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Four surprisingly cool waste-wise things to do this winter

Published: 12 July 2017

If you're at a loose end this winter, check out some of these easy, fun ideas that'll also help save the planet.

1. Upcycle something redundant and give it a new life

Transform a disused item in your home into something useful, beautiful or both!

For inspiration check out Green Ideas, which has some great ideas for projects in and around the home, or Habitat by Resene, which has some clever tips for using up that leftover paint hanging around in the garage.

Not the crafty type? Hit one of our community recycling centres grab someone’s recycled or upcycled trash that’s destined to be your new treasure. These magical places are dotted around Auckland including the Recycle Shop in Waitakere, Waiuku Junkton, the Helensville Community Recycling Centre  and the Devonport Community Recycling Centre

2. Rummage among the racks in an op shop

Take a tiki tour around the region and go op-shopping for the day. The Urbanlist recently picked out a few of their favourites, but the reality is, if you pick a direction in Auckland – North, South, East or West – there are many gems just waiting to be discovered!

How long do your clothes last? Throwing your clothes out with your household rubbish means they go straight to landfill where they take years to break down.

In fact, about this many years:

  • Wool: 1 to 5 years
  • Leather shoes: 25 to 40 years
  • Nylon: 30 to 40 years
  • Rubber boot sole: 50 to 80 years
    Source: US Environmental Protection Agency

So, while you're rummaging for new finds, do the environmentally friendly thing and drop off a bag of your unwanted stuff at the same time!

3. Learn how to turn food waste into black gold

Are you a worm farm warrior? On the bokashi bandwagon? Maybe you’re a traditionalist, preferring the good old-fashioned compost bin in a corner of the back yard?

No matter what your preference, there’ll be something new for you to learn at one of the Compost Collective’s workshops. As well as finding out what system would work for you, you’ll learn everything you need to get started. Find a workshop

4. Get inspired and change your way of life

Sometimes all it takes is one really inspiring person or event to change the way you think about everything you do.

That’s how it was for Naomi Roberts, who went to a waste reduction seminar lured by the promise of a $20 Pak’N Save voucher but came away with a fierce passion for reducing the amount of waste she produced and to help others do the same!

She’s now sharing that passion with others as an Auckland Council Waste Champion – read her story here.

Ready to light your own fire? There are waste reduction talks and seminars going on frequently across the region.

Find a Waste Free Living course near you