Home > Saving The Planet

So how do we help?

What can we do to help to fight the climb of greenhouse gasses in our one and only small little planet? We are all concerned about how much really can one person’s actions affect this global phenomenon. Can I really make a change?

Well, we are more than 6 billion single persons on this planet and hopefully, it is not only you that is taking an action. Some of us are executives in large multinational companies that can affect decisions regarding use of energy and resources.
If some of these executives are on our side (sorry, our “planet side”), we can, and we will make a change!

Following are ideas for actions and habits you can start with.
Don’t jump too quickly into deep water. Start slow and after a while some of these steps will become a second nature for you.

 

 

Great Green ideas to help the environment and your pocket

Exercise Your Rights.

As a human being living on planet Earth, you have the right to clean air and water, a safe environment, and the unspoiled beauties this planet has to offer.
You should speak firmly and loudly against those people and companies who threaten to take those rights and/or privileges away from you by polluting or making decisions that encourage polluting or any other wasteful behaviour. That is the only way that you can be sure that the world will still be just as beautiful when you get older.
If you do not visualize a better world and do something about it, no one else will do it for you.

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Identify polluters

Notify the authorities about people that are breaking environmental rules.
Do not feel bad about it! It is no different from reporting a burglar trying to enter your home. It may even be worse, pollution can harm lives as has already occurred in the past where pollutants triggered major side effects and affected communities by causing illnesses and death.

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Identify Energy Wasters

There are probably several companies in your community that are wasting precious resources.
Do businesses showrooms leave their bright lights shining all night long?
Do parents wait to pick up their kids from school while leaving their cars idling for long periods?
Wherever you see people being wasteful, say something! Write a letter, make a phone call, or walk right up to them on the street and ask them not to waste our Earth's precious resources.

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Draw Up A Petition

Another way to influence the people in charge is by circulating a petition about an issue that requires a change.
You should get as many people as possible to sign it .
The petition might say something like: "We, the undersigned, believe that the university should start recycling all paper, glass, and aluminum immediately, and should place recycling bins throughout the university."
Make sure the signed petition reaches the people at the very top.
Send a copy of the signed petition to local newspapers and TV stations.

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Clean up a Stream or Park.

Get a group of people together and find a park that needs some tender loving care.
Organize everyone to meet there and pick up trash, weeds or dead plants.
Ask local businesses to support the cause by supplying tools, or other supplies that will be required for the task.
Make sure to verify with the local authorities that what you are doing is legal and that you are not to breaking any laws.

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Vehicles

Use vehicles that run on clean energy. The cleanest being your body energy. Go for a walk, ride a bike or skates.
You will save money on transport and on health as your fitness increases.
Next in line will be electric vehicles and motorcycles.
If you have no choice and need to use non-electric motorized vehicles then try to car pool with others or use public transport.

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Driving Sensibly

Save fuel and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by avoiding acceleration quickly when you drive. Car engines are not efficient when under stress of acceleration or high load.
If you drive sensibly, your car's gas emissions will reduce and along with your fuel bill.

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Maintain your car

Save money on your fuel bill and save the environment by regularly checking that your tyres are inflated to the correct air pressure and your air and fuel filters are clean.
This will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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Packed products

Save money and save the environment by purchasing products with less packaging.
This will lead to fewer packaging requirements, less energy to produce packaging and less trash.
The packaging cost is built into the price of the product. Less packaging will lead to lower costs.

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Recycled food packaging

Use products made of recycled materials (mainly paper, cardboard and plastic).
When shopping for packed food you should look for the "recycled" logo on the packing and purchase these products.
You can distinguish a recycled carton by its colour being dark brown or grey (look at the bottom of the carton where there is no printing).

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Organic rubbish

Recycle your organic trash into compost.

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Aerosols

Avoid buying products in aerosols. They are hard to recycle and most of them utilize gasses that are not environmentally friendly. Try and use hand sprays (hand pump) instead.

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Organic produce

Go Organic - Organic produce has much less chemicals than other produce. It will be better for your health and better for the environment.
The chemicals used on the non-organic produce are washed off the fields and into rivers and streams, where they pollute our water.

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Eat Vegetarian

The production of meat, dairy, and eggs is energy intensive. We can reduce this energy usage by converting some of our daily meals to vegetarian dishes.
This type of diet is much healthier, saves money, reduces water consumption, reduces water pollution, reduces land-use impacts of livestock production and reduce the potential for animal cruelty.

