Auckland Council

Spreading waste-free awareness

Marcial - Manurewa, Auckland

January 2019

Spreading waste-free awareness hero image
"I wanted to care more about the way my household are as consumers, and to care for the wellbeing of my family’s health."

Our ‘Live Lightly’ journey began when my older sister introduced me to reusable nappies for my niece. I had originally wanted to tackle two issues: nappy rash; and the high, weekly cost of buying disposable nappies. So I followed my sister to a waste-free parenting workshop hosted by Kate Mead. After learning how many nappies go to landfill and how much money we were spending, it just didn’t sit well with me.

Kate mentioned “it starts with one” – which is what we did. By changing to reusable nappies we realised how much better our niece was doing, how we saved so much money, and how our rubbish bags no longer stank! These changes made us happy.

When the red bins came I made the conscious decision to start sorting my soft plastics, which were actually using up the majority of our bin space – so yay, another win for us! It’s funny, because unconsciously, this all started to become a habit. Right behind soft plastic sorting I brought myself a compost bin, which my household put all our vegetable waste into leaving our red bin odour-free.

I then started hosting ‘Love Food, Hate Waste’ workshops. This opened doors to helping organisations promote the use of red bins, spreading awareness about waste and how to combat the issue.

I guess these are just a few of my “whys”. I wanted ways to help with financial freedom, caring more about the way my household are as consumers, and to care for the wellbeing of my family’s health.

My advice to others would be: start with one thing, the rest will follow.

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