“No water, no life. No blue, no green.” – Sylvia Earle
Water is an incredible resource. It replenishes and renews life as it travels across our planet through the complex processes of the water cycle. While flux is a natural part of this dynamic system, the negative impacts of human activity are pushing nature out of balance in unprecedented ways. Cape Town’s water crisis is a huge challenge – but also a great opportunity to change and bring our lifestyles into harmony with natural cycles.
As we carefully save every drop, endure smelly toilets and recycle our grey water in increasingly creative ways (boiled-egg-water tea, anyone?) we’re learning a lot about natural resources. They’re precious, need to be used wisely and need to operate in renewable cycles. Let’s show some love to the ecosystems that support us by applying these principles of respect, efficiency and renewability to how we manage all resources.
As water levels go down, however, there can be an urge to panic. If we abandon our sustainability ethos and stockpile single-use bottled water and other plastic paraphernalia, it will lead to an increase in the trash we create. Let’s not turn our water crisis into an even bigger waste crisis too. Bottling, trading and transporting water across the world has considerable environmental impacts, including pollution, contamination, climate change and natural resource depletion.
Many cafe’s and restaurants are considering using disposable plates and cutlery to save the washing up water, which can be a solution if you choose compostable plates and cutlery. An even more sustainable option is to compost the used disposables along with any food waste. This way we adopt the renewable behaviour that makes nature so impressive, we restore some balance in our eco-system and we live in harmony with the natural cycles that we rely on.
Let’s be inventive and find long-term sustainable solutions that don’t exacerbate the problem. We can use metal buckets, jugs and gutters where possible, and glass and metal containers. In most circumstances we ask our clients to choose reusable above disposable items but if a crisis pushes us to choose disposable – then choose compostables and compost them (ask us how!). Let’s see disposable plastic as a last resort, and try to avoid as much as we can. Instead, get creative, rethink, repurpose and up-cycle. Humans lived without plastic for thousands of years. We can live in harmony with nature again.