Do Less Ideas

There are a million ways to DO LESS, you just need to start. These ideas might help.

reminder

Somehow it’s March already. Kids are back at school, older ones are off to uni and we’ve all been racing around making it happen. So a gentle reminder from us to you – remember to DO LESS… x

asap

Make an area in the fridge of things you need to use ASAP. So every time you open the fridge those urgent things are staring back at you. PS. that bottle of wine wouldn’t have to hang around for too long in my fridge!

leftovers

Whether it’s the young mum who can’t muster the energy to make dinner, or the person down the road who has lost all their enthusiasm because they’re only cooking for one, or the mate who has a big family to feed and extra food is always appreciated. When you share your leftovers, you will put a smile on someone’s face.

bulk

Buy dry goods in bulk stores with recycled paper bags, or you can take your containers to the shop. And when you get home pop them into your clean jars and containers. Not only will you save on a lot of plastic waste, it’s usually cheaper!

less

When we think about the huge climate change problem, we can feel helpless. “It’s too big”, “it’s too late”, and “what I do won’t make a difference”… But when you start to DO LESS, you take some power back, and then you start to feel a whole lot better. You just need to start.

crackers

Sick of all the plastic packaging for crackers? They often come in layers of different plastics which are often hard to recycle, so by making them yourself you will be cutting back on the waste you produce. Plus they are much nicer and you will save money!

sniff

Your oven is about as expensive to run as a heater, so only heat it when you need it -How cool is it that a supermarket in the UK has ditched use by dates in favour of the sniff test! If milk is stored correctly will last a lot longer and the best way to tell if it’s okay is by sniffing it. If it looks and smells fine – then it is.

imagine when

Imagine when… The New Zealand government bans plastic packaging for fruits and vegetables like they have started to do in France 🇫🇷 President Emmanuel Macron has announced that France will taking the lead globally and will gradually phase out all single-use plastics by 2040.

forage

At this time of year there are lots of foraging opportunities – plums, apples pears, and berries growing on the side of the road laden with fruit that no one is picking. Go for a walk or bike ride in your local area and see what you can find.

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Your oven is about as expensive to run as a heater, so only heat it when you need it – and remember to turn it off when you’ve taken everything out!

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Project DO LESS is a return to the wise old ways of being resourceful with what we have, and mindful of what we consume. Somewhere along the way we have forgotten about all of that. But now, more than ever, we need to remember.

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An estimated 75% to 90% of all the energy your washer uses goes to warming up the water. Switching to cold water and lower your gas or electric bill.

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The general rule of thumb is – if you’re going to be out of the room for 15 minutes or less, leave it on. If you will be out of the room for more than 15 minutes, turn them off. Easy!

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Living more lightly on the planet isn’t all about solar panels and EV’s. Everyone can do less on a daily basis, in some small way. And if you’ feel stuck, these ideas we share will help.

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With all the entertaining and parties over the past few weeks, you are bound to have some little treasures left in your fridge. So before you head to the supermarket – use up what you’ve already got first!

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Start with one thing in 2022, no matter how big or small. It will make you feel good and hopeful that you can, and will, make a difference. You just have to start.

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We’re in the thick of silly season and it’s normal to feel like you need a different dress for every party. You still can – but rent it. Or borrow one from a friend.

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Hands up who got a presents you don’t need, like or want! So what will you do with them? Don’t hide them away in the cupboard or throw them out – gift them, sell them, trade them – pass them on to someone who will love them.

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Merry Christmas from us! We both want to say a huge heartfelt thank you for your support 💗 We are just so happy that you have got behind this little idea to make a big difference. Have a fantastic day with your families x

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Slow down this Christmas. Don’t try to do so much. Enjoy the moments with your families and friends because they are priceless.

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Make your presents! Everyone loves getting homemade baking and preserves with local, seasonal produce.

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Gift presents to the family that reduce waste. Like a reusable cup or water bottle.

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Make your own Christmas crackers, here are some great tips https://bit.ly/3DuEY3a, or buy some that have been made with love by Waste Free Celebrations and Hopper – Refill, Shop & Café

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Do your research! Consumer trends last year showed that over 1/3 of consumers value ethical practices in the products and services they buy. And please do not buy from these fast fashion brands https://bit.ly/3IqOzvS

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Babysit for a friend, mow your grandparents lawn, walk someone’s dog, wash some windows, cook some meals. Time is our most precious resource, so when you gift it, you give it with love.

