4 ways to throw away less

2019-06-16 00:01

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 to find out more.

Vector flat cartoon illustration

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 it Use fabric napkins instead of paper napkins or paper towels. Pack your lunch instead of buying that Woolworths ready-meal.

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.

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

May 24 2020