Going plastic-free can be a surprising journey! With the effects of global warming on the rise and the ever-growing build-up of non-biodegradable waste, it is increasingly imperative that we each try our best to make more environmentally conscious choices. To help us reduce our carbon footprint, Benn van der Westhuizen has put together a guide spotlighting small, effortless yet effective plastic-free changes which you can make to lend mother nature a helping hand.
DITCH YOUR PLASTIC TOOTHBRUSH FOR A BIODEGRADABLE VERSION FROM SIMPLY BAMBOO
It’s estimated that 3.6 billion plastic toothbrushes are discarded each year, with as many as 80% of these ending up in the sea, where they can take up to 1000 years to decompose.
Founded in November 2017, Simply Bamboo is getting its teeth into this problem, one household at a time. Its bamboo toothbrushes have a naturally antibacterial, water-resistant, 100% biodegradable, and ergonomic design which provides a simple and sustainable alternative to conventional toothbrushes.
Dental care is only the beginning for Simply Bamboo, which plans to expand to providing eco-friendly and affordable alternatives to as many everyday products as they can until we are all doing our bit to help the environment.
Where to get it: Simply Bamboo products are available via a range of outlets across South Africa including their online store and Faithful to Nature, as well as a few physical local retailers such as Fresh Earth in Emmarentia and Nap in Sandton.
SAY GOODBYE TO PLASTIC WATER BOTTLES WITH KURO-Bō’S Gō-ECō BOTTLE & KURō Bō KōINS
Another way to decrease your plastic footprint is to banish plastic water bottles from your life! With KURO-Bo’s eco-concious and health beneficial traditional filters and water bottles, you’ll never have to compromise your health with dodgy tap water, or put a strain on your budget with store-bought water ever again. KURO-Bō’s savvy solution to plastic water bottle reduction comes in the form of their reuseable, eco-friendly and sleek 1 Litre Gō -Ecō glass water bottles.
This pioneering powerhouse prides itself on a unique technology which has been used for centuries in Japan. KURO-Bō Sticks and Kōins are nature’s own toxin magnet – a 100% natural, recyclable and plastic-free filter made of pure activated charcoal that is scientifically proven to purify (remove heavy metals and chemicals), mineralise, improve taste and odour (removes chlorine), remove bacteria and balance acidic pH.
Where to get it: KURO-Bō’s products are available on their online store, as well as at selected local stores. If you’re in Joburg, you can find them at any Dis-Chem, Wellness Warehouse, Spar and Jackon’s Real Food Market and Fruits & Roots outlets. And if you’re out in Pretoria, find them at any of the 5 Wellness Warhouse stores.
RE-THINK PLASTIC STRAWS WITH WELLNESS WAREHOUSE’S GLASS & BAMBOO STRAWS
The next time you take sip of your favourite drink, do so with a guilt-free conscience by opting for a reusable glass or bamboo straw. South Africa’s leading health retailer, Wellness Warehouse is doing its part in ending the distribution of plastic straws by providing safe, eco-friendly alternatives – made with 100% biodegradable ingredients, ensuring that no turtles will be harmed.
For a lifetime guarantee of guilt-free sipping, the Stream straw is a proudly-South African handcrafted straw made of out of borosilicate glass, rendering it extremely durable and resistant to thermal shock, as well as dishwasher friendly. Plus the fabric cases makes an excellent case for eco-concious chicness. Or if you’re looking for something straight from nature, you could opt for the the EcoPlanet Bamboo Straw, priced at R25. Approximately 20cm in length, it is made from selectively harvested and handcrafted bamboo, and is an ideal alternative to the conventional plastic straw.
In addition, Wellness Warehouse offers everything you need to live life well under one roof. Visit one of their 28 branches nationwide or shop online to stock up on quality health supplements, organic and natural beauty products, real foods, eco home products and natural baby care, all offered with personal service and a 360° approach to health.
Where to get it: Wellness Warehouse products can be found on their online store, as well as at their 28 stores nationwide. Be sure to pop in at their newly launched UME Cafe in Wellness Warehouse Clearwater Mall, a collaborative effort with Osumo’s Megan Hussey. This hotspot serves up a variety of wholesome, nutritious and sustainable cuisine.
UPDATE YOUR YOGA ACCESSORIES WITH EARTH WARRIOR™’S CORK COLLECTION
Yoga might be great for the mind, body and soul, but traditional PVC yoga mats are not. Riddled with toxic chemicals and hazardous to the environment, Earth Warrior™ has taken it upon themselves to provide an eco-friendly alternative yoga mat for those health and planet conscious yogis out there.
The Earth Mat is Earth Warrior™’s bestselling product, and is made out of cork and natural rubber – leaving it free of chemical nasties, PVC, phthalates and plastic. It’s ideal for all types of pilates and yoga, and requires no break-in period (lays out flat every time with no curly edges). The cork surface also resists mould, mildew, bacteria and odours, and repels dust (perfect for allergy sufferers). To top it all off, the cork texture feels amazing underfoot, is non-slip and gets easier to grip when wet – making them ideal for those with sweaty hands and feet, as well as for those who practice hot and non-hot yoga.
Earth Warrior™’s proudly South African cork collection includes yoga blocks, cotton yoga straps and Jute and cotton straw pouches.
Where to get it: Earth Warrior™ products can be found via their online store, as well as through Faithful to Nature. Physical stockists include The Yoga Republic and Pie & Lattes / Pilates studio & health bar.
REFUSE SINGLE-USE FRUIT & VEGETABLE BAGS WITH FRESHBAG’S NEW REUSABLE NYLON MESH BAGS
With landfills overflowing and the ocean being littered with plastic, FreshBag offers its customers a nifty way to reduce this hazardous practice. This local manufacturer, driven by their unique ethical manifesto, proposes switching out single-use lightweight plastic bags with their reusable nylon mesh variety.
Perfect for fresh produce and dry goods, these lightweight bags with a colourful saddle stitched ribbon provide an environmentally-friendly way to go about those regular grocery shopping trips. The next time you’re standing in the fresh produce aisle, there will be no need to even glance over at the roll of single-use plastic bags just waiting to clog up our seas.
Where to get it: You can order FreshBag products via their website and Faithful to Nature, as well as at select physical stockists: Jackson’s Real Food Market, Farm Table, Salvation Deli and Service Station Café.