Refuse, reduce

Look for items you buy regularly unpackaged or in bulk, so that you can reuse bags, bottles, jars or containers.  If you can’t avoid packaging altogether, look for home compostable or recyclable packaging – glass, cardboard, paper or tins. Read on for lots of options to get you started.


Soul Food Organic 74 Ardmore Street 

  • unpackaged organic produce – BYO bags/ containers or order online for a box of organic veges delivered to your home  
  • herbs and spices loose/ in bulk behind the counter – BYO jar/ bag
  • local olive oil, soy vinegar, tamari and brown rice syrup – BYO bottle
  • Loving Earth and Trade Aid chocolate (both of which come in home compostable packaging)
  • loose free-range eggs – BYO egg carton to refill
  • a wide range of dried organic wholefoods in bulk – from a variety of flours and grains, chickpeas and lentils through to nuts, seeds, dried fruit, sugars, etc. Either BYO bag or container, or purchase prepacked in large plain brown paper bags that are home compostable or recyclable
  • buy fresh milk in refillable glass bottles pay a deposit the first time, then return the bottle for refilling
  • BYO jar for delicious local honey in bulk

Wholefood Haven 24 Dungarvon Street

  • get unpackaged/ loose produce, including leafy greens – BYO bags/ containers
  • herbs and spices loose /in bulk behind the counter – BYO jar/ bag
  • oils, vinegars and tamari – BYO bottle
  • nut butters, honey, tahini, molasses, apple and maple syrups – BYO jars
  • Loving Earth and Trade Aid chocolate (both of which come in home compostable packaging)
  • dried organic wholefoods in bulk – chickpeas, beans, brown rice, buckwheat groats, oats, flours, coconut and sunflower seeds – BYO bags/ containers
  • buy fresh milk, cream and yoghurt in refillable glass bottles and jars – pay a deposit the first time, then return the bottle for refilling
  • fresh bread – BYO bag

Honest Wholefood Co.

  • buy refillable kitchen and pantry essentials including oils, baking supplies, tea and coffee, milk, cereals, beans and pulses, nuts, seeds and fruits, pasta and rice, Fix & Fogg peanut butter
  • use your own containers, or theirs, or reusable brown paper bags
  • pick-up and delivery service available to Wanaka, Albert Town, Luggate and Hawea

The Butcher’s Block & Smokehouse 33 Reece Crescent

  • unpackaged meat from the deli counter – BYO containers

Adam & Eve’s 1 Sir Tim Walls Drive

  • freshly made unpackaged bread – BYO bag

The People’s Bread Co Wanaka Artisan Market/ Wanaka Food & Produce Market

  • fresh unpackaged sourdough bread, including a gluten-free option
  • BYO bag to the market, or order online here

Wanaka Food & Produce Market Wednesdays 12-4pm Recreation Centre

Wanaka Artisan Market Thursdays 3-6pm Bullock Creek, by Speights Ale House

Shopping local is a great way to reduce waste because:

      • food and goods don’t have to be packed up for travelling long distances
      • you can explain to the grower or producer that you don’t want their beautiful product in a packet, and brainstorm alternatives together. For example, even if the seller has already packaged the goods, often you can ask to have them transferred to your own bag/ container and have the seller keep their bag/ container for reuse

New World Wanaka 20 Dunmore Street & New World Three Parks 83 Sir Tim Wallis Drive

  • ‘nude food’ misted produce section – BYO bags
  • unpackaged live mussels – BYO container/ bag
  • Trade Aid sugar and 100g chocolate blocks, all come in home compostable packaging

Four Square Wanaka 70 Ardmore Street

  • small produce, bulk food/ pick and mix sections with nuts, snack foods, etc
  • BYO bags

Wanaka Night n’ Day 80 Ardmore Street

  • buy fresh milk in refillable glass jars – pay a deposit the first time then return the bottle for refilling

Revive Sparkling Water Kefir Wanaka Artisan Market/ Wanaka Food & Produce Market

  • hand crafted living probiotic beverages return your bottles for sterilisation and refilling and you will receive a small bottle deposit back

Wanaka Willows Wanaka Food & Produce Market

  • Order spray-free, seasonal, sustainably grown vegetables for pick-up direct from the grower in Albert Town (ask for no packaging) , call/text 022 189 826



