SA Zero Waste feature: Beauty & The Beard

I am always so thrilled when I discover more and more South Africans on the zero waste journey.  I love sharing ideas and bringing people together and so I decided to do a series of short blog posts about other South Africans who are each on a different stage of the zero waste journey.  I hope that by doing this, more people will be encouraged, inspired and also become aware of others who might be living in their city!

I discovered Beauty & The Beard via Instagram.  Tarryn Martin, a environmental consultant & botanical specialist, and Katie Martin, an interior designer, created Beauty & The Beard in Cape Town.  They describe themselves as environmentally conscious entrepreneurs.


Some Q & A with Beauty & The Beard:

How did you find out about zero waste living?
Tarryn first heard about it from her friend who had just started along the journey. As an environmentalist she has always been concerned about the impact we are having on the environment so this way of reducing ones waste footprint even further appealed to her. She was further inspired by the Bea Johnson talk she attended at the Two Oceans Aquarium earlier this year and came home to share these ideas with Katie.

When did you start your zero waste journey?
We are still very much at the beginning of our journey and are learning all the time. Our frustration at not being able to find skin care products that are free from plastic made us start looking for alternatives which eventually culminated is us making our own products. Our friends loved them so much that we decided we would like to share them with other like minded people. We also try and educate people on reusing, repurposing and recycling our packaging through online marketing so that if they are not aware of the lifestyle they are at least aware that the packaging their products come in doesn’t need to finish their life in a landfill site.

What drives you to continue with this lifestyle?
Our distaste for consumerism. As a society we are conditioned to buy stuff to make us feel better but we feel that this is such a waste of money and all the “stuff” we buy just ends up damaging our planet even further. We both are trying to live a more minimalist lifestyle where we buy quality over quantity. Also, once you are aware of how much plastic there is out there it is difficult to ignore. You start seeing it everywhere. We feel that once you are aware of it there is no going back. We don’t want to add unnecessary plastic to our oceans and land fills.

Is everyone in your household on board and if not, how do you deal with this?
Everyone is on board but at different stages. Living a zero waste lifestyle and getting other people in the household on board still requires training, educating and reminding them, and ourselves, of our plastic consumption and looking for ways to reduce this.

What made you decide to start your business?
We both have very sensitive skin and suffer from eczema making us very aware of all the harsh chemicals available in commercially available products. We wanted products that were not harsh on our skin and started looking at natural alternatives. Because we are aware of how much plastic there is in our lives, we wanted to ensure that our products were packaged in as little plastic as possible. Some of our lids are still plastic but we are trying to source alternatives so that we can eventually be entirely plastic free.


What is your biggest struggle with the lifestyle?
Sourcing plastic free pet food.

What would you say has been your best discovery thus far?
The “One Million Women” Facebook page. They constantly have bite size, inspiring posts that ask us to rethink what we buy and how we dispose of our waste.

What advice would you give to someone who is on the zero waste journey and is feeling like giving up?
Don’t try to be perfect. This lifestyle takes time to learn and adjust to and is a journey in itself. Do the best that you can because every little difference helps.

What packaged item/s are not worth sacrificing, for you?
We believe there is an alternative to everything but for now I think its toothpaste. We aren’t fans of the bicarbonate alternative just yet.

Do you have a recipe or tip you would like to share?
Our Lemon and Rose Geranium cordial is delicious. We love rose geranium and it can be found in most of our women’s products.

• 1kg of Sugar
• 1 handful of rose geranium leaves (cleaned and the dead leaves removed)
• 0.5L of water
• 3 lemons (juice of 3 lemons and lemon zest from 1 lemon)
• 15g citric acid
Heat the sugar, water and geranium leaves on a stove until the sugar has dissolved.
Add the citric acid, lemon juice and zest and simmer for 2 minutes.
Strain the contents (we just use a sieve) into sterilised bottles.
Mix 5 parts ice water to one part cordial (or to taste) and serve/

Where are the best spots to get package free goods in your town?
Food Lovers Market and the Earth Fair Market in Tokai. We take our baskets and reusable bags and stock up on fruit and veg and nuts.

You can find Beauty & The Beard on Instagram as well as Facebook.  Do follow them and spread the word. They have a shop on Facebook which contains their growing selection of natural skincare products and home ware. Support Local, Shop Local, Vote with your wallet!

Whether this is the first time you have heard of zero waste, or no matter where you are along the journey, you might like to join the Zero Waste to Landfill South Africa group on Facebook.  Over 1200 people sharing ideas.

*I have not been paid for this blog post, I requested that Beauty & The Beard take part.

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