I am by no means a tree hugger, environmental activist or “all-green”. I still drive everywhere, take baths (I live in Joburg, but still), fly places and use plastic. However, I want to at least try to be more environmentally friendly in my consumption and behaviour, and when it comes to my kids too.
I do small things, and while I know they won’t stop global warming or help ease the water crisis in Cape Town (unless I’m there and use water sparingly), maybe my bit and your bit and his bit and her bit could contribute towards less waste and consumption – and a healthier environment? And if I carry on taking small steps, my kids could likely follow my steps and affect change too.
“Maybe my bit and your bit and his bit and her bit could contribute towards less waste and consumption – and a healthier environment?”
Here’s my list:
- I collect all my recyclables (paper, plastic and glass) and I pay a service, Eco Monkey, R84 a month to collect it all every two weeks. I know there are similar services around the country (you can Google them), and there’s also the option of leaving your recyclables out for the men who collect them to earn a bit of money.
- My kids get their lunches in lunchboxes and not packets.
- My kids share the same bath water. After my toddler’s bath, my son will add a bit of hot water and bubbles, and he’s good to go.
- As tempting as it is to buy grapes from Spain when ours are out of season, I don’t.
- I’ve started taking a travel mug around with me and instead of getting my takeaway Americanos in a paper cup with a plastic lid, I get my mug filled up.
- I’m easing into buying cleaning detergents that are eco-friendly in ingredients and packaging.
- All our light bulbs are LDE, which use less electricity.
- I’ve ditched paper towel and use only cloth towels.
- I’m starting to use canvas shopping bags instead of plastic ones.
- I don’t leave lights on if they’re not being used.
- I switch the water off when I’m shaving my legs (if you knew how long shaving takes me, you’d realise how much water I save).
- We have a solar geyser.
- We switch off the electrical element for the solar geyser when we go away for a long weekend or longer.
- A few years ago, we started only buying energy-efficient appliances where we could.
What are you doing and what else can I be doing?
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Tanya Kovarsky is a mom of two (Max, 8 and Rebecca, 1.5 years) and works by day in PR and communications, and by night as a blogger on Rattle and Mum. She loves Paris, Jelly Tots, pink things, makeup and sneakers, and running (she can tell her kids that she’s run 11 Comrades and 14 Two Oceans). She also has a personal blog, Dear Max + Rebecca.