This is Zero Waste 101


This is Zero Waste 101

Reduce

Time to Marie Kondo your house. Most of us have items that we don't want, need, or use any longer. To reduce, we can:

  • Declutter

  • Donate, sell, or swap unwanted items

  • Share / borrow / rent

  • Shop less

  • Make your own cleaning supplies

  • Choose quality over quantity

  • Prioritise secondhand

  • Meal plan to avoid food waste

  • Manage your pantry with a pantry audit

Refuse

It takes practise, but we don't need to say yes to everything that comes our way. Here are some areas we can say "yeah, na":

  • Refuse flyers / newspapers / junk mail

  • Remove yourself from mailing lists and subscriptions

  • Decline freebies and goody bags

  • Pass on single-use items

  • Kindly decline unwanted gifts

 

Reuse

To curb our convenient consumption, we can choose to reuse. Here is a great list of reusables:

  • Travel water bottle

  • Travel coffee cup

  • Straw

  • Shopping bags

  • Bulk food bags

  • Produce bags

  • Cloth napkins

  • Cutlery

  • Food containers

  • Fabric napkins

  • Tea towel for cleaning up

  • safety razor/scissors 

Make your own zero waste kit here!

 

Recycle

We are all responsible for waste, it starts with us and ends with us. When we buy products we also buy any waste associated with the products. Recycling helps reduce our waste footprints. 

Here are some thoughts to get you going:

  • Check online/call your local refuse and recycling centre to learn the sorting system – many will hook you up with a refund for recycling certain items, i.e. timber pallets

  • Avoid contamination by sorting properly

  • Just because it can be recycled, doesn't mean it gets recycled. Here are some materials that tend to be higher in demand for recycling:

    • Glass

    • Steel

    • Paper

    • Aluminium

  • Reduce the amount of recyclable items you create, if possible

 

Rot (Compost)

In Auckland alone, approximately half of what we send to landfill is compostable material. 10% is from the garden and a whopping 40% is from the kitchen. Instead of throwing our food in the trash, there are many options to compost! Find the best solution that works for you and where you live. Here are some ideas:

  • Use your municipal compost, if available

  • Compost in your backyard

  • If you're living in an apartment, there are plenty of alternatives, including worm bins

  • Find out if any nearby farms or farmer's markets will accept your compost

  • Join a community garden where you can contribute your food waste to their compost bins 

 

Repair

Just like our grans used to do! As soon as something is broken, we automatically want to replace it instead of repair it. Here are some steps that we can take to reduce how much stuff we send to landfill:

  • Focus on cleaning, maintaining and repairing what we own

  • Purchase high-quality items that can be repaired

  • Get to know your local repair shops, and handy people in your community

  • Learn some new skills to repair your items at home

  • Avoid the first inclination to toss something broken and find out if it can be fixed


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