Hastings on Food

2015-10-22 06:00

SALUTATIONS litter bugs. The Earth’s resources are certainlynot infinite and we must leave the planet as we found it. Our children and their children will play a formidable role in accomplishing this and a good place to start is by understanding recycling.

Recycling dates back as far 400 BC where more waste was been utilised. Paper recycling was recorded in 1031 when Japanese shops sold re-pulped paper. There was also a time when beverage bottles were refundable and were used again at least 20 times. In World War II, recycling of everything was deemed patriotic in all countries involved in the conflict

Due to lack of infrastructure, recycling in South Africa, especially for households, can be a bit of a nuisance. There are insufficient collection points and those who do separate their rubbish generally have to take it to a municipal collection point or somewhere they can sell it.

Fortunately, larger businesses are generally quite clued up when it comes to waste disposal with the result that the recovery rates for some items are quite good while others need to drastically improve.

Tin cans make up some 69%, paper some 59%, glass 25% and plastic only being a measly 16%.

In effect it’s easy to be green, stop worrying about catastrophic environmental disasters that seem to never stop occurring around us and focus on the self, the immediate and you will find the best way to make a profound impact involves shopping.

Plastic shopping bags have an astonishingly momentous environmental impact for something so outwardly inoffensive.

Next time you go outside have a good look around and you will be devastated by the extent of plastic lying around

Once a plastic bag is in our environment it generates significant harm, blocking drains, and suffocating wildlife who might have misinterpreted it for a bag of food.

Regrettably this makes plastic bag pollution principally in marine locations, predominantly perilous, as surface creatures such as birds, whales, seals and turtles ingest the bags then perish from intestinal obstructions.

Distressingly it appears that plastic bags are the most common man-made item seen by sailors when at sea.

The largest issue with a plastic bag is that it does not readily break down in the environment as plastic bags have not been around that long (about 50 years) the speculation is that the time it will take to decompose ranges from 20 to 1000 years.

The frightening thing about this estimation is that the same bag can kill many times over, imagine a turtle ingests a plastic bag and dies, the turtle will decay much faster than the bag and could also be eaten by another predator, if it manages to decompose completely then the bag is simply released back into the environment to create complications for some other creature.

Bearing the decomposition time-frame in mind it literary means that plastic bags produced when invented could possibly still be out there, and that every additional bag we use compounds the problem as they will just continue to accumulate.

Simply put plastic bags should be banned with immediate effect as I believe if they are removed, individuals including myself would be forced to seek out greener alternatives.

In America alone only 0.6% of the 100 billion plastic bags used every year end up in landfills or as litter.

There are biodegradable plastic bags being produced which are initially made from agricultural waste yet have a consistency similar to regular polyethylene bags.

One good thing in South Africa is that since the implementation of charging for bags we have managed to reduce the usage by some 90% however, this still does not contend areas outside regular shops.

On the other hand, paper bags biodegrade in a matter of weeks and can also be used to make compost.

So instead of concentrating on what can be recycled, lets contemplate rather on what can’t be which include drinking glasses, light bulbs, and fluorescent tubes, laminated or waxy paper, punch confetti, carbon paper, stickers, Pyrex, ceramic plates and disposable batteries.

Rechargeable batteries are recyclable so it is advisable to purchase them from now on.

For best results when recycling it’s advisable to involve the community so collectively everyone will be part of the impact and will physically see the benefits, also would be wise to involve the schools to encourage the youth to have more insight.

So become knowledgeable, be more concerned, help formulate a greener transformation. Here at the Wild Coast we firmly believe in giving back what we take.

We have learnt to have a responsible approach towards the environment around us and how to best minimise our impact on it with our everyday actions.

Part of our aspiration and part of our passion has been to embrace recycling of all our by-products, saving us on raw materials and energy. We understand the importance of recycling as it protects the environment by generating lower greenhouse emissions.

As with every successful venture we started with baby steps, and set up collection points to begin, recycling as much as practically possible.

In the kitchens we began the collection of leftover food as well as paper, plastic, metal and glass, the non-consumables were sent to relative collection points while the food items were generated into compost.

We then embarked on starting a vegetable garden which has gone on to be quite a success story and shortly thereafter we began the cultivation of herbs for internal use as well.

From these humble beginnings we have moved to other projects such as extending the vegetable garden, creating different areas with guest access for the growing of herbs, revitalised the all-important mangrove colonies in our rivers and are currently looking at restoring the mussel beds along our shoreline.

Our current mission is to remain committed to enhancing our contribution to eco-friendly awareness as well as keeping it as green as possible.

Bearing this in mind we have embarked on shifting our entire room service operation to be served with cutlery and containers that are 100% totally bio degradable.

Principally we will be using containers made from bagasse which is the waste fiber left over after sugar cane has been pressed for its juice. It comes from a sustainable and renewable source as sugar re-grows in one year. It can also be used as tree free paper and is very compostable to promote soil quality in planting, it is very strong and holds its shape well, is water resistant, oil proof, microwave safe, freezer friendly, and is heat resistant to 100°C.

We will also utilise bio-plastics which is a plastic however, made purely from corn starch which is non-toxic and will biodegrade within a six-month period and not harm the environment.

We firmly believe that this action will have a profound effect in maintaining the balance as well as the general environment.

Keeping it green, keeping it clean.


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