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How to go green at home

29 September 2015

The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) recently let a project called 'My Green Home' illustrating how one South African family changed their home to help change the world – and shows how you can too. The Ngewana family had a ‘green home makeover’ and improved their daily habits, to save money and reduce their impact on our Earth. They demonstrate the positive impact a family can have by living a more energy efficient and environmentally conscious lifestyle. This website tracks their journey, to inform and inspire you and others to take action in your own homes.

To see the summary of this incredible project and to learn how you can save money by going green click here

Here are some more easy tips on how to reduce, reuse and recycle!

1. Turn off unneeded lights, even when only vacating the room for a short period of time.
2. When using an oven, minimize the times you open the oven door as it each time the door is opened, it reduces the oven temperature by 25 to 30 percent.
3. Recycle! Have 2 bins, one for wet waste, and one for dry recyclables (tins, plastic, paper and glass) 
4. Unplug appliances and chargers when not in use
5. Make use of a microwave oven whenever possible, instead of a conventional oven or stove.
6. Wash clothes with warm or cold water instead of hot. 
7. Use compact fluorescent light bulbs to save on money as well as energy
8. Plant trees to shade your home.
9. Use cold water instead of warm or hot water whenever possible.
10. Connect your outdoor lights to a timer.
11. Learn about alternatives to household cleaning items that do not use hazardous and toxic chemicals.
12. Use an electric lawnmower instead of a gas-powered one.
13. Leave grass clippings on the yard, they decompose and return nutrients to the soil.
14. Use recycled wood chips as mulch to keep weeds down, retain moisture and prevent erosion.
15. Use only the required amount of fertilizer.
16. Minimize pesticide use.
17. Water grass early in the morning.
18. Don't wash dishes with the water running continuously.
19. Wash and dry only full loads of laundry and dishes.
20. Install a low-flow shower head.
21. Never dump anything down a storm drain.
22. Buy items in bulk whenever possible to reduce the packaging wasted.
23. Maintain and repair durable products instead of buying new ones.
24. Reuse items the likes of bags and containers whenever possible.
25. Use cloth serviettes instead of paper ones.
26. Use reusable plates and utensils instead of disposable ones.
27. Use reusable containers to store food instead of aluminium foil or cling-wrap.
28. Shop with a canvas bag instead of using paper or plastic bags.
29. Buy rechargeable batteries for those devices you use often.
30. Compost your vegetable scraps.