Rubbish free challenge making a change.


Photo of Matthew and Waveney: supplied by Waveney Warth.

From the 1st February 2008 – 1st February 2009, Waveney Warth and Matthew Luxon took on the challenge of living rubbish free, consisted of preventing any landfill rubbish from entering their home.

I was able to get in contact with Waveney, who was able to give me an insight on the magnitude of this rubbish free journey.

Although the challenge may suggest, it is nearly impossible to rid yourself completely of all unnecessary plastics and other bits of rubbish, but Waveney and Matthew made a great attempt, by only filling up one standard supermarket plastic bag of miscellaneous rubbish over the course of a year.

When speaking of the challenges faced during this challenge, Waveney stated that it was very successful in the end, but that it could be difficult at times, and how it can change your outlook on something much bigger.

“It developed a real shift in awareness on the issue of excess rubbish and the effects on the environment, it was overwhelming at first, but the challenge was definitely tangible.” Waveney said.

“In some ways it can be quite difficult, but it really depends on your personal approach, and it comes down to bulk rubbish. The counter element to this is making your own stuff and buying quality goods. Eg: instead of buying bread from the supermarket make your own, this way you can prevent any unwanted plastics and miscellaneous rubbish from entering your home.”

Waveney then provided some depthful answers on cost efficiency and its relation to different demographics who feel it may be unrealistic financially to successfully embark on a rubbish free lifestyle.

“In some ways it isn’t cost efficient, but many people from all walks of life do the same thing. I actually know someone who saved a deposit for a house by living rubbish free. The way we shopped became different, as we would look to different sources for our food. Eg: rather than shopping at a supermarket, we would go to a farmers market instead.”

Based on the answers i received from Waveney, i thought it was fair to ask a couple people that i knew, about what they know about recycling and the disposal of rubbish, and whether they feel this one year challenge was something they could also do.


As Waveney and Matthew were completing the one year challenge, they decided to create the  Rubbish Free  website, where they have a platform to inform others who are wanting to do the same thing with tips and knowledge of how to be as successful as possible. They also opened up an online store where they sold products that were reusable and environmentally friendly.

Waveney and Matthew were then contacted by the Waikato Environment Centre who wanted to bring the ‘Rubbish Free’ brand on board. As well as the online store which the Environment Centre now runs, a walk in store at Five Cross Roads in Hamilton has also been opened.

If you are interested in any other work that the Waikato Environment Centre is involved in, check out their website via the link above and their Facebook page, as well as these other articles…

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