We can all do a lot at home to reduce the amount of rubbish we throw out – and the best place to start is by creating some positive zero waste habits. The waste hierachy (reduce, reuse, recycle) is a good guide to minimising your waste at home.
Choose minimal packaging. Nude is best, but if you have to use packaging, choose packaging which can be recycled or composted. Take your own bags to the supermarket, refill your own water bottle and buy loose fruit and vegetables instead of ones prepackaged in plastic.
Reduce your food waste. The average household wastes $563 of food per year, which means as a country, we’re throwing away $872 million worth of food. Simple habits like planning meals and making a shopping list can save you money. By reducing organic waste going to landfill, your nearest landfill will last longer and will create less methane ( a climate change gas). Love Food Hate Waste NZ has good tips to reduce food waste at home, or check out their Facebook page.
Making things go round again is a big part of what Wastebusters do with our two reuse shops, one in Wanaka and one in Alexandra. By buying something second-hand, you are not only reducing waste, but you’re also reducing the impact on the environment (eg water, energy usage, transport and mining new materials) compared to buying a new item. Plus buying second-hand is much more affordable, which is important when we live in a region where the cost of living is high. Cheaper for you, less impact on the environment – that’s why we say that our reuse shops don’t cost the earth.
You can bring all your household recycling (glass, plastic, metal cans, paper and cardboard) down to Wastebusters. We’ll sort it and send it off to be recycled – for the cost of a cup of coffee a month ($1 per crate of recycling). You can also put your household recycling out at the kerbside, call Queenstown Lakes District Council on (03) 443 0024 to get started.
You can recycle many other items with Wastebusters, including white polystyrene and electronic waste like cellphones and computers. Click here for the full list, some charges apply to cover the cost of safe recycling.
Composting is like nature’s recycling. All households will end up with some kitchen waste like peelings and tea-leaves. By composting your kitchen and garden waste, you can tap into nature’s way of keeping soil fertile and boost the health of your plants. There are many different systems of composting, from hot composting to Bokashi buckets. Go to our composting section to work out which is most likely to suit your household.