I was asked to give a presentation on what people can do to have an eco-friendly festive season (Day of Reconciliation, Christmas day, New Year’s Eve day and New Years day) at one of the corporate companies I work with; this over and above the DOs and DONTs for the company itself. It pleases me to see people who are interested in and are willing to do their bit to conserve the environment. Like I’ve said many times before, people do want to help; they do want to keep their environmental impact to the bare minimum without living like communal hippies. The number one issue people have come up to me and cited as the reason they have not started living better and planet Earth considerate lives is that all they ever her is: “Oh it’s easy, you’ve just got to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle” but no one ever really tells them how all this is done. Nobody until now, that is.
This particular step asks of us to reduce one’s consumption and ultimately emissions into the environment. The passing of the legislature that made grocery plastic bags available only by purchase has done a lot to help South Africans reduce the amount of plastic bags we use; back when the bags were free of charge people would accept one for a small item that could fit into their handbag or pocket, but now that they have to factor in that 35 cents they think twice. There are many ways we can apply this step in our households, schools and workplaces.
- At home: a lot of people spend idle time in the shower not realising the amount of water and subsequent impact. Installing a water-saving shower head will be good for both the environment and your pocket as it saves water which cuts your bill in many ways.
- At School: Start a food garden. Plant trees around the school yard. Monitor and maintain all taps. Turn off all lights at the end of the day and especially when schools break.
- At the office: Use less paper. That the most important environmental impact offices are having – that and the use of electricity. Make your office space more planet Earth considerate
- In the bedroom: Light some candles and turn off the lights, not only are they mood enhancers they also save electricity. Also layer blankets and turn down the heater in winter and in summer open windows and use light bedding and if you must have the air conditioner on keep it at the lowest setting.
There are a lot of things that can be reused and therefore decrease your environmental impact. The most popular movement in line with this step has been the reuse of shopping bags. Retailers like Woolworths have really come to the party, making reusing trendy, stylish and the thing to do.
Recycling is not only good for the environment it is also a stream of additional income when done correctly. If you do not have the time to collect paper, bottles, cardboard and plastic then separating your refuse is the step for you. Though it might seem like a lot of work that won’t do much to help, it does help. For information on how to recycle go here
- In the bedroom: Sealy takes its environmental footprint into consideration when producing its beds.
Want to do your bit?
Here are some tips on how to have an eco friendly festive season.
We can all make a positive impact where we are with what we have.