Environmental sustainability and economic development: Recycling and Craftwork

Hie there! I hope you’re doing well and keeping warm. The temperatures are continuously dropping, and yes! I can openly say climate change is a contributing factor as it results in extreme changes in temperatures.

If you come across any fliers online on a Winter Campaign by Ladies In Action, please support us, even if it’s through forwarding the fliers. Every bit counts. We’re on a move to help some children from Chinyaradzo children’s home survive through the winter. Thank you in advance.

In honor of our African culture

We’ll be celebrating Africa Day tomorrow and I hope you enjoy your celebrations. This is Africa month and I commend Zimbabwe Youths Champions Agenda for 2063 (ZYCA2063) for actively working on promoting the embracement of arts, heritage and culture. It was through them that I found out that on the 18th of this month we joined the rest of the global village in commemorating International Museum Day. And yes, I did pass through and it was a great experience as I looked at the time difference from when I first visited the museum in pre-school and primary school, to where I am now. Thank you ZYCA2063!

Environnemental sustainability and craftwork

Last time I had said I’d focus on how sustainability can lead to economic development. Since we’re celebrating arts and culture I’ve decided to write along that, interlinking environmental sustainability, craftwork and economic development.

Below I shall first define some terms:

  • Economy: the state of a country or region in terms of the production and consumption of goods and services and the supply of money.
  • Economics: the study of the use of scarce resources to satisfy unlimited human wants.
  • Economic development: the process whereby simple, low-income national economies are transformed into modern industrial economies.

As a country, we need to develop economically. Sustainable Development Goal number 12 as set by the United Nations states the need to ensure sustainable production and consumption patterns. I would therefore like to put a spotlight on those individuals and organizations who are involved in recycling, through waste management, this goal can be achieved.

Making toys from waste

Craft toys made from waste materials

I’ve seen toys made from empty detergent containers like the one above. I’ve also seen some people in town with sacks loaded with such toys. Through further enquiries, I was informed that these people are selling their products at the marketplace in Chikanga, Mutare. These are people who are recycling material which at times can end up in landfills or get burnt in people’s backyards, and making money out of it.

When I started developing more interest in waste management, I found a recycling company database online. It had details on the type of materials people collect or buy. These included aluminum cans and cardboard which was used for art and craft purposes. I contacted most of the numbers I found there to see if they were still based in the sector. Some responded and said they still are in the sector; some have changed careers, I’m still in touch with a few and some didn’t reply me, but oh well! I am still breathing.

Shingirirai Trust

Hats and bag made from old tape thread, Shingirirai Trust

From one of my fruitful attempts, I spoke to a lady from Harare, Cecilia Masekereya who used to be part of Shingirirai Trust. They would collect material for art and craft purposes. She informed me that they would sell and export their products to Germany, Spain and Canada; as well as sell them locally during some art festivals and other events they managed to attend. She also mentioned that there are actually some people who are interested in recycling, and that there’s someone who makes cards using paper and indigenous materials like clothes and leaves. This further supports the fact that through recycling and practicing environmental sustainability economic development can be attained.

Clean Marondera

Images from Clean Marondera, run by Elizabeth Gundu(top right corner)

In my quest to help improve waste management systems, I was also networked with Elizabeth Gundu from Marondera, who runs Clean Marondera. At Clean Marondera, they recycle different types of waste including milk and juice tetra pak boxes and make hats and different types of bags from them. They also make eco-bricks from plastic and structures using empty “Super bottles”. They engage in economic activities through practicing environmental sustainability and through endorsing SDG number 12. These economic gains will also contribute to social development and will enable people to have improved living standards.
In an era when we need to use less “single-use plastic” and shield ourselves from the sun’s rays, I support Clean Marondera and their works. Hats off to Elizabeth and her team! (As well as those who are in the sector who have left their positive marks and those we’re yet to know about.) Below are some of their products:

As an upcoming environmental and climate change activist and development practitioner, I shall continue with my mantra because as people we live in a society and are subject to environmental conditions; rain, sunshine, hail storms or heat waves. If we fail to adjust and advocate for environmental justice, some people amidst us who may also be talented in craftwork may drink contaminated water and get sick; some of them also having people like children who may be dependent on them.

The journey ahead

I hope I have enlightened you on how going green can actually help generate income and help support livelihoods, for that’s what economic development is about. We shall continue exploring how various aspects of environmental sustainability can contribute to this as well in the upcoming weeks.

If you’ve got any additions to make with regards to this topic, or any comments please feel free to leave them in the comments section below. I would love to hear from you.

That’s it from me for now. Happy Africa Day in advance! And please do remember to continue masking up.

African °| Climate change activist °| Development practitioner °| Introvert °| Motivational writer °| Social entrepreneur


  • Learnmore Nyamudzanga
    3 weeks ago Reply

    This is great Rumbidzai, it’s true environmental sustainability especially through waste Management can contribute to economic growth and development. Through
    1. Creation of employment especially for the youth, women and people with disabilities
    2. Generation of the much needed foreign currency
    3. Reduce environmental costs by reducing the waste that is polluting our environment
    4. Reduces the emission of green house gases that have negative effect to our economy
    5. Waste Management reduces disease such as cholera and typhoid saving a lot of people from medical bill

    I can go on and if we are to look at it’s multipier effects.
    Like I said I am with you in this journey. Well done keep it up.

    • Rumbidzai Beverley Rugoyi
      2 weeks ago Reply

      Thank you Learnmore! Thats great insight actually thank you. Looking forward to learning more from you as well 😁 We need to try do something before it gets too out of hand bit by bit. As long as we keep moving and don’t give up! #every bit counts

  • Sibo Makuza
    3 weeks ago Reply

    Very inspirational and motivational!!!! We certainly need to look after our environment and seeing how other people are doing it, is motivating and makes even us young people believe that we can truly do better. Thanks for this, and God bless you!!!

    • Rumbidzai Beverley Rugoyi
      2 weeks ago Reply

      Thank you Sibo!😊😊🙏🙏 i truly appreciate!
      Yes we certainly have to take care of our environment and actively do so as well.
      I hope it’s challenged you as a young person as well ☺ amen thank you and may God bless you too🙏🙏

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