Hey guys! George, Juliet and Poppy here! As part of Plastic Free July, we have been working with UC Sustainability to share with you guys how we have been cutting down on our single use plastics, both on and off campus. You might have seen Poppy’s takeover on the UC Sustainability Instagram (@ucsustain, check it out!), but if you missed it, here’s what we have been up to this month.
The top four single use plastics are plastic bags, cups (coffee cups), plastic straws and plastic cutlery. There has been some progress around UC in terms of providing alternatives for single use plastics which we think is rad, but there is also a lot you can do to help! This can be as simple as buying a bamboo toothbrush (super hip and not expensive – literally $5), bringing your own coffee cup and lunch container to uni, dining in at restaurants/cafes or bringing your own reusable bags to the supermarket.
We have taken it to the next step, by heading out around Christchurch on our bikes in search of a few more ways to reduce the use of single use plastics and save some pennies at the same time!
Our favourite locations for bulk food and household items:
Bin Inn – Stanmore Road, also Lincoln Road and Hawke Street (New Brighton).
What we loved:
- How strongly they encourage you to bring your own container/jar to reduce costs and eliminate packaging (you’ll never throw away another jam jar again!)
- Every type of bulk food imaginable i.e. oats, nuts, couscous, rice, pasta, muesli, spices, lentils
- Even liquids such as oils, honey, molasses, vinegar… on tap!
- General household items i.e. dishwashing liquid, spray and wipe, laundry powder and dish wash powder (just BYO bottles, and/or tip the liquids into old spray bottles when you’re home)
- Friendly service – the Bin Inn in New Brighton has a ‘Jar Library’ to help you out if you forget to bring enough jars/containers.
Serious money saver!! Bulk items are always so much cheaper than pre-packaged supermarket
- alternatives, plus you also get an extra 5% off if you BYO containers.
See Bin Inn’s videos for handy tips on bulk shopping!
Our favourite thing about Bin Inn was making our own peanut butter, it is cheap! The little jar in the picture was about $2 of peanut butter.
Piko Wholefoods – Corner of Barbadoes Street and Kilmore Street
What we loved:
- The range of certified organic bulk foods available i.e. rice, lentils and oats – a huge range of gluten free options too
- Also yummy tea, coffee and breads etc.
- They are big supporters of Fair Trade products – LOTS of fair trade tea, coffee, sugar, nuts, spices, cold drinks, cocoa and chocolate options! YAY!
- It’s encouraged to bring your own container/jar for your bulk goods (or they often have spare containers there for you to use!)
- A wide variety of ingredients/items either wrapped in paper or in packaging that looks like plastic BUT can be composted in your home compost bin!
- A little more pricey, but a great place to visit for your specialty goods, or yummy treats. Although the maple syrup (buy it on tap) was the cheapest we’ve seen anywhere! Yum!
- Nice vibe and super friendly people. They also run yoga workshops and classes in the upstairs space!
We hope this helps anyone out there who is trying to be a little more plastic free (and for those already doing it! Go you!). All these little changes do make a huge difference, plus they are fun, and give you a sense of satisfaction to know that you are doing something positive for the planet and your pennies.
Huge thanks to Poppy, Juliet and George for their Plastic Free July inspiration! We think the tip about the peanut butter is awesome, what was your favourite? #plasticfreejuly
This message was bought to you by the UC Sustainability Office.
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