Shop Zero cleans up in Woodstock: Green Route

Your Zero-Waste tour of Cape Town continues at Shop Zero in Woodstock.

FORMER Grade 5 teacher Janneke Blake left the profession after her son was born and, in August 2017, she established Shop Zero at markets and on Facebook.

Shop Zero was established in August 2017, but we only started trading for the first time from that November at various Western Cape markets and by selling products via our Facebook ‘Shop’ before our website’s launch. We moved into our brick and mortar pop-up shop in Woodstock, Cape Town in February 2018 and then into our permanent shop space, just down the road from our pop-up shop in September 2018.”

What drew you to open a zero-waste shop? I was raised to consider my impact on the environment and taught from an early age that many of life’s treasures can never be replaced. We owe it to our children and future generations to understand the needs of our environment and care for it accordingly to ensure a long and beautiful existence.I learned about Kate Nelson, aka @plasticfreemermaid on Instagram in 2016 and made a concerted effort to start giving up plastics.

I got the motivation to open up my own plastic-free store after watching a Carte Blanche episode about Bea Johnson, the founder of the zero waste lifestyle movement, speaker and author of Zero Waste Home. That’s when I realised that there was a gap in the South African market for space with everything you need to reduce your footprint at one store.

It’s amazing to see how many zero waste stores have sprung up since Bea Johnson’s national tour of talks. We are all very excited about the growing movement and helping to lead the paradigm shift and change the way South Africans shop, and of course very thankful for the four women who organised the ‘Zero Waste Home’ South African tour.

Janneke Blake, Shop Zero, Woodstock

Janneke’s three tips for living a more eco-conscious life

  1. Vote with your wallet. Keep voting with your wallet. The market will always go where the cash is. Every time we purchase something, we are supporting a brand, a product and even an entire industry and that’s why it’s important to think before we buy.
  2. Eat consciously. Reducing our meat and dairy intake is a great way to reduce our impact on the planet. Animal agriculture produces more greenhouse gas emissions than all of the world’s transport combined. It’s also the leading cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution and habitat destruction.
  3. Take small steps. Every small step each of us takes is accumulative and part of the solution. We need to support each other, encourage each other and celebrate each little victory. Remember it is not a competition. Whatever you can cut out is a job well done.

Give up three for the sea: What three items would you recommend giving up for the sea?

Single-use plastic items start out as fossil fuels and end up as deadly waste in landfills and our oceans. It’s so wonderful to see a world ready for a change and how so many people are open to change and ready to take that leap. For that, I would recommend bringing your own coffee cup, say no to straws (or bring your own reusable one), carry a reusable water bottle and canvas totes for shopping. Sorry, I can’t only go with three. I had to go with the ‘Big-4’ plastic pollutants.

Green Route ZA is the A-Z of eco-conscious living


Published by Green Route ZA

Founder of Green Route ZA - the path to eco-conscious living. I live in Cape Town, South Africa.

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