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:
- 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.
- We made blue, green and red jelly in PLA containers for the kids. (A sleeve of 50 x 60ml PLA Containers: R28.50)
- We used porcelain cups for hot bevvies (even though we had EcoCups on hand). EcoCups 50 x 250ml Single Wall EcoCups: R58.70
- Compostable cutlery (100 x Compostable Teaspoons: R57.00)
- PLA bags with compostable spoons for sherbet for the kids. (100 x Tiny PLA Bags: R33.05)
- 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.
We can’t do everything (yeeeowzers do I know it) but we can do something and so I’ve compiled a short, punchy and (hopefully highly) convicting list of my top 5 easy peasy ways you and your family can move towards a greener lifestyle.
- Use reusable shopping bags. Every.time.you.go.to.the.shops. Keep them in your car, in your hand/gym bag, and at the office. Get those cute ones that fold up. And for goodness sake, the reusable bags can be bought AT THE TILL of most grocery stores so you really have no excuse.
- Buy a long term water bottle or travel mug. Not only will this encourage you to drink more water, but instead of buying a bottle each time, you can refill the one you have which will save you money and unnecessary waste. If you feel weird handing your travel mug to the barista at your fave coffee spot, then why not try find coffee shops that use decompostable and biodegradable cups. You vote with your money, don’t forget.
- Turn off the lights. ESKOM is already helping us out in this regard but if you leave a room, get into the habit of switching off the lights when you do. Get solar lights for your garden, or LED, or energy savers. I’ve gotten into the habit of leaving solar lights on in the kids room so they’re never in the dark, and the bedroom light isn’t on for hours in the evenings.
- Grow your own food. Farm to table – it really doesn’t get much better. Fruits, veggies, leaves, herbs. This is not as hard as people think and just requires a little forethought. Make a space in the garden and get on it. Start small. Involve your family, eat from the earth.
- Reduce, reuse, repair, recycle (and compost). So many people think this is such a shlep (which it isn’t), and it eats away at their guilty conscience (which it doesn’t need to). Really. Get a big visually pleasing storage-something-or-other and put it in your kitchen and throw all your clean recyclables into it. Take it to your nearest depot or school, or you can contact certain companies to come collect (for a small fee). Throw your wet waste into a tub and make compost or Bokashi juice for your garden. Once you start thinking along these lines and form a habit, you’ll never go back.
The beautiful thing about each of these ways of going greener is that they save you money! Repairing something instead of buying new, refilling a water bottle, growing your own food, and lowering your electricity bill.
Protect the earth, improve your health and save money. That sounds pretty darn ideal to me.