There are many recipes online for cleaning products made out of natural substances (such as vinegar and bicarbonate of soda) that do not harm the environment.
A Biowash Ball used in your washing machine instead of soap can be used 1000 times before a new one is needed. These balls cost about R140 at Pick and Pay supermarkets. Imagine that, 1000 washes for R140 and no water pollution!
Use a lift club
If you travel too far to walk or cycle to work, try and organise a lift club. Share those burdensome carbon emissions.
Use electronic media more
Books and magazines can be read online, no printing necessary.
Bank statements, car finance statements and many other accounts now have the option of being emailed to you, saving paper.
Music can be downloaded to ipods, preventing the need for plastic CDs and covers.
A free, animated, highly amusing birthday card (and all other occasions) can be emailed to friends, saving paper and postage. You can even use creative and gorgeous e-invites for wedding invitations, christenings and other functions.
Using electronic media not only saves paper and plastic, but also reduces the costs and carbon emissions of distribution.
Grow your own vegetables
Planting seeds and watching them grow can be a very rewarding exercise, especially for children. You can get your own organic produce at a fraction of the cost and, once again, no distribution pollution as there is no need to transport produce first to markets and then to outlets.
All seed packets come with full instructions, which include what season to plant the seeds in, whether the plant likes full sun or shade and how deep to cover the seed with soil. It’s almost idiot proof!
Say no to bottled water
As South Africans most of us are very lucky to be able to drink tap water, even if it tastes a little like chlorine.
If you must drink filtered water, then either buy big bottles (and that also applies to fizzy drinks and fruit juice) or filter it at home.
The production process for bottled water uses three full bottles of water to produce one bottle of water. What a waste!
Plastic packaging and carbon-emitting distribution adds to the pollution over and above the millions of plastic bottles that end up in landfills.
If you want to save money, consider this fact: bottled water costs on average R2.38 per litre compared to R0.16 per litre for filtered tap water.
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