Ocean Minded South Africa ran a competition in our Sea Rescue Magazine where people told us what they do to preserve the environment.
Congratulations to the 2 winning entries: Deidre & Tony Fisher and Peter de Vries. They each won a hamper of Ocean Minded goods.
My husband maps mostly dairy farms to assist the farmers with correct hectarage for fertilizing etc and as an extra service we offer to cart their scrap metal paying them a percentage of the weight – thereby assisting to keep their environment clean. All old engine oil is taken to our Bio-Diesel depot where they have a collection site. Deidre and Tony Fisher
Since January 2010, I have been walking along the coast doing data collection between West Bank and Gulu in East London. On my first trip I was shocked to see just how much nylon is scattered along our coast. I took it upon myself to start collecting the nylon on every trip. In August 2010 I decided to create a ball out of this nylon weighing in at 9kg. This ball is continuing to grow with every trip I make. Peter de Vries
……………..many of our readers wrote in with great stories:
I use old newspapers and brown paper for gift wrapping and seal it with a bow. My tea bags and vegetable off cuts are used for compost, and I only buy plastic bottles that have the PETCO logo. Felicity Smitsdorff, Cape Town
My indigenous garden provides food and homes for birds, lizards and a plethora of butterflies and it saves water. We put out all our paper for collection by Mondi, and pieces of metal are collected from us by a delightful man who sells the metal to support his family. Gillian McLaren, Parkhurst
My husband and myself are both keen divers and, whenever we dive, we always take a bag in our BC pockets. If we come across any litter or broken fishing lines whilst diving, we always remove them, put them in the bag and dispose of them once home. We also do the same when walking on the beach. We collect any litter lying around. Sue Robertson, Umkomaas
I have implemented two rather inexpensive water-saving methods on my property, both utilising the excess run-off of rain water from my roof. For the first, I used a length of PVC piping that I attached to the down pipe of the gutter that leads into the swimming pool. This can be attached or detached in seconds with ease. When it rains I attach the pipe which acts as a top up of excess water into the pool thus ensuring a constant water level. The second one involves another down pipe from my gutter that leads to a 45-gallon plastic water tank (fitted with a small tap). It is constantly filled with rain water that I use to water all my pot plants in the garden. I can honestly say that in the 5 years I have fitted this tank I haven’t run out! Sean McCormack
In the evening we have our meals by candlelight, and I switch off the geyser and only switch it on an hour before we shower. Lorraine Dove
I have just left the tuna trade, and one small start is to insist the vessels return with the same amount of plastics from bait boxes, as what they took. You force the suppliers to police this by stating it in their license. And once a month, the recycling truck picks it up. Win win situation. Adrian Scholtz
I have completely stopped the use and purchase of plastic bags for shopping and am encouraging my family and friends to do the same. Am starting to buy eco-friendly bags as a gift for birthdays or Christmas – my favourite ones are the ones with the SA flag. Bev Clark
Old plastic containers are very useful. 5 litre water bottles: I take to NSRI and use on the boats, for water and as funnels. 2kg protein powder containers: used by our domestic in her home for keeping food, etc dry and clean; also useful containers for grandkids’ toys, keeping things dry at sea, storing fertiliser for the garden and keeping emergency items (jumper leads, tow rope, med kit, etc) safe in the car. Malcolm A Chapman, Durban
We compress everything that is non-recylable. If I can’t re-use, I’m going to make sure I don’t waste the space of a landfill with air inside a container. (We learnt that when travelling to the Galapagos Islands where they have very limited waste disposal.) Chloe Hoeben
In December, soon after the Fishhoek beach canal was flushed out, I went for a surfski lesson. Half way through the lesson, my pfd (personal floatation device) was jammed full of plastic bags, chip packets and beer platic. I used a plastic bag to pick al the stuff up and then kept it inside the bag – GROSS! The floating waste was awful. I had to go to shore to throw it all away and started again. I didn’t learn much about surfskiing that day – but I hope I saved a seal. Chloe Hoeben
Being out and about quite often, braaing is a way of life. We collect all our used teabags, dry them out, place them in a sturdy plastic container and dose them with paraffin. Place 4 ‘parabags’ (my name for them!) at the base of the fire instead of Blitz! Safely portable and inexpensive! Mr. P-J Hannabus, George
Ons het ‘n vervoer besigheid vir die afgelope 42 jaar. Ek is 73 jr, my eggenoot is 75 jr en dan is ons nou geseend met ons seun wat van verlede jaar, saam met ons die besigheid bedryf.
Nou herwinning… ons gooi geen olies weg na ‘n voertuig gediens is nie. Olie word in lee dromme gegooi en dan word betrokke instansies geskakel om olie af te haal. Hul herwin weer op hul manier en verkoop weer. Bande: Geen ou, stukkende band word weggegooi. Bymekaar gemaak en aan betrokke Instansies verkoop, wat dan weer rubber matjies ens maak en verkoop. Studente en brandweer kom haal ook bande hier vir vlotte bou en brandweer vir demonstrasies. SM de Lange, Kockvlei.