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Fast food packaging

Save money and save the environment by avoiding Fast Food - you will be healthier and you will not contribute to the growing mountains of garbage due to the over-packing requirements of these food types.

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Grow your own

Start your own garden in your backyard. Grow flowers or vegetables. Try and avoid using pesticides. Use your own home made compost. Our planet will benefit from any new plant that generates more oxygen into the atmosphere.

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Hazardous waste

You can find hazardous and toxic waste in every household in the way of batteries, paints, glues, thinners, motor oil, pesticides, weed killers and more.
These chemical should not be disposed off with the rest of the household garbage and should not be washed off into water drains.
Contact your city/county council or state/country government to find out the proper way of disposing chemicals in your area.

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Batteries

Batteries are made of hazardous chemicals.
Treat discarded batteries as hazardous waste.
Save money and save the environment by using rechargeable batteries and reduce the number of conventional batteries used.
A rechargeable battery can recharge up to one thousand times. That equates to one thousand conventional batteries you did not need to discard for every single rechargeable battery you used.
Yes, rechargeable batteries are also made of hazardous chemicals but you only discard of one instead of one thousand!
Do not forget about the enormous savings on the one thousand batteries you don't need to purchase.

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Green Picnic

Make your Picnic a green one - minimize the use of paper and plastic plates, cups and utensils and instead use real plates, cups and cutlery.
When lighting the barbeque avoid using lighting fluids or similar chemicals as they are harmful to the environment and may also be carcinogenic.

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Smart Landscaping

Shading your windows with overhangs, trellises or by planting shade trees are all effective ways to reduce unwanted heat on hot, sunny days. They also act as windbreakers in winter.
This will reduce your cooling bill in the summer and heating bill during the winter while reducing gas emissions.
Plant trees or shrubs to shade air-conditioning units (but not to close or it may block the airflow.) A unit operating in the shade uses as much as 10% less electricity than the same one operating in the sun.

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Sort your waste

Most local councils already force the sorting and collection of recycled materials. Try and sort your trash to paper products, plastic and glass products, aluminium & other metals and the good old organic garbage.

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Cary bags

Producing paper or plastic bags requires energy that contributes its share to the greenhouse gases. The difference between the two is that paper is mostly bio degradable while plastic bags will stay as plastic for much longer time.
It is best for our environment to use reusable bags.

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Leaking Water, Gasses and Electricity

We are leaking - yes, we have many types of leaks: Gases (cooking and refrigeration gases are the more common ones), water from dripping taps or faucets and electricity with all these fancy electrical products at home that are on "standby" mode and wasting energy.
Save money and save the environment by cutting down on these leaks.
Make it a regular habit (at least twice a year) to review and test all these potential hidden pitfalls and minimize any leaks of any kind.
You can contact your main service provider (Gas, electricity) for advice and instruction.
Switch appliances of the wall.

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Green companies

Try and find out who are the companies in your area (city, state, country) that are really involved and pushing for a greener environment and support them by buying their products and promoting them to your family, friends and your community.

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Recharge your Soul

Stay motivated by occasionally leaving the city jungle and visiting the real jungle -Nature!.
Appreciate the beauty in the forests, lakes and rivers. Close your eyes, breath deeply and try and feel the amazing spiritual energy that flows in these places.
Spiritual energy doesn't cost you anything and does not generate greenhouse gasses.

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Educate

Educate the younger generation and also the older ones. There is a good chance that they don�t know as much as you know. The more they learn the easier it will be to change their habits toward sustaining a greener environment.

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Winter Sun

Letting the sun warm up the house during the winter will save you money and save the environment.

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Air-conditioning

Save money and save the environment by cleaning the filters in the heating and cooling system. It will help keep the air conditioning and duct heating units in good working condition and optimum efficiency.

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Shade during summer

During the summer hot days shut your curtains, blinds and shades in the morning so they block the sun during the hottest part of the day

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Utilize the afternoon cool summer breeze

When it cools down outside, open your doors and windows to let in the cooler air and to encourage cross-ventilation

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Green homes

If not constructed properly, our homes are one of the main energy wasting structures built by human society. If not insulated properly, the heat leaks out in the winter and the cool air is leaking out during the summer hot days.
If you are building a new home try and design it the "green" way.
Save money and save the environment by constructing it in a way that will maximize the effect of sunlight and other nature's hidden treasures.
You can find tonnes of stuff by searching this subject on the internet or asking your architect about it.

