Yes, this is another article on going green. You might feel as though you’re about to turn green yourself if you have to hear those words again; but it is an issue that we cannot just ignore anymore.

If you are an average working class woman, you might be quite overwhelmed by the idea of it all. Where do you start? Who has the time anyway?

Let’s be honest. Not all of us have the money to remodel our houses. And we’ve already swapped our light bulbs for energy-saving ones. So what now?

There are many more things you can do which don’t involve replacing your geyser or spending a fortune. And it doesn’t have to be time-consuming either.

Start simple

Use canvas bags when you go shopping. If you have stacks of plastic bags already, keep some in the car to use when you go shopping so that you don’t have to buy more.

Develop a routine for using your geyser

This might require some co-operation from your family members. Only switch it on at certain agreed times, and turn it off for as long a period as you can
possibly get away with, to save energy.

You will be surprised at the amount of money you’ll save on your electricity bill as well. Bonus!

Recycle, recycle, recycle

If you aren’t already doing it, there are no excuses not to begin. Keep three extra containers next to or near your bin in the kitchen. One is for plastic, one for cardboard (or paper), and one is for glass.

It will shock you to see the amount of recyclable material you are squandering in one week alone.

Eat less meat or go vegetarian

Not only is it cruelty-free, it is hugely beneficial to your health and the health of your family. Not to mention the impact the meat industry has on our earth and the effects of global warming. Start small by initiating ‘Meatless Mondays’ in your household.

Buy environmentally friendly

Try to buy products that are environmentally friendly. The more we support brands like these, the more products will be available on the market to choose from in the future.

Don’t waste water!

If you ever see a dripping or partially opened tap, close it. Fresh water is the most valuable resource on this planet and it is running low.

Get the kids involved

The younger, the better. You will raise green-conscious children who will be able to apply these good habits when they become adults. After all, it is their earth to inherit.

Lead by example

The best way to change the world is to start with yourself. If others see you in action, it might inspire them to get involved or at least raise their awareness.

At first you will have to make a conscious decision to go green, but before you know it, it will have become second nature to you and part of your lifestyle.

We, as a human race, have taken so much from the earth. It is time we give something back. Even if it seems insignificant, it all adds up in the end. Charity begins at home, and so does going green!

Where to find your nearest recycling facility:

Durban: ‘Durban Solid Waste’ has refuse sites in the North and South Central Areas with facilities for depositing glass, paper, can and plastic.

Johannesburg: ‘Pikitup’ has 48 refuse sites for garden waste and most have facilities for depositing glass, paper, cans and plastic.

Cape Town: The City of Cape Town has drop-off facilities in many areas. ‘Morning Star’ in Durbanville has facilities for all types of waste and recycling of glass, paper, cans and plastic.

For a list of recycling depots/centres in your area go to www.betterearth.co.za or contact your local municipality.