Green Tips

Heard about Car Free Day?
Car Free Day is a free international event celebrated every September 22 in which people are encouraged to get around without driving alone in cars and instead ride a train, bus, bicycle, carpool or walk. For those that have the ability to work from home, telework also counts. In other words – DRIVE AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE !

1st September was International Vulture Day.
Give a thought to these spectacular and iconic birds & give thanks to God for their beauty (yes, beauty!) and the important part that these majestic birds play in our eco-systems.

A cool “did you know” fact …
A chameleon uses its REALLY long tongue shot out at ultra-high speed to catch insects!  But it’s tongue isn’t sticky, it has soft tissue on the tongue which acts like a sucker when it wraps around the insect.  How cool is that!

Hot stuff!
We all seem to have an odd sock laying around so make it work for you in the chilly weather!  Fill the sock with rice, add fragrance to the rice if you like, tie, and heat in the microwave until warm and use as a heating pad.

Love me tender……
Add a ripe banana peel to a roasting pan to keep boneless, skinless cuts of meat from toughening up and drying out during cooking.

Celebrate “Meatless Monday”
Go vegetarian once a weekone less meat-based meal a week helps the planet and your diet.  A huge amount of water and habitat is wasted in raising beef – not to mention the tons of methane (a greenhouse gas) that is produced by the cattle!

Aging graciously!
It’s a myth that as a car ages, its fuel efficiency declines.  A car that is properly maintained – no matter what the age – will retain its fuel efficiency for many years.

No-speed freak!
Did you know that sticking to the speed limit (urban & rural) can save a whopping 10% on your fuel usage?

Don’t get so heated!
Avoid pre-heating the oven. Unless you need a precise baking temperature, start heating your food right when you turn on the oven

Your friend the Freezer
Freeze fresh produce and left-overs if you don’t have the chance to eat them before they go off.  You can also do this with left-over take-aways if you know you will not feel like eating it the next day. You will save food and money

Switch to a digital organizer for tracking your to do’s and grocery lists.  If you really have to use paper, reuse scrap paper for small note-books.

Treat your greens & your plants
Wash veggies in a bowl, rather than under a running tap. Then pour the water on your houseplants afterwards rather than see it gurgle down the plughole.

Dry cleaning a “no-no”!
Conventional dry cleaners are the largest users of the industrial solvent Perchloroethylene which is toxic to humans and produces huge amounts of carbon dioxide in the process.  Because of this, when buying cloths, avoid those that need dry cleaning or dry clean as seldom as possible.  If you do take clothes to conventional cleaners, be sure to air them outside before wearing them or putting them in the cupboard.

Eat in!
Cut back on fast food meals, they pollute more than your arteries!

Fertilize your garden
Eggshells are rich in calcium and other minerals that help your garden thrive. Crush eggshells into tiny pieces and use them as compost.

Don’t rinse!
Skip rinsing dishes before using your dishwasher and save a huge amount of water each load. Plus, you’re saving time and the energy used to heat the additional water.

Tyre trivia
Did you know that It takes half a barrel of crude oil to produce the rubber in just one lorry tyre & worldwide every year 3 billion tyres, yes 3 billion! are discarded. So it makes sense to look after your tyres!  Only inflate cold tyres and keep them inflated to their specified BAR.  This preserves the life of the tyre and can improve your fuel consumption by 5%.

Facebook Fancies:
Share, don’t just like. If you see an interesting social media post about women’s rights or climate change, share it so folks in your network see it too.

Conscious choice
Shop less and buy only what you mean to keep, pass on or recycle

Local is lekka
Move towards an indigenous, drought-resistant garden. Indigenous trees are hardier than their imported counterparts and use much less water. They can also survive long periods of drought.  (Indigenous planting also serves our biodiversity far better! …. and they’re prettier!!!)

Help your home smell Bicarbalicious
Bicarb not only removes those strange smells coming from your fridge, it’s also a great odour-eliminator for your carpet. Just sprinkle on a little bicarb to soak up some of those odours and then vacuum it up. Especially great when Fido has had an accident!  Just smell the “fresh” – Aaahhhh!!!!

Say no to the bottle!
One of the best ways to save water is to stop drinking bottled water! It uses 3 times more water to produce bottled water – making the plastic bottles, transporting them etc. In Johannesburg we are fortunate enough to have good quality water from the tap. So make your pledge today: never drink bottled water again!

Going Green in 2016
Consider making 2016 the year to really pump up your current shade of GREEN to its fullest! Make a list of all the ways you will be caring for our Planet (God’s Creation) this year.

