With almost any set task or goal in life, we often need that extra boost of inspiration to keep ourselves on track. It’s no different when you’re consistently trying to maintain stellar eco-warrior status in your home or business. In 2018, there are hundreds of suggestions and creative ideas online to help individuals become more ‘Green’ in their lifestyles – where to even begin?!
To keep the inspiration alive, I’ve pinpointed my top 10 favourite bloggers and websites to follow in 2018. I hope they can bring you some motivation, too!
Eco Geek (www.ecogeek.org)
Sustainable Smart Business (sustainablesmartbusiness.com)
Environment Blog (www.theenvironmentalblog.org)
Andrew Winston (www.andrewwinston.com)
Terra Infirma (www.terrainfirma.co.uk/blog/)
Green Living Guy (www.greenlivingguy.com)
The Evnironmental Blog (www.theenvironmentalblog.org)
During water shortages, such as the one we are currently experiencing in Gauteng, having a grey water system in place to save and store water is certainly something that every person, not just someone who wants to Go Green, should be looking at. Each day we are all responsible for wasting copious amounts of water; it runs down the drain instead of being used for another purpose. The water that we are wasting is known as grey water and if you were to change the way that you look at this water, and the way that you use it, you will find yourself saving more than you have ever before.
What is grey water?
It might be a phrase you have heard of before, but some clarity might be needed to know exactly what it is. Grey water consists of bath water, shower water, water from your laundry, and water from the sink. The grey water is then recycled and used for irrigation in the garden.
Grey water recycling systems are arguably one of the very best ways to reduce your water consumption without having to make a drastic lifestyle change. And in a dry nation such as ours, having a grey water system in place is going to make a noticeable difference in the amount of tap water you use.
Grey water systems are by no means the only kind of water recycling system available.
Buffer tanks (also called backup tanks), portable water solutions, rainwater harvesting systems and septic tanks, are all water recycling methods that are available. These systems are relatively affordable, and since they will be saving you money, they are great systems to consider.
Backup tanks are great when paired with a grey water system seeing as the buffer tank can store clean water for consumption during shortages or cuts while the grey water recycling system will provide water for all of your irrigation needs. Grey water tanks are designed to accompany the system. Should you need to store water, the tank is there, while with some systems the tank is the final holding place for collected water before it is released.
And such systems are not just for the farm or for rural areas, they are equally fantastic for homes in urban areas. Once you have a water recycling system set up, you will never lose sleep or suffer from the frustration of running dry.
It is a fair question to ask. Right now you might not notice the effects of the drought but even when the water supply is not an issue, you should be thinking about how you can save.
Did you know that in a home of 4 people, on average up to 3000 litres of water can go to waste almost unnoticed?
You should recycle grey water because every drop of water is precious. We live in a country where drought is a part of life and where water costs can be outrageously high, so saving wherever you can will do no harm and can only benefit you!
These are just a few of the other ways that you can benefit from having a grey water recycling system:
Grey water can completely replace the need to use tap water to keep the garden green and lush. It can also be used within the home to flush toilets.
By recycling grey water you can expect to see a reduction in your potable water use by up to 40%.
You can instantly start saving money by having a smaller monthly water bill.
You will never again have to worry about your garden going thirsty during a drought.
What are grey water systems and how do grey water systems work?
A grey water system is an uncomplicated system designed to transport your grey water away from the drains and into your garden, toilet or tank. The grey water system works through a series of pipes and a pump, all resistant to corrosion and designed with efficiency in mind. With a pump placed in the surge tank, the grey water system swiftly moves the water to where it needs to be.
Once you have a grey water filter system in place, you will start to gain a better understanding of where your household water goes each month.
What can grey water be used for and how does grey water affect plants?
One of the biggest uses of grey water is plant irrigation. Keeping your garden alive is possible with grey water as the water will have little effect on the plants. It is for this reason that one of the benefits listed above is watering gardens. But it is not just the flowers that will be kept alive. You can use this water to irrigate vegetables and fruits, with no harm done to the plants. If you are Going Green with a sustainable grey water system, why not also consider growing your own vegetables?
You should recycle grey water, not only will you be doing yourself a favour but you will also be looking after the environment and contribute with a water solution of your very own.
One of the biggest motivating factors for South Africans to go Green last year was undoubtedly load shedding. It was something that everyone suffered with, and it was the motivating factor that pushed many of us to start seriously looking at Green Alternative Solutions. However, while South Africans were busy buying into alternative energy solutions because of load shedding, the rest of the world had already started the process of turning their homes and businesses into renewable energy havens. South Africans are actually just playing a catch-up game to the rest of the world!
