We are living in an age defined by our climate crisis. A crisis which many classify as an existential threat to our society. But, individuals frequently feel powerless as to what impact they can have, often asking the question; "What difference can I make?".
Below is our compilation of the top six ways to reduce your impact and help create a better
ONE - Refuse
Learn how to say no.
- Say no to a plastic straw
- Say no to a takeaway cup
- Say no to a plastic bag
Single-use plastics are polluting our seas and killing our wildlife. We are poisoning ourselves and our planet through the constant creation and consumption of single-use plastics. Opt-out of these items whenever possible by having a reusable option on your person.
TWO - Reduce
We've all heard of fast-fashion and how rampant consumerism is destroying our planet (and one of the leading causes of child labour).
We as a society are constantly trying to 'keep up' with the latest trends. This essentially involves buying items we don’t actually need, to use only for the length of that trend or until something newer comes out. Does Apple really need to release a new iPhone every 6-months?
We need to reset our thinking and learn how to distinguish needs from wants. Be mindful about where your purchase comes from and how it is made. Local is lekker, so buy local. Buy from companies which are committed to quality and offer extensive warranties and guarantees.
THREE - Reuse
Increasing the lifespan of a purchased product is an incredible weapon in the fight against climate change. There are three broadly defined ways in which to reuse products:
- Look after the products you have. Every time you wear a t-shirt or pair of shoes, you are essentially re-using that item. The longer an item works for, the longer you will keep re-using it and the less often you will need to buy a replacement.
- When an item gets damaged, repair rather than replace. Often, only a small fraction of the item is scuffed or broken. Repairing an item uses far fewer resources than replacing it.
- Get creative and upcycle your products. Turn old jeans into a book cover, a broken tea-cup into a succulent-pot and your tatty towel into a dozen floor cloths. If you're looking for inspo, check out Sealand - we consider them to be the Patagonia of Cape Town.
FOUR - Rot
Do you know how to make a compost heap? If not, now is the time to learn. Creating compost and disposing of organic matter and food waste in this way is incredibly beneficial to the planet. Did you know that compost and soil are some of the best stores of carbon dioxides on the planet?
If you have a garden, home-made compost can revitalise your flowers and bushes. If not, compost can be dropped off at your local compost facility, a community garden or a farmers market where facilities should be available. The less 'waste' that enters our landfills the better.
FIVE - Replenish
Eat less meat and more vegetables. Meat production is one of the leading causes of global warming, species extinction, ocean dead-zones and even disease.
According to a recent study, going vegan is the biggest lifestyle change an individual can make to reduce their impact on the earth. In fact, the studies lead author actually turned vegan after analyzing data from nearly 40 000 farms in 119 countries.
SIX - Recycle
Recycle, recycle, recycle! When you can't refuse, reuse or compost, recycling is your last resort. By recycling materials appropriately - you not only reduce the need for virgin/raw materials in the production process, but you also create local jobs.
When recycling, it is important to:
- reduce the number of trips you take to the facility
- pre-sort your recycled material
- rinse off any food or chemical waste.
- make sure you visit a professional facility
While we advocate recycling as an option to reduce your impact, it falls last on our list for a very good purpose. There is a reason the saying goes: reduce, reuse, recycle. In terms of environmental impact, the first two far outshine recycling in their efficacy to make a difference.
If you've never recycled before, it is important to learn how to separate recycling materials, how to recycle plastic and how to recycle paper.
These 6 simple guidelines act as global warming solutions. They will help you lighten your load on mother earth and begin turning you into a zero-waste citizen/superhero. Lastly, don't forget to share the love with friends and family and educate them on how to reduce their carbon footprint. Knowledge is power.
We hope you enjoyed our blog post!