Most of us have made New Year’s resolutions that focus on personal goals like saving money, exercising more or stopping bad habits like smoking. Here are some simple “green” resolutions that you might want to take up as part of your year ahead:
Ecycle: If the Xmas period meant new electronic toys and gadgets for you and your family, don’t throw it out with the rubbish – ecycle instead! Recycling unwanted electronic goods prevent the filling up our landfills and it means that materials like copper, steel and glass are re-used. Even better, why not donate your old computers, televisions or DVD players to a charity organization? Almost two million tons of used electronics are thrown out each year, and an estimated 128 million cell phones end up in landfills.
Spend More Family & Recreational Time Outdoors: Instead of heading for the shopping mall or a restaurant why not plan an environmentally-friendly outing, like a family bike ride, a picnic on the beach or a mountain hike with your mates?
Save on Water Usage: If you usually take baths, why not switch to short showers and replace showerheads with an ultra-low-flow version. This year, make it your mission to repair that drip, drip dripping tap. Only one drop per second wastes more than a staggering 10 000 litres of water per year!
Recycle, recycle, recycle: There are recycling centres and services popping up all over the country so there’s no more excuse not to recycle. Here are some facts and figures:
*One recycled can saves enough energy to power a television or computer for three hours or a 100-watt light bulb for 20 hours.
*Recycling one glass bottle saves enough energy to light a 100-watt light bulb for four hours.
*Recycling a one-foot high stack of newspapers saves enough electricity to heat a home for 17 hours.
Clean Green: Home-mixed cleaners can work just as well as the cleaning products available on supermarket shelves but they contain no harmful chemicals. They can be made using ingredients like Hydrogen Peroxide (volume 30) and lemon juice. For those who don’t have time to make their own cleaners, there are now many natural cleaning products available in South Africa that are non-toxic, biodegradable and petroleum-free.
Save energy: The easiest way to save energy is to switch from ordinary, incandescent light bulbs to energy saving bulbs that reduce energy consumption, generate less air pollution and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Get composting: Not only can you make rich and healthy compost for your garden but you will also help reduce global warming. Methane released by all the organic waste that ends up in landfills is one of the biggest contributors to climate change.
Go biodegradable: Choose products wrapped in biodegradable or compostable packaging and switch to disposable food containers and cutlery that can be thrown into the compost bin. For more information visit www.greenhome.co.za