Bring nature into your home

Bring nature into the house in the form of a bunch of wildflowers in the kitchen, or create a nature table where your children can display special stones or seed pods that they may discover in their explorations. The more closely you look at them, the more you see how incredibly beautiful natural objects such as stones, leaves, shells, grasses and tree bark are. Enjoy being creative in the ways that you bringing the natural world into your life every day.

Exercise outdoors

Get your daily exercise out in the fresh air, instead of sweating away in the gym. Whether you are someone who enjoys time alone, social exercise, gentle exertion or prefer pushing yourself to your limit, there is bound to be an outdoor activity that suits you.

Eat less meat

According the United Nations, the livestock industry is one of the largest contributors to environmental degradation worldwide. It contributes to deforestation, air and water pollution, land degradation, loss of topsoil, climate change, the overuse of resources including oil and water, and loss of biodiversity. On top of the environmental impact, excessive meat consumption is bad for your health. By cutting down on your meat consumption to just a few meals a week you are making a very real contribution to reducing negative environmental impacts and you may fnd yourself pleasantly surprised when you start experimenting with meat-free cooking. Whenever you do have meat, check to see that it has been sustainably and ethically produced.

Laugh more

Laughter is free, contains no environmentally harmful substances, and is great for your health – yes really ! Smiling and laughing is also contagious, and, as well as feeling much better yourself, you will fnd yourself inadvertently spreading good will, happiness and a more positive attitude wherever you go.

Eat locally grown food

Local is lekker! When we eat food that has been grown locally, we reduce the distance that our food travels from its place of production to reach our table. If your food travels a shorter distance to the table, less carbon is emitted during the process of transportation, which means that your food has less impact on the environment. Buying locally produced food is also an effective way to support South African food producers – which reduces poverty – which reduces environmental degradation.

Support the organic movement

Stay healthy by eating fresh, organic foods. Organic foods are grown without the use of pesticides and chemical fertilisers – which means that they are better for your body and better for the environment. You can purchase organic food from some major food stores, from local organic food markets, and can even get food delivered directly to your door by joining an organic food box delivery scheme in your area. Organic food box delivery schemes have the added beneft of cutting the plastic out of grocery shopping. Food arrives weekly at your home in a re-usable wooden crate.

Control your shopping habit

In this day and age, shopping has become a pastime, a therapy and sometimes even an addiction. The Earth is a fnite system that cannot cope with infnite demands that that we are putting on it in terms of resource extraction and waste disposal. Landflls are flled with the ‘stuff’ for which we have no further use; the packaging that the ‘stuff’ comes in and the wasteful by-products of the process by which our ‘stuff’is produced.

That is the bad news. The good news is that kicking the consumer habit is rewarding and liberating. When we start to realise how little we really‘need’to live a fulflled and happy life, we are able to invest our time and energy into more valuable pursuits. Rather than frantically buying as many ‘things’ as possible, just to keep up with the Jones’s. We can invest in fewer items that are of better quality rather than having to constantly replace poor quality items.

Think before you buy. Be clear about what really matters and invest in the things that count. Ask yourself ‘do I really need it?’ Consuming less and focusing on your priorities is good for the planet and great for your pocket.