Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Customer cues for sustainable shopping

By Gemma Gatticchi
Thursday, Jul 13, 2023 GuidesLifestyle

Here are five eco-friendly steps to take when shopping at your regular retailer

  • Do you need it? The first step to shopping sustainably is buying only the necessities. Make a shopping list beforehand and stick to it.
  • The packaging: Choose items with the least amount of packaging. Check the label to see what’s recyclable and what isn’t. See our guide to what the small numbers on plastics mean
  • Vintage: Thrifting is a great way to lower your carbon footprint and make use of clothes that would otherwise end up in a landfill.
  • Local is lekker: Buying products made in South Africa means fewer greenhouse gases are emitted as the items don’t need to be imported. It also contributes to the country’s economy and creates jobs.
  • BYOB: Bring your own bags! Keep reusable shopping bags in your car so you don’t have to buy more.

Bring one, take one

Woolworths launched the ‘Bring a Bag, Take a Bag’ initiative at the end of 2022. Customers are invited to leave their spare reusable bags on a cardboard tree placed in the store. Other shoppers can help themselves if they’ve forgotten their bags at home.

The ‘bag tree’ was an idea suggested by Brent Lindeque, a radio host also known as the ‘Good News Guy’. Photo: Woolworths

The ‘trees’ are made out of the typically non-recycled packages such as yoghurt tubs, toothpaste tubes and chip packets, by a South African black-owned company.

‘The production of 482 units has resulted in 8.3 tonnes of these types of plastic, that ordinarily would not be recycled and would likely have ended up in landfill, being recycled,’ says Diane Peterson, Woolworths sustainability communications consultant.

The bag trees are not in all stores. Find out if your store has a ‘bag tree’ here