  • You can buy home-delivered whole or ground coffee beans from local micro-roastery See Crow Fly ([email protected]) – sign up for weekly delivery and get a refillable glass jar to leave in the mailbox each week
  • Order Kawatiri whole or ground coffee in reusable containers from Honest Wholefood Co.
  • For instant coffee, Trade Aid comes in home compostable Econic packaging – available at Wholefood Haven


  • Loose leaf teas are preferable as most tea bags have plastic in the sealant
  • Soul Food Organic, Wholefood Haven, Honest Wholefood Co. and Revology Concept Store sell loose teas – use your own bags/ jars
  • Herbal Culture create locally grown and sustainably wild-harvested tea blends, single herbs and tonics
  • Tea bags that DON’T have plastic are generally folded and stapled, rather than sealed around the edges – try Red Seal, Dilmah Organic


  • BYO bottles/ flagons at lots of places around town:
    • Ground Up Brewing, 4 Gordon Road – local craft beer
    • Rhyme & Reason Brewery, 17 Gordon Road – local craft beer
    • B.Social, 60 Anderson Road – local and guest craft beer, kombucha
    • The Bottle-O Wanaka, 1 Ardmore Street – craft and standard beer
    • Pembroke Wines & Spirits, 24 Dungarvon Street – Emerson’s and Ground Up beer
  • Swappa crate at Liquorland Bullock Bar, 71 Ardmore Street, for Lion Red/Brown, Speights, Tui, Export Gold, etc – return your crate of empty 745ml bottles to be sterilised and reused


Unpackaged soaps

  • locally made Bare Naked Soap direct or via Honest Wholefood Co.
  • locally made Soap Kitchen direct or from Revology Concept Store, 28 Helwick Street
  • Wholefood Haven – Ecostore and locally made Bare Naked Soap
  • Soul Food Organic (upstairs) – lots of varieties, from locally made to Ecostore 
  • Originz, Pembroke Mall, 139 Ardmore Street – fancy but cheap
  • The Workroom, 75 Brownston Street, 
  • Health 2000, 24 Helwick Street – olive oil soaps and large cubes
  • Wonder Room, 80 Ardmore Street
  • Wanaka Artisan Market – buy direct from local artisan producers

Dental care

  • Bamboo toothbrushes are home compostable, although you’ll need to remove the plastic bristles first with tweezers. Get them at:
    • Go Bamboo – available at New World, Soul Food, Wholefood Haven
    • Humble Brush – available at Soul Food Organic and Aspiring Pharmacy, 29 Helwick Street
    • Grin charcoal-infused toothbrush – Soul Food and Wanaka Pharmacy, 41 Helwick Street
    • Munch charcoal-infused toothbrush – Health 2000
    • RE+newable from Revology Concept Store, 28 Helwick Street
    • ecobrush – order online at
  • Find Nature Body toothpaste powder in glass jars at Wholefood Haven
  • Get Pure Blend natural toothpaste and Solid fluoride toothpaste jar refills from  Honest Wholefood Co.
  • ecofloss – silk dental floss in a recycled and refillable glass bottle – order ecofloss and refills online at or buy at Revology Concept Store

Cotton buds

  • get Go Bamboo home compostable cotton buds at Wholefood Haven, Soul Food, New World, Aspiring Pharmacy


  • get Patch home compostable bamboo patches upstairs at Soul Food


  • avoid plastic shavers that are designed to be disposable – switch to metal safety razors that only require the recyclable blades to be replaced
    • try asking at Ali Barbers, 71 Ardmore Street, if they can order you
      in a safety razor and blades (most barbers are happy to do this)
    • find metal safety razors, shaving soap and brushes and beard oils and balms in glass bottles at Revology Concept Store
  • use a bar of shaving soap instead of foam that comes in a can – you’ll
    need a shaving brush for this
    • get a shaving brush from Soul Food or Aspiring Pharmacy
    • Local companies Soap Kitchen and Bare Naked Soap both make shaving soap 
    • buy Ethique shaving soap at Health 2000 and Aspiring Pharmacy
  • or think about not shaving – pick up beard oils and balms in glass bottles at Wonder Room and Wanaka Pharmacy; or try an epilator for legs, bikini line or underarms (the pain reduces over time and the results last much longer…)

