Recycled Local Produce

Text Mariola Jakutowicz Fouché Photographs Supplied FULL CIRCLE Though urban farming and community gardens are hardly new concepts, Oranjezicht City Farm (OZCF) in Cape Town’s City Bowl brings an inspired slice of organic pie to the table. Spearheaded by a group of committed volunteers, the non-profit project brings residents together in small-scale, environmentally sustainable vegetable production. Along with organic produce, OZCF serves up educational programmes on food gardening and promotes the greening of underused public spaces. IT’S A KIND OF MAGIC Fragile skins need special care. The organically certified ingredients in eco.kid’s hypo-allergenic Potion Lotion (R165) work to match the skin’s natural chemistry and protect against environmental damage. COME AGAIN? I am Green’s wide range of promotional gift items are made from recycled, biodegradable or renewable content. It includes everything from stationery and repurposed-banner holdalls, such as these Messenger bags (R60,40 each, available in 100-unit orders), to T-shirts and indigenous trees in recycled packaging. Q&A Clyde Edwin Parton heads I am Green, a leading local provider of eco gifts made from recycled materials. Integral to the business’ ethos is sustainability, job creation and stimulating local industry. What piqued your interest in recycling and sustainability? I stumbled across a material produced from recycled tyres at a wellness store. It was as if a light switched on. Where does I am Green source recycled materials? Our main market is from local, recyclable product sources and most of our items are locally produced. Is there a movement in SA towards reducing landfill waste for functional products? We’ve noticed a shift in the market over the last five years but it’s nowhere near where it needs to be. There is also a dragging of feet from the private and government sectors in creating initiatives or stimulating mindsets to address the problems of our society’s waste. Tell us about the company’s social investment. Our Community Employment Programme (CEP) involves the recruitment of individuals from areas with a high unemployment rate, equipping them with skills and creating a platform from which they are able to market their handiwork. What inspires you? Clever design and functional, aesthetically pleasing products. I’m inspired by the wonder of creation and its simplicity, and instilling a positive outlook in people. Future visions for I am Green? I’d like to see us as the market leader for all things green and recycled, to have a solid auditable impact assessment on the energy saved, waste facilitated and materials recycled, and to have impacted on the lives of at least 1 000 people through job creation. This article was originally featured in the April 2013 issue of House and Leisure.