Written by Catherine Clulow
“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it” – Robert Swan-
In the ever changing world we live in and with the imminent risks our planet faces in light of climate change, we all need to do what we can to make a difference.
Here the Botanical Society of South Africa shares day to day ideas of what each of us can do to make a difference in going green, making the planet a better place, one day at a time. We don’t propose you must do each and every suggestion but you’ll see that many are easy and with a little reminder and thinking we can all contribute to greening our lifestyles.
32 Tips to get you thinking and being green in and around your home and garden
In the home:
- Switch off the water when you’re brushing your teeth
- Place a bucket in the sink and shower to collect water for watering your plants
- Set your washing machine to 30˚
- Drip-dry your clothes
- Put a brick in your cistern to save on water and use less water each flush
- Leave your geyser alone; concentrate your power savings elsewhere.
- Insulate your house properly
- Put on an extra layer of clothing before turning up the heat
- Shower rather than bath
- Clean and defrost your freezer regularly
- Use white vinegar, bicarb and water as a general cleaner
- Recycle & reuse
- Reuse your shopping bags- keep them in the boot of your car or handbag
- Go paperless but back up your data
- Understand what you’re doing with carbon offsets
- Walk more
- Once in a while have dinner in the dark, an unplugged evening
In the garden:
- Ensure you have permeable paving
- Start a compost heap and/or an earthworm farm
- Install drip irrigation instead of sprays
- Plant indigenous plants that are adapted to the natural water regime of your area
- Collect grey water for use on your garden
- Be bird-friendly but don’t overfeed your birds
- Minimise the amount of lawn in your garden
- Get to know your garden
- Grow your own veggies and herbs
- Embrace bees
- Install a water butt to catch roof water
- Companion plant
- Plant a tree on special occasions
- Expose your kids to nature and have dirty kids- and fewer allergies
So there you have a few ideas, there are so many ways in which we can live greener lives. Share your ideas with us in the comments below.
With the end of year around the corner, why not think of green gift ideas. Rather than bunches of cut flowers, how about a pot plant? How about planting a tree together as a family to remember the holidays and good times together? How about purchasing a BotSoc membership for your loved ones? Find out all about BotSoc membership here, your membership subscription contributes towards the operations of our NGO which strives to support biodiversity conservation and environmental awareness and education. Members enjoy great benefits for a full year. You can sign up and/or gift membership online here or visit the BotSoc Head Office or bookshops at Kirstenbosch.
May we together strive to live greener lives and each take a stand to safeguard our precious planet, we’ve only got one. Reuse, reduce, recycle! Go green: make a choice, make a change.