With single-use plastics being discarded at an alarming rate, the world’s landfills are quite literally at maximum capacity. It’s reported that a million plastic bottles are bought every minute worldwide and the sad reality of this is that these will likely end up in a landfill. In this age of conscious consumption, where people are thinking more about where their food comes from and – thankfully – things like recycling, the future is looking greener than ever.
But the grim reality is that recycling is simply not enough anymore and we as those mindful consumers need to take it one step further and eliminate plastic as best we can. Luckily, some smart environmentally-aware people have created some nifty green products to make becoming waste-free that much easier.
Reusable Coffee Pods
It is common knowledge that single-serve aluminium coffee pods are a scourge on the environment. They’re not easily and widely recycled, which means that a huge number simply end up as pollution. Enter Pod Express, a local company that specialises in reusable, BPA-plastic free, coffee pods. All you need is your ground coffee. You simply place your grounds into the pod, tamp it down and cover it with the provided lid – then you use it as normal in your coffee pod machine.
Even for those of us who remember to take the reusable shopping bag, a small trip to the shops can result in a lot of single-use plastic. Nude Foods is a new store in Cape Town that prides itself on being completely plastic- and waste-free. This means you use their reusable bags and containers (or bring your own) and help yourself to as much of something as you want. It’s then weighed and you pay for exactly the amount.
Of all the useless plastic inventions, straws are the worst. They are literally used for one thing and one thing only, to make drinking easier, and are then discarded. As with most plastics, straws are mostly not recycled and are one of the most common things to end up in our oceans. Bamboo straws have been a revelation in this sense. Made from highly renewable sources, they are the much earth-friendlier option. WeCareCollective is a local company that sells these straws to the public as well as restaurants and bars who are looking to keep their plastic consumption to a minimum.
If you still think caring about the environment is for tree-hugging hippies, think again. These companies show that being conscious is cool and can be very chic, and none more chic than these ‘green’ houses built by a local company in Cape Town. The buildings are based off a model that are 1 – 4 bedroomed houses, which are built off-site and then placed on a specific piece of land. The production process cuts out any excess waste and the houses are made using sustainable and renewable materials.