Roedolf Walker
2 minute read
30 Dec 2019
3:11 pm

Make an ecological New Year’s resolution

Roedolf Walker

It may be more productive to gear resolutions towards a greener, more sustainable world for a cleaner 2020.

It may be more productive to gear resolutions towards a greener, more sustainable world for a cleaner 2020. Image: iStock

The most popular New Year’s resolutions around the world pertain to lifestyle choices. According to a ComRes poll, the most popular resolutions are to exercise more, lose weight, eat healthier, take a more active approach to health and to learn a new skill.

However, it may be more productive to gear resolutions towards a greener, more sustainable world.

Here are four sustainable DIY projects recommended by Pretoria North Rekord to contribute to a cleaner 2020:

Plant some trees

Trees offer a substantial benefit to the environment as well as to humans and animals. Trees are one of the primary oxygen producers in most ecosystems. They help prevent ground erosion, help to catch pollen, dust and smoke, and prevent these elements from coming into the homes. They also assist greatly in offsetting your carbon footprint.

Make eco-bricks

Plastic waste is accumulating fast, and not all of it is recyclable. An alternative to simply throwing away plastic waste is to create an eco-brick.

Eco-bricks are building materials made from plastic two-litre bottles filled with plastic. They are easy to make: simply take your waste plastic and compress it down into the bottle. You’ll know the brick is ready when the bottle compresses less than 10% of what an empty bottle compresses. A quick search on Google for eco-bricks will give you the closest drop-off point for projects using them for construction.

Build an owl box

Owls are a sustainable and eco-friendly way to manage pests around your neighbourhood. Instead of using pesticides, a family of owls can keep your garden free of rats and other pests. Building your own owl box will provide a place for your new feathered friends to raise their chicks.

For a guide on building your own owl box, go to BirdLife South Africa’s website, or visit the Owl Rescue Centre’s Owl House Project, where houses are made using recycled plastic. You can also donate plastic waste to the centre.

Make your own compost heap

Making a compost heap not only reduces the amount of waste you build up, but it can do wonders for your garden. For your compost heap to work, you’ll need four things:

1. Carbon, which comes from brown leaves, straw, wood or paper and cardboard.
2. Nitrogen, from any green leaves, grass or vegetable kitchen waste.
3. Water the compost heap whenever you add a layer.
4. Oxygen, which you can add by turning over your heap with a pitchfork regularly.

Additional reporting by Nica Schreuder

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