Understandably sustainability isn’t a priority for a lot of people right now, but if you’re feeling frustrated about your recycling stacking up or annoyed at not being able to refill your own containers, we've put together eco-friendly tips and swaps you can do whilst working from home.
Be sustainable and save money
There are some really easy things you can do at home to improve your sustainability practises and save money.
- Switch to Ecosia, the search engine that plants trees while you search.
- Turn your hot water cylinder down and make sure it’s properly insulated.
- Buy lower wattage LED light bulbs — they use up to 85% less energy.
- Insulate your windows during winter.
- Swap single-use plastics for reusable versions, such as dish brushes and wax wraps.
- Compost your food using Bokashi boxes. These are a great way to compost your food waste at home and are available in a range of sizes. Commonsense stock these.
- Use your coffee grounds as a homemade body scrub.
Reuse > recycle
Most of us don’t have enough space to store all our recycling while the council pickups are on hold. Try to send less to landfill by reusing and reducing where possible.
- Get dried goods delivered in paper bags to your door with GoodFor.
- Instead of buying tins of beans and lentils, try buying dried ones.
- Switch to bars of soap and shampoo instead of bottles.
- Buy cans of beer from local breweries as they take up far less space than glass bottles (a little bird told us Garage Project are delivering!)
- Turn fresh fruit and vegetable into frozen by boiling until slightly soft and freeze in old plastic bags or boxes — this saves buying frozen veg in plastic bags and is a good use of fresh produce.
- Check with your favourite refillery — do they need glass jars to deliver dried goods?
Support independent businesses
By choosing smaller, local organisations your money will stay in your community and help create diverse growth and opportunities.
- Get in touch with restaurants directly to find out what they’re offering.
- Check out the Pandemic Pack who are partnering with NoCar Cargo to offer local delivery.
- Order from DeliverEasy, a NZ owned delivery service that offers better rates to small businesses.
- Support your local businesses by buying vouchers through SOS Business.
- Browse menus and arrange contactless pickup through Eat Local NZ.
- Get inspiration of where to order on Delivereat, a comprehensive list of independent Kiwi businesses.
It can be really hard to know where to start with shopping ethically, but there are some easy things to look out for:
- BioGro certified organic products are better for the environment and for you.
- Certified Fair Trade goods ensure producers get a fair wage and are treated ethically.
- The MSC blue label helps you choose sustainably sourced fish.
- Free-range standards differ between products in NZ, but this guide can help you to understand what free range really means. A plant-based diet is better for the environment so consider cutting animal products out of some of your meals.
- FSC certified paper products come from a sustainable source.
- Look for items that use sustainably sourced palm oil.
- Tearfund have put together an ethical shopping guide to help you avoid fast fashion.
- The CoGo (Connecting Good) app can help you to locate businesses with ethical practises.
It’s easy to feel powerless in times of uncertainty and we should all be looking after ourselves and our whānau first and foremost. But if you’re feeling overwhelmed in the current situation and want to help people, here are a few ideas:
Eat My Lunch are still operating under lockdown. They give lunch to a kiwi kid in need for every lunch you buy, but also offer a ‘give two’ service where you can donate both meals.
Look after yourself
The most important thing to remember during lockdown is to go easy on yourself, stay safe, and be kind.
Arohanui from all of us at Springload.
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Let’s make the things that matter, better.