What can South Africans do about climate change?

Do not build your house in areas that may be at risk from the impacts of severe weather events like floods and storm surges (big waves) – climate change increases the frequency and severity of extreme weather-related events (flooding, fire, storms and drought).

  • Use your own muscle power whenever and wherever possible, e.g. walk or cycle rather than using a taxi or car – emissions from transport are one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gases.
  • Use public transport whenever and wherever possible and think carefully about your personal transport choices – big, heavy gas-guzzlers are not climate friendly – and remember emissions from transport are one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gases.
  • Plant indigenous trees – trees absorb carbon dioxide from the air and use it as their energy source, producing oxygen for us to breathe.
  • Recycle – recycling paper also saves trees and reduces the energy used in paper manufacturing.
  • Use energy saving bulbs such as compact fluorescent lights (CFL) or, better still, light emitting diode (LED) lights – CFL and LEDs use far less energy than incandescent globes and thus reduce your greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Do not let water run while shaving, brushing your teeth or washing vegetables – our water security is threatened by climate change and energy is used to pump and purify water.
  • Catch rainwater for use in the garden – our water security is threatened by climate change and energy is used to pump and purify water.
  • Save electricity – turn off lights when you do not need them, fit a solar water heater, use gas for cooking, insulate your house – reduce your greenhouse gas emissions and save on your electricity bill.

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