TRASH TO TREASURE

WISING UP TO WASTE

Upcycling is no new concept, but it is certainly having its moment. Recycling, reusing and repurposing are finally becoming ‘trendy’. Hallelujah! People are wising up to the impact our throwaway culture has on the environment. Thank you, David Attenborough, for bringing the issue home in Blue Planet II with images of trash-entangled marine life igniting a global war against single-use plastics. Amid the current world health pandemic, it will become more necessary than ever before to reuse and repurpose what we have as people remain isolated.

David Attenborough talks about ocean waste on Blue Planet II. ©BBC

KENYANS LEAD THE WAY

In Kenya, enterprise and ingenuity thrive. Kenyans have long been adept at the art of upcycling. In a country where things are not always available, people think outside the box and resourcefulness abounds.

Sasaab’s Shamba is full of recycled creations from oil drums to food tins.

You only need to look out of the car window to see all manner of objects resurrected from trash heaps and transformed to serve new purposes! Plastic bottle fencing and the infamous Maasai ‘thousand milers’- sandals fashioned from old car tyres – probably the most durable footwear you’ll ever come across.

Good shoes take you to good places. ©Scott Ramsay

One of the latest examples of ingenuity which has arisen out of the pandemic is the ‘Tippy Tap’. In rural communities without access to running water, handwashing is a challenge. Easily constructed from sticks, rope, an empty 5-litre container and a bar of soap, these clever little contraptions give running water operated by a foot pedal – no touching and minimal water usage. At Sasaab, our team have partnered with Ewaso Lions and Grevy’s Zebra Trust to build over 100 of these innovative handwashing stations. The simplest engineering is often the best, and in this case, lifesaving.

The simple yet effective Tippy Tap creation being put to use in Samburu.

UPCYCLING AT THE SAFARI COLLECTION

Recycling is a central part of The Safari Collection’s ethos. Being able to find an alternative use for waste is not only good for the environment but is crucial as our camps are remote and shops few and far between.

Don’t miss out on a visit to Sasaab’s Shamba, full of up cycled creations.

At each of our properties, our staff live (quite comfortably!) in old shipping containers. These are also refashioned for all our managers’ offices and stores. When the tyres on our safari vehicles have seen better days, they go to local schools for playground equipment.

The old tyres from Solio Lodge make a new home at Honi Primary

Empty wine bottles lead second lives after being sandblasted, returning with corks in as elegant guest water bottles.

Beautifully etched water vessels at Sasaab are made from old wine bottles.

At Sasaab, herbs sprout from painted cooking oil containers and Solio Lodge staff have discovered that dried-out tea bags make fabulous fire starters. At Sala’s Camp, parts from old safari vehicles are currently being upcycled into a funky new sundowner bar truck – we can’t wait for this invention to be finished! Last year’s renovations at Giraffe Manor made great use of recycled materials: the roof tiles, windows, doors, parquet flooring and even the chimney stack, all led previous lives. Look out for our draughts boardgame, refashioned from old bottle tops!

Sala’s sundowner bar is near to completion. We can’t wat to be serving our guests soon.

THE ONLY LIMIT IS YOUR IMAGINATION

Get creative and join the journey to a waste-less world. As consumers, we have a responsibility not only to source ethical, long-lasting products but also to re-love and refashion things that no longer serve a purpose.

T-shirt totes (no sewing needed), bicycle wheel clocks and vintage tennis racket mirrors… the possibilities are endless. The internet is awash with quirky ideas for refashioning just about anything and everything.

Plastic pots make perfect planters at Sasaab.

So next time you are about to throw something out… take a minute to consider its potential. Get on Google or simply let your imagination run wild.

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