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What you Can do to Live Cleaner & Greener in 2021

15 January 2021

Is it your New Year’s resolution to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle? Living a more eco-friendly lifestyle is not something that can happen overnight but walking a greener path is definitely going to be beneficial to both you and the planet.

According to an article written by The Guardian, 97% of scientists believe that “humans are the dominant cause of global warming since 1950”. The opposition believes that humans are only half to blame for the current state of global warming.

Irrespective of which argument you support, the fact remains that if we all work together to reduce our carbon footprint, the world will be a cleaner and greener place to live in.

Let’s take a look at what you can do to live cleaner and greener in 2021.

1. Use Less Paper

Living a more eco-friendly lifestyle starts with small, basic steps. One of the easiest ways to become more ‘green’ is to use less paper and paper products. Thankfully, in an age that is dominated by computers and digital communication, it is somewhat easier to steer away from using paper.

According to a study conducted by the Global Forest Resource Assessment, approximately 80,000 to 160,000 trees are chopped down daily across the globe of which a large percentage is used in the development of paper and paper products.

Since most of our paper usage comes from the work environment, here are some simple ways to cut down on paper usage in the office:

2. Say “No” to Plastic Bags

Plastic bags are one of the leading contributors of plastic pollution in our oceans.

Recent research conducted by the Center for Biological Diversity discovered that over 80% of the plastic in the oceans, enters the ocean from the land and causes the death of over 100,000 marine animals annually.

As such, it is highly beneficial to begin living a plastic-free lifestyle. While this might appear as an impossible task, it is more achievable than what one might think.

Start by saying “no” to plastic bags at the grocery store and shopping outlets. Instead of purchasing plastic bags every time you run to the store, take along a canvas bag that can be reused over and over or use biodegradable paper bags. 

Or, instead of using plastic straws, buy yourself a metal straw that you can carry with you and reuse repeatedly. Stainless steel straws can be purchased from various outlets or ordered from online stores like Takealot.

3. Eat Less Meat

This one might come as a shock but the livestock sector is, in fact, the second largest contributor to pollution in the world after the energy industry.

According to an article written in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, the livestock industry contributes to an estimated 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions releasing 7516 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year.

With this in mind, cutting back on meat consumption can make a large difference to the environment. The less livestock, the fewer emissions and a cleaner and greener environment.

4. Cut Down on Electricity Consumption

Cutting down on your electricity usage is not only a great way to help reduce your carbon footprint, but is also a great way to save money.

The cost of electricity is on a steady incline. In fact, a court ruling made in the middle of last year declared that South Africans can expect a 15% increase in electricity tariffs in April 2021.

There has never been a better time to go green than now. Kestrel offers turnkey renewable energy solutions by integrating wind energy, from our range of micro wind turbines, along with solar energy and other technology to provide renewable energy solutions that are suited to each customer’s needs and circumstances.

Kestrel offers the following renewable energy solutions:

But, if you are not quite ready for clean energy just yet, then here are some ways to reduce electricity consumption in the home:

    5. Reusable is the Way to Go

    Think about the items in your kitchen cupboards: so many condiments, detergents, cooldrinks, coffees and the likes come packaged in glass or plastic containers. And what do we do with these items once they are finished? We throw them away.

    These items go straight from our homes to rubbish dumps when they could have gone to a recycling center where used plastics and glass are melted down, recycled and moulded into new glass or plastic items!

    Apart from the recycling, many plastic and glass items can be reused in the home. We are all familiar with the stack of empty ice cream containers or the shelf of empty cooldrink bottles.

    Instead of rebuying bottled water, why not purchase 5-litre bottles of water and refill the used 500ml bottles? It’s the same clean water that you love, but with less waste.

    6. Shop Pre-Loved

    How often do styles come back into fashion? Whether you think about clothing or furniture, inevitably there are pieces and styles that resurface years later and become trendy again.

    When shopping for clothing or furniture, do not forget to check out some of the secondhand stores or antique stores in your area. Sometimes you can pick up some really nice bargains or some unique pre-loved pieces.

    And here’s the best part: by purchasing pre-loved, you are helping to reduce the pressure on our dwindling natural resources! A win-win situation.

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    What do you do to live a cleaner and greener lifestyle? Share your tips with our followers in the comments on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.