Tips for greening your home

Teach your children how to be more energy and water wise. Make recycling a fun activity.

Climate control
Nothing beats cross, natural ventilation from open doors and windows or the use of fans, to cool your home. Only install an air conditioner if it is absolutely necessary.

Home composting is a great way to recycle some of your household and garden waste. Worm Farms can also be used to recycle food scraps and waste into fertile compost.

A geyser remains the primary source of hot water in South African households today. The geyser (or geysers) is responsible for the highest electricity consumption in most households – sometimes using between 40% and up to 60% or more of your monthly electricity bill. The two most common ways of reducing this consumption is to 1) Install a solar water-heating geyser or 2) Use geyser blankets.

Homemade cleaners
With a bit of research on the internet you can find useful recipes for making your own homemade cleaners that are free from harsh chemicals. All purpose cleaners, laundry soap, all purpose scrubs, glass and window cleaners and room disinfectant can easily be made at home.

A well insulated home is warmer in winter and cooler in summer, noting that the majority of heat loss takes place through the roof. There are a wide range of glass products and innovations available to improve the thermal performance, as well as the aesthetics, of your home including double-glazing doors and windows.

The key to more efficient lighting is using natural light where possible, switch off lights when not in use, replace existing lighting with energy efficient lighting and use low voltage lighting where appropriate. Skylights reduce the need to use energy sapping artificial lighting during daylight hours.

It’s very easy to reduce household waste by sorting waste as and when it’s being disposed of (organic, mixed, paper, landfill).

Saving water
Introduce low-flow taps and showers, dual-flush toilets, grey water recycling and rainwater harvesting.

Swimming pools
Installing a solar pool blanket is a cost effective way to increase you pool temperature during the day and reduce temperature loss at nighttime.  Solar pool heating by induction is a great way to extend the use of your swimming pool outside of the warm months. Solar tube panels are fitted to the roof and connected to a water feed from the pool. Water is then channelled through the tubes and is heated by the sun's rays and returned to the pool by the existing pool pump. The panels are heated from the sun’s rays as well as the roof surface through conduction. Heat pumps are not only designed to provide hot water for household use but can also heat your swimming pool cost effectively without any harm to the environment.

Technology is currently available to heat your home with radiant heating systems that can be powered by alternative energy sources. Two options: namely hot water and electric heating systems, can harness the sun’s energy or be powered by energy saving systems to heat not only your floors, but also your walls and ceilings.

Plant an eco-friendly and indigenous garden and plant your own vegetables. A garden the size of a kitchen door can grow enough vegetables to feed a family of four. If you don’t have a yard or the space to plant a garden, you can grow your vegetables in containers. Always fix leaking taps and immediately report leaking pipes or stolen water meters.

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