Waste-free living easy in region
A Wellington couple living without a rubbish bin say they are impressed with how easy it is to live a waste-free lifestyle in South Canterbury.
‘‘South Canterbury’s got it going on,’’ Hannah Blumhardt said.
‘‘It’s a pretty awesome place to learn about waste minimisation.’’
Blumhardt and her partner, Liam Prince, have been touring New Zealand for nine months with their workshop Reducing Our Household Rubbish: The Zero Waste Approach, which they brought to Timaru on Thursday along with a shopping guide of waste-free options around the region.
‘‘Wherever you are in the country, take advantage of what’s around you,’’ Blumhardt said.
The pair spoke to local butchers, bakers, and coffee roasters and found the businesses were happy to sell their products without packaging.
Blumhardt said Timaru’s three-bin system was rare in New Zealand and praised the town’s compost management system.
Prince emphasised the importance of separating food waste from general rubbish, which Timaru does, saying food needed oxygen to break down properly but that was difficult when it was buried by other types of waste.
Blumhardt said the town’s food waste made great compost.
Prince said the re-use of products, whether it be borrowing toys from a toy library or sharing tools at a Menz Shed, was one of the easiest ways to avoid generating rubbish.
‘‘Anybody can reduce waste just by buying second-hand,’’ he said.
The couple do not push people to change their lifestyle as drastically as they have, Prince said.
‘‘Pick what works for you,’’ he said.
Blumhardt said learning how to make toilet paper, shampoo, toothpaste, and muesli bars was another way to avoided packaging.
‘‘If we want it we’ll make it from scratch,’’ she said.
She said she had to trial at least five recipes for shampoo and toothpaste, so through the workshop she hoped to make the transition to a zero waste lifestyle easier for others.
Blumhardt challenged the idea she and her partner were living a ‘‘wacko’’ lifestyle, saying society’s obsession with buying the latest products was unsustainable. ‘‘We strongly believe this is the way things need to be,’’ she said.
Hannah Blumhardt and Liam Prince stopped at the Crows Nest during their tour.