This guide covers the Kaipara District only. For other areas of Northland, please refer to the Zero Waste in Northland 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!
- Chrysalis Jars – a zero waste wholefoods delivery service for Mangawhai! You can get a range of dried wholefoods & pantry staples (including seeds, nuts, grains, flours, legumes, baking ingredients, pasta and more) delivered to you in reusable glass jars. You pay extra for the jars on your first order. On your next order, you leave your empties out on your next delivery and you’ll only pay for the product, not the jar. Returned jars get sterilised and reused!!
- Kakariki Health and Wellbeing, 52 Moir Street, Mangawhai Village – stocks some unpackaged nuts in bulk dispensers (jars of the nuts kept behind the counter, ask to have put in BYO bag/container). Other bulk wholefoods are prepackaged (some into 100% brown paper), so it may be worth asking if you can leave jars/containers to be filled when the store receives a new bulk order.
- Good Life, 98 Victoria Street, Dargaville – what started out as a soap shop and florist has become an amazing unpackaged wholefoods store (while still doing those other things) – whoop!! This shop offers a very wide range of unpackaged dried goods in bulk bins (grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, condiments, spices and much more). You can refill your olive oil and apple cider vinegar here, and plenty of sweets, biscuits and other treats unpackaged too! They even do unpackaged pet food in bulk (what doesn’t this place do?). They’re always open to stocking more things, so feel free to ask. Finally, they also run Good Life Veg Box Delivery, a great way to get local fresh fruit and veges – just specify when signing up that you would like to have your fruit and veges delivered to you unpackaged/without plastic.
- Taste and See, 2 Normanby Street, Dargaville – as well as an amazing, delicious plant-based cafe, this is a well stocked wholefoods store selling unpackaged dried goods (such as grains, legumes, flours, seeds, nuts, dried fruit and much more) in bulk bins, and mostly organic – BYO bags/containers!
- Silverhill Olive Estate, 70 Silverhill Road, Te Hana – will fill BYO bottles with their delicious organic olive oil. Either visit the estate or find their stall at the Mangawhai Village Market, Mangawhai Library Hall, 45 Moir Street.
- Supermarkets – all major supermarkets in Kaipara 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 most independent stores.
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!
- Mangawhai Meat Shop, 43 Moir Street, Mangawhai Village
- Mangawhai Deli, 3/7 Wood Street, Mangawhai Heads – BYO containers and bags for the deli’s nice range of meats, cheeses, pickle, salads and breads.
- Maungaturoto Butchery, 158 Hurndall Street West, Maungaturoto – although everything out front is prepackaged, you can BYO container for cuts of meat, sausages etc done out back of the shop.
- Arcade Meats, 93 Victoria Street Dargaville
- Matich’s Fresh Fish & Chips, 95 Victoria Street, Dargaville – stocks unpackaged fish fillets
- Kaiwaka Cheese Shop, 1957 State Highway One – you can buy cheese cut off the round here, so just BYO container.
- 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 Molesworth Four Square, 3 Wood Street, Mangawhai Heads; Jaques Four Square, 1 Mangawhai Road, Kaiwaka; Countdown Dargaville, 129 Victoria Street, Dargaville
- 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 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).
- AJ’s Bakery & Cafe, 43 Moir Street, Mangawhai Village
- Mangawhai Deli, 3/7 Wood Street, Mangawhai Heads
- Brewed As Collective, 14/7 Wood Street, Mangawhai Heads (sourdough loaves available unpackaged from behind the counter – just ask!)
- Good Life, 98 Victoria Street, Dargaville – stocks sourdough bread half wrapped in paper bags (ask if you can leave them with the paper bag to reuse and BYO bread bag!)
- Moa Bakery & Cafe, 104 Victoria Street, Dargaville
- 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! BYO bags to get fresh produce from the Mangawhai Village Market, Mangawhai Library Hall, 45 Moir Street – this not the only market in the Mangawhai area, but we were amazed by the low-waste options available here! Lots of unpackaged produce (even greens), of course, but you can also get refills of Silverhill Olive Estate‘s amazing olive oil for a very good price (cheaper than buying pre-bottled!), cheese cut off the round into your own container, and locally baked bread unpackaged. 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. 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.
- 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 Wild Tiger, Shop 2/45 The Centre, Waipu.
- Unpackaged sweets and treats
- Dargaville Book Exchange & Crafts, 95 Victoria Street, Dargaville – despite being a book store, you can buy locally made preserves here and they encourage you to return the jars and bottles for sterilisation and reuse!
