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15 easy ways to live (even) greener

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Who was it who said that there is a positive in every negative scenario? All we have to do is give it some thought.

As Eskom piles debacle on top of debacle, the positive that comes out of that scenario (apart from romantic candle-lit dinners prepared on a gas cooker) is the thought that we have been forced to become more environmentally aware. Surely that’s a positive.

Most of us have already done the easy and affordable things to reduce our power consumption. The wealthy among us have installed solar panels and added a bevy of batteries to store power for when we need it most. Geysers have been wrapped and water temperatures turned down, low-energy light bulbs installed and unnecessary lights or standby power switches turned off.

So what else is there in more general terms?Asking questions.resize

Amanda Sims, writing in Architectural Digest suggests there is plenty more. Here are a few of her ideas:

  1. Use more cloth rags and fewer paper towels.Cut up old shirts to make rags (just like grandma did) and launder them in a batch whenever you run out.
  2. Clean the fridge coils.Get a long, skinny brush and gently scrub loose any lint and scuzz from the coils under your fridge. This will help it use less energy to keep your food cold.

  3. That tool also doubles as a cleaner for the lint slot in your dryer. You’ll be amazed at what comes out of it.
  4. Use cold water when washing your clothes.
  5. Get multi-plug strips and turn them off when you’re not using the appliances that are plugged in. Everything from TVs to phone chargers can act as “vampire appliances” leeching energy while not in use.
  6. Get a few houseplants to turn some of that CO2 into O2 in your home. And actually care for the plants.
  7. Water your plants using used water such as the water in which you wash your vegetables.
  8. Use cloth fold-up bags for groceries rather than the plastic bags you have to pay for at supermarkets.

  9. If you live in an apartment block don’t use the lift. Use the stairs and lose the kilograms as well.
  10. Fill your dishwasher totally before doing a wash.
  11. Run your dishwasher at night when electricity tariffs are at their lowest.
  12. Switch to online bill paying.
  13. Use cloth napkins instead of the paper alternative. Dark colours are easier to keep clean.
  14. Whether you’re in a house or an apartment, plant your own herbs rather than buying herbs from your supermarket. That product has to be transported to the supermarket. A herb garden on your kitchen window or counter top will do the trick.
  15. Buy good-quality cloth diapers instead of expensive disposable nappies.

Words: Blake Wilkins


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