We all have a part to play in reducing waste and looking at the ways you can reduce waste in your home is a great place to start. Making even the smallest changes can have a big impact.
Picking up a reusable coffee cup and water bottle is a great place to start, as is saying ‘no thanks’ to single use items such as straws, or hard to recycle items such as polystyrene and soft plastics. When out shopping choose goods wrapped in little or no packaging – your local farmers market makes this easy. Plus, supporting local growers and food producers is better for you and the environment.
Making the most of what you already have in your pantry and fridge is easier than you think. A simple internet search will provide you with lots of inspiration from what to do with leftovers to how to stock your pantry with homemade staples such as bread, crackers, biscuits and yoghurt. Get your kids involved, too. You'll have fun while arming them with tools to last a lifetime.
Your kitchen and garden also provide wonderful opportunities for you to reduce waste. Composting is a great place to start and by using what you have, you’ll be able to compost all your food scraps, paper and cardboard, as well as garden waste and lawn clippings. Check out our helpful guide to composting below.
Give second hand goods a new life by gifting them to friends (who doesn’t love hand-me-downs?) or donating those in good condition to an op shop or The Junction Zero Waste Hub. While you’re there, if there is anything that you have been needing to purchase, see if you can replace it with a second-hand item instead of buying new.
Compostable garden waste should not be placed in your landfill bin. Compost green waste at home or drop it at one of our transfer stations for a fee. You can also organise a green waste collection with a commercial green waste collector.
Only these types of plants can go in your landfill bin:
You can find more information and see images of pest plants in the below document prepared by the Taranaki Regional Council.
Check out our short and helpful videos below on clever ways you can reduce your waste at home. Rosie shows us just how easy it is to start making small changings towards living a Zero Waste life.
See how easy it is to make healthy and delicious lunches minus the plastic.
Some ideas of where to shop locally with your refillable containers.
Simple swaps and ideas to keep in mind to help you cut down on packaging waste.
A great way to reduce household waste is to compost it in your garden. Rosie shows us how it's done.
How can you have a Zero Waste Christmas? Rosie has some ideas for you.
Quick and easy tips on how to not let food go to waste.
Composting is an easy way you can reduce the amount of waste going to our landfill. It is a natural process of decomposition that turns garden and kitchen waste into a fertile, organic soil-like material.
Compost is quite different from the material that it was made from. It is free from unpleasant odours, is easy to handle and stores for long periods of time. It is a natural plant food, soil conditioner and mulch, adds organic matter to the soil and encourages soil life and earthworms.
There are many different compost systems to suit everyone. Whichever way you choose to compost, make sure you have a firm fitting lid to keep out unwanted rodents. Choose a sunny area of soil to place your compost bin. Do not place your bin on concrete as you want worms to penetrate the compost to aerate the material.
You will need a variety of materials which occur naturally in your garden or come from the kitchen. They are called “greens” and “browns”. Greens are nitrogen rich wastes like kitchen food scraps, grass and plant clippings, hair, fish bones and chopped weeds (except for onion weed, tradescantia/wandering willy, and oxalis). Browns are carbon rich wastes like dried leaves, sawdust, hay, newspaper, eggshells, ash and chicken manure.
Alternate layers of garden waste, food scraps and organic waste with a thin layer of soil. Keep it moist and stir up the compost every one to three weeks with a shovel. The smaller the pieces of food and waste the faster it will decompose.
Composting slows down in winter, but you can continue to add organic materials. It's fine if your heap freezes, but if you want your heap to continue decomposing throughout the winter, add an insulating layer of plastic over the heap.
Don't compost large quantities of materials that may cause unpleasant side effects such as attracting vermin or flies, or that may cause odour. These include meat, fish, fats or cooking/salad oils. Also avoid wood pieces, bones, inert materials (such as tins, glass or plastic), diseased plant material, plant foliage with residue of chemical sprays (especially hormone type weed killers) and weeds such as oxalis, live twitch, convolvulus, docks and dandelions.
These should be about 1 metre square and ½ to 1m high and covered with either old carpet or black polythene to keep in the heat.
Manufactured compost bins are neat, efficient covered containers that fit into a small space. There are a number of different bins available on the market or you can make your own.
Three bin method
This is good for large gardens and usually consists of a large wood slat bin divided into three compartments. The compost is turned from one bin to the next every four to six weeks and should be ready for use by the end of that period. The process of turning keeps the product aerated and well mixed.
Achieves the turning process and makes excellent compost. Once the process has begun it is preferable not to add any more to the mix but wait the fourteen days for maturation and then begin again. This method is not usually used for food waste.
A method often used in large gardens or farms and basically means that you bury the garden or food waste. Dig a trench and fill it in sections, covering with a good amount soil after each addition. Plant out on top.
Other composting systems
Worm farm – for uncooked fruit and vegetable food scraps.
Bokashi fermentation bucket – for food scraps, including meat and cooked leftovers.
See the Love Food Hate Waste website for ideas on how to use leftovers and 'scraps'.