Load shedding, which seems to have come and gone is certainly not the only reason why South Africans should be thinking Green. Exchanging energy that relies on fossil fuels, for energy that is generated cleanly, is something that the entire world needs to do, for the sake of future generations to come. Renewable energy is the way of the future, and if we want to have a healthy future in a clean, liveable environment, then we all need to do our part in finding energy sources that are not going to harm the planet.
A quick online google search will spill out hundreds of sources, some of them from the experts, telling you exactly why you need to think about going Green. The change is happening all over the world and not only will we enjoy the benefits of environmentally friendly power right here and now, but we will also be leaving a better world behind for future generations.
Here are 10 great reasons to go Green!
You can increase the value on your home or business
Green energy is cheaper energy and when you have equipped your home or business to be Green, you are going to be increasing the value of your home because of that money saving factor. You will save money!
In addition to this, Eskom rates are increasing each year, leaving South Africans to pay out more money on their electricity each year. Once you start seeing the return on your investment from going Green, you will notice how much money you are actually saving.
Improve your health and the health of those around you
Become part of the group of people who are making the air cleaner. The more people investing in Green technology means better air for all and less illness.
Start saving on your water bill
If you are really committed to Greener living, you should also have a look at plumbing systems that will help you to save water. Water shedding is likely to become a part of South Africa’s future as the effects of the drought take hold, so it is a good time to think about water harvesting.
You are investing in the future
Global Warming and all of the other damage that has been caused by burning fossil fuels is going a long way towards damaging and even destroying the futures of our children. By making a commitment to going Green, you will be investing in the future of the planet and helping to create a future of your children.
When you install solar geysers and solar panels, you are immediately taking away your dependency on the national power supply. Becoming self-sufficient is very important for you and your family. You will be thankful for installing Green technology the next time there is an electricity crisis.
Productivity boosting factor
Each time someone invests in renewable energy resources, they are contributing to a healthier environment. When we live in healthy environments, we suffer from fewer illnesses. It might seem like common sense but it is something that many of us have overlooked. A healthier nation is a more productive, and happier, one.
Once you have installed your solar panels, your neighbours are bound to take an interest. And with them seeing what you are doing, it can contribute to a dialogue about sustainable energy or perhaps even be enough to encourage them to follow your example and also go Green. Become a leader in the Green revolution!
Recycling is a big part of going Green. Plastic and glass are easily recyclable and you will find places all over your town where you can deposit your recyclables. You can also recycle your old papers, including newspapers and magazines. Every little bit helps, and your recycling contribution is going to have an impact.
Renewable energy is free
While the initial set up to produce your renewable energy is going to require a financial investment, there are no costs involved in producing your electricity when you are using solar power. The energy from the sun is 100% free, and anyone can convert it with the right equipment.
Think of going Green as your new start in life. Most of us have grown up with conventional electricity and have gotten used to this way of providing power to our homes. When you are transforming your home to use renewable power, you are changing the way that your children are going to be looking at electricity. By going Green, you will also be changing the way that you think about the normal everyday things that we do, such as throwing away items that could have actually been recycled.
Green Leaf Alternative Energy Solutions has created affordable solutions for South Africans looking to purchase Green technology to transform their homes, and ultimately their lives. Not only will we provide you with an affordable energy saving, we also provide expert advice! Contact us today! firstname.lastname@example.org[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]
For many the thought of going green immediately turns to electricity, solar power and other ways that can be used to save power. But water is just as important, if not more so, than electricity and is often completely forgotten about when discussions turn to ways that the planet can be saved. Water shortages have always plagued South Africa. In fact, South Africa is considered to be one of those water scarce countries where people need to turn to alternative methods for saving water.
Some of the best ways that you can save water are not just by storing it, but also by creating it from nothing at all. With the modern advancements that are getting better and better by the day, the constant improvements are bettering the ways that we can save water. You now have plenty of options when it comes to saving water. And you don’t just have to choose just one option, you can combine a range of options.
Discussing the different ways that you can save water
In some instances, using a system that is designed just to harvest or reclaim water, is the best way to start saving. But it is certainly not the only way that you can save your water. There are a number of ways for you to save water, and the best place to start is with the water within your home. The ways that you can save water are incredibly simple and anyone can implement these techniques. Green Leaf Alternative Solutions is always looking to assist people by offering the right technology, and we are also providing some interesting advice to assist you in your water saving activities.
Start saving water in these ways
Take a bucket into the shower
How long do you wait for the water to heat up before you start showering? While you are waiting for the shower to get hot, plenty of water is running down the drain and going to waste. There is a way that you can prevent the water from going to waste. The solution is to place a bucket in the shower while you are waiting and to capture all of that water. You can then use this water for whatever you like, such as watering the garden.
