Rubbish Free Year Blog

A Juliet Garden

I love the creativity real estate agents show when listing properties, and I wasn’t disappointed to hear that our balcony is affectionately called a ‘Juliet Balcony’. Presumably, its because there is just enough room for Juliet to stand on to call down to her lover. If he did manage to scale the 33 floors to […]

Here’s some challenges for you – with prizes!

Jules is the co-ordinator of the Lyttelton Time Bank and she has issued the Rubbish Free Community with a challenge! Every year the Time Bank helps with two street festivals, one is summer and the other in winter. We have thoroughly enjoyed the winter one when living in Christchurch as there is an emphasis on […]

Good, Better, Best!

This whole rubbish free thing is a bit of a roller coaster! During the weekend we went down to our local Farmer’s Market and bought spinach, bok choi and asparagus. We would’ve bought a whole lot more but all that great organic food was wrapped up snug in plastic packaging…arghhh! So, the next step there […]

Rubbish free on the 33rd floor!

We don’t mean to be extreme, honest! But after having spent the last two months living amongst beautiful native bush and birds in the Waitakeres, we’ve now moved into a 34sqm apartment, on the 33rd floor, in the Auckland CBD! It has one bedroom, and what is affectionately called a ‘Juliet balcony’ – it is […]


Probably the most commonly asked question, in relation to our trying to live rubbish free, is; ‘what is the most difficult part’. Up until now I’ve generally answered either, ‘being prepared for spontaneity, such as the impromptu bbq on a Sunday afternoon’, or ‘nachos’. But that was because the real answer was much too difficult […]

Just give me some space!

Since moving to Auckland, Waveney and I’ve been housesitting which has been heaps of fun. However, with summer approaching we’re keen to get away ourselves during the weekends so are now looking for a place to rent. We’ve spent quite a bit of time thinking about the best place to live considering where we work, […]

‘I have a bag thanks’

I, (Waveney), just popped down the road to get some rolls for lunch.  I went to Bakers Delight and, as is habit, took my own bag.  I asked the teenage girl serving if she would mind using my bag.  She looked utterly confused, like I had just asked her if she minded using a can […]

New packaging for our toothbrushes!

We are wrapt to announce a change in the…ah…wrapping…of our bamboo toothbrushes! The brushes are now contained within a light paper wrapper and inserted into an unbleached cardboard box. The pack of 12 also come in an unbleached cardboard box. The packaging can either be recycled with your paper recycling, composted, however, I find the […]

A Weekend in Nelson

Its not every Sunday evening that I think, ‘well that was a cracker of weekend’, but it was this one! I’ve just got back from spending the weekend in sunny Nelson, which while being the obvious couplet, is also extremely true – they predicted rain each day of the 10th Annual Nelson EcoFest and on […]

Rubbish Free Hair Care!

It’s been a long time since I, Waveney, blogged – but I want to tell you all about my hair!  During our Rubbish Free Year I felt that nice, expensive salon shampoos and conditioners were ‘permissible’ – partly because I had chosen brands with hard plastic containers that can be recycled at kerbside, but mostly […]

Statistically Speaking

Statistics aren’t always useful, as Des McHale observed with, “The average human being has one breast and one testicle.” However, today I’ve come across two statistical announcements which seem very much more useful. The Christchurch City Council have released information on waste collected and processed for the year ending 1st July 2010 which you can […]

The 10th annual Nelson Eco Show – & we’re going!

Apparently the Nelson Eco Show is one of the largest environmental events held in NZ for environmental products, services and messages, and not only are we going to check it out, we’re going to have our own stand there! If you’re in Nelson over the weekend of the 21st and 22nd of August, and end […]

SIFT – Sustainable Initiatives Fund Trust

Did you know that… in Canterbury alone, around 25 million styrofoam meat and vegetable trays head to landfill each year! there is a new scheme in Canterbury whereby farmers are given the opportunity to recycle agricultural plastic waste such as the plastic wrapping around silage bales with it being turned into recycling bins amongst other […]

Rubbish Free dogs!

Rencently we added the category ‘Pets‘ to the Guide which got us to thinking about the issues of disposing of dog poo rubbish free – so, new to the store this week are Biodegradable Dog Bags! We haven’t chosen to stock biodegradable plastic bags lightly. Biodegradable plastic can seem like a great alternative to standard […]

‘Rubbish Free Couple’ loving a rubbish collection…what the?

We’ve just had the opportunity to witness firsthand Auckland’s inorganic rubbish collection. We’ve been hearing about it for years and this past weekend the area in which we are currently housesitting, Birkenhead, was scheduled for collection – and we love what we saw! The idea is that it provides an opportunity for people to have […]

Appliances & Batteries

Thanks to Ellen and Eric two categories were updated this week – Appliances and Batteries! Ellen wrote in letting us know what she and her partner have been doing in their workplaces to help people get their spent batteries to the right place; “We converted two old cardboard boxes by making a slit on top […]

Potato chips – help!

One of the health benefits of living rubbish free is by default avoiding many of the common processed foods due to their unsustainable packaging. By and large this has been a welcome byproduct, but every now and then my resolve is sorely tested as the packets of potato chips (crisps) tempt me with their salty […]

Rubbish free hydration!

Waveney and I have been using stainless steel water bottles for a few years now and would never go back for a few reasons. Firstly, although many plastic water bottles are recyclable, in the same way rock beats scissors in paper, scissors, rock, reducing and reusing both beat recycling.  Recycling obviously beats landfill in the […]

Rubbish Free Pets!

This weeks winner of a 3-pack of Rethink reusable produce bags is Andreas who suggested adding information on keeping pets rubbish free to the guide, and provided a couple of links. I can’t believe we didn’t have a page on the topic already! Well done Andreas! So, here is a link to the latest addition […]

Latest additions to the guide; bedroom & bathroom

This weeks winner of a 3 pack of Rethink’s awesome reusable produce bags is Aimee who submitted two links to the guide. She let us know about InNature who manufacturer organic bedding including pillows, duvet inners, sheets and mattresses in Auckland which Aimee testifying to there being no plastic in their packaging with recycled cardboard […]

Rubbish Free enters mainstream America!

According to an article in the NZ Herald yesterday, living a rubbish free lifestyle is becoming more and more popular within mainstream America. Bea Johnson lives in Marin County, California and has been living ‘zero-waste’ and blogging about her experiences. In the article Bea says; “Before it was tree-hugging hippies who washed and reused their […]

Congratulations Jodee and Liz!

We’ve had a great first week with our new site and really appreciate all the emails of support and encouragement – cheers! The ideas for the guide are flowing and 3-packs of reusable rethink produce bags are destined for Jodee and Liz who made two additions each to the guide. We love Jodee’s idea of […]

Oil & Packaging

Post consumer and waste, (landfills and the like), has always only been part of the motivation for us following a rubbish free lifestyle – although when considering ground water pollution, plastic in the oceans, greenhouse gas emissions from landfills and vehicles involved in transporting to landfills its probably enough! The major motivation is the pre-consumer […]

The renovations are over!!

Hurrah!! After all the yarning, planning, doing, yarning, re-doing…the new Rubbish Free site is up and running!! Huge kudos to our good friends, Geoff and Fi from Attitude in Christchurch for venturing a long way beyond the call of duty in making it happen – if it wasn’t for the talent and patience of you […]

Change afoot!!!

This week our new bamboo, compostable, toothbrushes arrived – and they are great! Dentists recommend changing brushes every month, which if everyone actually did this, means one million toothbrushes would be added to our landfills every week! Perhaps one million toothbrushes doesn’t take up that much space in our landfills- but the thing that gets […]