It’s the middle of winter here in South Africa, but it feels like it’s a “warm winter”. When I was younger I used to wear layers of clothing even if I stayed at home the whole day!
Now I’m fine with a long-sleeved shirt, sweatpants and a thick gown. I still see a few people in public wearing shorts and short-sleeved t-shirts! It seems like nobody is really in winter mode, however, we still get those cold fronts now and then. Temperatures drop at night and the chilly morning air can be as unpleasant as your alarm clock going off at 5am.
When the temperatures drop, people (including me) will do anything to keep warm. However, we can change that by making winter eco-friendlier.
Here are 7 tips I have for a greener winter:
1. Do not leave your heater on the entire day
I know it’s hard but you have to switch your heater off at some point of the day. Electrical heaters use a great amount of electricity. Leaving them on the entire day is harmful to the environment and will run up your electricity bill. I suggest you switch your heater on for two hours either in the morning or at night. I switch my heater on in the morning because it’s very cold and I like to warm my clothes before I put them on. It could also work at night if you have to stay up late but remember to SWITCH IT OFF before you leave your house or go to bed.
2. Switch your geyser off
Like most people I enjoy having long, hot showers during winter. Set a timer on your geyser or put reminders on your phone for when to switch the geyser on/off.
3. Only use your hot water bottle once
Imagine the amount of water you waste by filling and emptying out a hot water bottle 5 times a day! Yes, they are great to have especially during those cold spells. I believe that the best time to fill up a hot water bottle is at night before you go to bed. I place mine at the foot of bed because I like to keep my feet warm all the time. Trust me, if your feet are warm your whole body will be warm.
4. Ease up on the hot drinks
I was guilty of drinking 6 cups of tea everyday mostly because I love tea and it keeps me warm. However, constantly using the kettle to make tea isn’t super sustainable. So try to limit the amount of cups of tea/coffee/hot chocolate/etc you drink. I now have 3 cups of tea every day. Progress.
5. Don’t leave your car to heat up
Believe it or not your car heats up faster as you drive than when it’s idle.
6. Keep watering your indoor plants
Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean that all plants die. Your indoor plants still need to be taken care of. Water them as you normally do because they need TLC.
7. Reuse your clothes
This might seem cringe but you don’t have wash every piece of clothing you wear especially if you dress in layers. Reuse items such as coats, jackets, hoodies, thick jerseys and even jeans.
Stay warm and green!