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Zero Waste in the South Island Part One: The 6 Day Tramp

Hello all! You may have noticed I have been majorly absent from my blog since the launch of the Community Fridge. I have been keeping busy with the community fridge, answering inquiries, working, the usual life stuff, and trying to throw in a good work/life balance by taking lots of mini holidays. So far this year I have been camping in the far North (Tapotupotu near Cape Reinga), WWOOFing in Raglan, tramping and road tripping the South Island, volunteering at WOMAD (New Plymouth) and WWOOFing on Waiheke Island. I have a few more breaks booked in, including a yoga retreat this weekend and a trip to Australia to visit my family. If you want to follow along with my adventures, I tend to keep my Instagram fairly up to date.
Earlier this year I went to the South Island for a wee tramping/exploring holiday with my friends. I haven’t done many multi-day hikes since starting my waste free journey, only over night hikes, so this provided a new challenge for me.Myself, the BF and two close frie…

Produce Bags & Bulk Bags

The easiest switch to avoid unnecessary plastic is to use reusable mesh bags for buying fruit, veges and bulk bin items in. 

Bags: Rethink small, homemade, Rethink large, Mighty Ape.

Where to buy mesh bags in NZ:
  1. Remateralise: 3 pack $20 these mesh bags are sold package free and are made in Auckland. Perfect for produce or bulk bins. 
  2. Rethink: 3 large bags for $12.50  these bags organic cotton bags are only suitable for produce and larger items (not bulk bins). Rethink also sell multi-packs with other sizes and various other options. Some of the other bags, such as the bread bags, come plastic wrapped.
  3. Mighty Ape: 5 large bags for $14.99 While these are the cheapest option, I ordered some from Mighty Ape back in June and was highly disappointed with the amount of packaging I received. The bags themselves come plastic wrapped as well as the extra plastic for packaging. The bags are versatile for produce and bulk bins, and are large enough for bread loaves.
You order these brands online (click the prices for websites). Remateralise are often at markets around Auckland and the Rethink bags are stocked at some New World and PaknSave supermarkets and various other 'eco-conscious' stores.

Alternatively you can make your own! I was lucky to find the ideal mesh fabric for sale at my local op shop for $2 and was large enough to make 10 medium sized bags. I used my flatmate's sewing machine to sew them (with a bit of trial and error) and secured them with some cord that I was given. They were super easy to make, all you need to know is how to sew a straight line. The bags make excellent gifts, with an ulterior motive of reducing plastic bags!

My homemade bags from secondhand fabric.

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