On my way home from work yesterday, I heard them talking about Earth Hour on the radio. Earth hour is one hour on the 19th of March every year where the people on Earth are urged to spend that time reflecting on what our actions today will decide what tomorrow will look like for generations to come.The hour is reflected by switching off your electricity at 8:30pm till 9:30pm. This action is a symbol of earth hour – it is not to help save electricity or decrease carbon dioxide emissions but rather a time to commit to what changes we can all do every day to help save our planet.
A few years ago (I cannot completely remember what the trigger was – it was probably around the time I moved into my flat) I was compelled to start growing my own produce (probably more to save money) and I started exploring making food items from scratch such as my own deodorant which I still use today, rusks to enjoy with coffee in the morning and salad dressing. There was such a huge satisfaction getting my hands dirty and seeing a plant grow and flourish and then providing me with food. Growing rocket for salad, making pesto from scratch with basil hand picked from the garden filled my soul with pure delight. Slicing radishes into my salad, grilling aubergines that were carefully picked out the garden and much more kept me planting more and more items.
When we moved into our house we had a large garden but no place for my veggie patch. So I pulled up a strip of grass and made a large vegetable patch where I grew lots of things – basil, coriander, potatoes, beetroot, peppers, lemongrass and much more. Not only did we save money on growing our own produce but it was healthy and organic with no pesticides on them at all. In conjunction to growing my own food – we started recycling water and trying to save water. When we started doing this – there was no drought in the country like there is at the moment, because why does there need to be a drought to save water? Or a power crises to save electricity? We placed bricks in our toilet cisterns to help decrease the amount of water flushed each time. We bought a plastic container to place our rinsing water in when doing the dishes and then using that water we would water the garden. We shower with buckets in the shower to catch water and use the grey water to water the garden. We rinse the dog bowls after they have eaten and use the rinsing water in the garden as well. Just these little changes help us to almost never use the hose outside. This helps us save money but more so save water, it’s really not hard to do any of things and make a difference.
- Buy less fresh items from stores that use excessive packaging but rather go to stores like Fruit and Veg City and package them in reusable cotton bags or even better buy from the source
- Mulch my garden with wood chips to help reduce water evaporation and thus decrease the quantity of water needed to sustain it
- Make sure that all the globes in the house are energy efficient globes and try remember to switch off the electricity when we not in the room
- Start using eco friendly products (the chemicals in the cheap and effective products are very harmful to the environment) Pick n Pay and Woolworths now stock eco friendly green cleaning products – so I guess there is really no excuse to not buy them. I think I might be more discerning about the quantity I use because it’s expensive to buy – plus the less I buy the less empty bottles there are.