The City of Johannesburg is urging residents to play an active role to help create a green city by keeping the environment clean.
The following are some of the ways in which residents can contribute to a cleaner and healthier environment:
Before you even think about recycling, what should come to mind first is reducing waste and reusing whatever you can at home;
If there are purchases you have to make for the household, then think pre-cycling.
Pre-cycling is about looking out for and buying products that can be recycled;
Buy products that use recycled materials in the product itself or in the packaging to complete the recycling loop. Only when there is demand for recycled products would there be demand for recyclables;
Other than recycling, you can adopt other green practices, such as reducing the amount of harmful chemicals you release into the environment by switching to natural cleaners that are biodegradable and do not harm the water supply or the environment; and
Use environmentally sound products because they do minimal harm to the environment.
Extend green practices to your family
Encourage everyone in your family to play a part in recycling at home;
Help them understand the importance of recycling by showing them that it can be easy and hassle-free; and
Encourage them to look out for the items that can be reused or recycled, instead of throwing them away. Offer to send the recyclables they have collected for recycling, when you send yours.
After a while, recycling will become a habit, instead of a chore.
Implement the three Rs: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
• Plan a shopping list to prevent purchasing on impulse;
• Buy products that will not go out of fashion quickly;
• Buy things with less packaging;
• Buy things in bulk quantities e.g. one large box of breakfast cereal instead of two small ones;
• Buy durable items that will last you a long time e.g. rechargeable battery;
• Buy refillable items e.g. dish washing liquid;
• Borrow, share and/or hire things that you only need occasionally;
• Bring a shopping bag while shopping instead of requesting for plastic bags;
• Use cloth instead of paper tissue for cleaning;
• Minimise the use of disposable items such as disposable crockery, non-rechargeable batteries etc;
• Store perishable food e.g. bread, fruits in refrigerator;
• Cook just sufficient food for meals;
• Pack breakfast or lunch in washable container instead of a one-time one;
• Write to the respective organisation/s if other members of the family receive the same reading material; and
• Call the respective organisation/s to remove your address from their mailing list to prevent junk mail.
• Reuse used glass and plastic containers as receptacles;
• Use unwanted plastic bags to store garbage;
• Use old clothing as rags for cleaning;
• Convert scrap paper into memo pads;
• Pass old textbooks, story books, and toys to others;
• Pass smaller size but good quality clothing to others;
• Donate good quality but unwanted items to old folks’ homes, charitable organisations etc;
• Repair and recondition faulty electronic appliances to extend their useful lives; and
• Clean and reuse ornaments for the next festive celebration.
• Make recycled paper at home and decorate it for use as a greeting card or wrapping paper;
• Segregate recyclable items for collection by waste collectors;
• Participate in recycling programme/s and deposit recyclable items into designated recycling bins;
• Buy recycled products; and
• Buy recycling labelled products.
Grass-cycling is the practice of leaving grass clippings on the lawn or using them as mulch. Grass clippings are over 80% water, so they decompose quickly and release nitrogen and other nutrients back into the lawn and soil naturally, thereby improving lawn quality. Grass clippings add water-saving mulch and encourage natural soil aeration by earthworms:
Forget those long-held beliefs that grass clippings left on a lawn smother the grass underneath or cause thatch. Grass clippings are actually good for the lawn. From now on, don’t bag your lawn clippings: “grass cycle” them.
Grass-cycling is a simple, easy opportunity for every homeowner to do something good for the environment. Grass-cycling is a responsible environmental practice and an opportunity for all homeowners to reduce their waste.