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Tomorrow we start 7 days of eco-conscious, more sustainable Christmas choices.

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We saw this idea somewhere else and loved it. Here are *10 things we no longer buy* – what’s on your list? 1. Cellotape, 2. Gladwrap, 3. Bottled water, 4. Coffee in takeaway cups, 5. Disposable plastic plates and cutlery, 6. Fast fashion, 7. Single-use wet wipes, 8. Non-rechargeable batteries, 9. Herbs from the supermarket, 10. Disposable spray cleaners
buylocal

Shorten your food chain. Food that has travelled across the world or country, through transporters, distributors and supermarkets to get to your plate has a much higher impact on our environment than when it’s from your local grower or producer.

toothpaste

Does anyone else do this? Or is this ‘frugal’ to the extreme? Moisturiser, sunscreen, makeup – I chop the tube with scissors and scoop it all out before throwing it away.

7

What if we just stopped supporting brands that don’t have the same values as we do? By unsubscribing from newsletters and unfollowing on social media we can send a message that we’re not ok with their sustainability practices. And it helps to clear out our inbox! Two birds…

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We were so happy to see that Sustainable Napier are opening a Repair Cafe in Feb next year! They are currently looking for volunteers and we want to help them make this a success, so if you are good at fixing *stuff*, please email sustaina[email protected].

9

If you haven’t already, you’ll be thinking about getting your tomatoes in – but what to do with all the empty pots?! Mitre 10 is now taking *clean* PET5 plant and seedling pots and recycling them into new ones. Good stuff! More details here: https://www.mitre10.co.nz/potrecycling

blackfriday

Please be mindful of what you buy on Black Friday, where you buy it from – and if you in fact need it at all. Amazon alone is projected to produce more than 15,000 tonnes of carbon in one day from packaging, transportation, and returns that often go to waste instead of being reused.

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Plant-based ‘milks’ – so many to choose from! But, do your research – almond milk has high water usage (and is mostly from California who has been in drought for years) and soy milk has higher gas emissions. The overall winner in sustainability is oat milk, so here’s a recipe to give it a try.

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In NZ, bread sits at #1 for the food we waste the most – a whopping 29 million loaves a year! Mostly because we don’t take care to store it properly. Just pop it in your fridge or the freezer. Same goes for the crusts no-one likes – they make great croutons or breadcrumbs.

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This fantastic idea was so popular from a recent story that we thought it should be it’s own post! Keep a stainless steel bucket in the shower to collect the wasted water while it heats up – then use to water your garden or plants. Original credits to Miriama Kamo 😍

10

It’s a great time to stock up on books for the holidays, reading by the pool or at the beach ⛱ Hunt around and you’re sure to find a pre-loved treasure.

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We all know how bad fast fashion is for the planet, but F-waste (as it’s unaffectionately called) is one of the fastest growing categories in the US, contributing to 5% of landfills. Because it’s cheap it’s easy to buy, but quality issues mean that we also don’t think twice about throwing it away (or we don’t like it anymore). So, fix the chair, buy pre-loved and furniture that you will never get sick of.

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All the data we use online has to live somewhere ie. on massive servers that use a massive amount of energy that is currently nearly 3% of the world’s power production. As digital transformation increases, that could soon reach 8%. One small way we can help to slow this down is by deleting all those old emails clogging up your inbox. Could you do 50 a day? 100? 500?

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Whether it’s meat or vege leftovers, they all make AMAZING pies. Our family favourites are curries, dhal, beans, and the Kiwi favourite beef and cheese. And they freeze really well so you can stock up for a rainy day.

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A few grams of CO2 are created with every single thing we do on the internet. And with over 4 billion people online globally, it’s estimated that each of us is responsible for creating 414kg of CO2 each and every year with our screen time.

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With school going back this week, it got us thinking… When did we stop walking or biking to school? Why did we stop taking the bus? Our parents used to shove us off every day without a second thought! How do we get back there?

