Not long ago the phrase eco-friendly would have conjured up images of people living an alternative lifestyle, possibly in communes or teepees, but in recent times this phrase has gone mainstream and has evolved into a necessity. Going green is a way of doing your bit to create and maintain a sustainable environment for generations to come. By applying these 4 simple practices in and around your home, you can help protect and improve the sustainability of our environment.
Recycle. Recycle. Recycle.
Start a recycling system at home. Recycling can be divided into 5 groups namely glass, metals, paper, organics and plastic. Of all the recyclable items found, plastic is the most used item when creating products and is the product that is recycled the least. If possible, cut the use of your plastic items at home. Use glass as an alternative. Try purchasing products that are already made from recycled goods, and fruit & veggies that are unwrapped. You can even bring your own containers to your local butcher, etc. Using your own bags and containers is a great way of giving singular items a continuous life without cultivating new resources for a new disposal item.
Go green – Inside
Improve the environment in your home by growing plants indoors. Such plants are nature’s natural air filters and can absorb harmful pollutants that come from carpets, furniture and other items in your home.
Use clean green energy
The biggest requirements for any home are water and electricity – without which no house can function. Of the two necessities, electricity can be the most expensive utility. Solar panels are one of the best electricity saving solutions when going green. They provide clean electricity that has no impact on the environment and although pricey to install, can be considered a long-term investment that will save you money in the future.
Water efficient home
We in South Africa are becoming increasingly aware of freshwater conservation. With water shortages in nearly every province, it has become important to reduce the pressure on our mainline water supply. Consider installing low-flow fixtures and appliances that minimise water usage. Change to a water-saving lifestyle by adjusting personal water-usage habits. Install a grey water- or rainwater harvesting system. These systems allow you to collect, store and reuse water elsewhere in the home without wasting water that comes from the tap.