Shampoo/ conditioner/ cleanser/ moisturiser/  deodorant bars

  • you can use bars instead of bottled products for all of these common toiletries
  • while some of these may look expensive, they really last a long time, so are actually good value
    • buy locally made Soap Kitchen shampoo and conditioner bars direct or at Revology Concept Store
    • buy locally made Bare Naked Soap  shampoo and conditioner bars direct or at
    • Honest Wholefood Co.
    • get the popular Ethique range of toiletry bars, which come in home compostable packaging, at Health 2000, Wholefood Haven or Aspiring Pharmacy
    • Wholefood Haven also have Nature Body deodorants in cardboard
      tubes, plus moisturiser, face mask, and night cream in glass jars or try Timaru-based Aoraki Naturals shampoo bars – order online

Shampoo/ conditioner/ cleanser/ moisturiser refills

  • if you prefer the liquid form of these toiletries, get refills of Ecostore brand from Wholefood Haven or Littlefoot and Pure Blend from Honest Wholefood Co.

Menstrual cups/ washable pads

  • these are zero waste and low-cost alternatives to tampons and disposable pads
  • get menstrual cups from Wholefood Haven, Soul Food and New World or try NZ-made from social enterprise 
  • get washable pads at Wholefood Haven

Toilet paper/ tissues

  • Smart Ass toilet paper and tissues are made from sugarcane and bamboo fibres and come in home compostable packaging – order online in boxes of 48 TP rolls or 24 tissue cartons (subscribe for regular TP deliveries to save 15%), or buy in 4s from Honest Wholefood Co.
  • Greencane toilet paper and tissues are made from 70% recycled sugarcane and bamboo fibre and 30% certified wood pulp and come in home compostable packaging – buy at Soul Food (upstairs)
  • The Central Store, 40 Reece Crescent, stocks individual rolls of TP wrapped in home compostable paper

Cleaning products

  • get refills of Ecostore dishwashing and laundry liquid at Soul Food – BYO bottles
  • get refills of Littlefoot bathroom, toilet or all-purpose cleaners, dish liquid or powder, and laundry liquid or powder from Honest Wholefood Co.
  • use your own containers
  • get refills of Ecostore dishwashing liquid, laundry liquid or powder, or Earthwise toilet cleaner, glass cleaner, disinfectant, cream cleanser, delicates wash and oxygenated whitener at Wholefood Haven – BYO bottles


  • get Eco Planet and Next Generation laundry powders, both of which come in a cardboard box with a cardboard scoop, from New World
  • pick up Go Bamboo pegs (home compostable with a recyclable metal spring) from Soul Food or Wholefood Haven or stainless-steel clothes pegs from Wonder Room, Honest Wholefood Co. or Fedeli
  • find Ethique laundry bars at Health 2000 for handwashing or travel


  • Aoraki Naturals in Timaru make bars of dishwashing soap that you can order online
  • Contact Metalworks Wanaka, 54 Ballantyne Road to make you a metal cage for your bar of dish soap
  • Dishbrushes
    • check out Soul Food, Wholefood Haven, Honest Wholefood Co. or Revology Concept Store for wooden-handled brushes with replaceable, home compostable heads, or home compostable veggie brushes from Go Bamboo or Ecostore
  • pick up home compostable scrubbing pads from Wholefood Haven 
  • cotton/cellulose dishcloths – avoid synthetic cloths and sponges that leach microfibres and are destined for landfill. Instead, try home compostable varieties:
    • Four Square – Budget brand 100% cotton dishcloth
    • Gifted Design Store, 19 Helwick Street – Spruce 100% cotton/ cellulose dishcloths
    • The Workroom – Bianca Lorenne 100% cotton cloths Wholefood Haven
    • 100% biodegradable dishcloths Revology Concept Store – sturdy, washable unbleached cotton

Make-your-own supplies

  • pick up bars of Dr Bronner’s castile soap at Wholefood Haven – you can use these to make your own dishwashing and laundry liquid – The Rubbish Trip website has a good recipe
  • get washing soda for homemade dishwashing/ laundry liquid at Wholefood Haven or Honest Wholefood Co.
  • pick up Epsom salts in a brown paper bag from Soul Food or Honest Wholefood Co. – useful for home cleaning, either with water or liquid dish detergent
  • get citric acid from Honest Wholefood Co.. – great diluted in homemade disinfectant/cleaner

Pet Care

  • pick up unpackaged bars of dog soap upstairs at Soul Food or from Bare Naked Soap