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5 tips to become more eco-conscious

Contrary to popular belief, creating a more sustainable tomorrow exists beyond solely disposing of plastic straws. As a community, it is our job to collectively contribute to the protection of our beautiful planet … and it all starts in our homes and workplaces. Becoming more eco-conscious therefore begins with this blog. By integrating these environmental tips into our everyday lives our community will become an exemplar in sustainable practices! 

The power of mindset

Before you can begin making these crucial changes, your mindset needs to change first. The reality is that many people make the common error of committing to too many eco-conscious practices at once. This often ends with people neglecting key practices early on after quickly feeling overwhelmed. 

There is nothing wrong with starting off slowly if you are in the process of restructuring your thinking. Long-lasting, consistent change takes small, intentional steps which we are all capable of making.

Holding an eco-friendly mindset is crucial to our success as a community. Permanent sustainable actions are possible if we remain committed to making a positive impact. If you remember that you are capable of immense change and influence, change truly is possible. 

Tips to becoming more eco-conscious

Get recycling

Actively participating in recycling reduces our pollution, conserves our natural resources and saves energy. When we commit to sorting through our trash, we are able to create secondary materials. This includes metal, paper, glass and plastic – all of which can be reused in new products. 

Keep in mind that you want to create a recycling system that works for you. Feel free to tweak your process to suit your office or home. This could mean colour coding bins, placing labels or even creating an incentive for those who recycle. 

Refuse plastic 

We cannot deny that plastic bags are a major ecological issue. Plastic bags take centuries to decompose. Worse off, they pose a threat to the animal life around us. Protecting the City Bowl means getting into the habit of refusing plastic bags when grocery shopping. 

Get into the habit of bringing your own bags to the store. Use and reuse the ones that have been accumulating in your closet over the years. 

Switch to energy-saving mode

It can be incredibly tempting to switch on our cooling systems this summer. It is convenient and a quick way to cool down … but at what cost? Fans and air conditioners are major energy wasters. In fact, so is excessively opening your fridge, using the stove and tumble drying. 

Remember that creativity is your friend in sustainability. 

Think outside of the box by finding ways to conserve energy in your workplace and/ or home. Embracing natural light instead of switching the lights on. Batch cook your meals instead of switching your appliances on and off. Open a window to let the cool air in. There are many ways to conserve energy, you just need to discover them. 

Let there be (efficient) light

There is no need to immediately run and replace all of your bulbs, but keep this in mind the next time you need to replace your bulbs. By replacing your existing bulbs with eco-friendly brands, you are saving not only the planet but your bank account. 

Compact, fluorescent light bulbs last five times longer than your average bulb but also use less energy to switch on and off. More so, they offer a greater glow that is not only brighter but has a warmer undertone which decreases the likelihood of eye strain. 

Support, support, support

Living in the City Bowl means that we have a plethora of incredible eco-friendly businesses. Supporting these local companies is a great initiative that helps our community and our planet. Their efforts are one of the quickest ways to embrace a more eco-conscious lifestyle. 

When we part with our money, we should feel confident that it is positively contributing to our immediate surroundings. Supporting local businesses is a great way to do that! 

The secret to becoming more eco-conscious is thinking long-term. If every single person and business in our community commits to these daily practices, we will significantly reduce our carbon footprint. Remember that reversing climate change is possible and it truly does start with us.

Green trends every Green Pointer can follow in 2021

The new year has rolled in; we’ve cleared the home office of festive wrapping paper and DIY tools; and we’re well on our way to growing our own herbs and veggies in our new planter boxes – which everyone has acquired seemingly overnight.

2020 saw many of us move indoors and Mother Nature thanked us for giving her some time to breathe, rebuild and strengthen. However, not all of us are optimistic about the effects lockdown has had on our environment.

The age of the pessimistic consumer

In fact, in a survey conducted by Global Web Index for their 2021 consumer trends report, and what they call the ‘Green Awakening’ that is sweeping the world, just over 40% of surveyed consumers thought the Covid-19 outbreak would have a negative effect on the environment, either in the short-term or long-term.

25% of consumers who were optimistic about the impact of the pandemic on the environment admitted that they thought the positive effects would be short lived, meaning that the negative effects would eventually outweigh the positives.

This means that businesses, governments and consumers need to work together to encourage drastic changes now to ensure we don’t continue to fall further into the abyss of an environmental disaster.

Green businesses take the lead

70% of consumers who participated in the Global Web Index’s 2021 trends survey (which we recommend everyone should read) said that reducing their own environmental impact was more important than ever since the start of the international lockdown. With 72% of consumers saying that sustainable business practices were more important to them because of Covid-19, it’s the perfect time to find those businesses who care and then collaborate with them.

One of these eco-conscious businesses are WastePlan, a company you may already be familiar with in the Green Point area.

WastePlan is our dedicated recycling collection service and they are doing a great job to ensure all residents of Green Point can participate in home recycling without having to do all the heaving lifting.

Their free door-to-door collection service means 83 000 Cape Town residents can recycle at home, diverting about 1,142,955 kg of waste from landfills every month. Yes, that’s more than 1 million kilograms of recyclable consumer waste that would have ended up in our oceans, waterways and streets had the collection service not been running.

As residents of Green Point, you can contribute to the ‘Green Awakening’ during COVID-19 to keep the environment and our people safe through WastePlan’s residential recycling collection service.

All you need to do is collect your recyclable waste in a separate recycling bag to your usual waste (food scraps and non-recyclables) and take the recycling out with your refuge and place it next to your refuge bin. WastePlan will collect your recycling on the same day as your dedicated refuse collection day.

To find out how you can be a green warrior in the Green Point area, head over to WastePlan’s website for more information about the recycling programme.

You can also download their recyclables infographic from their website to read all about collection days, what you can and cannot recycle and how our waste is moved through the recycling process.

Together we can make a difference to the ways our communities consume waste. Like most changes in perspective and behaviour, it starts at home and we have no excuse not to make a change in our homes with free services like WastePlan. Let’s continue our green journey together in 2021 and make Green Point a space where we can all contribute to a greener tomorrow.


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