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Getting Stuff Done

20 Apr

By  now most of you have heard that I have this little annoying list that I have promised to get through by the end of the year. Every now and then I re-read the list and seriously question my sanity. But it’s there and I’ll muddle my way through it.

I have been a little preoccupied lately and haven’t really had a chance to report back on how things are going with The List. I have been just a tiny bit obsessed with a girl who has a dragon tattoo. She also plays with fire and even goes on to kick a hornets nest. Distracted to say the least! But in between my eye-strain, I have managed to squeeze in a few to-do items. I realise that I need to kick into high gear if I am going to come close to finishing “The List” (insert suitable shark music).

#43 of 101 – Create Order in My Closet: I unpacked my entire closet, gave away half the contents and put it all back in neat piles. I discovered that I have 8 handbags that I no longer use. I also have 18 scarves I still use and can’t possibly part with. They take up about half my cupboard space! Who knew I had a thing for scarves…?!

#28 of 101 – Another Picnic: Adam and I took advantage of one of the last days of summer. We packed some sandwiches, some grapes and some chocolate and went off to have lunch outside. Such a simple way to make a little boy happy!

#34 of 101 – Donate Blood: I finally plucked up the courage to go back to donate blood. I went regularly before I fell pregnant, but could never muster the enthusiasm to go back afterwards. Even though I know it is for a good cause, and even though I have done it 15 times before, I still hate the whole process.  I hate the prick into the finger to test your iron, never mind the actual needle going in. I hate the blood going through the tubes, the little bag that fills up with your blood. I hate the feel of the needle pulling out. But I know that someone is going to benefit from my blood, so I look the other way and send lots of loving vibes into the blood and hope that it will help someone, somewhere.

#15 of 101 – Save Electricity – Turn my Geyser Down: Okay, so I fully intended to turn down the geyser myself, but I mentioned it to Dave, and he offered to do it for me. He roped in Adam to second him and they went about sorting out the geyser together. And every day since then, Adam has asked to go back into the roof – I am running out of ways to explain that it is not a good idea (he is not convinced, and thinks I am a serious stick in the mud). The geyser went down 10 degrees, and I can’t tell the difference. I could probably turn it down more – maybe next time I will go up myself!! (note the dirty, dusty face on the apprentice).

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Feedback:: Earth Hour 2010

5 Apr

Thank you for switching off!

Dear WWF Supporter
 
Earth Hour 2010 was a huge success! Thank you so much for your support.
 
This year a record 126 countries participated, with hundreds of millions of people in over 4 000 cities and towns taking part in delivering a powerful message of hope for a better, healthier planet.
 
Famous landmarks such as the Eiffel in Paris, the Big Ben in London, the Pyramids in Egypt and the Victoria Falls went dark. On home ground Table Mountain and the Green Point stadium in Cape Town switched off along with the Moses Mahdiba stadium in Durban and the Vodacom Tower in Johannesburg.
 
Based on the reduced electricity consumption during Earth Hour, ESKOM estimates that the equivalent of 1 million South African households participated. Consequently, we estimate that between 1 and 4 million South Africans participated in the event!
 
Earth Hour is so much more than just switching off your lights for sixty minutes. It has become the biggest mass movement of our time. This year we have urged people and companies to also pledge to reduce their carbon footprint. 

Watch this space for the best tips on how to change your lifestyle to a planet-friendly one.
 
TIP: Always shut down your computer overnight. Leaving on a computer monitor overnight wastes enough energy to laser print 800 A4 pages!
 
Together we can make a real difference.
 
For a living planet
The WWF team

The future is what we make it

27 Mar

Take a big step and do one thing to reduce your carbon footprint today. Do one thing that helps to save or conserve the earth’s resources. You don’t have to do everything all at once. Just pick one small, simple thing that can make a difference and do it today. Then, next week, or next month, do something else.

Here are a few easy suggestions for becoming more environmentally friendly.

  • Replace one light bulb with an energy efficient one. (Remember don’t thow these bulbs away in the rubbish – most Woolworths stores have a box where you can get rid of them)
  • Plant a tree. The rule of thumb is: “For every 5000 km you travel in a car or for every 5 hours you spend on a plane, you should plant 1 tree. If you never travel in a car or a plane, you should plant 10 trees to neutralize the effects of your household.” In South Africa, consider planting indigenous trees only (these include the Fever Tree, Cape Chestnut, Pompon Tree, Wild Pear and Forest Elder among others).
  • In the shower: install a low flow shower head. Put a bucket in the shower and use it to water household plants. Or simply shower with a friend 🙂 .
  • Don’t leave your appliances on standby. Don’t charge your phone overnight. Switch the light off when you leave a room. Don’t leave your computer on. Be conscious of  when and where you are using electricity when you don’t actually need to.
  • Washing your clothes: Consider hand washing, in cold water, a few items of clothing every day. I wash Adam’s clothes by hand each night while he has a bath. It’s quick, easy and better for the clothes. And it saves a machine wash load at the end of the week. Also, consider using a clothes line rather than a tumble dryer.
  • Buying food: try buying organic food where possible. Use reusable, shopping bags (cloth is the best). Become aware of your food’s packaging. Recycle it if you can and choose the option with the least packaging, or refuse to buy over-packaged goods. Consider what fruits and vegetables are in season and buy those – chances are they are more local and have spent less time in storage or transport. Give canned and frozen foods a skip. Find organic or farmer’s markets and try to support them whenever possible. Choose one or two (or more) days a week when you eat food produced within a local radius of where you live. Buy fresh fish from the harbour. Also, when buying fish, make sure that it is part of the Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative – look for the SASSI logo. Eat less meat, or at least be choosier about the meat you eat.
  • Avoid buying bottled water. Rather set up a purification system in your home and carry your own fresh water around with you.
  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. If you live in my area, you have an easy solution. They will collect it from your front door. Fill those clear plastic bags. My rubbish has reduced from 2 large black bags a week to 1, sometimes 2 small bags. As soon as I start a compost heap/wormery, it will be down to almost nothing. It makes a difference, it really does. If you are not lucky enough to have it collected with your weekly rubbish, consider getting someone to collect it. At work we use a company called Recycle 1st.
  • In your garden: Plant edible plants (start your own “farmer’s market” in you back yard). Plant indigenous, waterwise plants. Respect the water restriction guidelines and water only in the early mornings or evenings. Use organic compost. Or start a wormery. Try and find a way to store and use rainwater in your garden. Find organic ways to control pests and avoid pesticides that are harmful to the environment. This book is a great resource: Jane’s Delicious Garden. And it is South African, so it is full of useful and relevant information.
  • Your Geyser: consider installing a solar panel. Invest in a geyser blanket. Turn down your thermostat by 1, 2, 3 degrees. Or more. Switch your geyser off when you go away and won’t be using it.
  • Calculate your carbon footprint and commit to reducing it by this time next year.
  • Finally, if nothing else, consider switching off your lights tonight at 8:30pm.

 

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