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International Coastal Clean-up Day: Stem the Wave of Waste

Together with the Future Kids Club and other ambassadors to the zero waste movement, Shop Zero™ co-hosted the International Coastal Clean-up Day on 19 September at Strand Beach.

This global event formed part of the Clean Up & Recycle SA week. The coastal clean-up day began 30 years ago when communities rallied with the common goal of collecting and tracking coastline litter. Today, more than 100 countries participate, and it’s the world’s biggest volunteer effort for ocean health. South Africa has participated for the past 24 years, and this is the 3rd year Shop Zero has been actively involved. Collectively, our volunteers removed more than 827 kg of waste from the beach on Saturday!

Beach Cleanup South Africa
Rocco Da Silva, in the centre, started the Future Kids Club in 2017 when he was nine years old.

It’s not just about coastal clean ups

The coastal clean-up is much more than simply creating awareness and clearing plastic waste and litter from the beach.  It’s tracked using the Marine Debris Tracker, which allows users to record their findings and note the 12 most common items. AKA ‘the Dirty Dozen.’ By tracking the amounts of litter at sea, we can tell if specific measures are working or not. It’s incredibly time-consuming to track all litter, so the Dirty Dozen focuses on the primary types of litter picked up during coastal clean-ups.

Marine Debris Tracker

Introducing the marine menaces

So, what are these marine menaces scourging our coastlines? The 12 common critters are cool drink bottles, water bottles, cool drink lids, carrier bags, chip packets, and sweet wrappers. Along with straws, earbuds, lolly pop sticks, cigarette lighters, fishing line and light sticks. To date, from 100 clean-ups, we’ve tracked tens of thousands of each of these items.

Dirty Dozen Methodology

It can be overwhelming when faced with such a behemoth issue! Our daily goal is to create awareness and find eco-friendly alternatives, particularly for single-use plastic items. At our core, that’s who we are and what we’re fighting for.

If you’re reading this, it likely means you’re already taking steps to reduce your plastic waste footprint. Or maybe you’re just getting started on your journey. Either way, we are SO happy to have you here.

Our online store has a wide range of ethically sourced zero waste products. These include plastic-free alternatives to other ocean nasties such as single use coffee cups, straws, toothbrushes, dental floss, and cotton buds. All of which are also picked up regularly during our coastal clean-ups.

Ready to start making the switch? Take a browse through our range of re-usable cups and coffee cups, re-usable straws and cutlery, and plastic free toothbrushes, toothpaste and dental floss. And of course, we also stock organic cotton earbuds with recycled paper stems.

See you at the next coastal clean-up!

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Plant-based Peanut Butter & Choc Easter Eggs

Photo credit: Megan Gilmore

The Easter Bunny is permitted to travel freely so is able to bring these eggsquisite Easter eggs to all children (plus all the “big children”) in South Africa. Staying inside is the best reason to start making your own healthy treats at home. If you have kids, it’s also a great time to get them involved and spend some quality time together in the kitchen. You probably already have these ingredients, so we hope you’ll be able to make your own Easter eggs this weekend.

This is a kid-friendly recipe with a wonderful sensory experience. Forming the peanut butter dough into little balls and then pressing them into egg shapes, feels like playing with play dough. These healthier peanut butter eggs will also help keep your kids from bouncing off the walls with processed, refined sugar treats. Nourish them with these chewy bites instead.

This recipe won’t egg-haust you as these peanut butter eggs take no longer than 20 minutes to make. They are also much healthier for you AND less trashy. These wrapper-free Easter eggs are therefore also healthier for our planet! Your sweet tooth just got a lot more sustainable…

Recipe inspo thanks to Megan Gilmore. Go check out her Instagram feed over at @detoxinista and for the most amazing vegan and gluten-free recipes be sure to check out her website here.



Ingredients for 6 servings
1/2 cup unsweetened peanut butter (creamy or crunchy, your choice)
3 TBSP Silan Date Syrup (order online here)
1 TBSP coconut flour
1/4 tsp salt (add only if your peanut butter is unsalted)
1/2 cup dark chocolate
1 tsp coconut oil

Instructions
1. In a medium bowl, combine the peanut butter, date syrup, coconut flour, and salt (if using). Mix well until batter is formed.
2. Use a spoon to scoop the batter into 6 balls then use your hands to shape the dough into egg shapes. Arrange the egg shapes on a plate lined with parchment paper, and place in the freezer to set.
3. While the peanut butter eggs are setting in the freezer, melt the dark chocolate and coconut oil together using the double boiler method.
4. Remove the the peanut butter eggs from the freezer and dip each one into the melted chocolate until completely coated.
5. Return the chocolate covered eggs to the parchment paper and spoon any additional chocolate over the top for a thicker chocolate coating.
6. Allow to set in the freezer for at least 10 more minutes then serve!

