Making a massive mindset shift in the direction of doing less – Wendy Nowell-Usticke

Hi, I am Wendy Nowell-Usticke and I love everything about about change-maker Alex’s “Do Less” movement. The last four years have been a massive mindset shift for me in the direction of doing less, in my slow beauty business Corbin Rd, and at home. Every purchasing decision I now make goes through the do less, create less waste filter. I don’t always win, and it doesn’t make me happy when I don’t. I like to support local/New Zealand first.

Unnecessary plastic use, food waste and not having a purchasing choice are my bugbears. When I started eliminating items from my purchasing decisions, it was a matter of a bit of research and minor adjustments to find an alternative. It drives my husband a bit crazy with our ever-growing collection of glass jars, but he’s on board.

We support local food markets when possible and refuse to buy fresh produce in plastic. In our house and boutique rental, we’ve replaced cling wrap with beeswax wraps and glass/tin storage jars, plastic bags with paper bags, plastic-wrapped toilet paper with the Smart Ass paper – wrapped version.

I have the best plate and teacup collection purchased from our local Hospice shop. Thanks to a @miriama.kamo tip, we now keep a stainless steel bucket in the shower to collect the otherwise wasted water while the water heats up, and this goes straight into the garden.

We probably buy half the produce I used to, so it doesn’t get wasted, and try to use everything in the fridge before purchasing more. We grow herbs and lettuce greens to keep things fresh. We’ve been attempting the compostable buckets but living in an apartment in town makes it a bit tricky to find someone to take it off our hands.

It’s exciting having a new business in these times as you really can make better choices from the outset, and doing less is everything @CorbinRd stands for. This year we tackled the challenge of Christmas gifting by collaborating with @Max.stylelived. Instead of putting our gift sets in throwaway gift boxes, we’ve gone with reusable stainless steel lunch boxes – you don’t even need to put any paper or ribbon around them, they look so incredible and are so functional and multipurpose.

Our main Christmas giveaway is an electric bike. Five years ago it would have been a Dior handbag – oh how things have changed. We’re also renovating two boutique laneway apartments in Napier, which gives us the opportunity to add solar, choose wool carpets, and insulate properly. But even in our rentals we choose quality local bulk refillable sizes for amenities, like @RealWorldnz, @SansCeuticals hair products, @KanapuHempery and @Aquiferra oils, Organic @Tleaft, @Yours_NZ cleaning products.

We repurpose old furniture where we can – it keeps things original and prevents these quality gems from ending up in the landfill. So I’ve done the big pendulum swing back to how our grandparents did it, and innovators are doing it.It’s a massive thanks to the conscious consumers like Alex and George leading by example, creating awareness and getting the word out about additional things we can do.

The choice is ours.