A short guide to DIY low-waste living ideas

Hello hi, it’s me.

And I’m back again talking about low-impact living things. So, I was supposed to take part in #lowimpact30 in May. But all hell broke loose from around April to end of May for me: bus strike, flat move, new job and court case. I really couldn’t be bothered to stick to a challenge when it felt like my life was falling apart.  But I wanted to talk about what I’ve done re: zero-waste.

(Sidenote: there are plenty of people who require plastic items as mobility aids. If you’re an environmentalist who can’t wrap your head around that, or how class and race impact the decisions people have to make – well, then you might want to re-evaluate your activism. Bloop.)

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Man, the minute I started working a “real” job, I cultivated a coffee habit.  I don’t start my day without it anymore, whether it’s bought or made in the office. All those coffees add up to hella money and a lot of waste. Like a lot. Even if you’re going to a shop that has recyclable coffee cups, they need to decompose, sweetie. So the first thing I did was bring along a reusable travel cup to work for coffee runs. Those things are like R60 and honestly it’s the easiest swop out.

Buy reusable bags for your veggies

Food shopping can be a drag but those little plastic things are not great for the environment. It’s the most accessible, but if you can swop them out, you should. I bought these reusable bags from Faithful to Nature last year. I try and use it when I go shopping for food.

Invest in some tote bags

I had a few old tote bags lying around, some gifted by friends and others that I got free from work events. I try and take at least one with me in case I have to go shopping after work or whatever. I find it can be hard to actually *remember* that you have one of these with you, so keep it in a visible place.

Get a water bottle

Cape Town is in the midst of a water crisis, so honestly it does seem easier to just buy plastic bottled water. If you can swop out that plastic for something sustainable and reusable, please do. I had a water bottle from Typo and well, it broke – so I’m not doing that again. I’m keeping an eye out for other options though. Stay hydrated and don’t waste water, folks.

Bring your own lunch to work

A nice way to save money and use your own lunch boxes. The easiest way to produce less waste is to have an active role in prepping, storing and making your food. A lot of #zerowaste gals are on about those steel lunch boxes, but honestly just grab a Tupperware if that’s what you have.

Let me know if this helps and if you’re in the midst of #NoSpendWeek?

-A

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