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Just over a month ago, I planted a new array of vegetables and herbs in my garden, when suddenly a nasty hailstorm broke out and while I stared helplessly at my seedlings getting battered and beaten by the hail it made me think – imagine this was my only source of food and now it is getting beaten to shreds. Thank God it’s not, but for many Africans and people around the world in the poorer communities it is. Extreme weather due to climate change really does not help this situation at all.

The medium and wealthy level society can easily take this for granted as you can just pop to the fridge or the shops to get food.

As time goes on the access to ‘green living’ is becoming more affordable and easier to acquire, but on that note you don’t need to look very far to make small changes. Let’s start off by minimizing your fuel consumption, this can be done in many ways such as:

Driving more conscientiously and less hasty, you will save on fuel, money, accidents and remain more calm.
  • If you have access to alternative solutions in your area such as bio-fuel or engine gas conversions, do your research and take advantage of saving your emissions.
  • Make sure your vehicle is clean and maintenance is up to date (You can save about 90kg of CO2 per year by doing the simple following steps) :Fixing a car that is out of tune can boost petrol mileage by about 4 %, cleaning the junk out of your vehicle makes it less heavier using less petrol (for every 45kg of extra weight in your vehicle your petrol mileage increases by about 2/3%, replace your dirty or clogged air filters this can improve your mileage by about 10% and check your tyre pressure each month when your tyres are cold as under-inflated tyres can lower your vehicles mileage by about 15%.
  • Be careful when purchasing an electric vehicle, in most cases the carbon footprint producing the vehicle is extremely high, do your research and ask the dealers questions it will then force them in the future to take these things into consideration and change their ways.
  • Take car pools if possible
  • Walk or ride a bicycle or bike instead – in South Africa it’s more difficult for this option due to the fact that our distances are quite great, but there is always ways to work around that. If you calculate your carbon footprint at the end of each year you can off set your individual emissions by purchasing trees through FTFA. Don’t sacrifice your green lifestyle while on holiday, you can take a look at the great scenery on foot or bicycle, you will probably see a lot more than what you can see in a car as you will be closer to nature.

Another very high emissions contributor is electricity. The government is not making things easier by putting up more power plants instead of investing in greener technology. You need to take your electricity footprint (Scope 2 emissions) into your own hands. There are quite a few options you can choose to do such as:

The most obvious option being just to not use so much electricity, and switching off appliances and lights when not in use, as well as unplugging them.
  • Changing to energy saving light bulbs.
  • Converting your entire property into a solar efficient dream, no more Eskom blackouts or horrendous bills!
  • Use decorative solar lights in your garden, your garden will look stunning at night time and will be an entertainer’s dream, even your security lights can be converted to solar. The sun is our biggest and most powerful energy source, not to mention it’s for FREE – so let’s use it!!

One of the most exciting things about taking on a greener lifestyle is that you can be creative, innovative, work within your surroundings and save the environment and money!

One of my favorite things is vertical gardens, as the gardens on properties seem to get smaller and smaller, vertical gardens are a great way to save you money while producing your freshest and most healthy herbs and vegetables. If you cannot own your own veggie garden because you have no garden, a vertical garden can suit even the most smallest of apartment patios.

This is an exciting time to ask questions and be creative and turn your space around you into a sustainable and guilt free way of living. Enjoy and Embrace change.
Also find the blog here : http://www.trees.co.za/go-for-green.html
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