Reduce, reuse, recycle. Who would ever have imagined that Bob the Builder – a beloved children’s show – would be so ahead of its time? With sustainability and environmental issues ramping up in importance and public awareness every day, the onus on individuals to increase responsibility as both consumers and caretakers of the land is becoming a more widely accepted proposition.
Taking action on a micro, personal level, and claiming responsibility for the generation and disposal of waste in our own households is the first step in the much bigger picture of building long-term, sustainable communities. I’m sooooo not a traditional ‘green’ early adopter – anyone who knows me can tell you that – but, I do love products and brands that make sense, make my life easier and combine ethical integrity and environmental concern with common-sense practicality.
So, here are some brands and products that tick all of these boxes and that we’re using daily in our home or out and about;
6 Green ‘n Easy options for reducing household waste
I going to be honest here – I’ve never once considered ditching bin liners and using layered newspaper.
Never once. I mean who even HAS newspaper any more to start with, and secondly, ew.
Which brings me to my first eco-friendly find; 100% compostable, plastic-free and biodegradable bags and bin liners from Ecobagsnz. Single-use plastic presents a major environmental concern around the world. Determined to make a change here in New Zealand is locally owned and operated Ecobagsnz. They produce a range of ethically produced bags suitable for both retail lines and personal use.
The Ecopack Compostable range eliminates the need to reconsider my stance on drippy newspaper (thank goodness!).
Available at leading supermarkets and health food stores nationwide, the Ecopack Compostable range is available in 6 different sizes and only takes around 90 days to break down in your compost!
ECOPACK COMPOSTABLE KITCHEN LINER 27L (20) RRP $7.99
ECOPACK COMPOSTABLE KITCHEN LINER 36L (15) RRP $7.99
ECOPACK COMPOSTABLE BIN LINER 60L (5) RRP $6.90
ECOPACK COMPOSTABLE BIN LINER 80L (10) RRP $8.99
ECOPACK COMPOSTABLE WHEELIE BIN LINER 140L (5) RRP $6.50
ECOPACK COMPOSTABLE WHEELIE BIN LINER 240L (5) RRP $8.80
Another kiwi company determined to reduce single-use plastic bags is The Rubbish Whisperer.
Most of us care about the environment but don’t realise the scale of the pollution our disposable lifestyles are creating. The Rubbish Whisperer shows people how easy it is to have a huge positive impact on the environment by making small and simple changes. www.rubbishwhisperer.co.nz/pages/aboutus
I’m loving the super-cute Reusable Produce Bags, RRP $22.49 per 5 pack. NZ made from strong and lightweight polyester tulle, these beautifully bright bags are a fun visual reminder to by-pass the plastic bag roll next time you’re in the fruit and vege aisle. An added timesaving bonus of the quick-dry fabric is that you can wash produce directly in the bag!
Noteworthy: 1% of all Rubbish Whisperer sales are donated to local conservation projects!
Put your money where your mouth is: Shop The Source
Finding retailers that are supportive of your zero-waste efforts can be tough. Cutting through the layers and layers of packaging that almost every retail product is subject to can be disheartening and in my case, a massive workout for my recycle bin. Shopping at the most established zero waste grocery store in Australasia is now easy if you live in Auckland. The Source has two beautiful locations in Milford and Kumeu and is stocked to the rafters with delicious ways to say YES to healthy, nutrient-dense food. They also supply kefir, kombucha, apple cider vinegar, and maple syrup on tap, you can make your own nut-butters, shop for home cleaning supplies……and take everything home in your own reusable containers, use paper bags or purchase your zero-waste supplies in store.
Online shopping will be all systems go in the next 8 weeks so everyone in New Zealand can get a taste of this awesome shopping experience.
Drink SMART and ditch the disposables
It sounds dire but plastic straws have to be one of the greatest ecological follies ever unleashed upon the world by the industrial age. Trust me, once you go stainless you never go back, they deliver a really lovely drinking experience especially with smoothies!
My faves are these beauties from CaliWoods, available in cocktail, smoothie, drinking, tall and bubble tea options plus each four pack comes with a cleaner brush!
Another Melissa Must-Have is my New Zealand made CuppaCoffeeCup. These beauties are lightweight, durable and 100% recyclable, plus they showcase NZ artists in a range of designs. Released just in time for Mother’s Day is the new ‘Miromiro & Manuka design by Janine Millington – I’ll be hosting a giveaway at the end of the month so keep your eyes peeled!
You can find the CuppaCoffeeCup range in Farmers, Whitcoulls and selected gift and kitchen stores for around $16.50 each.
Go Green with Personal Care
Four months in and I’m still raving about my Lunette Menstrual Cup. Yes, the whole concept is a bit weird at first when you’ve been using tampons or pads for over 20 YEARS! But ladies all I can say is, change is good and this change is one you will NOT regret. Read more about my personal experience here > Lunette Menstrual Cup
Skin care is BIG news when it comes to living your best sustainable, eco-friendly life. The brands you choose to spend money on should reflect your own personal values and help support your retail decision making. You are applying these products to you skin, the largest organ in your body as well as the precious skin of your little people so, a considered choice made by any consumer one is to be respected.
A firm fave in our home for years now, is the huge range from Weleda. With ethical and sustainable standards that are so aspirational (read about them here), it’s easy to find yourself in the midst of a guilt-free bathroom cabinet makeover!
Look at those beautiful glass bottles!!!