and Maple and Wild, 83 Regent Street, Hawera, but these both are packaged in a composite cardboard/plastic packet.
- Dental Floss – Countdown Hawera, corner Union and Nelson Streets, Hawera, 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 cardboard box direct from Do Gooder.
Unpackaged Bars of Soap
The following stores sell totally naked bars of soap:
- Waitara Floral Studio + Gifts, Shop 4, 60 McLean Street, Waitara
- Scent Hut, 23 Ariki Street, New Plymouth
- Willow & Ash, 36 Devon Street East, New Plymouth – activated charcoal soap (with a paper label)
- Willo, 290 Devon Street East, New Plymouth
- @quisitions, Centre City Mall, 11 Gill Street, New Plymouth
- Down to Earth, 268 Devon Street West, New Plymouth
- Sentiments Flowers, 508 St Aubyn Street, New Plymouth
- Country Connections, 80 Tasman Street, Opunake
- Mountainview Pharmacy, 65 Victoria Street, Hawera
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!
- Scent Hut, 23 Ariki Street, New Plymouth – sells a large range of soaps in paper wrap for different uses (shampoo, facial, dog washing, general cleaning, and skin ailments), as well as soy melts and bath bombs unpackaged. In fact, any products in jars that are made in-store can be refilled, just ask at the counter.
- The popular Ethique range of shampoo bars, conditioner bars, shaving bars, deodorant bars, moisturiser bars, etc. (all of Ethique‘s bars come in home compostable packaging) are available at Kina NZ Design + Artspace, 101 Devon Street West, New Plymouth.
- Sentiments Flowers, 508 St Aubyn Street, New Plymouth – sells Handmaidnz unpackaged bars of soap which are suitable for many different applications (e.g. facial cleansing, moisturising, general body cleaning etc.).
- Thyme Out, 277 Broadway, Stratford – sells dog and animal shampoo bars unpackaged.
- Watts Good Creations, Hawera – an amazing zero waste business run by Krystel from Hawera. Krystel makes a shampoo bar and deodorant bar. Check the Watts Good Creations Facebook shop to see a full range of products.
Reusable Menstrual Products
There are zero waste, low cost alternatives to disposable sanitary items like tampons and pads.
- Menstrual cups – stocked at Down to Earth, 268 Devon Street West, New Plymouth; Countdown Hawera, corner Union and Nelson Streets, Hawera; PAK’nSAVE Hawera, 54 Princes Street, Hawera; and Mountainview Pharmacy, 65 Victoria Street, Hawera.
- Papa Toa, Lynmouth, New Plymouth also stocks menstrual cups, organic bamboo washable sanitary pads and maternity breast pads. To order any products, give Papa Toa a call (02108172254) or send them a message through their website and you can either have things delivered to you, or save on delivery and arrange to go and pick up/view the items yourself at their shed store in Lynmouth!
Ingredients for DIY cosmetics/toiletries
- Watts Good Creations, Hawera – if you’re keen to make your own bathroom and beauty products and would like to get your hands on the ingredients but without the packaging, Krystel also stocks many of the kinds of ingredients you need. She purchases in bulk so can sell to you unpackaged – just arrange a time with Krystel to BYO containers/jars to fill up!
- Baking Soda is an essential ingredient in lots of homemade toiletries such as toothpaste and deodorant. You can get it unpackaged in bulk from Bin Inn Waitara, 61 McLean Street, Waitara; and Taranaki Fresh, 629 Devon Road, New Plymouth.
- Papa Toa, Lynmouth, New Plymouth – a local Taranaki, family-run business selling all natural organic rongoa Māori healing balms made from locally harvested ingredients which come in refillable jars. If you return your empty jars for refill you’ll get a $1 discount on your next jar of pani/balm! Papa Toa also stocks menstrual cups, organic bamboo washable sanitary pads and maternity breast pads. To order any products, give Papa Toa a call (02108172254) or send them a message through their website and you can either have things delivered to you, or save on delivery and arrange to go and pick up/view the items yourself at their shed store in Lynmouth!