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:
- Rush Coffee will happily refill your bags with their locally roasted beans at the Mangawhai Village Market, Mangawhai Library Hall, 45 Moir Street.
- Mangawhai Deli, 3/7 Wood Street, Mangawhai Heads – roasts coffee in-house and is happy to put unpackaged beans in BYO bags/containers.
- Good Life, 98 Victoria Street, Dargaville.
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:
- Simply Herbal Health, 145 Hurndall Street, Maungaturoto
- Good Life, 98 Victoria Street, Dargaville.
- Grow Eat Heal loose leaf tea available unpackaged at the Mangawhai Village Market, Mangawhai Library Hall, 45 Moir Street – BYO jars!
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 delivery in reusable glass bottles – Bakewell Creamery do home delivery of their raw milk (minimum order of 4L) to some parts of Kaipara. 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.
- Return & Refill glass bottle scheme – there are two options:
- Bella Vacca Jerseys sells milk in reusable glass bottles at Mangawhai Meat Shop, 43 Moir Street, Mangawhai; and Eutopia Cafe, 1955 State Highway 1, Kaiwaka. 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 for sterilisation and reuse – so the bottles just go around and around – true zero waste!
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:
- Uh-oh! No beer on tap (that we saw…) Anywhere we’ve missed?
- The Village, 1a Molesworth Drive, Mangawhai Village – they used to have taps, but removed them for lack of demand… BUT they are considering putting more taps back in, so let them know you want this!
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 – Mangawhai is into its kombucha! You can get Nutrition by Nature kombucha, made from organic fair trade ingredients and in bottles that can be returned to be reused, at the Mangawhai Village Market, or on tap at Wood Street Freehouse, 12 Wood Street, Mangawhai Heads – 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 Bammas Surf, 43 Moir Street, Mangawhai; Meant to Be, 8 Molesworth Drive, Mangawhai Village; and Snazzi Gifts, 83 Victoria Street, Dargaville
Reusable takeaway coffee cups around Kaipara:
- Find the Keep Cup at Brewed As Collective, 14/7 Wood Street, Mangawhai Heads
- There are also the beautiful Pottery for the Planet ceramic cups with silicone lids at Brewed As Collective, 14/7 Wood Street, Mangawhai Heads.
- Stainless steel Moana Road cups are sold at Meant to Be, 8 Molesworth Drive, Mangawhai Village
- Bamboo polymer coffee cups are solds at Meant to Be, 8 Molesworth Drive, Mangawhai Village; and Mangawhai Books and Gifts, 12D Wood Street, Mangawhai Heads
- Get Moana Road stainless steel cups at Snazzi Gifts, 83 Victoria Street, Dargaville
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 and bulk bin bags by My Vita Bags and Swag at Taste and See, 2 Normanby Street, Dargaville. Wanting to sew your own bags? Get upcycled fabric tote bags from the Left Hand Made stall at the Paparoa Farmers’ Market. You can get cheap (or even free) off-cuts of various textiles at Dargaville Sewing and Curtain Centre, 59 Normanby Street, Dargaville.
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 Four Square, 43 Moir Street, Mangawhai Village; Meant to Be, 8 Molesworth Drive, Mangawhai Village; and Mangawhai Physiotherapy, 5 Insley Street, Mangawhai Village.
Alternatives to plastic cling wrap, plastic sandwich bags and tin foil
- Beeswax wrap
- Purchase at – Mangawhai Village Market, Mangawhai Library Hall, 45 Moir Street; Mangawhai Books and Gifts, 12D Wood Street, Mangawhai; Zest, 1994 Paparoa Valley Road, Paparoa; Taste and See, 2 Normanby Street, Dargaville; and the Left Hand Made stall at the Paparoa Farmers’ Market.
- 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 for off-cuts of cotton/fat quarters (for example, you can get offcuts at Dargaville Sewing and Curtain Centre, 59 Normanby Street, Dargaville). Get unpackaged beeswax at Good Life, 98 Victoria Street, Dargaville. You can also get beeswax wrap making kits at Dargaville Sewing and Curtain Centre, 59 Normanby Street, Dargaville.
- Sandwich bags/pouches – get locally-made reusable sandwich pouches at the the Left Hand Made stall at the Paparoa Farmers’ Market, or at the Mangawhai Kindergarten, 36 Insley Street, Mangawhai.
- 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 Mangawhai Village Market, Mangawhai Library Hall, 45 Moir Street.
