On the road to de­liver a zero-waste life­style

The Tribune (NZ) - - NEWS - RICHARD MAYS

Han­nah Blumhardt and Liam Prince are trav­el­ling the coun­try, talk­ing trash.

The pair, known as the NoWaste No­mads, plan to spend the next year trav­el­ling the coun­try spread­ing the no-waste life­style mes­sage, be­gin­ning The Rub­bish Trip tour at Massey Univer­sity last Wed­nes­day.

Brought up in Palmer­ston North, Prince spent the first 19 years of his life in the city, at­tend­ing Awat­apu Col­lege be­fore head­ing to Welling­ton to study jazz drum­ming.

The pair got together there, spent time over­seas, and re­turned with the idea of ‘‘cutting out the crap’’.

Two-and-a-half years ago, Blumhardt said she had an epiphany about liv­ing waste­free, googled it, and found out about oth­ers who were al­ready suc­cess­fully liv­ing that kind of life­style.

‘‘We came back with the idea of hav­ing a fresh start and liv­ing plas­tic-free. Af­ter two weeks, we had started learn­ing about prob­lems [that waste causes] and de­cided to go zero waste.’’

Ac­cord­ing to World Bank fig­ures, in 2012, the world pro­duced 1.3 bil­lion tonnes of trash.

The yearly vol­ume was ex­pected to in­crease to about 2.2 bil­lion tonnes by 2025, with peak waste ex­pected in 2100.

Prince said they lived by a ver­sion of the 5-Rs of sus­tain­abil­ity - Refuse, Re­duce, Re­use, Re­cy­cle and Rot.

Re­cy­cling, touted as an ‘‘an­swer’’ to the world’s rub­bish woes was in their ver­sion, the sec­ond-to-last re­sort.

In their pre­sen­ta­tion, the pair pointed out that con­sump­tion and the dis­posal of the things we con­sume, has been nor­malised, and that’s why ‘‘re­fusal’’ was the first step.

‘‘You need to start off by ask­ing ‘do I re­ally need this thing in my life?’. Nine times out of 10, the an­swer is ‘no’,’’ Prince said.

Some things in our pos­ses­sion for all of 20 min­utes, such as pack­ag­ing, took a lot of re­sources to make, and would be around for a long time af­ter its mo­men­tary use.

‘‘Zero waste is a lot broader than just not throw­ing things away,’’ Blumhardt said.

Dur­ing How To Live With­out A Rub­bish Bin, they out­lined a num­ber of sus­tain­able life­hacks that re­duced waste, and saved house­holds money.

‘‘You don’t have to deal with ev­ery is­sue all at once, just as they come along,’’ Blumhardt said.


No-Waste No­mads Han­nah Blumhardt and Liam Prince at Massey Univer­sity.

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