With Plastic Free July coming to an end and Conservation Week on the horizon, being mindful of our consuming habits should be our way of life. With the average Kiwi consuming 31kg of plastic per year (yikes), reducing our environmental footprint is something we need to consciously strive for every day. With over 99% of plastic derived from fossil fuels, how do we tackle this beast hiding in almost every aspect of our lives? The same way you eat an elephant—one bite at a time.
Starting with simple swaps, here are eight zero waste alternatives by Kiwi and international brands to kickstart your efforts and keep them going all year round.
Zip Top Containers
Ditch the plastics drawer and kit out the kitchen with cult silicone containers by Zip Top. Yep, these beauties allow you to zip the container closed instead of those pesky lids that you either lose or break the clips on. Are you camp religiously-tidy or camp chuck-random-lids-and-containers-around and deal with it later? Plus, silicone is safer for food storage being free of BPA and phthalates. Available in dishes, cups and bags so that you’re never caught out they also go in the dishwasher for easy cleaning.
Turns out there’s a little bit of dirt in the business of getting squeaky clean. Kiwi business Beyond Soap are here to change the game with bulk delivery of solid soap, sans all the plasticky packaging. Soap is always going to be an essential (especially in these times) and the team at Beyond have discarded individual wrapping because you just don’t need it and neither do the landfills. Your funky-chemical free soap bars made with essential oils will arrive ‘naked’ in a cardboard box with a compostable wrap. You can also share the eco goodness by donating a box to The Auckland City Mission with your purchase.
Add a sustainable aroma to your home with Hōhepa Candles, made from 100% locally sourced beeswax and cotton wicking in Hawkes Bay. Crafted in workshops by people with intellectual disabilities, these candles are part of a mission to support the community and environment, providing learning and developing opportunities. Made to be lit, the beeswax purifies and detoxifies the air, and all the wick off-cuts and wax leftovers go into making firelighters. When your candle is completely burned, drop your leftover wax at one of Hōhepa’s wax collection points.
Ethique The Perfector
After the runaway success of their solid shampoo and conditioner, Kiwi brand Ethique keeps expanding (woohoo) as they champion their way through the industry and your bathroom. You’ll want to try their Perfector face cream, made from plant-based materials including Kokum butter and Babassu oil. The Perfector is creamy, dreamy and zero waste. Now available in compostable packaging, so you can dispose of it in your garden once finished.
Compostable Dental Floss
Start the day and go to sleep feeling fresh without the literal plastic trail of your dental hygiene efforts. Plastic is overwhelmingly everywhere—right down to dental floss. The Eco Floss is the perfect switch, made of compostable plastic derived from corn starch. It comes in a glass dispenser which you can use time and again, so then you’ll only need a refill.
Changing seasons can wreak havoc on your skin, and this general balm is good for issues like dry lips, eczema and psoriasis. Handmade on Aotea (Great Barrier), the anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and analgesic properties of the ingredients in this Kawakawa Balm make it an essential one. Not only are you supporting local but you can also recycle the box packaging and glass jar so self-care doesn’t come at the cost of caring for the planet.
Bondi Sands Pure Range
Get your tan on the sun-safe way (also summer is still a way off *cries*) with the Bondi Sands’ Pure Range. If you’re already a lover of Bondi Sands you’ll know they’re vegan, cruelty-free and Australian made, but now you can shop the range packaged in ethically sourced materials that can be 100% recycled. The range is also fragrance, sulphate and dye-free, to keep ingredients to a minimum for purpose and transparency.
Caliwoods Produce Bags
You’ve probably seen those ‘biodegradable plastic’ bags in the produce section at the supermarket, but you can swerve plastic entirely with these handy produce bags. This Kiwi company is a cult favourite for its stainless steel razors with a blade recycling programme, but they’re helping you achieve low waste beyond the bathroom too. These non-bleached, organic cotton bags are free of micro-plastics and can be washed and used on repeat. At the end of their life, they’ll naturally break down in your home compost.
Sustainability goes way beyond home and beauty. If those wedding bells are ringing, check out sustainable bridalwear here.
Image credit: Zip Top, Hōhepa Hawkes Bay, Aotea Made.