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Better Earth Blog

Shop Zero Interview

It is time for another eagerly anticipated Better Earth interview, this week we chat with the inspiring ladies at Shop Zero.

Visit Shop Zero online

How long has Shop Zero been around and why did you start the company?
Shop Zero has been in existence since August 2017, but our brick and mortar store only opened in February 2018 and our online store launched in May. Several years ago, I started living a more eco-friendly lifestyle, but after becoming a mother in 2016, my desire to live more mindfully intensified even more.  Last year, I got the motivation to go for it after finding out about Bea Johnson, the founder of the zero-waste lifestyle movement, speaker and author of ‘Zero Waste Home’. That’s when I realised that there was a gap in the South African market for a space with everything you need to reduce your plastic footprint. The recent claim that there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050 also made me pursue my life goal to inspire positive environmental change even more.
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Hayley McLellan – Environmental Campaigner for the Two Oceans Aquarium and driver of the Rethink the Bag campaign

It’s time for another Better Earth Q&A. This month we interview the lovely Hayley McLellan – Environmental Campaigner for the Two Oceans Aquarium and driver of the Rethink the Bag campaign.

Hayley McLellan activism

You have done so much with Rethink the Bag, what is the next step for you?
Well I am not yet finished…hopefully not far from it but there is still a lot of energy that needs to be put into this campaign to realise the objective of a plastic shopping bag free South Africa. I set my intention that I will achieve this by my next milestone birthday which is looming….so I had better keep up the momentum!

Visit 2 Oceans Aquarium page on Rethink the Bag

Have you noticed a growing trend in the public to move towards living sustainably?
Most definitely. This is fast becoming a global conversation, especially concerns about the colossal amount of plastic pollution in the environment. When the big names such as the BBC, Sky News, Queen of England, Anglican Church, Sir David Attenborough and Lewis Pugh are making powerful statements about the state of the ocean, then we know this topic has moved to near the top of the list of global concerns. Their voices certainly help to amplify our important messages. Also take note of the number of packaging free/conscious stores that have sprouted up around Cape Town in just the past 6 months. This is SO exciting!

It is also important to note that consumers are beginning to hold corporate brands accountable for their actions. With the advent of social media, big brand names need to be cautious about their business and products claims because the public are cottoning on fast to any greenwashing…

How can stores make it easier for consumers to use less packaging?

  • Offer a wide range of unpack-aged fruit, veg and meat. Sincerely seek alternative, environmentally responsible packaging.
  • Be open to concerned customer voices when approached with complaints and suggestions.
  • Be willing to engage with packaging and recycling companies so as to have ONE conversation about how to improve current systems which ensures more and more single-use plastic IS recyclable.
  • Provide cardboard boxes to pack purchase in, thus removing the need for plastic shopping bags altogether.
  • Educate customers.
  • Reward customers for making better, less packaged, choices.
  • Involve and engage customer input and ideas. Market packaging free as “hip”.
  • Ensure that unpackaged goods reflect a lower purchase price than the packaged alternative.

What is your favourite Better Earth Product?
The Dishwashing Liquid! Could eat it up it smells (and cleans) so good!

You have arranged the Penguin Waddle a few times. Did you find public interest grew over the years?
Definitely. It takes time though to establish any such movement or event, so we had to be really consistent by putting the Waddle on for seven consecutive years. In 2018 it was decided to take a break from the Waddle for a Week as we had a good season and not everything needs to last forever. We were also unsure of how to measure our actual impact on all communities in terms of the awareness created and behavioural change actions committed to , so we chose to take a step back and assess this. From the disappointment voiced, that we are not having a Waddle this year, it does seem as though the event was consistently well received in general.

Who is your best NGO doing good things for the earth?
I love the work of GREENPOP so much! Coincidentally they began in the same year as the Waddle, 2011, and to watch them grow (literally) has been amazing. I have been a part of their Platbos Reforest Fest events for so many years now and I feel more enriched as a human being every time.

Easy Way to Save Water in Your Kitchen

Hey Team Water Save. Here is a simple yet very effective way of only using a wee bit of water when you need it. Specifically for washing hands or a quick rinse off.

Every drop saved counts! This may not seem like a big saving of water but it is incredible how much water is used in the small act of washing our hands. Oh and please don’t worry about the child in the background, she hurt her finger but is now doing just fine.

Natural Cleaning Products From Going Natural

Q&A with Karen from Going Natural

We recently caught up with the lovely Karen from Going Natural. Going Natural has been stocking Better Earth natural cleaning products for some time now and they are this month’s feature in our stockist profile blog category.

This is what she had to say:

How long has Going Natural been around and why did you start the company?

Funny you should ask that Kerry. Going Natural has been going natural for 10 years this month. What a journey it has been, and still is ….

A few years before that I was awakened to all the bad stuff in our products and the impact they have on our health. Things like fluoride and MSG were the first ones to get my attention. And so the journey began. The toothpaste was the first to go…..

Then I decided to make my own skin care.

On surfing through the web back then I found The Victorian Garden skincare company and decided to become an agent for them instead of reinventing the proverbial skincare wheel.

My calling in life is to be a conduit – it is all about connecting. So here I am today – connecting people with products. My slogan is good products 4 good people @ good prices. Read more

Recycling Made Easy

Recycling is a reality and is no longer something to do when you have free time or when you ‘feel like it’. We all need to get on the recycling train, right now. If only there was some sort of “recycling made easy” blog post. A guide if you will, some sort of information sharing device…Oh wait, you are already reading one.

So here is an interesting factoid…Sweden’s recycling system has become so efficient that waste is literally being imported from other countries for them to recycle, due to the country running out of their own rubbish. Say whaaaat!
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Grey Water Bath Systems

Drought followed by flooding; one of the hottest years on record; Springboks with a 40% win ratio for the year; State capture in SA; and now Donald Trump is the USA president elect.

End of days? Not quite but scary times never the less. My advice is “control the controllables”. Let’s not waste time worrying about politics and instead focus on making a difference in our daily lives. There are many ways we can all save water and use water more efficiently. One of the best ways is the use of grey water, not just from your washing machines but even from our own baths.
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Vegan Review

Thank you for the kind words, Vegan Review.

Ever look at a product or place and think “ Wow that’s great but is it Vegan?” I know I do.

All. The. Time.

Well if ever you wanted to be sure, check out veganreview.net

The directory is split into products and places. The places can be vegan friendly but the products are all vegan. It is a community service that is a valuable tool for vegans, activism and businesses who value vegan customers.

They have recently listed all of our products, which we are very pleased about and you will notice that all of our products are all 100% Vegan and not tested on animals. Better Earth is endorsed by the Vegan Society and we are proud to associate with this great directory.

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