Earth Hour and Solar Lamps

earth hour 2012Earth Hour 2012 is coming up on March 31st. Earth Hour is a global event conceived by the WWF to raise awareness of climate change and the need to make more sustainable choices. Those who take part switch off all non-essential lights and appliances for one hour on that day between 8.30 and 9.30pm.

Lighting candles and sitting round the kitchen table chatting with family and friends, instead of watching TV or playing on computers or phones, can be an enjoyable and relaxing way of spending a Saturday evening. It also makes us realise quite how much electricity we use on an average evening without even thinking about it. Once you’ve toured the house switching off lights and lamps, computers, TVs, stereos, dishwashers and all the rest, you are left with just the glow of a candle or lantern and perhaps the hum of the fridge…it’s only the non-essentials we’re switching off after all.

Consol solar jar from South AfricaMoving another step forward towards eco-friendly habits might be to use solar lanterns instead of candles for your illumination during Earth Hour. It was pointed out recently by a true environmental crusader that your average candle emits just as much pollution into the atmosphere as the equivalent electricity for a light bulb, so that burning candles all evening isn’t really doing anything to help the environment however romantic the idea. So unless you have a wonderful supply of natural beeswax or soy oil candles, consider getting a few solar lamps for Earth hour and they will stand you in good stead all year round, providing a safe and clean light source in case of power outage and lovely mood lighting at any time of the year.

Solar lanterns are becoming stylish and innovative – check out these South African solar jars made from Consol canning jars which have been featured in Elle Deco and several other style mags since their launch in January 2012. Or these are the original sun jars designed by Tobias Wong. Or make your own sun jar from Mason jars and solar lids. Get ready for Earth Hour now and saving electricity can become a habit that will really make a difference.

How to Live Green In Baby Steps

taking-green-baby-stepsGoing green can be an intimidating process for many of us. There is so far to go from the average city lifestyle to get anywhere close to a green living idyll. We hear stories of people who have managed to go off-grid, grow all their own vegetables, compost everything and still have time to home-school, knit, weave and all the rest. We give up the idea and try to ease our consciences with a donation to an environmental charity.

If this sounds anything like you, I’d like to encourage you not to give up before you’ve begun. There are many ways to make our lives greener, even while still living a city lifestyle, even if you don’t compost a thing, and even if knitting and weaving is never going to be your cup of green tea.

Sustainable living can be achieved and the most sustainable way to get there, as with any change of habit, is in small steps. Baby steps are more likely to become lasting in your life.

Aim to adopt one small green habit in your life this month. Next month add another. When those two have become a normal way of life to you, pick another green habit to adopt. Little by little you will find yourself shifting towards a green lifestyle.

Only ever take on what you can cope with at any one time.

How to Live Green will feature lots of green ideas to choose from as your next baby step in our next posts. Pick whichever one appeals to you in the moment. Some you may find that you are already doing without even thinking about it. Living green is a journey. There is always another step to take. Enjoy the process!

Check out which of these green living baby steps you’ve already taken. Choose one new one to adopt this month.

Recycling plastic
Recycling glass
Recycling paper
Re-usable grocery bags (and remembering to take them with you!)
Walking instead of driving on short trips.
Planting a tree

Energy saving light bulbs (look at LED lighting as well as CFLs)
Switching off the tap when brushing teeth
Buying organic fruit and veg
Taking a reusable coffee cup to Starbucks
Green cleaning alternatives

There are loads more but we want to get into this gently , And remember just pick one at a time and make it a habit!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...