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13 Green Habits To Adopt Right Now! Featured

Every year, New Zealand sends 2.5 million tons of waste to the landfill - and we ship most of it overseas to be buried in China and India. Gross, right! This is defintely not looking after the beautiful planet God entrusted us with. If you want to cut down on your day to day waste, here's some super easy things you can start doing right now!

1. Switch to bar soap. It's cheaper and has minimal packaging compared to liquid soap. New Zealand brand Ethique takes it one step further and offers bar shampoo and conditioner, and you can also buy them online from places like Lush (my personal fave is Honey I Washed My Hair). They've even got frizz-taming and volumising varieties. 

2. Refuse a straw. Of all the single use plastics, straws are one of the most insidious - small and lightweight they can easily miss the recycling bin and end up in the waterways.If you must have a straw for your smoothie, choose a reusable alternative made from stainless steel or glass.

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3. Avoid plastic-wrapped corn. Nature gave this vegetable its own handy biodegradable wrapper, it doesn't need to be shrink-wrapped. Same goes for avocados, oranges, apples and bananas.

4. While you're at it, ditch plastic wrap for good. Have a stock of reusable containers for storing food or try reusable wraps made from beeswax - personally I love Honeywrap. These can be used again and again and then thrown on the compost heap at the end of their life.

5. Don't forget your reusable bags. And not just for trips to the supermarket either, they should accompany you on any trip to the mall. Keep them in your car boot and office drawer. 

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6. Drink loose tea instead of tea bags. Humans have been drinking tea for 3000 years and it's only been in the last 50 that teabags have become common. If you must have a bag for that convenient single cuppa, go for one without a string, stapled tag and un-recyclable plastic wrapper. Sure, yo ucan get expensive loose leaf tea from places like T2, but you can get it cheap at the Supermarket and online stores like Chapter

7. Take reusable produce bags to the supermarket or your local fruit and veggie store. Made out of lightweight mesh or net, they expand to to fit a good haul of fruit or veg. If you're caught short at the supermarket, put your produce in the recyclable paper mushroom bags instead of plastic.

8. Line your bins with degradable liners. Many people reuse their plastic shopping bags to line the bin, but using old newspaper, or degradable bags from somewhere like www.ecobags.co.nz is a less wasteful option.

9. Choose biodegradable cotton buds. Some UK supermarkets have already promised to ban those with plastic stems which end up in water ways. Bamboo or paper is a biodegradable alternative.

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10. Get a biodegradable bamboo toothbrush. Bamboo crops don't need pesticides or chemical fertiliser, and absorb more carbon dioxide and emit more oxygen than the equivalent area planted in trees. Plus, you can shave the bristles and throw it on your compost when it's worn out. 

11. Compost. If you don't want a traditional compost bin down the end of the garden, a bokashi system is a fuss free option that can be kept inside. Food waste is layered with a mixture that causes it to ferment and the liquid to drain out. Once the bucket is full, the fermented food waste is dug into soil to complete the composting process. The diluted juice can be used as a free, natural fertiliser.

12. Buy yourself a keep cup - and use it! Some cafes will also offer you a discount on your takeaway caffeine fix. Buy them for your friends, families and coffee-addicted workmates. There are loads of cool looking options here. 

13. Have your bills emailed. It saves on paper and transport emissions, and sometimes gets you a little discount on the price.

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