Easy Ways to Live a Greener Lifestyle in South Africa

Did you know that there are small everyday changes you can introduce into your life that can make a huge impact on the planet over the long run? We are talking about simple steps in which South Africans can improve their well-being and save the Earth. Here are some of the best ways to adopt new, more environmental-friendly habits.

East Less Meat

We bet many of you did not know that reducing meat consumption can have a great positive impact on the environment. The reason is that more than 30% of the land on our planet is used to raise and sustain cattle. As a United Nations study points out, the livestock sector is responsible for producing a large share of harmful greenhouse gases.

Thus, limiting our meat consumption can make a big difference in addressing global warming. Raising less livestock will also allow for alternative uses of the spare land. Last but not least, a diet with limited meat intake is beneficial to the human health. Fortunately, there are many quite tasty and affordable meat substitutes. You can also increase your vegetable consumption and eat more seafood.

Abandon Plastic Bags Altogether

South Africa has been big on the #RethinkTheBag initiative and for a good reason. Plastic is very harmful to the environment due to many factors we are all well familiar with. However, quite a few people continue to be heavy users of plastic bags.

Luckily, there is a solution to this problem. Stores in South Africa offer canvas bags as an eco-friendly alternative to their plastic counterparts. The great thing about canvas bags is that they are reusable, and you can use them to store different items after you return from your trip to the store. To add more benefits, a canvas bag is more durable and can hold more goods. Also, it comes in handy when you have to pack and move from one place to another.

If you cannot let go of your plastic bags altogether, maybe at least you can limit their use and stop getting them every time you go shopping. A good way to manage usage would be to store the bags and reuse them over time. Recycling also helps, so make sure to do that as well.

Use Less Paper

South Africa is a big, industrialized country, and hundreds of thousands of offices every day resort to excessive use of paper. We need to put an end to this to save our planet. Therefore, we have to limit our use of paper and recycle more.

This should not be hard in today’s modern world, where technology is easily accessible, affordable, and present in every aspect of our life. Therefore, we need to think carefully before printing and recycle our printed paper as much as possible. In fact, the EPA has found that recycling one short ton (910 kg) of paper saves 17 mature trees. In addition, it takes less energy to create paper from recycled items. Here is how paper is recycled:

Save Energy in Your Home

We talk a lot about saving energy on this blog, so let us just remind you that you can easily cut back on energy in your home and lower your bills significantly. Some of the small changes you can apply starting today include unplugging appliances when they are not in use, washing your clothes on cold whenever possible, and avoiding the dryer as often as possible. After all, we have plenty of sun and wind in South Africa, so for the most part, your clothes will be dry within hours.

Saving energy includes also buying the right lightbulbs. Whenever a lightbulb burns out, make sure to replace it with a compact fluorescent light (CFL). Not only do CFL bulbs last much longer but they also use way less electricity than the regular ones. On top of that, they are brighter, so you will actually end up needing fewer lamps.

Use Water Wisely

Saving water is just as important as saving energy. Not only will you help the environment but you will also end up with a fuller pocket. An easy and simple step you can take right now is replacing bottled water with filtered tap water. Purchasing a water filter is great, and so is installing a low-flow showerhead. This will help you save water from your showers and will lower your bills.

Avoid Excessive Buying

There is no need to go over your budget and burden the planet by buying new items you do not need. For instance, a lot of things can be rented or borrowed. Also, you can find second-hand items that are just as good as new and cost way less. What an excellent way to save money and the environment both at the same time! Here are some items you can buy second-hand:

  • Clothing
  • Toys and games
  • Tools
  • Sporting equipment
  • Musical instruments
  • Bicycles

Have a Compost Bin

If you are into gardening, starting a compost bin is absolutely a must. No longer will you need to tour around with your car buying expensive compost when you can produce your own literally for free out of the things that would otherwise end up out with the trash.

Limit the Use of Paper

Paper towels are still widely used in households in South Africa today. However, this can harm the environment. Using regular rags is way more eco-friendly and also saves you money. You can make your own rags by cutting up old clothes and this will save you a fortune in the long run. After you use the rags, collect them and wash them together. That is all it takes to have a clean, eco-friendly, and cost-effective home!

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