UPDATE: Zero Waste Home – South Africa Tour 2017

Bea Johnson of Zero Waste Home is the guru of the Zero Waste lifestyle. She is inspiring people around the world by sharing her journey through social media and being invited to give talks around the world. She has given 100+ speeches in 20+ countries on 5 continents, since 2011. She has spoken at The European Parliament, United Nations, Google, Adobe and more.

So imagine my joy when she asked if I would be interested in helping getting her to South Africa in May! Especially as she is the one who inspired me to start my journey.


Photo taken from Zero Waste Home.com

If you or your company are interested in assisting with sponsoring, making a donation towards the cost, or even hosting a talk, but would like any further information, please do get in touch with me to chat about it. You can reach me on mrscolleenblack@gmail.com.

Once we have venues confirmed, an event page will be created for each location, and all sponsors will be promoted via these pages. In the meanwhile, please express your interest on the event page on Facebook by selecting “Interested” or “Going”.

Our major sponsors are EcoJarz and Faithful to Nature.  We also have support from Ecoffee Cup SA and KURO-Bō Activated Charcoal.

Thank you to our organisers – Eco Atlas, Rethink the Bag / Two Oceans Aquarium and Food & Trees for Africa.

Zero Waste Home Tour SA Cover

5th May – Cape Town – Two Oceans Aquarium (Organiser: Rethink the Bag)
6th May – Plettenberg Bag – Beacon Island Resort (Organiser: Eco Atlas)
8th May – Durban – venue to be confirmed (Organiser:Food & Trees for Africa)
9th May – Johannesburg – venue to be confirmed (Organiser:Food & Trees for Africa)

Please do help spread the word by sharing this info and reaching out to your contacts so that we can make this a reality! Invite your friends, tag them, share this post, phone your friends, talk to relevant businesses, do whatever it takes!
If you would like to support this, you or your business can make a pledge on our crowdfunder on ThundaFund.







Bulk buy vinegar in South Africa

vinegarI am doing my best to buy our groceries without single use packaging, which can be tricky, but as I look around it is getting easier and easier.

I use a lot of vinegar and have been buying it in the usual 2 liter plastic bottle from Pick n Pay or Checkers, at about R18-R20 depending on specials.Which price wise, is not bad at all, but my main irritation was all the plastic and shopping trips.  I only grocery shop about every two weeks, except for my milk which I get from a little local shop twice a week.

I was just over it and wanted to find a place where I could fill up my own jar (unlikely in SA) or buy in bigger quantities.  One Google search for “bulk vinegar south africa” and there it was!

Cecil Vinegar Works can be found in Alrode, Gauteng and Strand, Western Cape. The sell a variety of vinegar in 25litre polycan, which you pay a deposit on.

They stock apple cider vinegar,  balsamic vinegar, white and brown grape vinegar, rice vinegar, white and brown malt vinegar, red & white wine vinegar.

I bought a 25 litre white vinegar for R62.06 with a polycan deposit of R42.54, excluding VAT.  Total price R119.25. So that is less than half the price of buying it in those 2 litre bottles, less plastic and a lot less shopping time as I won’t have to buy for ages now! Win, win, win!

Please note that these prices were correct as of the day I bought it, in Gauteng in December 2015.  Prices are subject to change. Get in touch with them beforehand to order and make payment.  Remember they are a huge busy depot supplying larger chains, so best that us individuals get in and out sharpish so as not to get in their way!

Instant Trading Co. (Pty) Ltd. t/a Cecil Vinegar Works
17 Jurie Street, Alrode, Gauteng, 1451, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0)11 864 4700
Fax: +27 (0)11 864 2561

36 Chilwan Crescent, Helderberg Industrial Park, Strand, Western Cape, 7140, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0)21 845 4001
Fax: +27 (0)86 518 5000
Email: info@naturalvinegar.co.za

Package free shopping with Food Lovers Market

My mission is to avoid single use packaging especially plastic as much as I possibly can. This helps me reduce my waste, so I have less to recycle and less to send to landfill.  I have not sent waste to landfill since 21st July, we have a few bits we keep in our waste jar! This can prove rather tricky, especially as we do not have the luxury of these beautiful bulk food stores I always seem to see pictures of … in England, Australia, the States, France etc. Sigh.

But I am determined to still do my best.  I have been to Food Lovers Market (Fruit & Veg City) a few times on previous occasions, and generally it has been rather frustrating as the staff won’t (only because they don’t know how) tare the jars or containers!

So I would inevitably have to fill one of my reusable bags (depending on the product), weigh it, and then tip it into my jar and seal. But with finer/smaller items this is more than tricky or impossible!

The ideal scenario would be to go to the till and have the staff weigh the jar, write the weight onto the jar, and then I could fill the jar with nuts/grains/spices/olives/cheese/oil etc and then weigh again – minus the weight of the jar.  Simple see?

The same goes for the meat, fish and cheese counters.  Instead of placing the product on a disposable piece of plastic on the scale, then placing into my reusable container and throwing the plastic away anyway;  just tare the container, then weigh.  All so simple.

The absolute best thing about shopping this way (aside from reducing waste obv), is that when I get home, I just place my jars in the cupboards and fridge.  I don’t have to worry about unpacking decanting, resealing etc.  Just neat sealed jars and containers. Yes please!

In my humble opinion, this is a win win situation.

Food Lovers reduces their footprint and costs by reducing packaging.

I help the environment by doing my bit and consuming responsibly & tell everyone how amazeballs Food Lovers Market is.

So imagine my pure joy when I happened to be in the vicinity of a Food Lovers Market (Bruma), and the awesome staff happily weighed my baklava not in paper or plastic, but in my own reusable beeswax food wrap from Abeego.  Then when I got to the Healthy Nibbles section, the lady was more than happy to weigh my jars and let me write on the weight.  I used my own reusable produce bags where necessary for my fruit and veg, and the only thing I couldn’t get unwrapped was cucumber.  What is it with cucumber and cling wrap?  You can buy apples, peaches and other delicate fruit unwrapped, but never cucumber.


So thank you to Food Lovers Market, let’s hope that more of your branches will embrace this style of shopping, which is far more normal than all this packaged food. I have heard of people having success in Cape Town stores too! Food Lovers, maybe you could go a step further and actually sell reusable cotton produce bags in store!

Hopefully this will also inspire more people across South Africa to reduce their waste by shopping like a normal person who values their food and cares about their impact in the world. Don’t feel awkward taking your own containers, just remember that if you do – YOU are the normal one! People are only staring … because they’re  a mixture of jealous & intrigued! 😉

I buy as much as I can in my own packaging.  Meat, cheese, take away drinks, take away food. It’s awesome! If we ever get take out pizza, I even take our own stainless steel lidded tray to put it in.

Let’s all do our bit!