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The Zephyr Co's 30 tips to zero waste in Aotearoa

zero waste new zealand

Tip # one 

Skip the centre aisles at the supermarket! All of the fresh, unpackaged foods are around the outside. The bakery, the deli and all of those yummy fresh fruits and vegetables

Zero waste tips

Tip # two

Shop at bulk stores like Binn Inn for things like flour, oats, sugar, cereals... sooo many good things completely package free when you take your own Bulk Food Bags!!

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Tip # three

Take your keep cup! Reuse it every day. You might even get a discount on your daily coffee!

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Tip # four

Bring your own container to get takeaways. It may seem awkward at first, but I am here to assure you, it is not a hassle at all for you OR the person serving your food, you may even get a discount! Plus, every time anyone else see's you working your zero waste magic, you're planting a seed of thought in that person to really think about WHY we should be actively trying to reduce waste

zero waste tips

Tip # five

BYO cutlery!!

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Tip # six

Did you know you can buy clothes pegs that will last a lifetime?! No more purchasing plastic pegs year after year only to have them break and end up going to sit in a landfill for hundreds if not thousands of years (or mysteriously have bits of plastic pegs turn up in your garden from 5 years ago). Stainless steel pegs in marine grade steel are super strong, and wont rust. There are a selection of small NZ businesses selling these online 👍👍

zero waste tips metal pegs straws

Tip # seven

Use produce bags! Quit the singe use plastic addiction we've all be taught to 'need'. If you forget to bring your produce bags with you to the store, take 'em loose. You'll soon remember to bring your bags with you if it causes an inconvenience to forget them!

nz made reusable the zephyr co produce bags

Tip # eight

Sending something in the post? REUSE old plastic packaging, or newspaper, or cardboard, scrap paper.. anything! It can be sent in anything and does not need to be brand new!

zero waste nz

Tip # nine

Quit buying frozen veges. They ALWAYS come in plastic, plastic that will literally last hundreds of years even though it is only useful for about a month 😞 Swap out that frozen pea addiction (ha... it was an addiction for me!) for fresh, in-season, locally grown veges from your local produce shop, or even grow them yourself!

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Tip # ten

BYO takeaway cup for smoothies 👍👍

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Tip # eleven

Invest in a good old fashion safety razor. How many disposable razors have you thrown out in the last couple of years? 10? 20? 30?? These are the kinds of tools that are worth the investment. And by investment, I only mean spending about the same amount you would on disposables every month or two! They're built to last forever, and the blades are super easy to replace (and cheap!) 

zero waste new zealand razor

Tip # twelve

Ditch plastic packaged, single use facewipes. get lusciously soft, organic cotton facewipes right here at The Zephyr Co

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Tip # thirteen

Did you know you can buy toilet paper WITHOUT the plastic packaging? is a sweet NZ business that has put in the hard yards to provide Aotearoa with paper packaged TP - and they've even got cheeky (paper) packaging to make you giggle

plastic free tp

Tip # fourteen

This tip is all about those pesky bottles lining every free surface in your bathroom (or filling your bathroom cupboard for all you organized folk). When you really think about it, 90% of those bottles are completely unnecessary, you probably didn't even think you wanted those products 'til they were marketed towards you in TV adds, in magazines or even just looking all pretty and shiz in the perfect spot in the supermarket aisle. Once you have used up those products and disposed of the bottles (or reused them!!) really think about what products you actually need. One simple bar of soap can replace liquid hand wash, body wash, it can replace shampoo, it can even replace dishwashing liquid! (place bar of soap in a tin can that has holes punch in it, then run the tap of hot water through it while filling your sink for the dishes. Who woulda thought!!) Sorry I went off track there... Back to the bathroom, anything else that needs a clean, think Baking Soda! That shiz is amazing. And cheap. And completely package free from shops like Binn Inn.

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Tip # fifteen

Craving an icecream? Opt for a good ol' icecream in a cone over plastic packaged iceblocks

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Tip # sixteen

Cut out the plastic bottles of fizzy or juice. Either invest in a second-hand soda stream or treat it strictly as a treat. When you do buy it, opt for NZ made, glass bottled drinks.

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Tip # seventeen

Did you know that you can (at least try to- ) shop zero waste online?!  No matter what website you are ordering from, all you need to do is write a short note in the comment section when going through the check out page. A simple 'no plastic please, unless it's recycled!' will do 👍

Tip # eighteen

If you're a meat-eater, shop at local butchers. Not only will you be supporting a small local business & local farmers, the butcher can put your order straight into you own containers. Win-Win!!


Tip # nineteen

DIY oat milk for baking & cooking. It's sooo easy, and completley zero waste!

diy oat milk nz

Tip # twenty

Ditch plastic bottled dairy milk (and giant milk corporations) by buying from local business that sell thier milk in glass bottles. There are heaps of these popping up all through out NZ

glass bottled milk nz

Tip # twenty one

Did you know you can get as much cheese as you want, package-free at loads of supermarket deli's and Binn Inn's? You're welcome.


Tip # twenty two

Do ya know what's better than sliced bread? Bread without that stinkin' plastic packaging. Bread without additives and preservatives. Bread without 50 undefinable ingredients. Bread without a huge carbon footprint from the huge amount of kilometres it has travelled (let alone the footprint of actually producing the bread and its ingredients) Here's what's better than sliced bread - home baked bread, bread from your local bakery, even bread from your closest supermarket, fresh and package free. Easy Peasy!

Tip # twenty three

Let go of frozen convenience meals. Every time you make a meal, make more than you normally would, scoop the extra serving into a container and pop it in the freezer. Taa-daa! Zero waste easy-peasy-freezer-meals

Tip # twenty four

Give up plastic bottled cleaning products. That window cleaner you have? Not needed. Kitchen spray? Not needed. Toilet spray- Not a requirment. All you need is good old Baking soda, water, and sometimes vinegar. Give it a google, you'll find a million recipes. My main go-to is a simple cleaning paste made with baking soda and a couple of spoonfuls of water 👍👍

Tip # twenty five

Use bees-wax wraps - ditch glad wrap for good!!

Tip # twenty six

Ditch single use, plastic packaged floss. There are zero-waste alternatives available from a few good small NZ business, but my go-to is good ol' cotton thread

Tip # twenty seven

Use bulk bin bags! You can buy flour, sugar, oats, cocoa, ANYTHING like this completely package free. Tip for using these bags with flours- do not wash them with water every time they've been used, otherwise you'll end up with a hard to wash paste. Just hang them outside on your washing line, inside out and let the breeze do all the work. All thy need is a good shake :)

Tip # twenty eight

Buy loose leaf tea, and use a tea strainer

Tip # twenty nine

Use your own reusable Zephyr Straw! It is RIDICULOUSLY easy to use, everywhere you go, and using it will save plastic waste that most wouldn't even blink an eye lid at. Just one New Zealander using a reusable Zephyr straw will save around 150 straws every year from polluting our beautiful awa & moana, or filling our earth with plastic 🌏 Once you start using a simple tool like the Zephyr straw, you'll also continuously be reminded of the simple ways you can reduce your use of single use plastics in your day to day life- and so will everybody that see's you using your good ol' Zephyr straw ✌️ If you haven't got one yet, join our earth loving, turtle saving crew of Zephyr suckers and get yours now right here -->

Tip # thirty

You can fill up on water at ANY shop! Keep your drink bottle with you everywhere you go, use your manners, and ask a staff member to please fill up your bottle from the tap. EASY. We do this as service stations, cafes, gift stores, dairys, anywhere, on the reg. Everyone we've asked has been more than happy to help us out 👍

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