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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…

Auckland Bulk Stores

A typical Bin Inn shop
At the beginning of the year I started writing a list of the bulk food stores I've found so far, and then this post sat as a draft among many other draft blog posts... So I figured I'd finally share my bulk store finds, but on another forum. As Zero Waste Home's donation drive for the Bulk App was a success I have now added all of the locations there. For those of you not in the know, Zero Waste Home  (Bea Johnson) created this great app where you canould add & rate bulk food locations to a map. However the app needed a serious update, so there was big donation drive to update the app and also create a website. The website and app are now functional, and donations are still being accepted.   


I was pleasantly surprised to see a couple of locations had been added since I last logged in, the Auckland zero waste network is definitely growing! I've added a few in Auckland and a couple further afield in the North Island. My personal favourites are Bin Inn (Howick & Takanini) and Khyber Spice Invaders (Royal Oak) who have loose cheese and olives and plenty of bulk selection, just ask first about using your own containers as they don't have a proper tare system. Early last year I went to Bulk Food Savings on Dominion Road and I was really disappointed as a lot of food was pre-packaged. My favourite bulk store to date is actually not in Auckland, but in Kamo (Whangarei) which I discovered on a camping trip. They have a decent selection of cleaning products, pet food, honey, tahini and pasta (the holy grail of zero waste success).
Bin Inn Takanini
Bin Inn Takanini

There are still a few I am planning on checking out once I have a few reasons to go to those directions. I plan on checking out Bulk Barn in Henderson, which is the local for A Zero Waste Warrior (told you the ZW network in Auckland is growing!), although I have been to the one in New Lynn.What I haven't included on the map is supermarkets and organic stores, many of which have bulk sections but don't allow BYO containers (or I haven't asked yet). I still use these places, either re-using old ziplock bags or re-using paper bags or lightweight mesh/cloth bags. Most Pak n Save's have decent bulk food sections and I've had no issue with using my own bags there before, they mainly get funny in the butcher & deli sections.
Pak n Save Silverdale
Bulk Barn in New Lynn
Another great food map is the New Zealand Fruit and Food Share Map which shows public fruit and nut trees and herbs. I love walking down a street and finding public fruit trees in parks or street berms. Here's a handy site to check what's in season also. I found a whole bunch of pear trees years ago and made a crumble out of them, I hate seeing anything go to waste- including fruit. I've mentioned on my instagram account a few times that I have made friend's with my neighbours who have excess fruit, they are always very happy to give it away as it goes wasted otherwise. Neighbourly is another good place to ask around, I got my original Kombucha SCOBY from there, as well as sourdough starter and have given plants and SCOBY in return.


Let me know of any gems in Auckland also and don't forget your jars and bulk bags.
Happy package free food hunting everyone!

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