GREEN XMAS: With Christmas drawing nearer and the festive season in full force, people are advised to conserve and use electricity wisely. Picture: Gallo Images
There are at least six ways to be energy friendly without diminishing the Christmas spirit.
Claire Volkwyn, director of the annual African Utility Week conference and expo in Cape Town, said number one on her list was to buy gifts that don’t need batteries or electricity.
“Up to 40% of all batteries are bought during the holiday season. Buying environmentally friendly gifts such as solar chargers for laptops, mobile phones and solar-powered torches is a step in the right direction.”
She also urges people wanting to create a Christmas vibe to use LED (light emitting diodes) Christmas lights, which use up to 90% less electricity than regular lights.
“Make your house feel more Christmassy by turning off lights when the Christmas tree lights are on. Another way of saving electricity is to use candles. They can create either a devout or romantic atmosphere.
“Christmas in South Africa is summer time. Enjoy the weather and celebrate the holidays outdoors with a braai instead of cooking on an electric stove. Alternatively, cold meats and salads can be enjoyed anywhere and they use less power to prepare as well as being good for peoples’ health.”
With more power price increases a certainty – Eskom recently applied to the National Energy Regulator for an annual 16% increase in the price of electricity – any saving is welcome. “This includes unnecessary use of tumble dryers, after all it’s summer and solar powered drying is free. Also if people are going away for the holidays, make sure empty refrigerators are either turned down or off.”
This year saw the 12th edition of African Utility Week, dedicated to reducing energy consumption across all sectors, held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. – 701176