Take the first step to Go Green!

POLOKWANE – Green. The word itself hints at nature and the preservation thereof. In the last few years, people had to make lifestyle and habit changes to become “greener” for the sake of the planet.

Wikus Olivier, debt management expert at DebtSafe, lists a few tips to save cash and live green:

  • Reduce – This is the best choice when it comes to waste management. It is basically when you minimise and try to prevent waste by using cloth napkins instead of paper serviettes, for example. You’ll also save money by washing your napkins instead of buying new ones all the time.
  • Reuse – This involves using a product or item again and again rather than buying a new product and spending money. It avoids the creation of excess waste. Make use of items made of reusable material such as glass.
  • Recycle – Items such as cool drink cans, beer cans, aerosol and paint cans, glass, paper as well as plastic can be recycled. Take your recyclable items to local drop-off points and buy-back centres (Treevolution). “It may not look like much at first, but little drops fill up the bucket in the end,” Olivier says.
  • Save money on electricity and water – From an early age South Africans are taught to use electricity and water sparingly.

Keep these tips in mind:

– Do not keep the refrigerator door open for too long.

– Be aware of energy-hungry appliances such as your oven or dishwasher.

– Solar geysers are better than conventional geysers.

– Turn off all power outlets when not in use.

– Use low-energy light bulbs (Compact Fluorescent Lights) that use up to 80% less electricity than standard bulbs.

– Do not waste water and don’t let the faucet drip.

– Shower instead of taking a bath.

– Use greywater for the garden.

There are endless ways to save energy and costs, visit HOMEMAKERS Online for more energy saving options.

  • Green is in. – When it comes to household products, it can be quite expensive. There are homemade remedies and products that one can use that are gentle on the environment. Think of affordable alternatives such as bicarbonate of soda, vinegar, lemon and toothpaste. See a complete list at Eartheasy.com. You can also visit EcoZyme or Wellness Warehouse for eco-friendly products in South Africa.
  • Nothing better than a vegetable garden – You don’t need a huge garden to plant your own vegetables. Create a nice innovative space for your vegetable garden. You can use old containers or boxes. Just start, the family will enjoy it and make it a priority to maintain the garden. Make it a fun project for young and old family members. You’ll take fewer trips to the supermarket and save money.

Get on the green train. DebtSafe encourages consumers and families to play their part in helping the environment. This will not only set off a ripple effect for others to do the same, but it is also a nice initiative to see how much money a family or individual can save by going green.


Maretha Swanpoel

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