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To gift or not to gift…

It’s that time of the year again – festive season madness.  While we as Shop Zero do not promote consumerism and encouraged customers not to buy anything (excluding your essentials of course) during the recent Black Friday and Cyber Monday retail campaigns, we are also realists and understand that gifting is a tradition for many during this time.

Sustainable festive gifting
I personally believe the trick is to handle it responsibly.  After two decades of attempting to mimimise our family’s festive gift budget, we have finally settled on a gifting solution that works quite nicely for everyone.  We all put or names on individual pieces of (recycled) paper, pop the names in a bowl and then each family member draws a name.  You will then ONLY buy a gift for that person whose name you drew and it has to fall within the allocated budget (which is R300 in our case).  This way everyone gets a gift and you can buy something decent for that amount – first prize being from a second-hand store.

Sustainable living inspiration
Why limit the joy of sustainable living to the festive season?  Let it be the start of a new lifestyle, one that focuses on being more aware of your impact on the environment.  Attempt to eliminate that which does not serve your health or the well-being of this planet.  Start by looking at what you consume on a daily basis and ask:
1. Is it all necessary?
2. Where can I cut back on waste and excess?

Introduce small changes instead of trying to tackle everything at once, which might become overwhelming and discourage you from the end goal: being kind to yourself and this beautiful planet.

For example: If you notice you love and eat a lot of chocolate, how can you still enjoy this treat in a healthy and responsible way?  Easy… through informed substitution!

Take Soaring Free Superfoods Raw Chocolate.  Although it comes in packaging, its Certified Organic Raw Cacao in home compostable packaging means it’s organic,  it’s a superfood and it’s packaged earth friendly.  By swapping a refined sugary chocolate bar wrapped in non-recyclable plastic for wholesome Raw Superfoods Chocolate, you know you’re doing the right thing, since the chocolate is fair trade, unprocessed and packaged in resonsible packaging.  You can even cut up the packaging and pop it in your bokashi composter bin.

This is a small example of turning an old ‘bad’ habit into a ‘new’ constructive one.   This process will become second nature if you continue to ask these simple questions as you navigate through your daily consumption habits.

Sustainable gift guide
If you are looking for sustainable gifting ideas that have a positive impact on our planet, here are some suggestions.  These really are gifts that keep on giving as they are ALL reusable and make a real difference to reducing your plastic waste:

R100 and under
Stainless Steel/ Copper /Glass Straw & Straw Cleaning Brush
Coconut Bowl
FreshBags veggie or bread bags
Masterstock Cape Wild Food 50ml bottle
Nourish luxurious body/ face soaps or shampoo bars

R200 and under
Market string bag
Hemp printed shopping bags: exclusive to Shop Zero
Bamboo toothbrush & travel case
Back2Nature vegan face & body products

R300 and under
Ecoffee/ William Morris reusable bamboo cup
Reusable drinking bottles
Composter: bokashi bin & bran
Kuro-Bo water filters
Tiffin food and picnic storage tin
Book: Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson
Book: The Magic of Superfoods by Peter & Beryn Daniel

Happy sustainable shopping and remember, every small change makes a huge difference.  So even if you don’t shop zero waste yet, aim to shop eco-friendly.

The festive season is not necessarily a religious occasion for our family, but it is the only time we are all able to all take leave and come together as a family to look back on the year, be thankful for our blessings and spend quality time together.  We wish our Shop Zero customers and followers the same and more.

If you have any other sustainable tips and tricks or any ideas for responsible gifting solutions, please share it with us and post them in the comments here.

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

  • Pop-Up Shop in the Woodstock Co-Op

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 May, 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