Going Green with CatBoy, Gekko & EcoPack

This past month we had my sons’ birthday party. PJ Masks, of course. One Gekko, the other Catboy. As you do. And while I won’t bore with the details of all we did and all the fun we had, I tried my best (yet again) to make it as eco-friendly as possible.


And here’s how:

  1. We used foldable cardboard carry bags for the party packs. I got them from Wrap n Pack for R4 each. They looked cool (colour theme appropriate) and are easily recyclable.
  2. We made blue, green and red jelly in PLA containers for the kids. (A sleeve of 50 x 60ml PLA Containers: R28.50)
  3. We used porcelain cups for hot bevvies (even though we had EcoCups on hand). EcoCups 50 x 250ml Single Wall EcoCups: R58.70
  4. Compostable cutlery (100 x Compostable Teaspoons: R57.00)
  5. PLA bags with compostable spoons for sherbet for the kids. (100 x Tiny PLA Bags: R33.05)
  6. Bagasse plates for the adult snacks. (125 x 18cm Bagasse Plates: R109.70)

In case you have never heard of PLA, compostable cutlery or bagasse – I’ll break it down for you (ha ha – get it? Laaaame joke).

PLA: EcoPack’s PLA containers are manufactured from IngeoTM PLA, a polymer made from renewable plant starch resources, not oil. IngeoTM PLA requires 68% fewer fossil fuels resources to produce than traditional plastic. (In other words, PLA is biodegradable corn starch).

Compostable Cutlery: EcoPack’s disposable cutlery provides an environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional plastic food service utensils. Made from annually-renewable resources (PLA – polylactic acid), the EcoPack range of cutlery reduces your environmental impact, while providing all the functionality of traditional disposable plastic cutlery.

Bagasse: This chlorine-free range of disposable tableware is made from sugarcane pulp, and is a by-product of the sugar industry. EcoWare offers outstanding flexibility, and is 100% biodegradable and compostable.

All of these products can be purchased from EcoPack – an awesome company which provides a wide range of compostable and biodegradable food packaging. Find them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and online here.

R3000 Challenge: What we’ve been eating…

All you faithful readers – you’re keeping me going this month. There is so much accountability and interest in this 3k challenge, I’m so inspired. And whether we make it or not – lessons have already been learnt which have been so good for me.

For eg: Yesterday I popped into Checkers (a spare minute away from my kids) and I did a quick price check on some regular items. Some were more expensive, some were less. Saffas reading this, Checkers confuses me. Either way – I left with milk sachets, ginger, lemon (my winter drink of choice/necessity) and Bovril (for R39.90 the cheapest I’ve seen it). Total spent at Checkers R93.77.

Here are some tips and trick and what I’ve been eating:

I’ve fed my sweet tooth with the (massive) block of fondant that has been sitting in the freezer for over 2 years. I kid you not. It was taking up room, and with no spare budget for chocolate, ice cream, cookie dough etc. this was it. I’m glad to not have to relocate it after each new frozen food shop.


The boys have not had cracker bread this month. A quick simple snack – but at R21+ a box. Not this month. Also the juice boxes we spoke of? None of that either.

I’m limiting us to 1 big bulk bag of coffee beans and 1 tub of hot chocolate per month. That way we need to ration it all. Self control.

All in all, I’m much less impulsive in my shopping. Much less. We are not living on bread and butter (quite yet), but because I really don’t know what the end of the month will look like, I question my needs vs. wants.

This past Friday was Market Day at my Good Food Club. As I arrived to fetch my goodies, I saw this: a special. It is hard for me to refuse a special.

Yes friends, this is TOP quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil at such a good price. And I refused. Because it would’ve been too much for the budget. See my self control?

Saturday we scored huge. After a crazy busy morning with play dates and builders, we dropped everything (in my brother-in-law’s hands) to attended my cousins funeral. Hubby and I had barely eaten all day, so grabbed a handful of post-memorial snacks. Hungry again and on our way home, our brother and sister-in-law invited us to the Spur. We don’t frequent the Spur, but they had promised their kids a Spur treat and (super generously) offered money towards our bill. (How amazing!) My first thought was “for suuuure!” and my second was “oh wait, this is going to eat in the budget hard“. Pondering the situation we found ourselves in, hubby kept telling me to – quote – “tell your readers, we’ll take it from the Building Budget”. Pah, as if there is a building budget. 

So, because I feel so committed to you all and this challenge my conclusion, “right, it has to come out the 3k budget”. I was prepared to take the hit. Hospitality, remember? Long story short, our super generous family covered the whole bill, so Saturday was covered. Mahala.

Tips and tricks: find old sugary treats to keep you going and hint at family members to take you out.

WHAT WE’VE BEEN EATING:

Breakfast: Good ol’ fashion Jungle Oats, with a splash of milk and drizzle of honey. I have 3.5 kg’s of honey from my Good Food Club (paid for by this months budget). Brea has fancy yoghurt with some fruit and I usually have 7 cups of coffee. Or 1 cup, heated 7 times.

Lunch: My girlfriend and I joke about deconstructed meals.”I had a deconstructed fruit salad” she’ll say – when she means she had an apple, pear and orange, for eg. Ha. So I usually take a handful of paleo friendly goodies to work. First prize is always leftover dinner, otherwise I’ll grab some boiled eggs, butternut and avo, apple, carrot and cucumber sticks, cherry toms, banana etc.

Boys lunches: Always, a sandwich, cut up apple and cheery tomatoes. Their snacks are either raisins, dried mango (when on sale at my GFC), dates, sometimes nuts, boiled eggs, cut up cucumber, fruit etc. And water. All fresh. No prepackaged snacks.

Afternoon snack: Anything I can find in the fridge, tea (and fondant). Often fruit.

Dinner:

  • We’ve made 2 massive batches of soup and frozen them in jars (I buy glass jars from Bonpak).
  • We’ve had cheese, tomato and basil (home grown) toasted sarmies.
  • We’ve had chicken and cheese quesadillas with homemade salsa.
  • I cooked 500g of mince and added almost anything I could think of to beef if up (carrots, mushrooms, peppers, 2 cans tomatoes, and lots of lentils). I also divided the mince into jars and have frozen them for quick meals.
  • We’ve had cous cous with chicken (1 chicken breast), butternut, mint, feta and toasted almonds.
  • We’ve had chicken sausage (Elgin) on roasted sweet potato and rosemary chips.
  • Last night we had the pre-cooked frozen mince over sweet pot mash. Yum.

Soup recipes here: Sweet Pot & Bacon Soup and Roasted Butternut and Rosemary. 

Here was my initial meal plan idea – before this challenge was official. Friday night is movie night in our house so, hence the popcorn.

And as we stand, I’ve spent R1171.93 (EXCLUDING my Good Food Club food which should come in at around R1000ish). So I’m sitting on just under R2200.

How you doing? 🙂