You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” Jane Goodall
We recycle plastic, paper and glass in our home, have a compost bin and we also have the geyser and pipes wrapped up in their very own blanket. My husband insists on reducing the temperature on the thermostat and the timer is set to come on for the geyser in the morning and evening.
It is fairly simple to maintain all these things and we all feel a great sense of accomplishment and pride in the fact that we are doing what we can to help our environment.
Here are some simple things that we try and do to help us along our ‘green’ journey →
Recycle. Separate plastic, paper, tin and glass and drop off at your nearest recycling depot or arrange to get this collected. Get the kids involved and explain to them why you are doing this.
Lift club. Arrange with other parents in your neighbourhood to share the lifts to school and back. This will save petrol and decrease air pollution.
Veggie garden. Get your hands dirty and grow stuff. The kids will love to help and it such fun eating your own vegetables.
Don’t tap out. Teach children to turn off the water while brushing their teeth. (obviously in cape Town this has become the new normal)
Use rainwater for plants. Collect rainwater and use it to water your plants. No wastage on municipal water.
Use energy-saving light bulbs. Don’t throw them in with the regular rubbish. Dispose of them carefully as they contain dangerous mercury.
Compost food waste. Instead of putting fruit and vegetable peelings in the bin, decompose them naturally to make fertilizer.
Avoid the tumble dryer. Sun-dry your clothes whenever possible to conserve energy.
Do not to open the fridge for too long. Decide what you want before opening the fridge. It takes more energy to bring down the temperature when the cool air leaks from the fridge.
Reuse scrap paper for colouring, doodling, and taking notes. Did you accidentally print out too many copies of your invoices or statements? Give it to the kids to colour on or use the back to make your shopping list.
Unplug electronic devices. They continue to suck in power even after they’re turned off. Leading culprits include televisions, DVD players, cell phone chargers, computers and printers – in general, anything that “glows” when it’s on.
Buy less stuff. Before you buy anything, ask yourself honestly: “Do I really need this?” A lot of the time the answer will be no! You will also avoid extra clutter in your home and save money- double bonus.
Pick up litter. You can help your kids develop a real awareness of rubbish, so they’ll notice it when they pass by and pick it up and hopefully make their friends aware as well.
Use reusable bags everywhere. Don’t give in to the temptation and convenience of a plastic bag. There are a lot of fabric options out there, so no excuses.
Donate. When your children have outgrown clothes, toys, and other items, sort through them together. Recycling goods results in less clutter and less waste in landfills.
It does get easier the more you do it so enjoy the challenge. Have fun with it, get competitive with your neighbours and share your experiences with us.
Read more- Simple Ways to Love Our Earth
Image Courtesy of recyclect.com