Plastic Free July is into the final week. If you still haven’t started don’t worry, you can still take up the challenge! Sign up on their website. And in any case, you don’t have to stop come the end of July! How are you doing? How easy/hard did you find it? We’re holding a ‘plastic free shared lunch’ from mid-day at the EcoCentre on Saturday 29th July for people to share their experiences through the month and the challenges they faced trying to keep to their plastic free kaupapa no matter how much of the month they took it on board for.
If you’re needing some longer term inspiration we have a range of books (see picture) with lots of plastic free ideas for around the home in them as well as baking soda at bulk buy prices to help you put a heap of them into practice! The trick is to ask yourself each time you run out of something in plastic ‘what could I use/buy instead?’, then you’re only tackling things one at a time rather than all at once which can be rather overwhelming and somewhat off-putting. Many people think working towards being plastic free and/or Zero Waste is expensive – if doesn’t have to be, many of us ended up on that journey accidentally from trying to save money! Local author Lyn Webster’s book Pig Tits and Parsley Sauce is especially good for this, you’ll quickly save the $25 it costs!
Here is our list of places around Kaitaia that can help us all reduce our plastic footprint – let us know of any others and we’ll add them to the list and repost every month or so as changes come along. Of course everywhere you go you can ask them not to put what you’re buying in a plastic bag and use your own reuseable bag instead?
Bring your own containers, bags and cups:
Whānau Meats are offering to put those who bring their own containers in during July for their meat to go in a draw on 1st August for a $25 meat voucher, a polo shirt and one of their canvas shopping bags ($100 total value). There are only 5 more days of July so get along there quick with your own containers if you want to be in to win!
Sushi Avenue is happy for you to fill your own container with sushi and reuseable cup for miso soup
Bell’s deli & butcher counter will fill your own containers
In Bell’s and Pak’n’Save you can use your own cloth or re-used plastic bags in the fruit & veg section
It’s Healthy and The Bush Fairy Dairy are happy for you to use your own containers and bags for bulk bin products
Birdie’s and NZ Surf Bros cafes in town will fill your own reuseable coffee cup, and with tea or hot chocolate too if you’re not a coffee addict!
Re-useable travel cups, bottles etc:
EcoCentre we have a selection of cloth shopping bags, produce bags (also useful for many other things!) and beeswax wraps for sale, all made by local volunteers.
Cavalier’s, Empire Mart, Coin Save and Goods 2 U ($2 shop) sell non-plastic disposable plates and cutlery, and Goods 2 U also have paper straws.
CBEC, Farmers and The Warehouse sell reusable travel coffee cups
The Warehouse and It’s Healthy have metal water bottles
Kaitaia has many op shops, plus the market, which are great for sourcing glass and ceramic storage jars etc for your pantry, you can also use glass jars in the freezer! Empire Mart, Goods 2 U, Coin Save, Farmers, Marston Moor and The Warehouse all sell them new.
It’s Healthy, CBEC and Bells sell bamboo toothbrushes
Kaitaia Foodmarket and It’s Healthy have paper wrapped toilet paper
It’s Healthy have Mooncups – a zero waste and money saving option for those menstruating, and bamboo cotton buds
Shackleton’s Pharmacy, Far North Pharmacy and Essentially Flowers have various hand lotions etc in glass jars and tins, and them plus Kotare Krafts and It’s Healthy have unwrapped and paper wrapped bar soaps
Shackleton’s also have unwrapped natural sponges for make-up removal etc
Kotare Krafts can refill their own brand essential oil bottles
Farmers sell cloth nappies and CBEC have biodegradable disposable nappies
Of course anything you buy secondhand is usually going to reduce the amount of plastic packaging involved. It’s worth checking out our many op shops, secondhand shops and the Kaitaia market where there is often a bargain to be had. Of course remember to dispose of anything you replace responsibly and recycle wherever possible.
There are a number of groups on Facebook supporting the Plastic Free and Zero Waste movements. They are a great way to get inspiration and ask questions. Some we follow are: