There have been many calls of late to support local businesses over holiday seasons, to buy South African, and to think outside of the box when it comes to our behaviour as consumers. The Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) adds its voice to these nationwide pleas and urges all to reduce excessive Easter waste wherever possible.
"On festive occasions such as Easter, we tend to purchase items we really don't need and spend money we really don't have in order to placate ourselves and others around us. We feel obliged to buy into the commercialised racket that inevitably accompanies all our festivities," says Stan Jewaskiewitz, president of the IWMSA.
Vote with your Rands
"The human urge to celebrate and to give generously is strong and there is nothing amiss with that, however, if we stop buying into over-consumption, simply for the sake of keeping up appearances, we'll be starting to change a mind-set which will eventually filter through to all areas of our lives, and hopefully stand the whole planet in much greater stead in the long-term," Jewaskiewitz says.
"As consumers, we can make a huge difference by voting with our Rands, by simply paying greater attention to our purchases. At Easter especially, in addition to general waste, more fuel is consumed because people are travelling. We develop a throw-away mentality whilst trying to cram as much as possible into the long weekend; beaches and picnic areas are once again littered with all types of waste, and of course there is an appalling excess of paper and plastic waste from a variety of visually appealing Easter over-packaging. As intelligent consumers we simply must pause to think about how we may be being duped into buying certain items, and how everything we purchase requires some form of energy to produce, often non-renewable," he concludes.
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