The nationwide lockdown has been longer than expected. Although the restrictions are easing slowly, some South Africans are still limited in their movements. This, however, does not mean that the environment needs to be forgotten about. Many citizens are probably feeling a bit helpless when it comes to sustainability, but we can still play a role in helping the environment from the comfort of our homes.
IWESCO is a contract cleaning and waste control company that holds international certifications for environmental management. As such, the environment plays a large role in our business processes and community initiatives. We use eco-friendly products and equipment to ensure that our business has no negative effects on the planet. Although we are still operating during lockdown as a certified essential service, we encourage all South Africans to play their part at home too.
How to be environmentally-friendly at home
Over the past few months, South Africans have become more innovative in finding ways to live a regular life under lockdown. Being environmentally-friendly is no different - there are still ways to achieve your goals from home. Here are six ways to help our planet during lockdown:
1. Spread awareness about sustainability on social media
Social media has been a vital source of information during lockdown. It is a powerful tool when it comes to sharing messages and raising awareness about certain issues. South Africans can make an effort to share articles and helpful videos about sustainability issues and the environment. Hopefully, this will encourage friends and family to do the same and to start making small, sustainable changes to their lifestyles.
2. Purchase eco-friendly products
Luckily, shopping is considered an essential activity and is not restricted by the lockdown regulations. This means that South Africans can still make trips to the supermarket or local grocery store. Here, we should make an effort to buy products from brands that are committed to sustainability. Try eco-friendly alternatives to your favourite brands of cleaning and hygiene products. Look for waterless hand sanitisers and personal hygiene products that use natural ingredients.
3. Use gardening as a way to help your local environment
For those fortunate enough to have a garden, use it as a way to look after your environment. Gardening is a great way to maintain normalcy during lockdown, so make a habit of nurturing your own green space, whether outdoors or indoors. Plant indigenous succulents that require little water or grow some local flowers to attract nectar-feeding animals, such as sunbirds, bees and butterflies.
4. Watch documentaries about the environment
Whether you watch television or subscribe to streaming services, such as Showmax and Netflix, there are always environmental documentaries to keep you entertained. These are valuable educational resources for expanding your knowledge on the planet. If documentaries bore you, then there are several movies to watch that tackle environmental issues. These can motivate and inspire you to play your part.
5. Eat and drink sustainably
Food and drink are an important touchpoint when it comes to sustainability and the environment. Everyone can make a difference without having to completely change your diet. Eating sustainably does not mean going vegan. South Africans can simply have one vegetable-based meal per week, or even simply reduce their consumption of meat and dairy. Even a small change in this regard is better than no effort at all.
6. Grow your own food at home
This point is linked to nurturing a garden, except that this involves growing plants that you can eat yourself. There are many vegetables and herbs that can be grown in pots, so not having a garden is no excuse. Tomatoes, baby spinach, lettuce and peppers can all be grown indoors where there is adequate sunlight and enough water. If you do have a garden, try to plant some larger vegetables for your own consumption. All herbs can be grown in pots and some, like rosemary and thyme, are quite resilient. Growing your own food helps the environment and saves you money at the same time.
These are six simple steps that South Africans can take during lockdown to help the planet. These environmentally-friendly practices will enable you to make a difference and preserve the natural world during the global pandemic. None of these steps are hard or require too much effort, and they can all be achieved from the comfort of your own home.
IWESCO offers specialised cleaning and waste control services to industrial and commercial customers in South Africa. These services are aimed at minimising our customers’ impact on the environment. Our services also include pest control, garden maintenance, fogging and disinfecting. Our staff are highly trained to offer the most professional services. IWESCO is a Level 2 B-BBEE supplier with ISO 14001 certification for environmental management.
We are a one-stop shop for all your contract cleaning and waste control needs and have a national footprint. Our head office is located in Tshwane but we can provide services to any industrial and commercial client in the major metropolitan areas around South Africa, including Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Mbombela and more.