If ‘eco-friendly’, ‘ethical’ and ‘fair trade’ form part of your vocab, you’re in good company! We believe that your passion for sustainability should not be restricted to when you’re doing everyday life back in your home country. You should have the option to choose this admirable way of life wherever any beaten track may lead you. For that reason, we’ve curated some sustainable travel tips for any visitor to Cape Town. From buying locally to charities you can support and what to look for on the labels of products you are looking to purchase, this article has got your (evergreen) back.
Although located on the tip of Africa, Cape Town has a surprisingly large amount of influence from the global economy and as a visitor to the city you need to make a concerted effort to source locally produced products. If it is gifts you are looking to buy, Cape Town tourism have built a list outlining where to get great local gifts. Added to this, if you are visiting the V&A Waterfront you can find an array of handmade, locally produced products at the Watershed market which has over 150 traders in operation daily. If you find yourself in the rich culture hub of the Bo-Kaap, Bo-Op stocks a variety of world-class local items. Alternatively you can visit one of the many Cape markets where you will find local goods aplenty. Lastly, if all else fails you can look out for Woolworths stores throughout the city, including the airport. This department store stocks a variety of locally produced products and has won international sustainability and responsible retailer awards.
There are a few labels you can look out for when purchasing products on your visit. South Africa sports a number of labels that you can check out via Eco Labels Index. From the Fairtrade eco-label, ensuring that all suppliers in the supply chain process are treated fairly to the Green Seal Eco-Label that ensures products meet science-based environmental standards. It is recommended to familiarise yourself with some of these labels before touching down in South Africa. You will notice that recycling is still an area Cape Town needs a lot of growth in, however, there is a Green Dot eco-label that you can look out for. The Green Dot eco-label “identifies products whose producers are members of the industry-funded system of recycling consumer goods packaging.”
If you’ve been following Cape Town in the news at all in recent years, you will know this beaut of a city recently recovered from one of the worst droughts in its history. As recorded by City Lab, the city feared approaching, what was termed, “Day Zero” in April 2018 where the city of four million people would officially be out of municipal water. Day Zero was (thankfully) not realised and reports in October 2019 indicated that dams were over 80% storage. However, 2019 has been a drier year than usual and residents should continue to use water responsibly. What are some ways that you can contribute on your visit? Have a shower instead of a bath, don’t leave any taps running unnecessarily, and utilise water only when essential. While some restaurants and coffee shops have switched to green products such a eco-friendly takeaway cups and bio-straws there are a number of outlets that are yet to make the migration to greener product supplies. On your visit we ask that you encourage them to do so!
Nothing speaks sustainable support quite like giving back. As much as Cape Town is arrayed in natural beauty and creative design, it is also a region laced with need. This realisation will hit you as soon as you are chauffeured out of the airport to collect your Rentacheapie vehicle and you pass a major city township where communities live in homes constructed by sheets of corrugated metal. There are a multitude of charities you can opt to support on your visit. A key consideration is where is your money going when you invest in a charity? For that reason we’ve listed some organisations we trust and can recommend for you to support: Kin Culture is a charity that facilitates foster care, Boost Africa is an NPO changing lives through programmes run in Du Noon township; from their keeping a child in school programme to a job readiness programme and basic skills training. Ikhaya Le Themba focuses on enterprise development, community development, skills development and orphans and vulnerable children. Move for Two is a charity that gives back through dance training, life skills training and entrepreneurial skills development to name a few.
While financial giving can have a positive impact for a charitable organisation, volunteering your time is likely to have a profound impact on you as an individual as you are exposed to extreme contexts and the powerful role you have in making a difference to individuals and communities in need. The first step in your volunteer journey is to determine which causes you are passionate about supporting. Check out Cape Town Magazine’s Places to Volunteer in Cape Town for some ideas of where you can give back while visiting the Mother City. It is recommended that you contact them prior to your trip and get a sense of their current needs and how you can best help to meet their needs as a volunteer during your stay in Cape Town.
We at Rentacheapie are passionate about providing you with superior car rental service and we strive to add value to your visit to our beautiful country and city. Feel free to reach out to us here for all your car rental needs and subscribe to our newsletter for regular updates, insights and some special offers, too.