Sustainable Choices

Being a sustainable business means making sustainable choices

Building Commonsense Organics from the ground (or garden) up means we have made a lot of decisions about the way we work, build, create and maintain our stores. The following information may be helpful as a guide to making more sustainable choices in your home or business.

  • we use no native New Zealand timbers or other hard woods. Our counters are made of plantation eucalyptus and our shelving is pine. We use Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood.
  • we specify sustainable materials for all our electrical, building and painting requirements.
  • we are actively seeking to minimize our use of plastic as a packaging material. We charge for plastic and paper bags to discourage their use and we offer a wide selection of re-usable bags. 
  • all our printing is done on recycled paper or card, using the most environmentally sustainable inks and methods.
  • we reuse any paper that is only printed on one side.
  • we turn off all lights and all computers (except the server and back up computer) at night.
  • our materials for pest control are approved by BioGro.


Being a sustainable business means minimising waste and being productive with what we have left.

Commonsense Organics is a retail leader in recycling.

An external consultant measures the use of waste in our stores and the result is included in our sustainability reports.

  • In 2009 our waste weighed 54,711kg. 
  • 46% of this was organic waste which is all reused.
  • 38% was plastic, paper, cardboard, glass and cans which is all recycled.
  • Only 16% of our rubbish went to the landfill!
  • We recycle 84% of our waste and only sent 8.8 tonnes to the landfill in 2010.


Packaging is a huge issue for our landfills

We reduce packaging where possible and will take back recycled packaging on some products. You as the consumer have immense power when it comes to purchasing products with good packaging.

The Unpackit crew have done an awesome job of demystifying packaging. In the 2011 Unpackit Packaging Awards they recommended rating your chosen packaging by asking these 5 simple questions:

  1. is it minimal?
  2. Is it well-designed?
  3. Is it reuseable over and over again?
  4. Is it recyclable or home compostable?
  5. Is it clearly and accurately labelled?


Plastic shopping bags are not sustainable

We are pioneers in reducing the use of plastic in our stores. We have a wide selection of reusable shopping bags - including our own Commonsense bag made out of fair trade organic cotton. We provide recycled plastic bags at the counter (though the supply of these is reducing as customers use less plastic bags) and we usually have a good supply of boxes too.

Invest in a reusable bag such as the fair trade, organic, Commonsense Organics cloth shopping bag, or Envirosax bag.


Coffee Cups

Help to reduce the amount of waste that goes into the landfill by using a reuseable takeaway coffee cup.  These are also perfect for grabbing an organic soup from our stores!


Water Bottles

Single-use plastic water bottles are a huge source of waste, and can be very harmful to the environment when not recycled.  We have some great reuseable water bottles for sale which prevent landfill, save you money, and are BPA free.


Food Containers and Wraps

Support your own health and the planet by using safe, reuseable food containers and wraps.  Our range is great for storage at home and on the go (for kids and adults alike!)


Discover your carbon footprint and tips on how to reduce it here: