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17th Mar, 2019 128x  

Living and Building Green

With the environment and conservation there of becoming so important with each passing day, going green is on the minds of many. Developers are developing green building projects, and we can also do our part in being more environmentally friendly and energy efficient.

We might feel like we as normal folk can't help but this is a misconception. We can.

Plant a tree

Trees absorb odours and pollutant gases (nitrogen oxides, ammonia, sulfur dioxide and ozone) and filter particulates out of the air by trapping them on their leaves and bark. (SOURCE)

Save water

Close the tap when cleaning your teeth (this saves up to 20 litres of water) or when shaving (this saves up to 45 litres!). (SOURCE)

Switch off plugs and power points not in use

Turn appliances off at the wall plug, rather than leaving them on standby as this can still draw about 20% or more of normal electricity use. (SOURCE)


There are many obvious reasons why recycling is not only good for the environment, but necessary, but a simple enough reason is that recycling reduces the need for land filling and incineration. (SOURCE)

Below are some tips for creating an energy efficient house from the City of Cape Town.

Reduce up to 70% of your total household energy needs by means of simple design principles that reduce lighting, heating and cooling needs. This is known as passive solar design.

·  Orientate the longest side of your house to face north for light and sunshine.

·  As the northern side of your house receives the most sun, the roof overhang should be longer (at least 40 cm to 60 cm) in length. Windows will be shaded in summer when the sun is high, while allowing the sun’s rays through the windows in winter when the angle of the sun is low.

·  Window shutters, awnings or screens shade rooms by keeping the hot sun rays out during summer.

·  A skylight in the roof allows natural light into the house on sunny days and eliminates the use of artificial lighting. Make sure that the sloping glass of the skylight faces north.

·  Natural materials (stone, timber, thatch and clay), often obtained locally, are most suited to keeping the home cool in summer and warm in winter. Mud bricks are an excellent source of insulation.

·  Floors made out of brick or concrete maintain comfortable temperatures in your house as they are good at absorbing heat during the day and releasing this slowly at night. These floors should not be covered with carpets as a concrete floor absorbs more heat than a floor covered by carpeting.

·  Heat loss is ten times faster through glass windows than through insulated walls, so open the curtains during the day (let in the natural light and heat) and close them at night (keeps in the heat).

·  Grow a deciduous creeper or tree over a veranda or yard. During summer, these leafy plants shade your house. When the leaves are lost during autumn, the bare tree lets the rays into the house (through the windows) during the colder months.

·  Plant trees on the south, east and/or west of your home to provide shade during summer.

·  A tin roof loses a lot of heat during the winter and gets very hot in summer. Insulate the roof and paint it white (reflects light and is therefore cooler) or use aluminium or other roofing materials.

Read more on City of Cape Town’s website by clicking here: (SOURCE)

Posted in Green News

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