21 Days to a Greener You - Day 14

Avoid pre-packaged fruit and veg I know as a busy Mum it can be handy to buy pre-cut vegtables and fruit, that look clean and ready to go, but they come with lots of plastic packaging. there are a few factors that might make you avoid buying these foods the next time you shop: Fresh is always better. When vegetables and fruit are cut, they lose some of their nutrients to the air. The longer the food is cut and allowed to deteriorate, it loses more. Food waste. Often too much food is cut up in these packages, so you don’t use it all in the meal. If it is not enough, you end up buying two packs and still end up with too much. It is costlier to buy vegetables and fruit this way. Higher risk of

21 Days to a Greener You - Day 13

Move to Electronic bills. Yesterday we talked about recycling paper, but there is another way to stop wasting paper. No one likes bills, but paper bills are adding to the tons of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases produced each year. Reduce the number of trees cut down each year by asking for your bills and also your bank statements to come electronically. It will be far easier to file too. If you are game for more: Once you have converted your bills to electronic format, there are a few more items you can change: Request Bank statements electronically Read your newspaper on the internet Instead of photocopying, scan and send information by email to be read electronically. Read eBooks or li

21 Days to a Greener You - Day 12

Recycling Paper Today’s task is about recycling, but I thought I would stick to one item - paper. When you recycle paper, several things happen. For every tonne of paper recycled 13 trees are saved, as well as 2.5 barrels of oil, 4100kWh of electricity, 4 cubic metres of landfill and 31,780 litres of water. It is worth thinking about. Look at all the places you can find paper in your household – the kitchen, the study, the living room, etc. What paper can be recycled: Newspapers, magazines and catalogues Office paper, Books Cardboard, rolls (e.g. toilet rolls) Envelopes and letters (just make sure no private information is left on and remove any plastic) We collect all our paper for recycli

21 Days to a Greener You - Day 11

Switch to energy efficient light bulbs Energy efficient lightbulbs such as halogen incandescents, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and light emitting diodes (LEDs) use about 25%-80% less energy than traditional incandescents. They can last up 3-25 times longer, saving energy. While the initial price of energy-efficient bulbs is typically higher than traditional incandescents, they will last a lot longer saving you money. If you are game for more: Something we can easily forget about when we are making a purchase for our latest electronic gadget or appliance is the energy rating. Energy efficient products with 5 star energy rating consume less energy and are more eco-friendly. In Australia,

21 Days to a Greener You - Day 10

Switch off Tonight’s task is easy and it is probably one you are doing already, but it is worth reminding people of it. Switch off power points and limit gadgets on standby, when you are not using them. I know it can be hard to keep a tabs of when you have kids, especially teenagers who love their electronics, but it is all about reminding them to switch off. Remind them that they are wasting energy, but if that doesn’t work talk about the safety hazard associated with leaving many laptops, phones and other mobile devices charging. Leaving electrical devices in standby mode means they continue to use electricity even when they’re not actively in use. By switching off devices at the power p

21 Days to a Greener You - Day 9

Dont't waste water So how can you not waste water in the home? You know how you need to run the hot tap to get hot water. Well, instead of wasting water why don't you collect it. In our household we use an old juice bottle (and I mean old - we have had for over 4 years) to collect the running water in the kitchen and we use it for our pets and watering potted plants. In the showers, we leave basins to collect the cold water before it warms up and we use this water in the garden and even to wash the shower and the sinks. Hey, if you don't like the look of the bottle or basins, find other collection vessels or just hide them when visitors come around. If you are game for more Other ways to sav

21 Days to a Greener You - Day 8

Refuse to buy bottled water Sometimes I see people buying packs of bottled water and I wonder why, when we live in a country that supplies good drinking water. Bottled water is less regulated than tap water, it is expensive and it uses a massive amount of resources to get the water to you (in the collection, bottling and shipping). It results in plastic waste that’s usually not recycled. It definitely should be avoided. With so many types of reusable water flasks/drinking bottles available, why would you buy bottled water? If you are game for more: Extend this to all your drinks, not just water. You will find switching to a reusable drinking bottle or flask will start you on a healthy habit