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Enjoy the benefits of hormonal health in full bloom

September is the beginning of a new season and a good time to relook your hormonal well-being. We’d like to focus on women’s health, starting with an intro to menstrual cups, a quick look at seed cycling and we have a beautiful quinoa porridge recipe to share – and here’s how they all work together:

MENSTRUAL CUPS

Photo by Rubycup

A menstrual cup is a flexible rubber or silicone cup designed to use inside the vagina during your period. The cup collects the menstrual flow rather than absorbing it like tampons or pads do. Tampons are also made from cotton, which is bleached with chlorine. This chlorine is an ingredient that is sadly tested on animals.

Advantages of using a cup:
They are reusable so you save money and there is less landfill waste.
Vaginal pH and beneficial bacteria stay in place (tampons absorb all of these).
You can wear the cup up to 12 hours before emptying and it is easy to use.

All menstrual cups sold at Shop Zero are made from silicone, so they are suitable for latex-sensitive ladies. And remember, the only way to know if a menstrual cup is right for you, is to give it a try – and we are always happy to share our experience and advice here at Shop Zero™. Your monthly cycle is about so much more than just your period – which is only the first phase of your cycle. Using a cup also puts you in touch with your body, giving you a better insight into your flow and anatomy.

SEED CYCLING

Image supplied by Francesca Rose

Seed cycling is a gentle way to balance your hormones throughout the two phases of your menstrual cycle by using the nutrients in seeds. All you need is two tablespoons of seeds each day. The first half of your cycle you’d eat pumpkin and flax seeds which help with producing, metabolising and detoxing estrogen. In the second half of your cycle you’d eat sunflower and sesame seeds to help with progesterone production, metabolisation and detoxification.

Women struggling with symptoms of PMS, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), post-birth control syndrome (PBCS), irregular periods, acne, and breast tenderness could greatly benefit from seed cycling. Local women’s wellness enthusiast, Francesa Rose, focuses on balancing hormones through balanced meals. She has developed an inspiring 200-page ebook packed with information and recipes, and was kind enough to share one with us.

Berry Quinoa Porridge
INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 cup almond milk (or coconut milk)
1 cup water
5 chopped dates
1 cup mixed berries (I used strawberries, cherries and blueberries)
1 ripe banana
1/2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
1-2 tsp beetroot powder
1 tsp flaxseeds (freshly ground)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
A dash of Himalayan crystal salt

TO SERVE
Some beetroot slivers
A drop of beetroot sprouts
A dollop of coconut yoghurt (feel free to mix it with some beetroot powder for a fancy pink hue) A drizzle of tahini (or roasted almond butter)
A sprinkle of activated buckwheat

Image supplied by Francesca Rose

METHOD
Thoroughly rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer. Grind the flaxseeds in a coffee grinder or by hand with a mortar and pestle. Roughly chop the pumpkin seeds and dates. Gently mash the banana and berries with a fork. Keep the juice from the berries.

Bring the quinoa, water and almond milk to a boil in a medium-size saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and cook for 15-20 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally. Add the mashed banana and berries (with its juice) halfway through cooking. Stir in banana and the berries to ooze out the bright red colours.

Once the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is tender, remove from heat and add the cinnamon, vanilla, beetroot powder, flaxseeds, pumpkin seed and dates. Stir to combine. Cover and let stand for five minutes. Taste and adjust flavour as needed. Add a bit more almond milk if you prefer the texture thinner. Serve up the quinoa in a bowl and top with your desired toppings. Keep any leftovers in the fridge for breakfast for the following week!

For more delicious recipes like this one, check out Francesca’s Rose’s ebook. It features 28 vegan recipes that work with, and correlate to your menstrual cycle and the moon cycle, based on the concept of seed cycling. Follow @francescaeatsroses on Instagram for amazing tips on period health, healing and getting your period back!

On Sunday, 22 September Shop Zero™ is hosting an informative Women’s Health Workshop with @hormonal.harmony and @rona_mindful_cycles_sa. The morning will be about Aligning with the Rhythm of Nature: Conscious Consumerism & your Menstrual Cycle. Keep your eyes peeled on our social media. This event will take place at our store and tickets will be available soon.

