Purchase gifts that are eco-friendly
You are going to spend the money anyway, why not make sure that you help the planet at the same time? There are many websites you can use to buy eco, organic, recycled and sustainable products online but a simple plant or tree is earth friendly too.
Make new purchases eco friendly
When it’s time to buy a new car, geyser, washing machine or fridge, make sure you buy an eco-friendly one.
Consider replacing your geyser with a solar option. The cost of installing a solar geyser varies between R12 000 and R35 000 depending on the size, type and source (whether it is imported or locally manufactured). The rebate Eskom is willing to pay consumers to go solar is between 15 percent and 30 percent depending on the equipments’ energy-savings capabilities. A geyser uses between 30 percent and 50 percent of the electricity used in a home. Typically, taking overcast weather and usage patterns into account, 70 percent of this energy can be saved by using a solar system.
Investigate Eskom’s rebates at www.eskomdsm.co.za.
Cook with a hotbox
A what? A hotbox uses the principle of insulated cooking. First you heat the food on a regular stove. Once heated you place the pot into the hotbox, containing the heat. No replacement heat is necessary to complete the cooking process.
Salathiso, a women empowerment company based in Cape Town, produces hotboxes and they can be contacted on 021 712 6424 or firstname.lastname@example.org. A hotbox from Salathiso costs R140 (other types cost a bit more – google "hotbox" to find some). If used often, it will save you far more than you would have used in electricity.
I’ve already discussed insulating your geyser, but installing ceiling insulation saves lots of money over time on both heating and cooling costs.
Change all light bulbs to CFLs
Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) only consume 20 percent of the electricity that an incandescent globe would use. In addition, they also last between six and 12 times longer than traditional globes.
There is so much you can do to help protect the environment without spending a cent. Begin by simply changing habits and then slowly incorporate a better way of spending your hard-earned cash. You, the consumer, have the power in your purse to make a very tangible difference.