Reduce, re-use, recycle!

What a great last networking session we had at the Avontuur Breakfast club,  on the 10.11.2010 with Elma Pollard as our guest speaker.
What was interesting is that I never thought about waste integration before, I had never thought firstly about” the 3 “R’s”; REDUCE, REUSE AND RECYCLE’
I had always skipped the first 2 and only concentrated on the last one. No wonder I have 3 extra bags of recycling versus my neighbours who have none (perhaps because I am the only one in my street recycling?) Fact remains, reduce your waste before you get it into your home.
 This made me think about packaging. WOW! We have a lot of useless packaging. Think about cereal boxes, they are huge, yet when you open them the cereal on the inside only comes up to about a third of the way. Why is the box so big? Misleading advertising? Perhaps that is another blog on its own! 
I am ashamed to admit that I still buy plastic bags at the supermarket counter. Yes, I have many bags specially purchased with the intention of using them. If only I remembered to take them along. So moral of the story is that I now will make a special effort to not only buy pretty looking bags en mass, but remember to keep them in my bag.
 How else can I reduce my waste?
Buy items without packaging? If able. Write to manufacturers asking to purchase items without packaging if possible. That would be cereals, etc. How to get this done practically I will have to ponder a while longer. I am sure if I asked Elma, she would have a solution.
Landfills in the Helderberg area are already filled to capacity. Dumps are only taking building materials and garden refuse. Should you wish to dump, the nearest area is 4 hours away. Makes you think about the not-so-green footprint trucks etc are leaving as they at this point do not have much choice.
The dustbin that I fill the quickest is the plastic one (I have a dustbin for plastic, glass, paper and a bag for tins) (I have very little space for washing in my scullery!) I am constantly amazed at this. So as from this week we are reusing as much as possible. Yet, it is still nearly brimming over...
Thank you Elma for an amazing morning, we will most definitely be inviting you back for a follow up!  You can be informed and educated as well as inspired by reading the green times, Elma’s on- line newspaper at
If you know what the term “Black Gold” means, you will know that this refers to compost! If you, like me are trying your hand at planting a sustainable garden, then compost is your best friend. We can all make compost. It takes a little planning and organising in your garden and then you literally use the waste produced in your kitchen to make this amazing stuff. Niels Colesky brought samples of his compost and gave an informative talk on his compost making s well as his worm farm. For more info please contact Niels on 021 8521525.
Have you heard of the term “Hot box cooking”? This is the most cost effective way of cooking with minimal effort. The box is made from any hard wearing material, which is filled with polystyrene chips. You cook your food on the stove top first, for example a stew. Once it is browned you put your pot with its lid on into the centre of the hotbox and put the lid on. You go off to work, shopping etc and it maintains a steady 80 degree temperature. On your return you simply remove and serve! No electricity, no hassle or fuss. It also works to keep beverages cold. Bags can be purchased from Julia Ball on or 082549925
Perhaps we can go into the holiday season keeping in mind how we impact on our environment. All the Christmas packaging, plastic and general waste that we produce. My mission this year is to only buy 3 presents for my son, instead of the usual excess, cut down on all packaging brought into my home. Use reuse wrapping paper and fancy ties and bows. Stop buying water and use my water filter.
It’s a start and as there are only 6 weeks left to the end of the year I know that I can already make these changes.
It takes 21 days to change a habit, here’s to day one!
 For more info please contact the restaurant on 021 855 4296
Written by Zunia Boucher-Myers
Patron chef
Avontuur estate restaurant

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