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Insulate your home

If you already have an existing home, see your local hardware store for advice of how to improve your home insulation. It will cost you, but no more than what you will save in energy bills and the good feeling that you are helping the planet.
One of the main culprits are the windows - Refit your windows to slow down the heat escaping through your windows. Install energy efficient windows, for example double-glazing or secondary glazing

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Dress sensibly

Dress light in summer and wear heavy clothes during winter to reduce the burden on your heating and cooling system.

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Switch the heating and cooling off

If you don’t use it, switch it off. Save money and save the environment by switching off the heating and cooling units in unoccupied rooms.

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Ceiling Fan

Use a ceiling fan to cool you down and you will save money and save the environment.
Even when it's hot, with a fan going, you can set the thermostat nine degrees higher and feel just as comfortable — and save about a third off your cooling (and global-warming) bill.

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Shower time

Reduce your shower time and you will save money and save the environment by saving water and heating energy

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Leaking hot water

Leaking hot water taps are an energy waster; save money and save the environment by fixing them as soon as the leak is detected.

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Hot water planning

Save money and save the environment by planning ahead when using hot water.
Using the hot water for a longer period will save re heating the water and the pipes compared to turning on the hot water for frequent very short periods.

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Hot water temperature

Set the hot water thermostat to 60°C. Energy is used to keep the water at the selected temperature even when you do not use the water. The higher the selected temperature, the higher the energy used.

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How water during holiday

Switching off the hot water system when you leave your household for an extended holiday will save you money and will help the environment.

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How water pipes

Long hot water pipes waste energy. Save money and save the environment by locating a hot water system near the points where they are most used when building a new house or installing a new water heating units.

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Showerheads saving water

Save money and save the environment by using water efficient showerheads. The less water you use, the less energy is needed to re heat the cold water coming into the water tank.

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Fridge location

Save money and save the environment by locating the fridge and freezer away from the sun and far as possible from other heat producing appliances (i.e. ovens, dishwashers etc.).

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Fridge loading

Avoid overloading the fridge with food since it will restrict air circulation. This will save you money and save the environment.

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Fridge seal

Save money and save the environment checking the fridge seal regularly.
You can place a piece of paper between the seal and the fridge, if it doesn't move easily it's a good seal. Arrange to change the seal if you detect a problem.

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Fridge door usage

Save money and save the environment by keeping the fridge door shut as much as possible.
Don’t leave the refrigerator door open. Know what you want before you open the door and do it quick.

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Fridge as a defroster

Save money and save the environment by defrosting frozen food in the fridge. While is thaws, it will help the rest of the food stay cold.

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Fridge temperature

Keep the inside temperature of your fridge between 3°C and 5°C and the freezer between -15°C and -18°C (every degree lower requires ~5% more energy)

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Fridge maintenance

Defrost freezers regularly following the manufacturers instructions

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Fridge condenser coils

For fridges with exposed condenser coils, ensure that air can circulate behind the fridge and clean the coils annually

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Fridge during holiday

Save money and save the environment by switching off the fridge when you go on extended holiday.

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The extra fridge

Save money and save the environment by switching off your second fridge and/or freezer (if you have one) when it is not utilized.

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Fridge Energy ratings

When investing in a new refrigerator or freezer, check the energy ratings. It may cost more, but it will cover quite quickly the extra cost with the energy savings.

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The tool should match the job

Try and use smaller appliances where possible. Choose the appliance that fits the job. Use the microwave over a conventional oven where possible, the toaster over the grill, the kettle over the hotplate.
In short, Save money and save the environment by “Not using a sledgehammer to crack a nut”.

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Use lids on pots

Fit the correct lid on the pots to prevent the escape of heat.

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Pot versus Element of Flame area

Match the size of pots to the size of the element or flame area

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Boiling water

Boil only the amount of water you need

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Handling frozen food

Thaw frozen foods before cooking it

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Oven door usage

During cooking, open the oven door only when required.

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Oven door seal

Check the condition of the oven door seal and clean it regularly.

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Preheating oven

Preheating electric ovens should be minimized. Preheating gas ovens is not required

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Barbeque

Use your BBQ on hot days to avoid heating the house (except for when fire ban is enforced!).

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Switch off lights

If you don’t use it, switch it off. Save money and save the environment by switching off the Lights in unoccupied rooms.
It sounds easy but hard to control and educate. Start a Green donation box where anyone that forgets to switch off lights donates a dollar.

