Recycling Week takes place from November 6-11, and to kick it off we’ve put together a few different ways to live a waste-free, sustainable lifestyle
Recycle, recycle, recycle
Once something is in landfill, that’s the end of its use and its life so ensure you recycle all you can. Plastic containers, milk bottles, cans and jars etc can go in your domestic recycling bin while some other products, like Nespresso capsules for example, have other means of recycling. Although too small for our domestic systems, Nespresso’s aluminum capsules can be recycled by returning to a Nespresso boutique, dropping into a participating florist, or handing over the counter in a postage paid Nespresso recycling bag at any NZ PostShop nationwide. For more ideas on recycling and what you need to do before adding contents to your blue bins, click here.
Use re-useable bags
Keep them handy so you can whip them out whenever you head to the shops.
Ditch single-use plastic spoons and plates
Opt for compostable, sustainable options instead. Epicure Trading for example has solved the issue of one-taste plastic waste by offering a range of sustainable tableware that is decomposable and made from organic, renewable resources. Fiesta Green is another company which offers compostable, biodegradable and recyclable disposables with the aim to reduce their carbon footprint.
For more clever and eco-friendly tableware and packaging ideas, see the current issue of Good (Nov/Dec 2017).
Consider your packaging
Wherever possible, choose products without any packaging, or make sure all packaging is recyclable or compostable. Ceres Organics for example, has recently created a new home-compostable package for its certified organic, Eco-social quinoa and hope to extend this to other products.
Buy only the food you need, and make sure to compost any scraps & use quality leftovers for a meal next day. Dole NZ has created a number of food waste recipes that make use of every part of the fruit – banana skin and all. See this recipe here or download the free e-book here.
Say no to plastic bottles
Not only is bottled water expensive, it generates large amounts of unnecessary waste. Instead drink from stainless steel or glass bottles which can be reused for many years. Not only do Swell’s range of trendy bottles look great, they also keep water cool. For five ways to live plastic-free, click here.
Be a conscious consumer
Support local brands and products and those that are sustainable and ethical. Ceres Organics for example was the first New Zealand company to become EcoSocial certified, an organic fair trade certification. There are also places like GoodFor in Auckland which have created a plastic free, packaging free shopping experience.
Choose sustainable transportation
Car pool, take a bus or take the opportunity to get in some exercise and bike to work. Boltra, a finalist in NZI Sustainable Business Network awards 2017 recently launched in New Zealand and offer a sustainable way to commute with monthly e-bike memberships.
Do your part for our environment
Pick up rubbish you see lying on the street, walk short distances (rather than driving), reduce the power you use by turning lights and switches off when not in use. There are number of environmental organisations and trusts that could use a few extra hands – volunteer to plant trees on Motuatpu Island or help protect our native flora and fauna by supporting Predator Free Trust NZ. Another way to help the environment is by reducing your meat consumption and incorporating more plant-based meals into your diet, using nutritious grains, legumes and seeds like quinoa as the protein source.
Buy locally raised, humane, and organic meat, eggs, and dairy whenever you can. Purchase from local farmers markets where you can.