Monday, May 19, 2014

The Being-Green-Guide: #1 Food, Shopping and You

Being 'green' is more than just using plastic packaging as containers to mix your paint, or recycling your waste paper. It's also more than just trying to save water or fitting energy-saving lightbulbs in your home. It is also about living green in everything you are doing, such as walking or cycling to the shops and getting your statements and bills online, and changing your personal hygiene products.

Food is used as comfort and is used as main activity in social get-togethers, whether a pre-exhibition dinner, celebratory event or normal Sunday braai. More importantly, we also need food to survive. Whether you eat big meals, or graze in-between working in your studio, food is an integral part of our daily life, which makes it a good place to start when living sustainably. Food doesn’t need to be boring, limited or expensive to be sustainable.

FOOD #1.1 - Check the Packaging

Look at the packaging of the things you buy. Packaging forms a large part of living sustainably. Most of us are already aware that plastic is toxic for the environment, but so is polystyrene. Unfortunately these are used plentiful in vegetable packaging. Try to avoid these packaging by rather buying fresh produce from farmers markets or buy the fruits and vegetables packaged in boxes. Or join a vegetable box scheme, such as:
  • Ethical Co-Op has a veggie box as part of their very large selection of ethical and organic produce and products:
  • Havest of Hope delivers to many collection points in and around Cape Town:
  • Think Organic also delivers veggie boxes in the Cape Town area:
  • Wensleydale Farms have an organic vegetable box scheme with collection points in Johannesburg:
  • Have a look at the many initiatives or projects offered by the Organic Emporium in Bryanston:
  • In KZN, Earthmother Organic offers vegetable boxes at their market on Tuesdays. Alternatively you can collect a box after you phone in your order. The shop is located at 106 Bulwer Rd, Glenwood 031 202 1527
  • Timberlake, close to Sedgefield and Knysna, also has a box scheme and you can choose which veggies should go into your box:
  • Contact Dovehouse Farm Organics in Howick, for weekly veg boxes delivered to Howick and Hilton, and trading early Saturday morning at Pietermaritzburg farmers market., tel 033 330 3554 or 082 868 4517
When it comes to milk and drinks, if you can’t find box or glass bottled versions, then what you’re buying is probably not worth putting into your body anyway. Again, be wary of what glass and boxes are used, as some are recyclable but others are not. It would be best to look properly at the packaging before buying.
Also read Life in Balance's "10 ways to re-use garbage", and check out all our posts on this blog about art from waste.

This is one of a series of posts, written by Michelle Albinson, that deal with turning your lifestyle around to being as fully eco-friendly as possible in easy and do-able ways.

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