Every year, thousands of tons of waste are generated through traditional festive season activities. With water shortages wreaking havoc around the country and road travel increasing carbon emissions, it’s the perfect time to adjust the way we use our precious resources. Mpact Recycling offers a few tips on how to do this.
It's a wrap
During the festive season, the pressure is on to purchase and wrap the perfect gift for everyone from great auntie Hilda to your pet Rottweiler. There are some really beautiful wrapping papers made from recycled paper, otherwise, get the kids to create collages from magazines, or make wrapping from old newspapers, maps, comic books or even telephone directories. Then, on Boxing Day, take all the paper and place it in your nearest community Ronnie bank where we’ll collect it for recycling.
Make a meal of sharing and giving
Cooking enough ham, turkey, gammon and potato salad to feed three armies at Christmas time is an instinctive tradition ingrained in every South African. If you’re going to feed the five thousand, remember that local is lekker and has a lower carbon footprint than the exotic produce imported from across the globe. If you have leftovers, freeze what you can, keep what you know will be consumed by the hordes, and give the rest to those who have nothing.
Take your foot off the pedal
Driving to and from every relative to make sure no one feels left out is great. But when everyone is doing it all at once, it tends to create a bit of a carbon emission overload. Try to use your car as little as possible by avoiding multiple trips to the shops. Make lists – and then more lists – to ensure that you get absolutely everything you need on your first trip. And remember, the earlier you get it all done, the more time you’ll have to enjoy all that family time around the braai.
Recycle paper and plastic
Keep your plastic and paper to one side and make that little extra effort to take your paper to the nearest community recycling depot where you’ll find our Mpact Recycling Ronnie bins into which your kids can have some fun posting the collected items.
Mpact Recycling collects around 450,000 tons of paper and projects close to 29,000 tons of PET plastic for recycling every year. The company collects from 200,000 homes around City of Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni and City of Tshwane by providing green Ronnie bags, which can be filled with unwanted paper-based products such as newspapers, cardboard and magazines for kerbside collection. Mpact’s Ronnie Banks have also become familiar faces in community recycling depots around the country. It’s not hard to make a difference, so help the environment by recycling and saving where you can.
High temperatures and the lack of rainfall are placing considerable strain on Rand Water’s bulk water supply. But there are many ways that you can help reduce consumption, whether at home or away on holiday.
Only use water that you need. If you have taken leave and have time to do a little work around the house, you can make a big difference by converting to dual flush toilets, installing water-saving shower heads and flow restrictors, and repairing all leaking and dripping taps. Adjust the water level of washing and dish washing machines to suit the load, take shorter showers – with a bucket to collect extra water to use in the garden or wash your car – and turn the tap off when you are brushing your teeth.
Whether you are driving a brand new BMW or a fifteen year old Nissan, wear the dust of the road with pride. If you must water your garden, do so after 6pm at night and before 6am the next morning and avoid watering on windy days. If you apply mulch to your garden it can also reduce water use by up to 70%. And remember, a broom can clean your driveway or sidewalk just as effectively as a hose.