Have you ever wondered about Going Green but think “well it’s too expensive“ or “too time consuming”… Well, I have done some research into this and found that it’s easier than we think, here are 10 simple ways to go green.
1) Recycled Polystyrene – Ever wondered what happens to all those polystyrene cups we use …? well there are actually companies that recycle these items and manufacture lightweight building blocks. These blocks have so many benefits, namely, its superior insulation and it’s lightweight so transportation is much easier and more cost effective, it’s also fireproof, water resistant as well as soundproof. This product has so many benefits I wonder why so few people know about it as it’s super cost effective too…
2) ECO friendly / Green Paints – Many people only know about the traditional paints we use and the big names like Plascon, Dulux etc however interestingly enough there are ECO friendly paints out there, they have so many benefits i.e. non toxic and odourless so very effective for use in hospitals, schools etc, you even get waterproofing paints which are ideal for ponds etc. They are fire retardant too as well as flexible, they have so many benefits it’s surprising that these paints are not as common as the other major brands.
3) Energy Star Products – Most of us have seen the Energy Star label on our computers. Ever wondered what the energy star label on your appliance is there for? .. well, I have just learnt that it’s for energy efficient appliances, which means that these products have been independently certified to save you energy without sacrificing the features or functionalities of the product.
4) Light Bulbs – Changing your light bulb to a fluorescent or LED energy saving one helps protect the environment as well
5) Rainwater harvesting – By collecting rain water from roof tops and gutters you can accumulate more than enough water to wash cars, water gardens and top up swimming pools and ponds. Companies like Jo-Jo have a wide variety of products to suit your needs for rainwater harvesting
6) Grey water usage – Did you know that on average a toilet uses approx 5 litres of water per flush, if an average household of 4 people flush the toilet only 5 times a day, you can use 100 litres of water just on flushing the toilet, however, if you were to collect shower or bath water for flushing, you would knock off a minimum of 3 000 litres off your bill every month. Next time you run the bath for the kids think again before lifting the plug and letting the water go down the drain. Collect your washing machine water in tanks or buckets and water the garden or even flush the toilet with that. There are so many creative ways to save water, you can even get fancy and get pumps to pump the grey water to where you need or you can skip the gym and carry buckets around …
7) Energy efficient windows – I have never really thought about this before but did you know that your windows can account for approximately 30% of your heat loss during winter and heat gain during summer. Some very clever people have made double glazed windows which is basically two pieces of glass in a window pane with a very tiny gap in-between that traps air which, assists with Insulating the window’s, so next time you have to replace a window consider going this option, it will definitely save you on the heating/cooling costs of your property.
8) Solar – Now by now we are all pretty much clued up / familiar with solar energy, you can either install a solar geyser of solar panels to go partially off the grid or even completely off the grid. There are so many companies out there which can assist one with solar installations and although it might be a bit costly initially, in the long run, it will definitely pay off. The only problem is when Eskom decides to do load shedding again, you might some pesky unwanted neighbours camping out at your place
9) Cleaning Supplies – We spend hundreds of rands every month on cleaning chemicals, now not only are they expensive but they are very harmful to the environment too. Ever thought of making your own cleaning chemicals? Here are some simple ways to do so –
– All purpose cleaner – 2 cups of water, ½ cup vinegar & 1 tsp bicarbonate soda
– Glass Cleaner – 1 cup white vinegar & 1 cup water
– Disinfectant – 1 cup water & 1 cup rubbing alcohol
If you are anything like me, you will add the rubbing alcohol or lemon juice to everything for a disinfectant. You can find plenty DIY cleaning material recipes in Pinterest.
10) Plastic bags – Well, now this one is probably more for the ladies as it’s regarding shopping, but the men might want to know as well as this will save you more…
Did you know that a normal plastic shopping packet can cost between 30c and 60c? What do you do with that packet afterwards, do you keep them in the car for the next shop, but they tear so easily? Why not buy shopping bags, the sturdy ones that Spar, Pick n Pay and Woolworths sell. Yes, they are more expensive ranging from R12 to R40 but they last longer and will save you money in the long run. Also, some of these shops donate a portion to various wildlife funds.
Thank you for taking the time to read my Blog I hope that you found it interesting.
Good luck Going Green…