Zero Waste is not a new movement and luckily it continues to gain traction as people are becoming more aware of how they live, what they consume and the resulting impact.
Essentially the movement is about choosing to follow a sustainable and plastic-free lifestyle by purchasing, creating and consuming sustainable products that do not have a negative impact on the environment. It goes beyond the environmentally-responsible efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle as it starts with Refuse then moves on to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and ends with Rot.
The goal is ethical, economical, efficient and visionary and one of the primary purposes is to reduce trash sent to landfills and incinerators.
Zero Waste Ambassadors
Bea Johnson of Zero Waste Home hails from France and resides in California. She started the global zero waste movement in 2008. Today her family of four only generates a quart-size jar of waste per year.
Bea has made the lifestyle appealing and possible by sharing the significant benefits related to health, time and money. Bea recently completed a tour (one of many worldwide) in South Africa. As a junior sponsor, KURO-Bo was proud to contribute toward her flights that enabled her to participate in a series of national talks. Her talks inform people how they can simplify their lives by adopting a new approach to consumerism and conscious living.
She has inspired many others, including Colleen Black from Life Simply Lived, who lives in Ballito, South Africa. Her Zero Waste journey started in 2015. Colleen shares her thoughts, tips and awareness initiatives with people and address questions related to cleaning products, shopping behaviour and hygiene.
The movement has also led to the creation of incredible businesses that help make it easier to adopt the lifestyle, for example Plastic-Free HK in Hong Kong. They sell thoughtfully designed, ecologically crafted products, that encourage sustainable living and the reduction of plastic waste.
Original Unverpackt, Germany’s First Zero-Waste Supermarket, is another great example. The store is the brainchild of friends Sara Wolf and Milena Glimbovski.
Tips from Plastic-Free HK to Create Less Waste
Plastic-Free HK shares important information on their website’s blog, for example (a) ways to go plastic-free; (b) what you need in your shopping kit; and (c) how to create less waste in your bathroom. They even give you hummus recipes!
- As far as possible, refuse the stuff you don’t need; choose stainless steel, silicone, glass and bamboo packaging/containers, only use cloth/material shopping bags; try sustainable soap options; and drink more water instead of liquids in harmful packaging.
- Reusable produce bags, beeswax wrap, takeaway tins, reusable grocery bags and a large gusseted bag.
- Learn where to find things to accommodate the zero waste lifestyle, including toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, razors and shaving cream, soaps (hand, face and body), shampoo and conditioners, lotion, ear buds and facial rounds/cotton balls. Sometimes it’s just about opting for a product with different packaging. You can find out more here.
Why is this Movement Important?
Changing mindsets does not happen overnight, but it should be encouraged as much as possible for the safety of mankind, animals, plants and the survival of the planet.
We have to change the way we think and live if we all want to survive.
How Can You Join the Movement?
It is far from easy to go ‘cold turkey’ so it would make sense to allow efforts to grow over time for sustainability purposes. The more you ‘invest’ in this new lifestyle, the more meaningful it will become and even more opportunities for change will become evident. As you research the harmful effects of waste and discover the shocking statistics, it should drive initiatives to further reduce your contribution to waste.
By reducing personal waste you can:
(a) help reduce pollution caused by the creation of items that end up as waste and
(b) help reduce the pollution of methods used to destroy this waste.
More Quick and Easy Ways to Reduce Your Waste
- Make your own compost
- Find and buy tubeless toilet paper
- Buy second-hand items where possible
- Drop off old clothes at a textile recycling box
- Replace paper towel with rags created from old t-shirts
- Opt for electronic subscriptions, statements and notifications where possible
- If you do receive junk mail, repurpose envelopes and paper for lists, drawings etc.
- Keep your communication electronic: invites, holiday cards, thank you cards, etc.
- Say no to unnecessary plastic, packaging and paper: straws, napkins, bags, etc.
- Try to use your local library and/or borrow reading material from friends
- Use your phone apps for lists, discounts/rewards and reminders
- Take material bags and buy fresh produce at farmers markets
- Buy bags and containers you can reuse: material, glass, etc.
- Where possible, take your own containers and buy in bulk
How KURO-Bō Plays its Part in the Zero Waste Movement
KURO-Bō Activated Charcoal is a water filter that is:
- All natural and eco-friendly
- Reusable for up to 3 months
- Offered in biodegradable packaging
- Recyclable in many eco-friendly and versatile ways
There are also several exciting, new zero-waste stores that have opened, or are soon to be opening, in Cape Town. KURO-Bō is delighted to be stocked in three:
- The Wild & Waste-Free Co-Op, Glencairn, Cape Town
- Nude Foods, Cape Town City Centre
- Shop Zero, Cape Town City Centre
We all have the power to make conscious purchasing decisions and every positive action makes a difference. Sharing your knowledge also goes a long way in promoting awareness and understanding.
To get in touch, please fill in our Contact form here.