Between 2017 and 2018, approximately 1 238 474 tonnes of waste were disposed of at Pikitup’s landfill sites.
A certain amount of waste is normal, but we live in a throwaway culture where we buy too much and reuse too little.
In Europe, America and Asia, some countries have a “pay as you throw” system, where you pay per kilogram of trash you put out.
This forces people to think about what they’re disposing of. Here are four ways to reduce the amount of garbage you’re generating:
1. Repair it
All around Europe, Repair Cafés are springing up.
This is where people get together to fix their broken items, instead of throwing them away.
From faulty vacuum cleaners to dead Christmas lights, broken blenders to stripped zips on clothes – why are we throwing these things out instead of fixing them?
South Africa got its first Repair Café last year; email email@example.com to find out more.
2. Reuse it
Use fabric napkins instead of paper napkins or paper towels. Pack your lunch instead of buying that Woolworths ready-meal.
Wash and reuse ziplock bags. Use a washcloth instead of a disposable face wipe.
Use cloth nappies for your baby, at least when you are at home.
Use a menstrual cup or washable fabric pads.
It sounds small, but all these things make a big difference in the long run.
3. Say no to packaging
Getting a food delivery? Tell them you don’t need condiments and plastic cutlery.
You’ve got all of it at home, so why take more?
Going to the store? Pack your own muslin bags for when you’re buying loose fruits and vegetables.
And, it goes without saying, pack all your shopping in a fabric bag instead of buying plastic packets.
Ditch plastic straws for metal straws, or use no straw at all.
4. Quite simply, use less
South Africa is a capitalist country, and marketing has a massive effect on us.
The urge to buy, buy and buy is sometimes overwhelming. But the truth is, you probably don’t need everything you’re buying.
Mindful shopping should become a way of life. Buy durable and useful items.
Plan your shopping better so you’re not throwing out spoilt food each week.
Resist impulse buys and cheap, plastic goods. You’re not only helping the environment, you’re taking a stand against consumerism.