THE FUTURE RE-IMAGINED
Cape Town has a number of urgent environmental challenges including limited and scarce natural resources and energy supply; limited capacity to manage increasing amounts of solid and liquid waste; pollution of the city’s air, open spaces, freshwater bodies, and oceans; exposure to risks from natural hazards; extreme weather events, and climate change and the challenge of conserving critically endangered biodiversity, unique natural and cultural landscapes, and an extensive coastline, as well as the services they provide in a growing city. Here is a list of top tips residents can adopt to reduce the impact of these environmental challenges.
Tips for a smarter, greener life for a healthy planet
Keep unused lights turned off and switch off all unused appliances at the wall. When you replace your appliances, consider buying energy-efficient ones. This might cost you upfront but will save you in the long term.
See our Saving electricity page.
Use ‘green energy’
Solar is our most abundant and widely available source of ‘clean’ energy. Harness the power of the sun through solar water heaters, solar geysers or rooftop (photovoltaic) panels.
See our Going solar page.
To help save drinking (potable) water, consider reusing your bath and sink water (greywater), harvesting rainwater or installing a borehole or water-well. Fit water-efficient showerheads, fix any leaks or dripping taps around your house and make sure your plumbing is working well.
See our Saving water page.
Help protect our natural assets
Identify and remove invasive alien plants and animals from your garden and plant indigenous instead – this will help encourage and sustain bird life and provide food and homes for other animals.
Make your home resource-efficient
Use local materials when building your home. Insulate your ceiling and walls well to make your house less prone to temperature fluctuations. Replace hard surfaces with permeable paving on pathways and parking areas to slow the rate of stormwater runoff.
Reduce, re-use, recycle
Buy only what you need, and before you throw something away, consider whether it can be re-used for some other purpose. We’re running out of space in our landfills, so only dispose of what you need to and recycle the rest.
See our See Reduce your waste page
Use less fuel – walk, cycle, carpool or use public transport. Drive more efficiently or drive a smaller, more efficient car.
See our Greener travel section
If you can, try to buy organic foods as they’re free of pesticides. Start a food garden and grow your own healthy fruit and vegetables. Eat foods in season as imported foods have a high carbon footprint, or start a compost heap or worm bin.