We have been exploring how best to simplify the entire “smart living” theme. Each edition has a page dedicated to simple tips on smart living. Here are some very simplified tips that we felt we should recap again, seeing as we start a new season. 

  • Reduce meat consumption – Buy local fruits and vegetables as opposed to meat. A vegan will consume 8596.67 litres   less a day of water than someone who eats meat. 
  • Think twice about coffee – This will upset coffee lovers including almost everyone on the AGE team. But consider the stats given. One cup of coffee uses 208 liters of water to make. The bulk of this water usage goes to growing the beans.
  • Carpool to save water – It requires nearly 50 litres of water to produce four liters of fuel so if you can use public transportation, carpool or ride a bike, go for these options. Professionals as can be seen in our main feature, have embraced riding a bike, using a bus or carpooling so it is not that hard if you are in a position to do so.
  • Recycle paper, always –Recycling just below 1kg of paper will save 13 litres of water.
  • Use the sun – Use the position of the sun to heat and cool your home. Natural ventilation is the best and for some who suffer from allergic reactions, even air cons can trigger some reaction. Additionally, it is an expensive exercise to use air cons especially at home. Open doors and windows to cool down, rather than running an air-con (considering we are in summer)!
  • Make your home more energy efficient – Check for drafts or faulty seals around windows and doors to keep heat in.

A survey conducted by Synovate, involving 22000 metropolitan consumers in 28 countries including South Africa, suggests that women are generally more environmentally conscious than others. Another significant finding is that how women and men approach their environmentalism is as different as how they approach their relationships.

Generally speaking, men like to focus on “big-picture” issues, while women are more interested in smaller eco-friendly changes.

According to the report, State of World Population, women respond more positively to environmentally friendly advertising and are more likely to take action to address environmental issues. Women are also more likely to get involved in co-operative and social initiatives on a personal level. Men on the other hand like the impersonal technical and business stuff better. But as environmentally conscious and eager women might be to save our planet for their children and grandchildren, the need remains for the appropriate education when it comes to their personal carbon footprint.

How many women have you witnessed proudly carrying their reusable shopping bags only to fill them with plastic mineral water bottles and imported products? How many women conscientiously recycle their garbage and buy organic products but drive their only child around in a SUV. The fact is that it is through our actions that we will educate the generation who within the next 10 years can start influencing a buying force that will make sensible decisions.