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Category Archives: #GoGreen

Plastic everywhere: Plastic pollution is a global crisis. - Photo Credit: Chris Jordan / US Fish and Wildlife Service

Plastic everywhere: Plastic pollution is a global crisis. – Photo Credit: Chris Jordan / US Fish and Wildlife Service

 

Today is Earth Day.

The outlook is bleak. Our planet is dying and it’s our fault. Weltschmerz seeps in easily.

One of the major problems we all contribute to is plastic.

Yet, it is so easy to avoid using plastic bags.

The Earth Day movement has launched a Plastic Pollution Calculator: www.earthday.org/plastic-calculator.

Use this calculator to learn how much plastic you waste.

In addition you can pledge to reduce your plastic consumption.

Plastic pollution is a global crisis. Be the change. Stop using plastic!

 

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Your dirty dishwater could kill some of those creepy bugs.

Your dirty dishwater could kill some creepy bugs.

 

My urban gardening guerrilla tomatoes (guerrilla because they kind of have the tendency to grow themselves) were all of a sudden not faring so well. A close inspection revealed they were under attack: Red Spider Mites!

 

When I researched How to Get Rid of Red Spider Mites Organically I was surprised to read a simple recipe for bug spray listed:

 

Easy recipe for bug spray

1 litre water

+  2 tablespoons cooking oil

+  2 tablespoons soap

 

That’s basically my dirty dishwater!

 

If you brush your dishes free from food leftovers and wash them with biodegradable dishwashing liquid, you can use the dirty dishwater on your plants as a bug repellent. You might need to add oil or soap, or just want to use it as a preventative in a mild mixture.

 

Vinegar, lemon juice, hot sauce, essential oils are also great bug repellents. So if you have any of these left over, don’t waste them down the drain, but spritz them on your plants instead.

 

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This water saving tap is not only very efficient in reducing water usage, it also makes pretty patterns.

This water saving tap is not only very efficient in reducing water usage, it also makes pretty patterns.

 

In an effort to conserve water new ideas are being implemented, new products are being created.

 

Here a great example of a water saving tap at the Woodstock Exchange:

 

A simple, yet so efficient idea, and in addition to fulfilling its purpose, it’s also beautiful!

 

No surprise this concept by Simin Qiu won the 2014 IF Concept Design Award.

 

Thanks to clever designs like these it is stylish to upgrade to water saving. #EveryDropCounts

 

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While Western Cape residents are urged to do everything they can to reduce water usage, saving water doesn’t stop at home.

But how to go about it in public spaces?

Most water saving methods are rather intimate, bordering on hygienic issues.

However, as we are learning new water saving habits at home, it’s easy to extend them to the work place.

Even if it’s small steps, every drop counts.

Here a great example at the Bandwidth Barn, where they place ice cream tubs in the sinks to collect grey water:

Ice cream tubs works well for capturing grey water in sinks.

Ice cream tubs works well for capturing grey water in sinks.

 

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Are you doing the Bucket Dance? Capturing every drop for grey water with multiple buckets in the shower.

Are you doing the Bucket Dance? Capturing every drop for grey water with multiple buckets in the shower.

 

In and around the buckets we shower,

We place them in line, in circles, on top of each other.

We do what we can, we take this power

in our own hands and prove that we bother.

 

It’s a means to save every drop,

Once you started you can’t stop.

So we turn, twist and hop, we balance, shuffle and mop,

anything to make sure this doesn’t turn into a flop.

 

Because water is rare and we’re running out.

No time for a blank stare, this is a serious drought.

We need action now, the question is not why but how,

so do your bit and put on a good show:

 

Lift that leg, do the fandango, take a stance:

Turn this from a crisis into a chance!

We’re all in this together so let’s do enhance

this situation by joining the Bucket Dance!

 

🙂

 

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The City of Cape Town’s water map shows the water usage of households around Cape Town.

The City of Cape Town’s water map shows the water usage of households around Cape Town.

 

Here we get to see what the City of Cape Town uses for an at a glance overview of water usage at residential properties: https://citymaps.capetown.gov.za/waterviewer.

 

Criticism arose that “the map enables residents to check up on their neighbours’ water habits” and thus acts as a “name and shame” campaign.

 

Surely, you’d check up on your own address first.

 

And as a self-check tool this water map is really useful:

 

Every month you get to see if you managed to stay below 6 000 litres at your property, indicated with a dark green dot. 🙂

 

If your plot shows a light green dot, it means you used between 6 000 and 10 500 litres last month and you need to read up on some #water #saving #tips. 😉

 

Use the map rather as a “name and acclaim” campaign: an incentive to show off and help your neighbours to #GoGreen, or to follow suit and work harder on your #WaterSaving.

 

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Oopsie, another bag full with used tea bags...

Oopsie, another bag full with used tea bags…

I drink at least 2 litres of tea a day. I use 3 teabags to brew 1 litre. That’s a minimum of 6 teabags per day.

So that 200 teabag bulk offer is probably what I go through per month.

Accordingly I have a lot of used teabags to do… well, what with? Read on for some useful tips.

 

What to do with used tea bags

 

Used tea bags belong in the garden.

A used tea bag is still full of nutrition. It is nitrogen rich and can be used like a fertiliser. Tear open the bag and sprinkle the tea into your pot plants or around your garden.

Line plant pots with old teabags, especially around the drainage holes, before filling them with soil. The tea bags retain water and nutrition.

Tea is a must-have for your compost, as it counter balances all the carbon-rich materials.

The caffeine in the tea is just as much a stimulant for your garden inhabitants as for you and has a great effect on earthworms: They will work and breed faster.

 

Used tea bags make great sponges.

Apparently adding used tea bags to your dishwashing water helps to break down grease and food stains.

You can use the tea bag itself to preclean dirty pans and trays. Be careful not to break the tea bag, as it works wonderfully to wipe up that grease, and simply throw it in the bin, instead of having to rinse your kitchen sponge with a lot of water. In addition, the tannins in the leaves will prevent the oxidising process, preventing rust.

Similarly, freshly brewed hot tea bags can be used to preclean windows. The tea’s tannic acid will leave the glass sparkling clean.

Scrub your dark leather shoes with a damp used teabag. Tanning leather involves tannin, the tea can add a new shine.

 

Used tea bags capture bad odour.

Place dried old teabags in the bottom of your kitchen bin to absorb liquids and odours.

Wash away odours from your hands: Rinse your hands with water and a brewed tea bag to remove odours of onions, garlic, fish and other foods.

If you’re a smoker or have an ashtray out for guests, put a wet tea bag or the leaves from a wet tea bag into the ashtray. When you or your guests ash in the tray, the wet leaves will hold the ash and absorb some of the smell from the smoke.

The antibacterial contents of tea bags will help neutralize the odour in your litter box as well. Just sprinkle the dried out contents of a brewed tea bag into the kitty / rattie litter.

 

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