10 Ways to Live a Greener Life

Published on: 25 February 2015

Going green isn't as tough as you think. Slowly make the switch with these easy steps:   

  1. Recycle
    This may seem like a no-brainer, but by making recycling a priority, you can help cut down on what ends up in landfills. Make this easy by creating a recycling station in your home and teach the kids how to recycle.

  2. Look for energy efficiency
    When buying new appliances, make sure that these are energy efficient – look at the energy label to determine how efficient the appliance is.

  3. Use Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs)
    Almost all of the electricity used by an incandescent bulb is converted to heat and not light; CFLs provide a much more efficient alternative. These last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs, and use significantly less energy.

  4. Fix Leaks
    Water leakages cost South Africa R7 billion per year. A leaking tap can waste up to 11400 litres of water each year.  Tip: To determine whether your toilet is leaking, place a drop of food colouring in the tank; if the colour appears in the bowl without flushing, you have a leak.

  5. Dispose of electronics responsibly
    Don’t throw away your e-waste with the rest of your rubbish, instead donate or recycle them responsibly when the time comes. E-waste contains mercury and other toxics and is a growing environmental problem.

  6. Buy smart
    Buy in bulk: this saves money and packaging. You can also opt to wear clothes that don't need to be dry-cleaned – this saves money and cuts down on toxic chemical use.

  7. Make your own cleaning supplies
    You can make your own cleaning products that are non-toxic and effective. All you need are a few simple ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, lemon, and soap.

  8. Unplug unused electronics
    Did you know that a cell phone charger still consumes electricity even when a phone isn't connected to it? In the average home, 25% of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off. If it’s not being used, unplug the appliance.

  9. Repair, don't replace
    While it may be awfully tempting to throw away old broken or faded furniture, choosing to repair an item instead of replacing it is the more environmentally-friendly approach. This is also a great opportunity to transform something that was once considered ordinary into an signature piece.

  10. Operate Your Appliances Efficiently
    Read through the guides provided by the manufacturer for your appliances and make sure you are using them properly. When using your dishwasher or washing machine, be sure the loads are full before you begin a cycle. Set your refrigerator temperature to an efficient level setting of 37 degrees and set your freezer temperature to three degrees.

Going green is not only good for the environment but for your pocket too – adapt these tips into your daily life and make a positive impact.