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20 Ways to be More Eco-Friendly in 2020

Date : 02 March 2020

More and more people are considering the impact of their choices on the environment. And though the time has always been right to adopt an eco-friendly approach, there's also no better time than the present. So, if you’re one of those people hoping to make a positive change, then here are 20 ways to be more eco-friendly in 2020.

1. Change your light bulbs

This is undoubtedly one of the easiest ways to help save the environment! Simply by switching from incandescent bulbs to LED bulbs, you can reduce your household’s energy consumption by as much as 20-30%. Which, in turn, helps reduce your total carbon footprint. Click here to discover our range of energy-saving lighting.

2. Conserve water

If you only make one positive change in 2020, let it be to preserve this precious resource. There are many simple ways to save water – from taking shorter showers and turning off the tap while brushing your teeth to checking for leaks in water pipes and faucets. Read this helpful article for more ways to save water in your home.

3. Consider alternative energy sources

In addition to reducing your energy costs over the long term, using alternative energy sources like wind or solar power will also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused by the burning of fossil fuels at power plants. Visit www.kestrelwind.co.za to discover our range of renewable energy solutions available for South Africans.

4. Implement recycling in your home

By implementing a recycling system in your home, you can singlehandedly reduce the amount of waste that goes into landfill sites and also help minimise the overriding problem of plastic pollution. Here are some great recycling tips to get started.

5. Make your own compost

There are many benefits to making and using your own compost. Not only does it improve the soil’s ability to retain water so you won’t have to water your plants as much, but it also serves as a great source of nutrients so you won’t have to use as many synthetic fertilizers. Discover how to make compost.

6. Plant water-wise species

There are many beautiful trees, shrubs, and plants that can survive and thrive without the need for a lot of water. Why not plant one or more of them this year! Here are a few water-wise trees and shrubs to consider. This article also outlines 14 indigenous and drought-resistant plant species.

7. Use the hosepipe sparingly

Did you know that the average garden hosepipe uses 170 litres of water every 10 minutes? That’s almost 19 toilet flushes in just 10 minutes! This is why we recommend rather using a watering can to water your plants. If using a hosepipe, be sure to water at ground level where water is needed the most. It’s also a good idea to water before 10 am or after 4 pm when evaporation is at its lowest.

8. Full loads only

According to sahomeowner.co.za, a 9kg washing machine with a 6kg load will use the same amount of time, water, and electricity that is required to wash a full load, which is a huge waste. Rather save water and energy by doing full loads in your washing machine and dishwasher. Another eco-friendly laundry tip is to use detergents made from renewable plant-based ingredients and that are bio-degradable.

9. Try grey water recycling

Another great option for watering the garden is to utilise gently used water from your bathroom sinks, showers, baths, and washing machines. Grey water units like the GardenResQ have made it easy for South African homeowners to implement their own grey water recycling systems.

10. Give the gift of green

Instead of a mass-produced product that your loved one is likely to lose interest in over time, why not gift them with something more personal and evergreen? Things like bonsais, orchids, potted succulents, and hanging planters, are gifts that will truly keep on giving – and they’re eco-friendly, too!

11. Support eco-conscious companies

As far as possible, endeavour to support companies that produce eco-friendly products or products that are made eco-friendly materials, as well as businesses that are actively committed to reducing their own environmental impact.

12. Be a greener shopper

Becoming a greener shopper doesn’t have to be complicated. Most times, it’s the small things that make the biggest difference. Like using cotton or brown paper bags instead of plastic shopping bags, or carrying knitted mesh bags when shopping for fresh fruit and veggies so you don’t have to use the store’s plastic packets.

13. Buy a reusable water bottle

Give the plastic bottles a skip and buy a reusable water bottle today. There are so many fun and colourful options out there, that there isn’t an excuse to continue using bottles that are harmful to wildlife and sea creatures everywhere, and that take hundreds of years to degrade.

14. Eat less meat

Another great way to be more eco-friendly in 2020 is to eat less meat. Whether you pledge to support the #MeatFreeMondaymovement or decide to go vegan or vegetarian, there are many health, financial, and environmental benefits to doing so.

15. Reduce food waste

Did you know that a third of all food produced in South Africa goes to waste every year? When thrown into a landfill, this food waste produces a large amount of methane gas which, in turn, is extremely harmful to the environment. To help reduce your food waste, plan all your meals for the week and only buy the ingredients you need to make them – and don’t let those leftovers go to waste! Look online for some delicious leftover recipe ideas or share them with those in need. The world will be a better place for it.

16. Get clever with the kettle

Whoever said it isn’t easy being eco-friendly, had surely never heard of this super simple hack. Craving a hot cuppa? Only fill your kettle with just enough water to fill your mug. Saving on water and energy doesn’t get much easier than this!

17. Avoid the Dirty Dozen

Ever heard of the ‘dirty dozen’? This term refers to a list of 12 litter items that are commonly found on South African beaches. These common offenders include carrier bags, chip packets, cigarette lighters, cooldrink bottles and lids, earbuds, fishing line, light sticks, plastic lollipop sticks, straws, sweet wrappers, and water bottles. Try to avoid using any of the dirty dozen as far as possible.

18. Support clean-ups

Our beaches and oceans are facing a serious plastic problem – and it is up to us to resolve it. So why not get involved by participating in the next beach clean-up in your city? Another great idea is to take a refuse bag with you each time you visit the beach and collect as much litter as you can. Every little bit helps!

19. Make your own eco-bricks

Eco-bricks consist of plastic bottles that are tightly stuffed with clean and dry non-recyclable waste such as polystyrene cups and trays, wax paper, pet food bags, laminated paper, and much more. These ‘bricks’ can then be used as an eco-friendly construction material. Click here to find out more.

20. Me mindful of your driving

Motor cars are known to emit numerous greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change, so driving less will definitely help to combat this problem. For example, where possible, you may consider walking to your local grocery store, riding a bike to work or even starting a lift club with your colleagues or neighbours.   

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How will you be more eco-friendly in 2020? Let us know by connecting with us on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.