Install a rainwater harvesting system
A rainwater harvesting system is one of the best ways that you can save. For most of our households, the rain water goes to waste, falling onto a pavement or driveway and then running away. By placing the rainwater harvesting system in the area where the rain falls the most, you will be saving the water and be able to use that water on your garden during times when the rain is scarce.
Invest in a grey water system
Not all wastewater needs to go down the drain and to waste. While there is certain waste water that should not be reused, grey water systems are great for recycling dish water and shower water. Instead of it going down the drain, this water is diverted to another area of the home where it can be used. One of the most popular ways that the water can be reused is by diverting it to be used for flushing the toilet. Although they can be easily set up, they do require maintenance to keep them in a good running condition.
With South Africa’s growing population and its continued struggle with water, the people need to save water wherever possible. This is where grey water recycling has really shown it’s immense worth. Grey water recycling involves the redirecting of wastewater, mainly water that has been used for showering, doing laundry or washing dishes, for instance. This water is not exactly dirty, and while it cannot be used for drinking or cooking, it can be used for other purposes.
Many households that have installed this system have reported that they have been able to save up to 40% of their water. This system of recycling can be combined with a number of other systems, contributing to the total amount of water that you will end up saving. The process is affordable and the set up itself is also exceptionally affordable.
Grey water recycling is one of the ways that you will be saving on your water each month. Not only will you be noticing the difference in your monthly water bill but you are also going to be contributing to saving the planet’s sparse fresh water supply.
[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_text]Over the past two weeks Green Leaf had the opportunity to discuss the importance of Green Energy with Century Property Developments in Waterfall Estate. The do’s and don’ts of building your new home was the key subject and Katie Truscott and David Falkenberg also discussed the importance of Green Energy in the home. Thank you to all that attended. If you are building on a Century Development and would like to attend this exciting seminar don’t miss the last one of the year on December 5th at 930am in Waterfall Village. RSVP to Portia@century.co.za
Burglary is an unfortunate reality not only in South Africa but all around Southern Africa. With the holidays fast approaching crime is regrettably on the rise. Break in’s can and will have a huge impact on you and your family’s sense of safety and well-being. Luckily there are measures of prevention you can put in place to boost security in your home. Here are a few tips to keep your house safe over the festive season:
Don’t display you’re away:
It is much easier to break – in when no one is at home. Make your house look occupied when you’re gone, or better yet, hire a house sitter!
Make it hard to break in:
The harder it is to break in, the less likely it is that the break in will actually happen. Don’t leave anything unlocked and never leave a ladder outside. The burglars can use the ladder to access the roof etc.
Know your neighbors: Neighbors should look out for each other. Ask them to keep an eye on your home if you’re away. Consider implementing a neighborhood watch program. It is a nice way to get to know everyone in the neighborhood and also promotes a strong sense of community spirit.
Make it hard for them to hide: Take the robber’s cover way. A burglar will most likely target a house that has hiding places. Make use of outside security lighting to illuminate every access door. Trim trees and shrubs.
Make use of home security: Home security isn’t a guarantee that burglars won’t enter your home, but home security makes it more difficult for the burglar to enter and increases their risk of being seen and caught. With a home security system in place the burglar will most likely give up and look for an easier target.
Every single security system’s energy consumption is roughly associated to the amount of electrical power used to operate it. Usually when a security system is dimensioned the power usage doesn’t represent an important and decisive criteria, but every single consumer added to your system increases the electrical power bill. Spend some extra minutes with your security provider in order to find the optimal solution in matter of power consumption.
Greenleaf Alternative Solutions uses only the best quality security brands and products giving you piece of mind while enjoying your holidays this festive season. Our products power consumption is low and won’t blow your power bill out of the water every month.
When considering a security system start with the following options:
These systems can all be tied together seamlessly with home automation, another service Green Leaf proudly offers clients. Don’t hesitate to contact us today for a tailor made solution to suit your home and budget.
A big thanks to Cora Van Niekerk for her massive contribution to the December and January Green Leaf newsletter’s! Cora is a 3rd year marketing student with the University of the Free State. Cora has been working as an intern with Green Leaf through November and December.
Recycling at your home or business in South Africa can be a mission! Many people complain about not knowing the how, where and when’s of recycling therefore they don’t bother. So how good are we at recycling in South Africa?
“When commencing the design of your home, it is imperative to look ahead to the future of South Africa. Right now, one of the problematic environmental issues that is affecting every South African home owner is energy supply,” says Katie Truscott of Green Leaf Alternative Solutions.