Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Global Warming in my back garden

The Commentator notes that I have more chance of fixing media bias than global warming. I wish I could argue this point, but alas, it is true.

I have been trying to 'do my bit' here in SA; recycling my glass bottles and paper, turning off the geyser when we're not home, unplugging cell phone chargers when they're not in use and so on. But my eco-friendly activities are quite limited.

I live in the country that holds the dubious honour of having the world's highest murder rate, so walking or cycling to work is not safe. Hubby works in the opposite direction, 45 minutes' drive away, so we can't even share a ride. I work in a three-person company that operates out of a home office, so my boss lives at work and my other colleague also lives in the opposite direction to me. My carbon footprint worries me as I climb in my car at least twice a day and hit the gas.

At least I can (safely) walk to the shops from my place, as well as the gym. I do as many of my interviews telephonically as possible to avoid belching carbon monoxide out my little car's exhaust pipes into the atmosphere, and I have replaced my light bulbs with more eco-friendly options. We try to but local, organic produce where possible, and I grow my own organic herbs. South Africa doesn't offer a huge range of 'green' products, and ethical trade is still a relatively unknown term here.

I feel like I need to do more! Does anyone have ideas or suggestions that are possible to implement in South Africa that will save energy and make our lives a little greener?

I know that Eskom is doing its bit by shutting off our power at every chance. If the state-owned entities are going green, the private sector should jack up and do so too!


Dave King said...

I do not think you need feel guilty about the use you make of the car. Your personal safety comes first.

Caz said...

hey lady

thanks for visiting my blog :)
I just finished my M in climate change journalism in SA actually, so unagi!
Here are some ideas of things you can do:
Dont leave anything on standby - turn off at the wall. A tv uses about 75% of it's full power when turned off by remote but still on standby.

Obviously if you use a washing machine or dishwasher only do full loads - half loads use the same amount of elec for half the results.

There are a bunch of things you can do to save petrol when you're driving. I've cut some of these from elsewhere:

"Transport is one of the industries that contributes significantly to climate change. It is also one of the biggest expenses in the average person’s budget.
South Africa’s public transport system leaves much to be desired, however, most of us could half of our petrol accounts (as well as the resultant carbon emissions) by sharing lifts to work.

Check your tire pressure regularly – the wrong tire pressure increases fuel consumption. Avoid harsh breaking and accelerating as these are big fuel burners."

Tamara said...

Thanks, Caz. Didn't know that tyre pressure could make a difference! Will have to tell my band as he's particularly bad at checking his.

How's yours recovering from the anniversary meal, btw?