October 20, 2021

Reducing waste is a big priority for Auckland Te Atatu Toasted fan Jennie Cade and she’s even found some great uses for our resealable cereal bags when she’s finished eating her favorite Healthy Blend muesli.

“My number one favourite use is for keeping together ingredients for each meal in my tramping pack. The bags are the perfect size.”

Jennie says she puts everything she needs for one meal into a Te Atatu Toasted cereal pack – so for breakfast it would contain her muesli, some powdered milk and a tea bag or for dinner, it might be a portion of pasta with a little tub of parmesan, a packet of olives and tomato puree. Not only is it easy to find what she needs, once she’s finished eating she can use the bag to store all the rubbish to ensure it won’t leak onto her clothes.

But that’s not the only way she’s found to recycle or reuse the cereal bags. Here are a few more of her tips

  • Take the bags to bulk bin stores to use for foods that you need to buy in portions too big for a jar. Jennie has put flour, porridge oats and polenta in them.
  • Stash used eco wipes (reuseable kitchen towel) until you have enough to wash – Jennie gets her eco cloths from The Good Change Store, which is on a mission to reduce the amount of paper Kiwis throw away. Currently it’s about 6000 tonnes a year!
  • To store food in the freezer – Jennie uses the bags for frozen muffins (each bag holds about eight muffins) and recently stored homemade frozen gnocchi to use as she needs. They are thick enough to stop freezer burn.
  • These resealable bags are great for keeping the last naan bread fresh in the packet.
  • Great to stash wet swimming togs and store sunscreen so it won’t leak in your beach bag.

Jennie and her partner Richard Boyd moved to New Zealand from the United Kingdom at the beginning of 2020, and now live in Grey Lynn. The couple has gradually found more and more ways to be kind to the environment.

“We knew we were coming to a beautiful country that is facing challenges because of population growth. We were conscious that because we had chosen to make this our home, we wanted to make sure we had a net positive impact on Aotearoa overall.”

Recently Jennie discovered Waste-Free Celebrations, an online business based in Wanaka that sells reusable fabric Christmas gift bags and reusable Christmas crackers, gift tags that can be written on with chalk pencil, then reused, and personalised Santa Sacks. They also have a range of Happy Everything gift bags that can be used instead of wrapping paper for birthdays or other celebrations.

“They're awesome products that are going to cut my Christmas waste right down,” Jennie says.

The products are made by sewers based throughout Central Otago and a group of Auckland-based Afghan women who have been recruited as part of New Settlers Family and Community Trust’s work creating educational and employment opportunities for refugee women in New Zealand.

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