Green, greener, greeenest?

Merv and I are considering buying a house together and considering the circumstance around power outages and the energy crisis South Africa and the world over faces at the moment, it’s not a bad idea to start investigating how you could propel your bit to the next level.

I read an interesting feature article on "Going Green" in Femina magazine (December 2007). It outlines various ways that homeowners and new parents can start looking after the planet and more importantly, their immediate environment by becoming more energy efficient and changing their behaviours to incorporate an environmentally friendly way of living.

Mike’s already outlined a few ways that one can consider in getting a little ‘greener’ behind the ears and Gino has also started on his blog. Now here’s a few more reasons to pique your interest into action:

Getting clued up

To avoid becoming a passing fad, you have to really want to make a permanent change in your life and stick to it. In order to equip yourself with the facts you have to get reading and educate yourself as to what the issues are and how they can be resolved in the easiest way possible.

There are a multitude of great local resources, Biophile magazine is one of these. The magazine comes out bi-monthly and deals with the future of our planet and species. Online sites like Urbansprout and Greenspace are useful resources if you’re looking to cover every facet of one’s existence or just need to get a clue on where to start.

Eco tots

If you are considering starting a family or are a parent already, it’s a good idea to start investing in environmentally friendly toys and other goodies. Wood and other natural elements make for great educational additions to a child’s toy-chest so consider all your options before going ahead and stocking up that nursery. Cewt is a company that makes wooden toys for educational purposes and then there’s Habitot, a company that can help you source the best in eco-friendly children’s ranges so take a look before your baby’s shower and make your list. There are even books out that teach kids more about the environment so start Googling and get the family in on the new movement you’re about to embark on.

Soaking it up

And as if saving the planet isn’t enough of an incentive, how about trying to save yourself for starters. Have a look at Faithful-to-nature, a website dedicated to being a ‘toxic free zone’. They offer a great range of skincare and body products that are organic and teach you more about "what it is that you are allowing into your body, your home and our earth". I found this website by chance and think what they have to offer is a fabulous idea in itself for gift ideas and the fact that you’re contributing to a more positive spin on the environment is a plus.

Green in action

Lastly, would it not be ideal if our kinetic energy could be converted into energy that could power things up? Well I know Sir Richard Branson is investigating this idea as part of a means to improve the offering of his Virgin Active gyms around the world. You could lower your own Carbon footprint by reducing your Carbon Dioxide emissions for example, by cycling your way around, and there are two great offerings currently in the market, one from eZeebike and the other is investing in a VukaScooter. Hybrid cars are no longer being considered the alternative anymore due to the impending fuel crisis that has seen global petrol prices increase by almost 60% in the last annum. Currently on this front you’re looking at the Toyota Prius as it’s the only hybrid car offered in the SA market today and has proven to be quite popular both locally and abroad.

Eskom and government have been in talks about dealing out penalities for those who waste electricity and so if you’re only allowed to use 600 watts of power a month then it would be a good idea to investigate how much your household is using currently. Gogreen.co.za might be able to help you in this arena so check them out as soon as you can. I read recently that a good alternative to loud and stinky generators are power inverters that can be built at a fraction of the cost to solar power products and generators too.

Carte Blanche also covered a great recycle system that can be used in your home to cut down on the amount of refuse thrown away on a weekly and even daily basis. Worm farms are a great idea and I’ve been wanting to try this out since i saw that Mount Nelson insert on CB. Mike put me onto Wizzard Worms, a site that gives you all the info you need to start your on own earthworm factory so get them sorting and you could have a very plush garden that your neighbours will be envious of in no time.

Remember change your actions, save the world! Kind of like that television series, Heroes huh?