Waste-free liv­ing easy in re­gion

South Canterbury Herald - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - JOANNE HOLDEN

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.

PHOTO: DOUG FIELD/STUFF

Han­nah Blumhardt and Liam Prince stopped at the Crows Nest dur­ing their tour.

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