It’s a big difference from the comfortable north, moving to Africa. Especially when taking my sustainability mania in to consideration.
This place is – seen from a Danish perspective – far, far away from developing sustainable solutions, especially when it comes to garbage, water and way of living. In other ways, however, quite a few things can be seen as sustainable, sometimes due to the lack of western influence.
First of all, no shops – Neither the supermarkets or the little road-shops – hand out plastic bags when you go shopping. You get a paper bag or you can bring your stuff in your own back pack.
Second of all, everything comes in pieces. You don’t buy a bag a avocado or passion fruit, you buy singles and decide what you actually need.
Our lunch here is prepared by a local chef to whom we drive every day, delivering tupperware for him to fill, which is also quite a nice detail.
If you go out to eat you can almost always take your leftovers to go, and it is not a thing to be embarrassed about. Sometimes I feel that that’s the case in Denmark, even though it is changing.
In general you live very much “hand to mouth” and there is not much planning forward or saving up – at least as far as the locals are concerned.
Anyways. Here comes a little list of the things that I do, in order to keep a little bit of my sustainable way of living alive:
1.The toothbrush I brought from home is a bamboo one, and I actually brought two, so that I wouldn’t have to buy a plastic one. (And yes, people here have wondered WTF I am doing with a wooden toothbrush, but I love it!)
2.I have recently gotten my hands on a reusable water bottle from the dive center next to us. This including the possibility to refill it. Same goes for my coffee that I brew at home and bring in a thermo cup.
Added bonus info: Buccaneer Diving is today arranging a beach clean to get rid of some of the plastic floating around in the area. Awesome guys!
3.We sort our garbage in the staff house. We have a fireplace outside where we can burn paper and other flammables. We have a compost spot for food/fruit waste and then we only bring the non degradable to the spot where trash is collected.
4.I use my clothes a lot. I try to do laundry as little as possible, and only when necessary, of course without my things being smelly.
5.I gave away clothes. In hindsight I should have packed lighter, since the transportation here is probably the most polluting part of my stay, but I didn’t succeed. I will however – for future reference try and do that, and for now I just gave away stuff that someone else could get value from, and that I would miss at all.
Hope this can give someone else inspiration when traveling.
Lots of love