Reduce Reuse Recycle In Action

I’m sure most of you know the phrase ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ (Do you fully understand it? Wikipedia doesn’t seem too confident!). Our town, Raglan, is renowned for living with this as a core value thanks to Xtreme waste amongst others. Us at PiwiWiwi try to live in this way too.

When converting our vans to PiwiWiwi spec we used materials that many people would have called waste. They are:

Strap Buckle Covers

Instead of buying new, we bought old wetsuits & cut them up to make these neoprene guards.

Buckle Cover made from Old Wetsuit


We needed a small shelf for shortboards to rest on when stored in our van. We used the old bed boards (which were pretty useless as beds) as our raw materials for these shelves.

Board Shelf made from Scrap Wood

Storage Enclosure

Our vans now have a boxed-in area high in the back which holds two good-sized boxes for better storage & easy access. As with the shelves, we used the old bed boards as our material here.

Storage Area made from Scrap Wood

Cable tidy / unplug reminder

The 240v cable was giving us two problems: 1 It was a mess just kicking about loose in a locker & 2 Its far too easy to drive off while still plugged in to a site’s power supply potentially causing lots of damage. Adressing both these issues we made a cable tidy with a warning to unplug on it. When you unwind the cable you put the tidy on the driver’s seat. This makes it far less likely you’ll hop in & drive off taking half the campsite with you! The material for this was some aluminum coated plastic, an offcut from our local signwriter & otherwise destined for landfill.

Cable Tidy & Warning Sign made from 'Waste'
Cable Tidy & Warning Sign made from 'Waste'

Advertising sign

To really let people know we’re in business in Raglan we made a big sign for the side window. This is just an old real estate sign that having sold one plot of land was going to sit in a hole in the ground for a hundred years or so. We cut it down to size, stuck some letters on it & gave it a second life. In fact, it still says ‘Ray White’ on the back so maybe we should charge them some advertising fees?!

Constructing the Reused Sign

Finished Reused Sign in Coromandel

Reused Sign from the inside


Finally for now, some straps with Velcro on were getting worn out. Rather than replace the whole strap we unpicked & sewed new Velcro on. Time consuming maybe, but the result is as good as new & waste reducing definitely!

Replaced Velcro on Strap
Replaced Velcro on Strap

Of course there’s a few more things we’ve done around the house (like a wetsuit dryer made from old CPU fans & coat-hangers) but that’s not really relevant here!

Wetsuit Dryer From old CPU Fans & 18V Battery

A fantastic light shade in the brilliant’Luke’s Kitchen’ Pizza Shack, Kuaotunu, Coromandel
Reused Silverware Lampshade

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