Reason to care: For many of us, our homes are spaces of comfort and familiarity. When it comes to sustainable living, our homes are an important focus, because they are one of the few spaces we can control. There are many – often simple – ways to make sure your home is a warm, welcoming, and eco-friendly space.
Small actions with big impacts:
- Limit your reliance on petrol-intensive vehicles by carpooling, walking, or using public transport when you can. While we have all become used to lifestyles that are motivated by convenience, convenience is not always the most eco-friendly choice. Try to be aware of your reliance on cars and choose alternative forms of mobility if you can.
- Switch to renewables. If you are able to, decrease your reliance on coal-powered electricity by investing in renewable forms of energy, such as solar panels. Encourage your local municipality and national government to transition to renewable energy so that everyone can benefit, not just those who can afford it.
- Invest in energy saving appliances. Learn about the energy efficient labelling on appliciances, and opt for the most energy efficient ones. Here is a guide for energy efficient labeling.
- Buy second-hand furniture and decor. Just like with clothing, buying second-hand extends the lifespan of items that are already in existence. And, it often saves you money too.
- Turn your geyser off during the day. This is a super simple switch, but will save you electricity in the long run!
- Use houseplants to purify air. These plants can absorb harmful toxins from the air, especially in enclosed spaces with little air flow. Plants are more natural, cost effective, and therapeutic than air purifiers. Here are a few examples of air purifying houseplants.
- Repair and recycle your tech. Modern technology is often designed with built in obsolescence, so finding ways to keep your tech for longer is an act of resistance in this system that encourages disposability. Once you have repaired and cared for your tech for as long as you can and it has finally given in, make sure to dispose of it responsibly.
If you are looking for inspiration, look here:
- Facebook groups: Zero Waste Journey in Southern Africa, Self-Sufficiency & Sustainable Living South Africa, Zero Waste South Africa
- Smart Living Handbook
- Plastics Calculator
- Carbon footprint calculator
- Reducing your carbon footprint
Image: Pexels / Charlotte May