Refills of cleaning products
The following stores sell liquid and/or powdered cleaning products in bulk dispensers. BYO bottles/containers:
- Kaiwaka Cheese Shop, 1957 State Highway One (Ecostore)
- Mangawhai Physiotherapy, 5 Insley Street, Mangawhai Village
You can find dishbrushes with wooden handles and removable + replaceable, home compostable heads at Kaiwaka Cheese Shop, 1957 State Highway One; Kakariki Health and Wellbeing, 52 Moir Street, Mangawhai Village; and Mangawhai Village Market, Mangawhai Library Hall, 45 Moir Street.
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:
- Get 100% cotton knitted dishcloths at Zest, 1994 Paparoa Valley Road, Paparoa
- Sisal Fibre scouring pads are solds at Bazaar World, 8/41 Moir Street, Mangawhai Village
- Eco Planet and Earthwise 1kg laundry powder both come in a cardboard box with no inner plastic lining, and Eco Planet’s scoop is made of cardboard while Earthwise has no scoop at all. Find both at Molesworth Four Square, 3 Wood Street, Mangawhai Heads; Four Square Maungaturoto; 163 Hurndall Street West, Maungaturoto; just Eco Planet at Four Square, 43 Moir Street, Mangawhai; and just Earthwise at Countdown Dargaville, 129 Victoria Street, Dargaville. 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 Molesworth Four Square, 3 Wood Street, Mangawhai Heads; Whole Life Organics, 141 Hurndal Street, Maungaturoto; Paparoa General Store, 2024 Paparoa Valley Road, Paparoa. Stainless steel clothes pegs are sold at Taste and See, 2 Normanby Street, Dargaville
- Soapnuts – natural nut shells that release saponin (like soap) in water and can be used for laundry. Once spent, the shells can be home composted. You can find the Soapnuts brand, which comes in a cardboard box, no plastic lining, at Whole Life Organics, 141 Hurndal Street, Maungaturoto. You can also get That Red House Soapberries, which come in a paper bag inside a cotton bag, at Taste and See, 2 Normanby Street, Dargaville
Ingredients for DIY cleaning products
- Good Life, 98 Victoria Street, Dargaville – stocks a range of ingredients for DIY cleaning products, including, baking soda, washing soda, bentonite clay, epsom salts
- Bars of castile soap/dishwashing bars (which you can use as a base for homemade dishwashing and laundry liquid) are available at Elf Organics & Wellness, 84 Victoria Street, Dargaville (the Dr Bronner’s brand).
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 Well of Health, 1929 State Highway 1, Kaiwaka; Kakariki Health and Wellbeing, 52 Moir Street, Mangawhai Village; Mangawhai Physiotherapy, 5 Insley Street, Mangawhai Village; Mangawhai Four Square, 43 Moir Street, Mangawhai Village; Mangawhai Dental Clinic, 30 Moir Street, Mangawhai Village; Molesworth Four Square, 3 Wood Street, Mangawhai Heads; Simply Herbal Health, 145 Hurndall Street, Maungaturoto; Unichem Orr’s Pharmacy, 144 Hurndall Street West, Maungaturoto; Paparoa General Store, 2024 Paparoa Valley Road, Paparoa; Taste and See, 2 Normanby Street, Dargaville; Snazzi Gifts, 83 Victoria Street, Dargaville; Countdown Dargaville, 129 Victoria Street, Dargaville
- Dental Floss – Countdown Dargaville, 129 Victoria Street, Dargaville 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 order refills of the floss, packaged only in paper, from the Do Gooder website – just pop the refill into your original metal/glass dispenser.
Unpackaged Bars of Soap
The following stores sell totally naked bars of soap:
- The Well of Health, 1929 State Highway 1, Kaiwaka
- Kaiwaka Cheese Shop, 1957 State Highway One
- Pipi Gallery, 1a Molesworth Drive, Mangawhai Village
- Meant to Be, 8 Molesworth Drive, Mangawhai Village
- Mangawhai Village Market, Mangawhai Library Hall, 45 Moir Street
- Whole Life Organics, 141 Hurndal Street, Maungaturoto
- Zest, 1994 Paparoa Valley Road, Paparoa – Good Life soap
- Paparoa General Store, 2024 Paparoa Valley Road, Paparoa
- Good Life, 98 Victoria Street, Dargaville – the owner of this store makes beautiful soaps, which she sells unpackaged, from the milk from her goats! You can get unpackaged soap off-cuts for cheaper as well.
