How we live with almost no rubbish at all

  1. A to Z Guide.  For information on particular items use the search box or the list below. 

  2. Avoid.  We don't buy plastic stuff if we can find away around it.  When we shop we ask "Will this item, packaging included, end up in the landfill?"  This means when we see stuff like cellophane wrapped flowers we can ask for paper wrapped instead. 

  3. Compost. We compost all food scraps, all garden waste and other random things like nail clippings, hair and organic cotton shoes. It doesn't smell or attract rats. We use three methods: worm farming, traditional composting and bokashi. To learn more about composting go to

  4. Make. We make things, or buy things that others have made at Farmer's Markets, to avoid the packaging around biscuits, bread and muesli bars.

  5. Garden. We try to grow leafy greens and herbs. These are the hardest vegetables to keep fresh and buy without plastic and are a good use of limited space.

  6. Buy second hand. The only way to avoid the styrofoam around a new fridge or TV is to buy second hand. The added bonus is that its great value for money and it slows down the journey from production to disposal. 99% of all stuff is rubbish within 6 months of it being made,


  7. Ask. We ask friends, family and online sellers not to send (or bring) any rubbish to our home. 
  8. Rehome. It is beyond belief what people will take. Use for things that don't work etc, or $1 reserve on TradeMe. For nicer things try charity shops or your local community recycling shop. 

  9. Repair (Even if it costs more). To find a repairer, google something like:  Auckland, toaster, repair. You might also live in an area that have pop up repair events. For more information Aucklanders (in 2017) can email Repair Cafe organiser

  10. Recycle. Always check with your council.  Those little triangles mean that it is technically possible to recycle but to find out if it is accepted by your council you'll need to check. Aucklanders can google 'recycle search Auckland', other councils have similar guides.  SOFT PLASTIC is also now collected in many parts of New Zealand, at New World, Pak n Save, Countdown and the Warehouse. Soft plastic is plastic bags and packets.  


Rubbish Free Guide A-Z


Alcohol Appliances Arts and Crafts


Bags Baking Batteries Bedding Biodegradable plastic Blu-tack Books Bread Breakfast Cereal Building & Renovating Bulk Food Stores Butter


Carton packs CD / DVD Spindles Cheese Children Cleaning Cling Film Clothing Coffee Composting Computers Containers Contraception Correction Fluid Crackers Curtains Cycling


Dental Floss Deodorant Digital Drawing Pins Dry Goods


Eggs Envelopes Eraser


Fruit Furniture


Gardening Glass Glue


Hand Cream Herbs & Spices Highlighter Pen Hot Chocolate


Ice Cream Irish Bread Recipe




Links Page


Mail Margarine Meat & Fish Medicine Menstrual products Milk Mouth Wash Muesli Bar Recipe


Nappies Newspapers No Knead Bread Recipes




Paper Clips Parties Pegs Pens Pets Plastic bags Pool and Spa Potato Chips (crisps) Printing


Recycling Rubbish bin liners Rulers


Salami & other cold meats Sauces etc. Shampoo & Conditioner Shaving & Waxing Skin Care & Beauty Products Soap Sour Cream Spreads Stapler Sticky Tape String


Takeaways Tea Tofu Toilet Paper Toothbrush Toothpaste