We recycle at home and work. I even get recycling from my mother-in-law as well as my sister-in-law’s households. I only use the car if absolutely necessary, and when we walk on the beach, I always take a black bag with and pick up rubbish as I we walk. Lalli Coulbanis, Cape Town
Our contribution towards the environment involves active recycling of as much household waste as possible. Correspondence is done via e-mail as often as possible in order to cut down on paper waste. We use a range of household cleaners that are non-toxic, bio-degradable and multi-purpose. We also use flourescent tube lights or eco-friendly bulbs whenever possible. Sean Thorncroft
MY DAUGHTER IS 3 YEARS OLD AND SHE LOVES RECYCLING. WE RECEIVE ORANGE BAGS FROM OUR LOCAL MUNICIPALITY AND SHE WILL PUT ALL PLASTIC, PAPERS, ETC INTO THESE BAGS AND SHE ENSURES THAT WE DO IT TOO OR ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE IN OUR HOME. EVERY THURSDAY AT SCHOOL WE HAVE TO TAKE REUSEABLE ITEMS FOR THEM TO USE IN ARTS AND CRAFTS (CEREAL BOXES, PLASTIC BOTTLES, OLD NEWSPAPERS ETC) AND THIS ALSO HELPS THEM TO UNDERSTAND THAT ALMOST EVERYTHING THAT IS THROWN AWAY IS REUSEABLE IN SOME WAY OR ANOTHER. MADELINE MAREE
I support companies like Ocean Minded who go the extra mile to ensure they use sustainable and recycled materials to create awesome products! Oh and I try and remove litter from the worlds oceans & beaches… Patrick Hemp, Cape Town
When building my new house, we took the opportunity to go green with energy efficient lighting, solar geysers and insulation in the ceilings. But the biggest change was the water switch over system. With the flick of a switch we use rain water during summer for a big part of our water consumption (including toilets, dishwasher, washing machine and kitchen use). We can switch off municipal water and use the free rain water instead, coming from our JoJo tank at the back of the house. Emlyn Bul, Johnnesburg
My ‘environmentally friendly’ dad, Mr Steven Thomas Minnaar, uses newspaper to line the bins in the kitchen and not plastic bags … And the flush valve of the toilet has been taken so that the leaver must be held down for the loo to flush, so only enough water is used as is needed. Jackie von Molendorf
To be water wise we installed a water tank to collect rain water to use in the garden. Also we got an eco-friendly shower head, and always do the little things like turning the water off when brushing our teeth and making sure no taps leak. Liz Moodley
I have a bucket in the bath were I collect the cold water that comes out of the hot water tap, and I use this water to either water the plants or do my hand washing. I also have a small bucket that I keep at the sink to collect the cold water that comes out the hot water tap first. This I use to water plants or fill up the kettle. … And I keep newspapers and give them to the Animal Welfare who use them for the cat litters and puppy kennels. Tamara Hartwanger, East London
By working from home, we eliminate the commute, reduce emissions of pollutants and save in energy and petroleum consumption. We also try to keep our energy consumption low by switching off unused appliances and lights, and not using the A/C if opening the window will do.
Also, we hardly throw anything away. We save used eggshells and teabags to mix with compost and use in our gardens. We collect plastic and glass bottles, and donate it to nearby pre-schools who have many uses for it. We save bread packets and re-use them instead of throwing them away. Farzanah Dawood
We use beeswax candles in our home as they are considered the most environmentally beneficial when it comes to our health. We usually use them when the electricity goes out. But we often try and make excuses to use them often, for example candlelight dinners, birthday parties. I have often suggested beeswax to neighbours, family and friends who really enjoy using the product as well, but more importantly, it makes a difference towards there health. Mariza Benrkia, Randburg
I’m an avid cook, and love nothing more than being able to spend my day in the kitchen making new concoctions, pickling, preserving and making jams, mayonnaise, sauces, you name it! Instead of going and buying new glass bottles to store my makings in, I travel to my local garbage dump – I know, gross – and go and dig out old bottles that people have thrown away. All my friends know that I need their bottles – anything that has a lid! I often sell my pickles and preserves in my recycled bottles as well. I just put a little cloth lid or kappie over the usually slightly damaged lid of my recycled bottle to make it look funky. Leigh Snyders
I always try to purchase products that do not include vast amounts of packaging. I also try to preserve the environment buy using the least amount of electricity as I can. I ensure that I always turn out lights and switch appliances off at the wall switches on leaving a room. This applies to water usage as well, as I conserve water as much as I can in every day life. Gemma Kitchener
Every day, carpeting companies relay new carpets and dispose of the old underfelt. Surprisingly, as the soundproofexpert blog explains, the old underfelt is quite clean and free of dirt and has many functions, like the following: soundproofing in ceilings, insulation in attics and for Wendy house walls and cabins, geyser blankets, in strips it can be used as lagging (wrapped around water pipes), for wrapping around frozen ice containers when transporting same over long distances to camping sites, and the inner firm cardboard roll on which the replacement underfelt is supplied (6m long) make excellent air conditioning pipes for buildings. Robert Chilton-Young
We collected the movable seal tops of tin cans – now I am collecting the plastic clips from plastic bags of bread wrappers where they are used to repair wheelchairs for us oldies. Shame but I feared that the lady who collected them was in need herself of a wheelchair. I also keep one litre glass (whiskey ones) and plastic bottles for country stores who sell paraffin from bulk containers.
BDC Moxham, Witkoppen