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Fluorescent lighting

Save money and save the environment by using fluorescent lighting in rooms where light is required for long periods

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Light dimmers

Use light dimmers in areas where strong light is not always required and you will save money and the environment.

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Incandescent lighting

Save money and save the environment by using non incandescent lighting – Yes, Thomas Alva Edison will be turning in his grave, but unfortunately his invention is now replaced by more efficient lighting solutions.
The most popular is the Fluorescent lamps.
These days we are slowly migrating to LED lighting.
These lamps radiate much less heat and use less energy to emit the same amount of light. This will not only reduce gas emissions but also save you some money by using less energy while lasting longer.

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Utilize the sun

Utilize direct sunlight especially during winter. It will light the house and will warm it up at the same time

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Lighting power

Choose the lowest wattage light that will light up an area properly.

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Down lights

Avoid using down lights for general lighting

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Painting the house

When renovating and painting your house, choose light colors. Dark colors absorb light instead of reflecting it back to the room.

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Lighting with sensors and timers

Use motion detectors or timers for outdoor security lighting.

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Dishwashing with cold water

Save money and save the environment by using cold water whenever possible.

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Dishwasher loads

Running the washing machine with full loads will save you money and save the environment.

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Dishwasher programs

Choose the program cycle to match the load and use energy saving or economy cycles wherever possible.

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Hang you laundry

Save money and save the environment by trying to avoid using a cloth dryer. Use a clothes line or rack instead. The sun's energy is free and it is gentler on your clothes.

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Spin more to reduce drying time

Save money and save the environment by using an extra spin dry cycle on your washing machine before moving the load to the dryer.

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Clean dryer air filter

Clean the lint filter in the dryer after every load

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Drying temperature

Choose the appropriate temperature setting for the type of clothes

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Over loading

Avoid over loading the dryer. It reduces the hot airflow that will extend the drying time and energy usage.

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Over drying

Save money and save the environment by avoid over drying. Better to run it a short cycle and if not dry than add another short cycle.

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Pre Rinse dishes

Rinse dishes in cold water before placing them in the dishwasher

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Run full dishwasher loads

Running the dishwasher with full loads will save you money and save the environment.

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Use the economy program cycles

Use energy saving or economy cycles wherever possible.

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Avoid dry cycle with dishwashers

Save money and save the environment by trying to avoid using the drying cycle.
Open the door and let the dishes dry naturally.
The heat absorbed by the dishes from the previous hot water wash will assist in drying the dishes.

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Let the dishwasher heat the water

Dishwashers usually have their own water heating element. Connect the machine to cold water only, and let the dishwasher do its own heating.

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Don't leave appliances on standby mode

Switch off electronic equipment at the power point to avoid using electricity in standby mode - especially when you go on holidays

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Computer and printer should be switched off

Switch off computers and printers if you won't be using them for half an hour or more.

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Vegetable and fruits

Why to import it when you can grow it near by. Imports require energy for transportation and add to the green house Gasses

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Paperless filing

Keep it digital. Keep your files and photos digital. You can save a lot of time, money and resources if you think twice before printing or burning too many CDs. Use a USB to store or backup

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Bottled Water

Drink filtered water from the tap and eliminate the CO2 that was created while packing and delivering bottled water to your step door.

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Weed control

For weed killing with no chemicals and zero cost, use boiling water. The weeds will shrivel and die within hours.
For more persistent weeds, poke a hole in the very middle of the weed with a chopstick, tooth pick or something similar and pour more boiling water into the hole.

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Handling insects

Collect your Onions and Garlic left over trimmings. Soak for a few days in warm water.
Strain it and spray the liquid in the house and in the garden.

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Handling ants

To fix an immediate pest issue, like a nest of ants that has just appeared, dice an onion and place in the nest.

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Handling cockroaches

Use borax and sugar to bait and poison cockroaches.
Note: Avoid using Borax if kids or pets are around - use baking soda instead.

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Handling cockroaches and ants

Mix two glasses of water with a tablespoon of eucalyptus oil. Spray the cupboard or other areas to keep cockroaches and ants away.

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Second hand Clothing

Why not try second hand clothing. It is amazing what bargains you can find and save the environment all the logistics and manufacturing energies that are required to produce new cloths.

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ReUse old car tyres

Old car tyre can be used as planters for large plants.

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