21 Days to a Greener You - Day 7

What chemicals are lurking in at your Kitchen and Laundry cupboards Cleaning comes naturally to some and for others it can be a real chore, but for most of us all we want is a clean house as quickly as possible. Many companies producing detergents, cleaners and sanitisers will tell you that their products will get rid of all the dirt, stains, mould, bacteria and viruses without too much rubbing or soaking. How can they do this? Of course, most have to include a concoction of chemicals to ensure stains and germs are removed quickly, but what are these chemicals and what are they are doing to you, your family and your home? Many detergents and sanitisers contain toxins and pollutants that can

21 Days to a Greener You - Day 6

Bring a shopping bag Bring your own bags when shopping. Yes, some of the plastic bags can be recycled, but believe me you need a lot more of those throw away bags to carry your groceries. What a waste! I know one of the problems people have is that it is easy to forget them. Always keep a bag handy, next to your front door and in the boot of your car. I even carry a foldaway bag in my handbag, but I have still been known to forget a bag. When this happens, if I am getting a small shop I will carry the items or ask for a cardboard box. But don’t beat yourself up if you do have to resort to the plastic bags. Just try to do better next time and remember to bring those bags back to the shop to b

21 Days to a Greener You - Day 5

Ditch the disposable coffee cup Who doesn’t like having a coffee or a hot brew in the morning? However, many of us use the convenience of buying our drinks from a café or bistro, but with these hot drinks (and many cold drinks) comes single use disposable cups. Each year millions of disposable cups ends up in landfill. Each of us can in our own small way can do something to rememdy this problem, by switching to reusable cups. Why don’t you invest in a reusable, refillable option. And believe me, your coffee taste so much better coming from glass or porcelain. How are you going so far? Any thoughts on the tasks/suggestions? Are you finding it easy to make these changes? Don’t worry if you f

21 Days to a Greener You - Day 4

Apologies everyone for the delay in posting this. It was one of those weekends where things weren't going to plan and something had to give. But we're back with more suggestions on how to lead a green life. Pack a Nude lunch For many of you, I am guessing you bring lunch to work or you need to pack lunches for your kids. One thing you can do to be more green is to eliminate as much packaging from your lunch. It means out are plastic bags, throw away cartons and boxes, like crisps, packaged snack bars and pre-made lunches. Instead in are reusable lunch boxes and drink bottles. One benefit of having nude lunches is not only is it good for the environment, but often a lot of the processed food

21 Days to a Greener You - Day 3

Make the switch to refillable products This is something a lot of people forget about. So, what I would like you to do is to choose one product in your household like a laundry detergent, hand soap, shampoo, shower gel, sauces or even baking items like flour, baking powder, salt and much more. Then look for a refillable option and switch to this. By doing this, you will help reduce the amount of packaging, particularly plastic that ends up in landfill. Once you have got use to getting refillables for one product you can do the same for another product and so on. If you are game for more: Have a look at your pantry. What can you get in bulk? Easy items to start with are flour, sugar, cereals

21 Days to a Greener You - Day 2

Make a meal plan and grocery list If you are custom to dropping into the shops after work or after the school run, then deciding what to cook, you probably find you buy more then you need and you tend to buy things that can be cooked quickly – processed food. Not good for your health or your bank balance or the earth. Plan your meals for a week and do a weekly shop. You will be amazed at how much you save, but how organised your days will be. With some thought you will buy healthier and more natural food. Where possible buy organic and Fairtrade. The impact of the chemicals (pesticides and herbicides) on the environment is reduced when you buy these certified foods. Also, it means you care f

21 Days to a Greener You - Day 1

Your task for today - Take shorter showers We are going to start with something we all do every day – having a shower. You may have had a shower already today. If yes, prepare for this task and be ready for tomorrows shower. If you haven’t showered yet, well then you can follow these instructions today. Before heading to the shower, set a timer. If you don’t have a timer use your timer on your mobile phone or device. Now set the time to 4 minutes (if you have long hair we will allow you five minutes to allow enough time to shampoo and condition). Start the timer as you head into the shower and make sure you switch off the shower once the alarm goes off (please do not bring your alarm/mobile

21 Days to a Greener You.

I know for many of you, you want to be more environmentally conscious and you want a better future for the planet we live on. Every now and then you buy natural or eco-friendly products and you recycle, but you don’t class yourself as an eco-warrior, as you think you’re not doing enough or it is too hard. You might be afraid that being truly eco-friendly you need to be an activist and that you need to be part of a group like Green Peace or live on the Sea Shepherd. I love what these guys do, but I know the lifestyle they lead is not for everyone. That shouldn’t stop you from greening your life. Become your own eco activist in your home and maybe even around your community. With it being the