THERE are many things you can do to help the Earth and take care of our environment. As tomorrow is Earth Day, 3Age takes a look at some of the things you can do around the home.
Car pool or use public transport. This will cut down on the car emissions which add to the pollution and haze. If you’re buying a new car, consider getting one of those smart cars or even a hybrid, which uses two or more power sources and runs cleaner and has more efficient energy use. If you’re going a short distance, consider walking or cycling. Your body will thank you too for that much-needed exercise, too.
Don’t print everything to read it. Don’t print out bills. In fact, you can save a bit of money by asking for electronic bills (some companies offer a rebate for this). If you have to print, do it on both sides of the paper. Then, remember to recycle the paper and other recyclables, and separate your garbage for recycling. These days, you can also drop the appropriate recyclables in the right bin for charity organisations to earn a small income.
When you’re not using your electrical items, switch them off and unplug them. If you’re not using the item, but it’s still plugged in, it continues to draw a small amount of energy. In the long run, this saves you money, too.
If you have a garden and can do it, then do set up a compost heap at home where you can put your organic waste. After weeks and months, once it is broken down to humus, you can use it in your garden as fertiliser. There are companies and websites offering advice, tips and even products that help you set up a home compost.
Don’t dump your old phone or printer with other waste in your garbage. There are companies that will take your ewaste, and this includes old batteries and bulbs. They will recyle and /or dispose of the toxic waste properly and safely.
Bring your own containers with you wherever you go (if you are going by car) and use the containers when you’re buying food to be taken away. This will minimise plastic bag usage. Also, take along your grocery bags when going shopping. Some of these bags can be folded really neatly and fit with no problem into your handbag or pocket so there’s no excuse to keep taking plastic bags from the shops.
Reduce energy consumption
Switch off the fans, lights and aircond units when not in use. Open the windows for natural wind rather than switching on the aircond.
Replace incandescent light bulbs with energy saving ones
These are more energy efficient and last much longer, so they will also save you money in the long run.
Wash full loads of clothes, dry them outdoors instead of using the dryer
This will save you money and save energy as well.
Take a shower instead of soaking yourself in a long bath. In fact, if you can, use the bucket system (like we used to as kids), as this saves water and saving water will also save you money. We tend to waste more water when showering.
Use non-toxic cleaning fluids
Unfortunately, some of the non-toxic options in the stores can actually cost you more, so do think carefully about this one. However, you could try the non-toxic and organic traditional remedies and methods to clean items around the house. Search the Internet for these natural home remedies.
Turn off computers
When not in use, switch off!
Stop buying bottles of water
Boil water at home and put a bottle of it in the car instead of constantly buying bottles of mineral water. These mineral water bottles end up in the oceans sometimes and sea animals get caught in them, or some might even consume the shiny plastic, mistaking it for food. This eventually kills the animals.
Brush teeth without running the water
This is one way to save water.
Make your own coffee
Making coffee in your own mug rather than buying expensive coffees in the shop will not only save paper (from the coffee cups and holders), but also save you money as it’s a lot cheaper to make your own drinks at home.
Make a list of what you need to buy and where you need to go and run your errands in batches. This will save petrol and time as you don’t have to keep driving out.
This is one time you should not do it at home and opt instead to go to the car wash. It saves water as the machines tend to be more economical. It’s faster, too!
Use rechargeable batteries
This ends up being cheaper in the long run and is more efficient rather than buying new batteries each time. The batteries contain toxic material and need to be disposed off appropriately so it’s much better to use rechargeables.
Have a happy Earth Day!