I’m sure by now you are well aware of the latest eco friendly trend: waste free living.
I stumbled across it last year through one of my favourite web series called Try Living With Lucie over on Refinery29‘s YouTube channel where Lucie Fink undertakes all kinds of eclectic challenges and films herself doing it for five days. In her waste free, zero plastic segment, she interviewed Lauren Singer who is known for her blog, Trash is for Tossers, and the fact that she can fit three years’ trash in one (very) small mason jar. She recently also launched a package free store in New York City.
Lauren’s tips are extremely simple and a breeze to incorporate into your daily life. I have adapted these tips myself and I can actually notice that we don’t need to take the garbage out as often as usual because we’ve been making use of less packaging, wasting less, use less plastic and just overall junk. But let’s get into the tips:
Cut to the chase
We all know what the inside of our handbags can look like… So adding cutlery and a glass mason jar to the mix can be a nightmare. However, I cleared out my bag and keep a clean metal knife, fork and teaspoon in one of the side pockets. I have noticed that I don’t tend to buy many readymade meals that require me to use plastic utensils but you know, just in case. For Mother Nature.
I also have an Ecoffee Cup made from bamboo that I ordered on Faithful to Nature that goes everywhere with me. I’m a complete coffee addict and I’ve used this cup to death. It was well worth the investment. And knowing that I won’t be contributing to the 2.5 billion Styrofoam cups that end up in landfills every year (Independent, 2017) makes me a happy chappy. Waste free 2018 for the win!
The last straw
When we dine out I now have my drinks without straws. I was extremely excited when I saw this notice from Ocean Basket:
Well done guys! I hope other businesses and restaurants follow suit soon.
Get on your soapbox
I now use soap instead of shower gel. Before you knock it, soap has come a long from when we were kids and gifted our dads terrible soap-on-a-rope which can dry out the Vaal Dam. Soap comes in much less packaging and often it comes in a tiny cardboard box that can easily decompose.
Compost is king
My father-in-law is currently building an earthworm box for us. I already cleared a space in the garage and for the time being I’m tossing any compostable scraps into the garden. Luckily Banjo and Mushu don’t have a particular love for old apples so they leave it all for the ants and other bugs to feast on.
Brush your teeth…
…with bamboo. I switched out my plastic toothbrush for an eco friendly bamboo one. Did you know that ALL toothbrushes you’ve ever used in your life are still around? With the bamboo one, the fibres are plastic but the handle will completely decompose once you toss it out. You can order yours here.
Tote bags for a totes clean environment
You can stock up on reusable shopping bags at Woolworths, Checkers or Pick n Pay to ensure you don’t need to buy plastic bags when doing your grocery shopping. I keep a couple in my car so that I can’t use the excuse that I forget them at home.
With all of the above said, I do feel that South Africa still has a long way to go. There are companies that are embracing less waste and plastic such as Ocean Basket, Wellness Warehouse and Faithful to Nature but the majority still need to come to the party. However, do what you can to ensure we and our future grandkids have a clean ocean and environment to look forward to.
Share your tips in the comments!