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Water heating accounts for about 30% of household energy usage. According to Consumer NZ any cylinder running above 60°C (55°C at the tap to prevent scalding) is a waste of power and an injury risk. It’s an easy win to turn it down to save money and reduce energy usage.

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In the face of this climate change crisis, we must have the courage to speak for those that don’t have a voice – small children, trees, animals, the arts, the ocean, bees…

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Turn the water off while you brush your teeth. If you leave the water running, you can end up using 11-15 litres a day. That’s 330 litres every month, and nearly 4,000 litres a year!

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Buying a new washing machine? Get a front-loader! They are more energy and water efficient using up to 70% less water than the equivalent size top loader – that’s a whopping 36,000 litres per year in a typical household 🤯

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Often the last thing left in the fruit bowl, but apples are so versatile! Grate some apples onto your porridge or cereal, stewed apple is a great way to sweeten your bircher muesli, baked or dehydrated apple chips are a yummy snack for the family.

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C’mon, who does this too? Mine love it because they get a really good soak. Or you can fill the bath up and put all your plants in at the same time.

gladwrap

Say NO to gladwrap. It’s one of the worst single-use plastics and we have so many other options.

leds

LED lightbulbs use up to 85% less electricity than traditional lightbulbs and can last 15x longer. They do cost a bit more upfront – but the long-term savings are totally worth it.

try

Anyone who knows Alexandra knows she makes a bloody great cake, and this one is also better for the environment. See recipe

togther

Individually we can make a difference, but imagine what we can achieve together. Buy less, drive less, waste less – do less.

leftovers2

Meat-Free Monday: Leftover Rice Recipe
Often when you order Indian takeaways you are left with lots of leftover rice. This is a great way to use this up for breakfast the next day or dinner the next night. See recipe

dry

What better way to dry your clothes with weather like this than outside! Also an average dryer costs about $1 per load.

buy

The fashion industry produces more carbon than international flights and maritime shipping combined. Rent your dress. Buy pre-loved. Buy clothes that last.

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Meat-Free Monday: Marsala stuffed potatoes
These are lovely with a scoop of coconut yoghurt, chutney and a green salad. See recipe

fathers day

One more sleep until Father’s Day. What are some cool ways to show your dad you love him rather than buying him ‘stuff’?

promise

Climate change is such a big scary problem. Too big for most of us to process and take onboard. But if we can focus on making lots of little changes every day, we will become part of the solution. Just start with one small thing.

unplug

Ever heard of phantom power? Neither had we. It’s the energy used by appliances and electronics when they are turned off but still plugged in. Unplugging is an easy way to save energy, and 5-10% of your power bill.

grow

You don’t need planters or glasshouses to grow your own herbs and veges – bowls and pots work too! Our latest obsession is growing veges from food scraps – who knew?!

car

Did you know that ⅓ of all car trips in NZ are under 2km? Carpool when you can. Ride your bike. Or, just walk.

freeze

Who says you can’t have ice cream for breakfast? Some rules are meant to be broken, especially when it’s Alexandra’s plant-based breakfast ice cream recipe – and you’re using up your old banana’s. See recipe

frank

We love inspirational quotes, and not many are better than this one. Project DO LESS is all about HOPE.

meat-free

We could all eat a bit less meat. Meat-free Monday’s are a good way to cut down a little. This is “Roast carrot, halloumi and quinoa salad with miso dressing”. See recipe

shower

Long, hot showers are no friend to the planet. Plus 15-minutes for a family of four costs $1,460 a year. Save money and energy by cutting down on how long you spend in the shower.

leftovers

Using your leftovers is a great way to reduce food waste. Leftover potato and leek makes a great hearty bubble and squeak for breakfast.

wash

Our mums did it, and probably their mums too. It’s so easy! Just turn them inside out, pop them in the washing machine, then hang them on the line to dry.

share

Sometimes we have an abundance of something. Rather than letting it go yuk and throwing it away, share it with a friend or neighbour.

minimise

We will provide bite-sized and practical tips to help you to minimise household waste and reduce how much energy you use.

Got some great DO LESS ideas?

We’d love to hear them and we’re sure everyone else will too. Please share ♡