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Go Get Yourself a Cup of Coffee and Lets Chat

Posted 4/3/2018

While I am working with my hands for hours, my mind is free to wonder and I often have long conversations with myself. I thought it would be nice to share some of my meanderings and maybe you'd like to join in the conversation. This is the space I am going to use to share my thoughts, ideas, rants and raves. Go and get yourself a cup of coffee, get comfy and lets chat.

Hi, my name is Tracy and I’m the person behind Kisma Kreative. And I mean, I am the person. I collect, sort and wash the materials. I do the design work, the cutting, the stitching and the cleaning up after. I do the marketing (such as it is ), the social media, the markets, the packing, the shipping and the bill paying. So, yes, Kisma Kreative is a one-woman band. 

I live with my husband, Tom, who is an exhibition curator, a writer and a photographer. We share our home with three cats, a menagerie of local wild birds who share the figs on our tree, and a small lizard who lives on the veranda.

We are both very aware of the fact that as humans, we’re making a mess of the planet. The way I feel about the damage we do to the earth every day is simple: we are doing too much. This is an opinion of an ordinary person, who has no scientific training or any academic background at all, actually. I’m not an activist, or a hippy or a treehugger. Well, maybe I’m a little bit of a hippy at heart but shhhh - it’s a secret. I’m just a person, in the world, who thinks I need to do less damage.

I’m all for reusing, recycling and upcycling when we need to but these actions merely treat the symptoms of a much bigger problem. I’ve worked with trash for years, making it into useful items, and I have seen first-hand that we produce so much more than we can realistically use up in recycling or upcycling. For me, the best way to produce less waste is to simply REDUCE what we take into our homes and workplaces, and thereby reduce the waste we have to get rid of.

While I say, “simply reduce,” I do realise this not nearly as easy as it sounds. Trust me – Tom and I are trying, so we know. However, if we, all of us, can reduce the product packaging and particularly single-use plastics that we buy, then manufacturers and retailers will have to come up with new ideas and products that are more environmentally friendly in order to keep their customers. Maybe then our generation’s children will have a better world in which to live. 

Through my everyday stories, ideas, experiments, rants and musings in this little space on the world wide web I hope to connect with other, like-minded, ordinary people who do want to make a difference in the world, no matter how small. We all start somewhere. AND THAT IS OK. We can support each other along the way. I’m not here to preach to you, to judge you or to make you feel you’re not doing enough. It is so hard to change the habits of generations and do it all in the busy lives we lead. Maybe you’ll simply buy your mayo in a glass jar instead of a plastic bottle, even if it costs a few Rands more. I’m by no means a perfect eco warrior. We do our very best to reduce the amount of plastic that comes into our home, we never bring home plastic shopping bags anymore, we almost never bring home those flimsy veggie bags anymore, we choose products in glass rather than plastic bottles (and buy less of these products because they are usually more expensive in glass). These are the easy things to change. I am human and I am weak. So very weak. Every now and then, I still buy a bag of chips, because MSG, and chips come in those nasty, useless, non-recyclable foil/plastic bags, and they contribute to the destruction of forests to get the palm oil to make the chips. Most chocolate still comes in plastic. I often still buy chocolate. Many chocolate brands also use palm oil. That’s a big problem. We do the best we can, and I hope that I can encourage you to do what you’ve been wanting to do too. I hope you will share your ideas and discoveries. We can help each other. 

My simple reaction to the over-everything of the world we live in is to attempt to do less and do local: eat less or no meat, and what we do eat try to source from local and ethical suppliers; purchase less plastic packaging, somehow; consume less processed foods, more local fresh produce from local farmers and gardeners; use less water; use less electricity; spend less money; purchase less imported goods and support more local business. If I can’t find what I need in these parameters, then maybe I should simply try to do without it. I mean - do I really need those chips? Eeek!

We have already started this journey. It is hard, so hard. But on the days we get it right both my husband and I feel lighter, we feel healthier, happier and sometimes we even feel a little richer. On these days we feel even more determined than ever to carry on and avoid more crap we don’t need.

Now, if I could just learn how to make my own chocolate ... recipes, anyone?