Saving the Planet one Cup at a Time?

Catherine Morris smiling and holding a smoothie cup with paper straw and green juice

Saving the Planet One Cup at a Time? Not exactly. GREEN HOME does not propose to save you or the planet. But we do believe that some things are better for the planet than others. And we can save you from using an incredible amount of single use plastic and other non-recyclable waste.

The Simple Core Strategy at the Heart of What we do

I have a simple core strategy for packaging based on the waste hierarchy.

You may have heard of the 3 Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Or perhaps the 4 or 5 or 6 Rs: Rethink, Redesign, Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Rot…. It does get a bit RRRRidiculous. But, when it comes to packaging, here’s what we believe in a nutshell:

  • Reusable is always first prize

  • If it has to be disposable make sure it’s made from plants and is 100% biodegradable

In an ideal world we’d be issued a reusable cutlery set at birth – a cup, plate, knife, fork and spoon. We’d carry these around with us in a cloth bag and reuse them from breakfast through dinner each day. Right? At least this is what I did last year for Plastic Free July, and I think it’s what Cassandra (GREEN HOME’S Environmental Researcher) has been doing for the last 5 years. And then there’s Bea Johnson, mother of the zero waste movement herself, who has been living (almost) waste free for 10 years. However, it may be a bit much for the rest of us.

Single Use Should be Short Lived

If sustainability isn’t your core focus or career, we can’t ignore the need for convenience when it comes to eating on the go. Single use is a thing. And that’s where we come in. The wastefulness of making packaging that lasts forever for food that’s eaten in several minutes does not need to be elaborated on here. You’re better than that. So I’ll get to the point.

Packaging should not last longer than necessary. All GREEN HOME plant-based food packaging breaks down in anything from 3 weeks to 6 months in a composting environment depending on the conditions. Outside of a composting environment… Well, that will depend on the environment of course. But ultimately all GREEN HOME packaging is made from organic material and will always break down into organic material – just like all those food scraps from your kitchen.

We have a lot to say about the trials we’ve run composting our products in different composting environments, as well as the many composters that we can refer you to, to ensure you compost all your organic waste, like all good citizens should. You can read more on that in some of the other articles on this blog.

For now, my message is keep your take away food packaging options simple. If it has to be disposable make sure it’s made from plants and is biodegradable.

Till next time, be good to each other.

Catherine

About Catherine Morris

Catherine Morris is the founder and Managing Director of GREEN HOME, South Africa's first completely compostable food packaging company.
She started the company in her garage in 2007. Today it employs over 30 people and distributes throughout SA and into Africa.
Her mission is to make plant-based, biodegradable food packaging the norm by 2030.