- Toilet Paper – Down to Earth, 268 Devon Street West, New Plymouth stocks Greencane toilet paper (which comes in fully home compostable packaging).
- Crop Swap – Taranaki is the birthplace of the amazing crop swap in Aotearoa. 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 are crop swaps dotted all around Taranaki – check out this website for a location near you (note the website is constantly being updated and may be missing locations – you may need to ask around).
- Sustainable Taranaki – this brilliant organisation provides an impressive range of workshops and events that support more sustainable living, including a range of workshops and resources that can help you to reduce waste. Workshop topics include composting/worm farms/mulching, gardening and foraging, zero waste cooking, DIY household cosmetics and cleaning products, fermentation and cheese-making and more! The Trust helps to organise events in partnership with various other groups and businesses, from crop swaps, to sharing farming skills and practices. The Trust is always looking for more people with expertise to run workshops and help to organise events around sustainable living.
- Community Reuse and Recycle Centre, 31 Colson Road, New Plymouth – currently under development and set to open in mid-2018, this centre (modelled on Xtreme Zero Waste in Raglan, which currently diverts approximately 75% of Raglan’s waste from landfill) will be a massive step forward for New Plymouth’s waste management capabilities. The centre will provide many services, including a retail space where donated goods can be upcycled or done up and resold, a space for workshops and education around waste reduction, and an art space, all alongside a reuse and recycling drop-off area that you might expect to see. The New Plymouth District Council has collaborated with three community groups to make this project happen: WISE (an employment support organisation), Sustainable Taranaki, and Xtreme Zero Waste as an adviser. Keep an eye on the centre’s Facebook page for updates, information and cool posts!
- Peihana Farm, 281 Okoki Road, Urenui – this gem out in Urenui runs many workshops on creative, sustainable living (including on waste reduction topics). The owner, Maria, is an expert on sustainable food preparation and gardening, so apart from running workshops on these topics, the farm will soon have enough produce to sell as well – keep an eye out!
- 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. The kaiarahi for Taranaki is Emily Bailey, so get in touch if you know an organisation Para Kore could work with in the region (or if you are involved with an organisation that would like to have Para Kore’s support!)
- Menzshed – there are Menzshed, particularly around Northern Taranaki. 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!
- 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.
- Rethinking Plastic Revolution – a powerful project aiming to educate, inspire and provide practical resources around reducing plastic waste in New Plymouth, driven by the wonderful Lorella Doherty. The project provides a space for the New Plymouth community to share thoughts and ideas around reducing plastic consumption, and Lorella researches and highlights businesses who are already doing the mahi of reducing the plastic they pass on to customers (for example, she has compiled a list of cafes that provide discounts for people who BYO their own reusable takeaway coffee cup). Also, check out Lorella’s incredible murals that she makes from plastic she’s picked up off beaches around the district.
- Watts Good Creations – want to learn how to make your own cleaning and bathroom products out of unpackaged ingredients? Well, check out the Watts Good Creations Facebook page for upcoming workshops. Watts Good Creations is a Hawera business run by Krystel, who makes all natural cleaning and bathroom products and finds ways to get them to customers zero waste. Krystel also runs workshops to help the public get into DIY cleaning and bathroom products too! So if you’re keen to learn, see when the next workshop is on and sign up!
- Boomerang Bags Taranaki Enviroschools – get yourself some lovely cloth bags instead of plastic shopping bags from the Boomerang Bags made with the support of Taranaki’s Enviroschools and the champion of the initiative, Lauree Jones. You can find their bags at locations around Taranaki – send a message on Facebook to find out where, or keep an eye out! If you’re a sewer or just keen to help, there are regular sew-a-thons to make more bags – sign up to help sew a few if you feel up to it. The Boomerang Bags movement is taking NZ by storm, so it’s a great opportunity to get amongst it!