Part II: The Environment begins at home

Don't Wait For Your Government, Save Your Environment!

Every aspect of our life in this world is connected to the environment. The sooner you learn about the issues facing the environment we live in, the higher our chances will be to nurture it for our livelihood and comfort. But firstly, in order to influence change, we need to understand what is at risk and then change our relationship with these risk factors. Only then can we share that knowledge to influence our tribe and be in control of the change we want to feel.

Photo: Pixabay

Our environment, which is our most important resource for our existence is ‘our’ responsibility and requires our care, responsibility and accountability to help reduce our carbon footprint.

Here are 5 simple ways that you can influence the change you want to see within your environment from the comfort of your home.

1. Recycle bottles and plastics

"Recycling plastic water bottles requires less energy and fossil fuels resulting in fewer greenhouse gas emissions."

Photo: Magda Ehlers

During the beginning phase of our Covid-19 lockdown here in South Africa in Early March 2020, a lot changed within my household just like it did for many of you too.In the past world, I was never one to recycle bottles because I was more worried about germs and somehow felt that my mouth would end up massaging someone else’s germs (the previous user of the bottle) but slowly with time, I have changed my perception around that because i know better today.

As ‘home’ became the new outing through the tireless months of sitting still at home, we started indulging in a vast range of different activities. While I lost track of time and days and spent on a lot of time thinking and wondering, my husband started juicing every morning. Eventually, when it was time for me to get my juice from the kitchen, I would find the juices stored in water bottles or Kombucha bottles, and that just drove me nuts in the beginning. I don’t know what it is was and what it is but just the idea of having a different drink in a different labelled bottled really messed with my mind.

While plastic water bottles offer convenience, they also create unnecessary waste in landfills. The plastic manufacturing process results in the creation of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, which is said to contribute significantly to the global warming effect. Since the process for recycling plastic water bottles requires less energy and fossil fuels, it also results in fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

Despite the fact that I still prefer to use my own fresh bottle and then throw it away, It has now been 5 months of reusing and recycling bottles at home effortlessly. I decided to go with the new flow after realising how this compromises my environment and I hope you can find a way around your bottle usage and disposal too. Instead of buying individually-packaged drinks, consider buying a bulk container of the drink and/or a reusable water bottle. Through recycling your plastic water bottles, you positively impact the environment and reduce the number of plastic water bottles that end up littering our ocean, lakes and rivers.

2. Save electricity

“Less energy use reduces the demand from power plants and decreases greenhouse gas emissions.”

Photo: Pixabay

Growing up as a child in my family apartment in Nairobi, “Turn of the lights” was a household soundtrack my siblings and I became fond of with time. This is not really one of those releases I could tell you too much about, however, it was my mother’s special release every time she walked around the house in the evenings and had to constantly complain about all the lights burning in the house with nobody in the rooms.

It is only much later in life when I started paying my bills that I understood why the lights burning to waste would drive her nuts. In our house, it was not just about saving money but it was also about saving the environment.

It may not be so obvious to you, however there is a direct connection between your energy use and the environment. The less power you consume, the better chances of you reducing the amount of toxic fumes released by power plants. This also helps conserve the earth’s natural resources and protect ecosystems from destruction.

Nearly all parts of the electricity system can affect the environment, and the size of these impacts will depend on how and where the electricity is generated and delivered. To save your electricity, all you need to do is turn off your power if you are not using it. This includes your TV that could be running on in the background all day with no use. Another way to save your electricity is to opt for energy-efficient light bulbs instead of regular bulbs because they last longer. 95% of the energy i