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 shampoo and conditioner bars made by Northland-based company, Dirty Hippie. We’ve seen them at Whole Life Organics, 141 Hurndal Street, Maungaturoto and Zest, 1994 Paparoa Valley Road, Paparoa. They also sometimes have a stall at the Mangawhai Tavern Market, 2 Moir Street, Mangawhai Village (Saturdays 8:30am-1pm).
- Another option are 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). Find these at: **to be inserted**
- A range of Blue Earth soaps, including shampoo bars, are sold at Kakariki Health and Wellbeing, 52 Moir Street, Mangawhai Village
- Get Nature Body deodorant in compostable cardboard tubes (and note that any of Nature Body’s toiletries that come in jars can be returned to Nature Body when empty for sterilisation and reuse!) from Simply Herbal Health, 145 Hurndall Street, Maungaturoto and Mangawhai Tavern Market, 2 Moir Street, Mangawhai Village (Saturdays 8:30am-1pm).
- Get Nudi Point facial wash bars at Snazzi Gifts, 83 Victoria Street, Dargaville (face wash bars)
Reusable Menstrual Products
There are zero waste, low cost alternatives to disposable sanitary items like tampons and pads:
- Menstrual cups at Kakariki Health and Wellbeing, 52 Moir Street, Mangawhai Village; Mangawhai Pharmacy, 12 Wood Street, Mangawhai Heads; Unichem Orr’s Pharmacy, 144 Hurndall Street West, Maungaturoto; Unichem Orr’s Pharmacy, corner of Hokianga Road and Parenga Street, Dargaville; Countdown Dargaville, 129 Victoria Street, Dargaville
Liquid Toiletries on Tap or in Refillable Containers
- Mangawhai Physiotherapy, 5 Insley Street, Mangawhai Village – stocks Ecostore hand wash and body wash in bulk dispensers – BYO bottle.
- Good Life, 98 Victoria Street, Dargaville – the owner makes a variety of cosmetics which you can buy in-store in small jars – bring the jar back once you’ve finished, and they will be sterilised and refilled.
- Mangawhai Village Market, Mangawhai Library Hall, 45 Moir Street – if you see cosmetics on offer, ask the vendor whether they will accept empty containers back for refills (often the answer is yes!)
Ingredients for DIY Toiletries/Cosmetics
- Good Life, 98 Victoria Street, Dargaville – stocks baking soda and bentonite clay in bulk if you would like to make your own bathroom products.
- Cotton Buds – Go Bamboo makes home compostable buds so you can avoid the single-use, unrecyclable plastic ones. Get them from Four Square, 43 Moir Street, Mangawhai; Simply Herbal Health, 145 Hurndall Street, Maungaturoto; Whole Life Organics, 141 Hurndal Street, Maungaturoto; Paparoa General Store, 2024 Paparoa Valley Road, Paparoa; Taste and See, 2 Normanby Street, Dargaville.
- Toilet Paper – Greencane toilet paper is wrapped in home compostable packaging, which you can get from Wild Tiger, Shop 2/45 The Centre, Waipu; Whole Life Organics, 141 Hurndal Street, Maungaturoto. You can get unpackaged individual rolls of TP at Good Life, 98 Victoria Street, Dargaville.
- Reusable cotton make-up wipes – locally-made options available at the Left Hand Made stall at the Paparoa Farmers’ Market.
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. If you’re a business chucking out food that is still edible but not saleable, keep an eye out for Northland Food Rescue/Whakaora Kai, an 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). 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… *to be inserted*
Zero Waste Information and Support Networks
- Love Kaipara – a wonderful organisation, trailblazing with the zero waste message throughout Kaipara, providing interactive education modules in schools, supporting zero waste events, hosting workshops and presentations, and offering tips and resources to homes, events and businesses for waste reduction. Definitely check out their website for tips, upcoming events, or if you’d like to book a talk for your school. They’ve also produced a really useful guide to recycling in the Kaipara area.
- 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, they’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.
- Plastic Free Groups – woah there are so many plastic-free groups around Northland who regularly provide info sessions and community support on waste reduction, share info on social media and online, run plastic-free events and make and share things like reusable bags and produce bags. Check out, Plastic Free Mangawhai – this group is doing so much mahi to help people reduce waste on the Eastern side of Kaipara!
Share and Exchange & Skills and Resourcefulness in Communities
- Toy Libraries – reduce the wasteful over-consumption of toys and save money by joining a toy library! Check out toy libraries in Northland.
- 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.
- 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 keen to pick up crafting skills, check out your local REAP that may run crafty and creative classes and activities from time to time. You can get sewing lessons at Dargaville Sewing and Curtain Centre, 59 Normanby Street, Dargaville.