Deepavali meaning a ‘series of light’, we say, is the triumph of good over evil and of right over wrong. Traditionally, this festival widely celebrated in India across communities, is a time of family bonding, conversations and thinking beyond oneself.
Lamps are lit, sweets made, shared and savored, gifts exchanged and relationships nurtured.
However over the recent years, this auspicious day has also turned out to be a strain on living standards. Rather than goodness prevailing, there are signs of distress on the things that we value – people, animals and the environment.
Use oil Diyas instead of candles
Diyas can be re-used multiple times and are made from earth-friendly material.
Make your rangoli with flowers, natural colours or rice flour
Kolams or rangoli was a way of sharing our food and life with insects and birds.…
What are the benefits of green living? Maybe we start with recycling, then think about installing a solar water heater. Maybe we even put in a rainwater tank or photo-voltaic solar panels.
Living green means we are passionate about preserving the planet for future generations. This is also a healthier way to live, with long-term cost savings.
Within the home, using sustainable materials helps us to conserve our surroundings. When shopping, we’ll also play our part:
- Buy local: This means that less transportation of goods over long distances was required.
- Honey: Be sure to check for a badger-friendly label.
- Vegetables: Buy fresh, loose fruit and vegetables (which uses far less packaging)
- Buy only what is needed, so there is no waste.
Reusing or repurposing products is cost effective, besides being a green idea. When buying products, one needs to be choosy. Those products that are made from recycled material and which are recyclable themselves are preferable.
- Conserves natural resources
- Reduces greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the waste that goes to landfills and the amount of waste that is incinerated.
- Saves energy
- Creates jobs
Plastic doesn’t decompose, which makes it a problem for landfills. It’s best to check which kinds of plastic are accepted by recycling centres.
Plastic products are given different numbers for recycling purposes:
- #1 (PET) – bottles
- #2 (HDPE) – used in opaque packaging containers
- #3 (PVC) – used in toys and window blinds
- #4 (LDPE) – used in grocery bags
- #5 (PP) – used in yoghurt and butter tubs and baby bottles
- #6 (PS) – used in Styrofoam and CD cases
- #7 (O) – may be mixed plastics
So when green at heart, consider recycling.…
Eco-Sabbath: Once a week, for an hour or other set time period, don’t use any man-made resources – no buying, using electricity or answering your phone.
Replace your disposables: When these run out (razors, batteries, etc), replace them with reusable materials.
Buy used goods: Furniture, such as tables in good condition, costs a fraction of the price of new.
Make your own resources: Where possible, making your own goods reduces waste. Make gift bags out of old cereal boxes and cover with old gift-wrap.
Share: Share books, magazines, newspapers and games between friends and neighbours.
Use less paper (including paper towels): Store used kitchen swabs in a small container in the kitchen before washing and reusing.
“A circular economy is one that builds economic, natural and social capital” (petco.co.za).
Plastic bottles are valuable and aren’t actually waste. In modern times, packaging is necessary to get the product to the consumer, but once it has served its purpose, packaging is considered dirty and unwanted.
As an example of how recycled plastic is used, Isotherm is an insulating material that’s made entirely from recycled plastic bottles.
Traditional homes usually have ceiling insulation that’s made from fibre glass or asbestos, which isn’t environmentally friendly at all. Isotherm is an eco-friendly and effective alternative.
Isotherm is dust and water resistant, non-toxic, without associated health risks, non-flammable and lasts longer than most other insulating materials.
The humble plastic bottle is humble no more.…
Available resources are made use of in an eco-friendly home. Recycle food scraps – making compost means we save money and reduce the amount of waste that is normally thrown away. Composting is an excellent way to live green.
Find a shady area within the garden. A compost heap is between one and five cubic metres wide – so it’s large enough to generate enough heat to break down the materials.
A layer of material such as twigs is required to begun with. Grass cuttings and leaves are then added, and soil is thrown on top. Manure is added when preferred, and more layers are added in this order until the compost heap is approximately 1 metre high.
Vegetable peels, fruit peels, seeds and cores, shells, coffee grounds, tea bags, lawn cuttings, straw, paper and shredded cardboard are used for composting.…
These are 4 R’s to help one live greener.
Recycle: Paper, tins, magazines, glass and other items, when dropped off at recycling sites, is a contribution towards preserving the natural environment. The more we recycle, the less natural resources we use up to create more products.
Reuse: Reusing items such as plastic bags means less waste that needs to be gotten rid of. Tons of waste usually ends up in the ocean.
Reduce: E-versions of most reading materials are available today. This means less paper taking up space in our homes. Also avoid using disposable products.
Reducing electricity needs and water usage are also ways to follow this third ‘R’.
Repurpose: This means reusing old items instead of throwing them out. …
The trend towards green living is growing as people are becoming conscious about the environment. Conserving resources is always a good place to start. The first step is to change your own habits in your home, which will not only help save the environment but also costs. You will probably be surprised at how much unnecessary stuff accumulates in your home and ultimately ends up on a landfill.
So, let’s look at ways you can reduce consumption in your home:
Use less paper
Avoid using paper cups and plates: There is no need for paper cups and paper plates if you have a fully stocked kitchen. If you don’t feel like doing dishes, then rather eat out. It’s more costly producing these items and then having them end up on a landfill.…