Zero waste living on Carte Blanche

Bongani Bingwa interviewed myself and Bea Johnson of Zero Waste Home about the zero waste lifestyle.  Watch it here:

Carte Blanche - zero waste living

Blog post from Bea :

and from myself:

Wondering what to do next? Join Zero Waste to Landfill South Africa on Facebook for great advice and motivation.  I also HIGHLY recommend reading Bea Johnson’s book.

I am being asked very similar questions by email and message.

What is the cleaning product I use:

Triple Orange Wonder Gel – I recommend ordering a 25kg tub or even larger if you can and then dispense amongst friends, family and neighbours.  Works really well if you live in an estate.  I have done this. Also – ask your local health store or similar to offer this refill service.

What is the link to Bea Johnson’s site:  You can download her book on Take-a-Lot or buy a hard copy from Exclusive Books or Take-A-Lot.

Where did I buy the cheese unpackaged in the clip:

Lifestyle SuperSpar in Ballito, and they wrapped it in my reusable food wrap. Buzzy Wraps produce this in South Africa. You can go up to any counter in a grocery store and ask them to do this.  If they stock cheese wrapped in cling wrap and labelled by their store – then they have it in large blocks. This is also where I got the olives in the jar.

Where I do my grocery shopping:

I mainly shop at Food Lover’s Market in Ballito. I use my own reusable produce bags.  You can make your own lightweight bags or you can buy them from Freshbag.  I also shop at all the usual grocery stores, Pick n Pay, Spar, Checkers etc. When buying single items like butternut, red pepper, bunch of bananas, garlic, you do not even need a bag, just ask them to place sticker directly on the item.

Monthly feminine hygiene:

I use a menstrual cup instead of tampons or sanitary towels.


I use toothpowder made from bicarb with a few drops of peppermint and/or clove essential oil in a reused spice/herb jar.

Everything else:

I will write up a summary of all I do by room/area next week, but the above covers the main questions I am being asked so far.



  1. At Innzululand Guest Lodge in Eshowe Zero Waste is part of daily life. We use our own shopping bags for the daily shopping and all waste is sorted into organic, paper, plastic, tin and glass for recycling. Unfortunately the local authority does not promote this habit but we think it is important. In terms of volume organic material is the least each day and this is recycled into compost pits in the garden. It’s easy, no sweat and hygienic. For cleaning and laundry we buy all our bio degradable products from Probac in Durban in 25 litre containers that can be reused as water containers in rural homes. These cleaning materials are perfect for septic tanks and French drains as they encourage good bacteria growth that naturally consumes the waste and result in a clean and odour free environment. So let’s all improve our lives by becoming proactive about Zero Waste.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This feature on Carte Blanche was super-inspiring – until I saw it I always knew that excessive waste was a problem, but never had the courage of my convictions. Since I watched it though, I’ve realized that it is possible to make significant changes just by changing the way we approach every day tasks and making a few different lifestyle choices and have been motivated to embark on a zero waste journey too!


  3. Hi Colleen,
    I’m getting started on my zero waste journey. We have 5 children and were putting out 2-3 black bags a week so definitely time for a change! Would you possibly be able to outline what you do in each area/room? I am feeling a bit overwhelmed. I have done all the getting started type of steps, but not sure where to go from here. Thanks so so much for all your helpful info!


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