What better way to introduce spring this year than celebrating the natural rhythm of death and rebirth that occurs in women’s bodies every month. We’d love to hear your thoughts on the menstrual cup and your cycle… please share any insights here.

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Shop Zero turned 1, and they’re only getting started…

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Shop Zero™ has officially celebrated their first birthday.  Those who have been following them will know that Shop Zero™ has had an online presence since August 2017.  Since then they have been ‘hustling’ hard to make Shop Zero™, and what it stands for, accessible to as many people as possible.

Shop Zero’s journey over the last 12 months:

  • In October 2017 they crowdfunded and raised R35 000 towards opening Shop Zero™ – thanks again to everyone who believed in the concept.  Your names will never be forgotten.  Literally, they are printed on Shop Zero’s shelves!
  • In September Janneke, Shop Zero’s founder, was joined by Elza and Abi as business partners.
  • From November to January, Shop Zero™ had a presence at various Western Cape markets and started selling some of their products via their Facebook Shop, while looking for their perfect shop space.
  • In February, Shop Zero™ opened their brick and mortar pop-up shop in Woodstock, Cape Town.
  • In April, Shop Zero™ also started trading permanently at the Old Biscuit Mill market on Saturdays.
  • In April, Shop Zero™ launched their online store, www.shopzero.co.za, with nationwide delivery of all their lifestyle goods.
  • During this time Shop Zero™ also hosted a few workshops in their pop-up shop ranging from Zero Waste Basics, natural DIY Body Products Workshops through to delicious & nourishing Smoothie Bowl Alchemy Workshops, with many more to follow.  They even threw in a FREE Zero Waste Workshop in celebration of their 1st birthday.
  • Shop Zero™ has also successfully started hosting corporate Zero Waste Workshops – an exciting platform to help incorporate Zero Waste into your home and business.  Please don’t hesitate to contact them if you would like to host a Zero Waste Workshop at your business or collaborate on a workshop with them.  These events are a great way to learn and interact in a fun and inspirational way.

What’s in store for the next few months?

  • We are excited to announce that Shop Zero™ will be opening its permanent Cape Town branch, just down the road from their pop-up shop.  From September 2018 you can find Shop Zero at 403 Albert Road, Woodstock (right next to the Old Biscuit Mill).   This means the pop-up shop will be closing down to make way for the new shop space.
  • Joining them on the premises in their own right is Flourish Bistro: a vegan, plant-based, gluten and refined sugar free bistro.  Being a zero waste, plastic-free lifestyle store with vegan pantry essentials and specialty foods as one of Shop Zero’s trademarks, Shop Zero™ and Flourish Bistro are a match made in vegan heaven – plus the food from Flourish Bistro is simply amazing!
  • Last but not least, Shop Zero™ will be adding Zero Waste Bulk Product Delivery (food & cleaning products) to their online store (Cape Town only) – with reusable packaging that uses a deposit system and is of course … plastic-free!  They are also eagerly awaiting the arrival of their electric scooter, which means they’ll then deliver with zero emissions.  This will be an SA first!  Watch this space, more details to follow very soon.

And there you have it.  We’ll let you digest this all for a while we get back to the business of zero waste.  Because we love this planet, and we love helping you look after it!

Until next time,

The Shop Zero™ Team

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Shop plastic free online

We’ve arrived online and we’re so excited: our zero waste, plastic-free online shopping site is now live and ready for you.  Now you can Shop Zero™ from the comfort of your home, making zero waste options even more convenient.  If you are looking for sustainable, eco-friendly lifestyle solutions, you have come to the right place.  Shop Zero™ has the answers!

Choose from our wide range of reusable cups and straws, zero waste skin, body and hair products, and other environmentally friendly items.  We are vegan-based and inspired by everyone and everything that is kind and fair to our beautiful planet. We also deliver nationwide in South Africa.

WHAT DOES ZERO WASTE MEAN?
If you are new to the concept of zero waste and how to shop sustainably, stick around. We’ll be posting regularly to guide you in the right direction by giving tips, advice and solutions to everyday waste problems.

WHY DO WE DO WHAT WE DO?
Quite simply, we’re here to eliminate the single use of plastic, which is the main threat to the livelihood of our oceans and the reason our landfills are overflowing. On our website and in our shop in Woodstock (Cape Town), you will see a vast range of alternatives to the single use of plastic, showing you how to shop and live plastic free.

Welcome to your zero waste community, welcome to Shop Zero™.

shopzero.co.za