Support companies committed to sustainability

Support companies that demonstrate that they care about people and planet, or are committed to causes that have a positive impact on the environment and humanity. If we reward these companies for their positive and sustainable initiatives (by using their products and services) we will encourage them to do even more, and their competitors will be penalised by losing market share. You hold ‘the power of the purse’ – you can reward or penalise.

Make your purchasing decisions count towards a healthy, sustainable environment and planet.

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Eat seasonally

Food that is in season is fresher, less expensive and tastier than food that has been kept in cold storage. Keeping fruit and vegetables in cold storage also uses more energy and therefore, generates more carbon emissions contributing to climate change.

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Protest against excessive packaging

When shopping, check out if what you are buying has more box than contents. Over-packaging is wasteful and dishonest. Where possible, avoid buying over-packaged items and complain (verbally or in writing) to producers and store managers about excessive packaging. Remember that retailers and producers need to meet the needs of the client – if enough people grumble, there will be a change.

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Host an eco-logical festive season dinner

Treat your friends and family to fresh seasonal and local fruits and vegetables rather than buying imported food this Christmas. There are lots of wonderful farmer’s markets that offer organic fruit and vegetables and organic and free range meat and eggs for your Christmas table.

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Give or get a Wild Card

The Wild Card is a renewable membership card that allows member’s unlimited access to all parks, reserves and resorts of the participating partners, for a reduced annual fee. Not only will the wild card get you and your family out into beautiful natural places in South Africa, but it also makes an excellent eco-logical gift. Phone any South African National Park office for further enquiries.

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Source re-used and recycled gifts

Think ‘re-use and recycle’ when sourcing your birthday and Festive Season gifts this year. Explore flea markets, antique jewellery and vintage clothing shops for interesting and unique gifts. Instead of being part of a thoughtless and wasteful society that demands all things to be new and shiny, why not give your loved one’s creative and original recycled or reused gifts that say ‘I love you, and I love the planet!’

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Give a gift that keeps on giving

When searching for a Christmas or birthday gift, consider purchasing the gift that keeps on giving. Conservation organisations such as Cheetah Outreach; Eagle Encounters; Johannesburg Zoo and SANCCOB ( all can be found in the Green Directory section of www.enviropaedia.com) allow members of the public to sponsor conservation by adopting an animal. Giving someone the gift of an animal sponsored in their name brings with it the satisfaction of being directly involved in nature conservation (without the responsibility of having to take an animal home with them!)

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Be proud to have a re-usable shopping bag

The reusable shopping bag is becoming the mark of an ethical, environmentally-conscious shopper. The fewer bags you purchase at the counter, the less bags end up cluttering up our rivers, oceans and landfills. Most of us have re-usable shopping bags – the trick is remembering to use them! A great way to remember your shopping bags is to keep one or two packets neatly twisted up in your handbag (or manbag), or to purchase some long-lasting bags that foldaway into a small, handbag friendly pack. Keep shopping bags in the boot of the car – and if you forget them, purchase a reusable bag at the counter rather than paying for new disposable bags.

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Avoid buying disposable items

Many disposable items are not recyclable or biodegradable. Rather than purchasing paper cups and plates for a party or an event, invest in washable and re-usable crockery and cutlery. Take your own coffee cup to work or your local coffee shop rather than using a new disposable cup each day.

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Find other uses for plastic shopping bags

If you do forget your reusable shopping bag at home and have to purchase plastic bags, then make sure you put those plastic bags to good use at home as bin liners and dog poop collectors. Invest in a plastic bag dispenser for your kitchen to encourage you to re-use all your shopping bags.

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