Tips for 24/7 sustainable living

reduce-waste-compost-pic

It’s surprising how easy it is to live sustainably; here are tips to go green at home, work, school, on the road and in your community.

At home

  • Replace your incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs.
  • Buy energy-efficient appliances.
  • Repair appliances instead of replacing them.
  • Separate and recycle all rubbish that can be recycled.
  • Install low-flow shower heads.
  • Take showers instead of baths.
  • Switch from synthetic cleaning chemicals to environmentally friendly ones, or opt for natural cleaning chemicals such as vinegar and bicarb.
  • Install insulation to reduce your heating and cooling electricity bills.
  • Seal up cracks and leaks to prevent heat loss in winter and reduce electricity consumption.
  • Lower the geyser temperature.
  • Install a geyser timer to switch your geyser on only when you need it
  • Wrap the geyser in a geyser blanket to keep water hot using less electricity.
  • Switch off lights in empty rooms.
  • Switch off unused appliances.
  • Install solar panels; in the long run these are cost-effective.
  • Recycle ewaste such as old cellphones, batteries, kitchen appliances and computers, video, CD, DVD machines at a registered ewaste recycler.

 

Saving water

  •  Cut your showers by two minutes.
  •  Install a water-efficient shower head.
  •  Sweep your driveway instead of hosing it.
  •  Use a water-efficient washing machine.
  •  Use a dual flush toilet.

In the garden

  • Convert your organic household waste to compost.
  • Grow your own seasonal fruit and vegetables for cheaper, healthier food.
  • Water plants early in the morning or evening to reduce evaporation.
  • Plant indigenous vegetation to reduce water consumption.
  • Collect rainwater and bathwater to water plants.
  • Use as little pesticide as possible, or opt for homemade pesticides.
  • Buy locally grown foods. This reduces the need for transporting foods across long distances, which uses more fuel.
  • Buy products that have minimal packaging to reduce waste. Avoid individually wrapped items.
  • Reuse shopping bags, or buy durable bags you can use each time you go shopping. This reduces plastic bag waste.
  • Buy recycled products, such as recycled paper, furniture made from recycled timber, recycled plastic bottles or recycled aluminium cans.
  • Buy in bulk to reduce packaging.
  • Buy refillable packaging to reuse the containers.
  • Choose durable and reusable items rather than disposable ones.
  • Drive smoothly, keep a reasonable and consistent following distance to avoid having to slow down, speed up or brake often. This reduces fuel consumption.
  • Drive in high gear to use fuel more efficiently.
  • Reduce your speed to use less fuel. At 110 km/h your car uses up to 25% more petrol than it would if cruising at 90 km/h.
  • Reduce drag, and use less fuel, by removing non-essential exterior parts such as roof racks and spoilers.
  • Inflate your car tyres to the highest pressure recommended by the manufacturer (including your spare) and ensure your wheels are properly aligned. Looking after your tyres will not only reduce your fuel consumption it will also extend tyre life and improve handling.
  • Use the air-conditioning sparingly to reduce fuel consumption, but remember that when driving faster than 80km/h, the air conditioner is more fuel-efficient than leaving your windows open.
  • Make sure that your air conditioning is properly serviced to prevent the leaking of CFCs from the seals.
  • Travel light; more weight means more fuel consumption.
  • Service your vehicle regularly to keep it operating most efficiently.
  •  Contact recycling centres to collect paper at your workplace.
  •  Arrange for ewaste such as old computers, toner cartridges and printers to be collected by or dropped off at a registered ewaste recycler.
  •  Introduce recycling initiatives at school, at work and in your community by setting up recycling waste points and contacting recycling companies to collect the waste. Restaurants, supermarkets and malls can also become recycle points. Contact recycling companies, which will provide recycling containers.
  • Inform the authorities when you see illegal dumping and littering, and report perpetrators of these

Going shopping

  • Buy locally grown foods. This reduces the need for transporting foods across long distances, which uses more fuel.
  • Buy products that have minimal packaging to reduce waste. Avoid individually wrapped items.
  • Reuse shopping bags, or buy durable bags you can use each time you go shopping. This reduces plastic bag waste.
  • Buy recycled products, such as recycled paper, furniture made from recycled timber, recycled plastic bottles or recycled aluminium cans.
  • Buy in bulk to reduce packaging.
  • Buy refillable packaging to reuse the containers.
  • Choose durable and reusable items rather than disposable ones.

 When driving

  • Drive smoothly, keep a reasonable and consistent following distance to avoid having to slow down, speed up or brake often. This reduces fuel consumption.
  • Drive in high gear to use fuel more efficiently.
  • Reduce your speed to use less fuel. At 110 km/h your car uses up to 25% more petrol than it would if cruising at 90 km/h.
  • Reduce drag, and use less fuel, by removing non-essential exterior parts such as roof racks and spoilers.
  • Inflate your car tyres to the highest pressure recommended by the manufacturer (including your spare) and ensure your wheels are properly aligned. Looking after your tyres will not only reduce your fuel consumption it will also extend tyre life and improve handling.
  • Use the air-conditioning sparingly to reduce fuel consumption, but remember that when driving faster than 80km/h, the air conditioner is more fuel-efficient than leaving your windows open.
  • Make sure that your air conditioning is properly serviced to prevent the leaking of CFCs from the seals.
  • Travel light; more weight means more fuel consumption.
  • Service your vehicle regularly to keep it operating most efficiently.

 At school, at work and in your community

  •  Contact recycling centres to collect paper at your workplace.
  •  Arrange for ewaste such as old computers, toner cartridges and printers to be collected by or dropped off at a registered ewaste recycler.
  •  Introduce recycling initiatives at school, at work and in your community by setting up recycling waste points and contacting recycling companies to collect the waste. Restaurants, supermarkets and malls can also become recycle points. Contact recycling companies, which will provide recycling containers.
  • Inform the authorities when you see illegal dumping and littering, and report perpetrators of these