Coffee’s cold?
Throwing away your morning cuppa that’s gone cold is just a waste of precious water!  Reheat cold coffee in the microwave or add crushed ice and a sprinkling of cinnamon for a refreshing summer drink later in the day.  Sprinkle coffee grounds around areas of ant infestation to deter them.

Be Water Wise!
Hugely important!! – Always use a plugged-sink or bowl instead of a running tap

Be the solution – Reduce pollution!

The very lifestyles that we lead today results in pollution – whether we like it or not.  The level of the pollution is up to us!

Stopping pollution grows more important with each passing day. The air we breathe is laden with hazardous contaminants, and our oceans and waterways have been poisoned with chemicals. Left unabated, pollution could leave us with a planet Earth sapped of its beauty, vitality, and diversity.  Although industry, municipalities and indeed government are allocating a lot of research funds to develop new technologies that will eliminate or at least reduce the pollution being generated today, unless our lifestyles change, pollution will continue to affect us all.

Even if technologies are developed and implemented to combat pollution, it will create new types of pollution itself. Also anyone who has studied human behaviour knows that there is really no end to human desires. If a technology to control the pollution in satisfying one desire is discovered and successfully implemented, then we will have another desire that generates much more pollution. The idea that some future technology is going to eliminate pollution, change mankind, empower generations, bring the world together and save the environment is just more of the hyped promise of the technology revolution.

However, all the doom and gloom said – there are simple measures that each of us can take to reduce the amount of pollution affecting our lives and the Planet.

  1. Become less reliant on your car.

It’s not just turning on your ignition and driving to the supermarket that pollutes the air. It’s all the energy that goes into creating cars and the roads we drive them on. The manufacturing of car parts, the production of fuel, the creation of roads, and the emissions from burning fuel all play a part in polluting the air. If you travel a lot in cars, driving less is a major step you can take to help stop air pollution.

Maybe you can’t give up your car entirely, but try to find creative ways to use it less. For example

  • Instead of driving to the shop every day to pick up a few things, drive there once a week and stock up on everything you need.
  • Carpool to school or work instead of driving by yourself every day.
  • If possible, use public transport
  • When you do drive, spend as little time idling as possible. Make sure your car is in tip top condition, tyres properly inflated; drive cautiously so as to get the best fuel consumption.
  • Don’t overlook the power of walking.  While you might not be able to walk everywhere you want to go, you’d be surprised how many places you can get.

Buy local! – Local is lekka!

Manufacturing, packaging, and shipping processes all create waste that pollutes the air.  If most of your food and other goods come from faraway places, you can help stop air pollution by buying things locally instead. Check the labels of the products you buy to see where they were made, and try to buy items that were produced as close to your home as possible.   Take your own environmentally friendly shopping bags with you to the supermarket and avoid buying plastic packets.

  1. Reduce your waste

Plastic and cardboard packaging that comes with food, cleaning supplies, clothes, and other store-bought items creates a lot of waste – both when the packaging is manufactured, and after you throw it away. Making as many of your own products from scratch as possible can really cut back on the pollutants used in packaging. Here are a few easy ways to cut back on waste:

  • Buy food in bulk.
  • Buy or grow fresh produce instead of getting it canned or frozen.
  • Make food from scratch as often as possible, instead of buying microwavable meals or single serving snacks.
  • Instead of throwing away your food scraps, compost them.
  • Practice the 4Rs – Reduce, Repair, Re-use & Recycle!
  • Don’t litter!!!!!!!!!! – probably the worst form of pollution that South Africans practice!
  • Don’t pour ANY oil down the drain – oil causes untold problems with water purification!
  1. Reduce your electricity consumption.

Our electricity is most commonly produced by burning coal – a major air pollutant. Reducing your use of electricity is a really important way to do your part to stop air pollution. Simple changes will make a big difference in your electricity bill, too. Here are ways you can reduce your consumption – (and by the way, you’ll be saving water as well!):

  • Turn off lights and unplug appliances when you aren’t using them.
  • Replace outdated appliances with energy-efficient models.
  • Insulate your house so you use less air and heat.
  • Wash your clothes with warm or cool water instead of using hot water.
  • Take short, warm showers instead of long hot ones.
  • Replace your light bulbs with energy efficient compact fluorescent bulbs.

Plant shady trees.

You can work to offset the effects of air pollution by preserving and planting trees. Trees convert carbon dioxide into oxygen, cleaning up air pollution every day.

If you want to plant tree in your yard or neighbourhood, choose a hardwood indigenous tree that will grow tall and produce a lot of shade.  Do some homework – make sure that the tree you want to plant is suitable for the space intended.  A huge Acacia is probably not the best tree for a small complex garden!

These are just a few ideas – there are many more that everyone can become involved it – try it! – You’ll like it!!


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