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practical ways to go green in your daily life

Recycling orange bags Durban

I am all about being green and being an environmentally conscious citizen on this earth and also passing that on to my daughter is quite important to me, but I absolutely can’t get into the all or nothing approach of the recycling/being green message that we are constantly bombarded with. I don’t believe that being environmentally conscious is a one size fits all or is it an all or nothing approach. Every bit that you do counts, you must do the actions that fit into your life and being consistent with it is the most important part. So instead of all of us cutting out the use of plastic straws, let us rather focus on each doing what we can.

Here are some of the ways that I am contributing positively to the environment (and you can too)

Separating our household waste and recyclables
We’ve been doing this since moving to our new place. We make sure to separate our general household waste into: paper/plastic, glass/tins and general household waste. Fortunately for us our municipality makes this easy by providing different coloured bags for recycling. The next plan is to make a composting heap from all the food waste but we’re not there yet.

Using reusable pads
I’ve been on and off over the years when it comes to using sustainable menstrual managment products but for the last few months I have been super consistent. I’ve written before about my first time experience with reusable pads and I’ve made the switch (once more) to the menstrual cup. However I need to be cognisant of the amount of water I use to wash the pads so that I’m not negating the gains by using excess water.

Not buying plastic shopping bags
If you watch my vlogs you will see that I always bring my reuseable bags whenever I go shopping, I despise buying plastic shopping bags. Not only are they expensive but they take up so much space in the cupboard! In shops where you don’t buy your bags, you can refuse a bag and you can simply put your items in your handbag.

I shared this post just to highlight that being green / environmental is not an all or nothing affair, if you do what fits into your lifestyle you’ll more likely be consistent with it.

**As a note, when I was in Mombasa in November I learnt that single use plastic bags are banned in Kenya, all the plastic that is used there is of the recyclable kind. Go Kenya!!

What is your favourite way of being environmentally conscious?

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3 Comments

  1. February 3, 2020 / 13:15

    I agree with you that being a conscious consumer and adopting an eco-friendly lifestyle does not have to take on the ‘all or nothing’ approach. Some of us are over the reusing of ice cream tubs as skaftins, so recycling offers a convenient and guilt-free disposal of such packaging. The most sustainable habits I’ve adopted as an environmentally-conscious consumer include reusing any plastic bags that I may have *guiltily* bought as garbage bags, recycling glass packaging (from coffee, ready-made beetroot salads etc.), adopting a zero waste approach to food and cosmetics (shopping my stash!). Any food that has gone stale or is leftover and unusable becomes food for the birds that frequent my mother’s garden.

    • Lungi
      Author
      February 6, 2020 / 09:53

      Those are wonderful ideas Vuyelwa! Especially the bird food ☺️ – I can imagine that they really appreciate it!

  2. February 10, 2020 / 16:35

    I remember when they first started selling plastic bags, you could not find a single (new) plastic bag in our home, other than bread bags, which we always reused for other stuff. NGL, i’m quite negligent about that little gesture now. We do, however, keep izigubhu for people who recycle for a living.

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