Buy in bulk

Rather than purchasing small quantities of household and office products, choose a brand that you like and support, and stock up on larger quantities. Buying in bulk usually works out to be cheaper, and has you running out to the shops less often to restock supplies. It is also more environmentally friendly in that bulk items often use less packaging.

Plan a weekly grocery shop

When we plan meals ahead of time, we can avoid the daily drive to the shops to pick up something for today’s dinner (that saves you fuel and food miles). Instead, decide what you would like to eat in the coming week, write up a shopping list, and do a large weekly shop. If you subscribe to a weekly organic food box delivery scheme, or if you shop for fresh fruit and veggies weekly at a farmers market, then you can cut your supermarket visits down further by making only a monthly visit to buy extra dried or tinned goods.

Eat only sustainable fish

When we eat only fish that are classified as ‘green’ by SASSI, we help keep endangered fish where they belong – in the ocean. When choosing fish in a restaurant or at the supermarket, text the name of the fish to 079 499 8795 and find out if it is classified as green (okay to eat), orange (avoid eating) or red (do not eat!) by the South African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI).

Join the organic movement

Stay healthy by eating fresh, organic foods. Organic foods are grown without the use of pesticides and chemical fertilisers – which means that they are better for your body and better for the environment. You can purchase organic food from some major food stores, from local organic food markets, and can even get food delivered directly to your door by joining an organic food box delivery scheme in your area. Organic food box delivery schemes have the added beneft of cutting the plastic out of grocery shopping. Food arrives weekly at your home in a re-usable wooden crate.

Purchase ethical footwear

A lot of shoes, particularly sneakers, are created with unsustainable practices using toxic chemicals during their production. On top of this, they are often made from synthetic materials that don’t biodegrade when the shoes inevitably end up in landfills. There’s no question that the fashion and footwear industries produce an inordinate amount of waste and harm to the environment, but what can we do about it? Firstly, when you’re buying a pair of shoes, make sure that they are a good investment and that you will be able to wear over and over again on many different occasions. Secondly, when you look at the tag of a pair of sneakers, look for natural fabrics that you recognize, like organic cotton, vegetable tanned leather, hemp, wool, Tencel, or Piñatex (made of pineapple leaves). Finally, shop local where you can to avoid contributing to packaging and airway fumes.