- Last Updated on Sunday, 21 December 2014 22:09
And Man created the plastic bag and the tin and aluminium can and the cellophane wrapper and the paper plate, and this was good because Man could then take his automobile and buy all his food in one place and He could save that which was good to eat in the refrigerator and throw away that which had no further use. And soon the earth was covered with plastic bags and aluminium cans and paper plates and disposable bottles and there was nowhere to sit down or walk, and Man shook his head and cried: “Look at this Godawful mess” (Art Buchwald).
By making these easy-to-follow New Year resolutions, you’ll be doing your bit to help save the environment:
- Use biodegradable or reusable shopping bags instead of plastic bags. Select lightweight bags that can be folded and carried easily or stashed in the car.
- Buy locally raised, organic meat, eggs and dairy whenever you can. Purchasing directly from small scale farmers keeps money in the local economy. Organic foods do not contain the chemical toxins that are in most of our foods, and industrial agriculture and livestock production is a large contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.
- Save fuel and reduce emission by making use of carpools and public transport.
- Plant a sapling; it will be one small step towards increasing the earth’s diminishing green cover
- South Africa’s energy policy stipulates that by 2016, all conventional light-bulbs must be replaced with energy-efficient LED bulbs. These bulbs may cost more upfront, but have a longer lifespan and are far lighter on electricity (compared to conventional or incandescent lighting). Use a credible and reputable brand which offers a warranty on their products.
- Avoid using disposable plastic water bottles that contribute to plastic waste. Recycled bpa-free plastic bottles and bottles made from stainless steel are not only better for the environment but are also safer for your health.
- Use recycled paper in the office, home and kitchen to not only save trees but also reduce paper waste. Recycled paper doesn’t necessarily have to be brown, whitened versions are available. Replace paper towels in the kitchen with washable dishcloths.
- Switch to newer, energy-saving electrical appliances to save on electricity bills and reduce carbon emissions. With the 47% hike in electricity costs expected over the next four years, prepare for another increase in 2015.
- Establish exactly how much you add to pollution by calculating your carbon footprint (the total set of greenhouse gases (GHG) your lifestyle emits). For a free assessment, go to http://www.1degree.com.au/carbon_calculator or http://www.carbonfootprint.com/calculator.aspx to become even more motivated to stick to your New Year’s resolution to adopt environmentally friendly habits!
Revised by M Collins