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Recycling today is very important to our environment. use the bring in sites as well as the Civic amenity sites which are going to be constructed in the future. Whilst the Bring In sites are not functioning to perfection I have heard that these are going to be increased in number thus facilitating their use. By having recycled products ensures that all the waste which can be reused will end up in the appropriate section for recycling. While this may seem insignificant if practised in the appropriate numbers will surely impact the enviroment as a whole.
Try to purchase items in paper instead of plastic. Paper is usually recycled while plastic is very difficult. With regards to paper try to use as little as possible. At the office do not print out every single email that u receive as was the practice some time ago to be filed in the correspondence file. File your mails in folders in your mail program and take frequent backups. The same applies to documents.
Try to consume as less energy as possible. This will help the environment apart from the obvious increase in cash to spend.
I have heard a tip which i still have to try out. This concerns the water heaters in our homes. If you set the geyser to a lower temperature you will save on the energy consumed. This is because we mainly set the geyser to a higher temperature than required and dilute with cold water. So why not make the hot water the required temperature in the first place. There is also a train of thought on whether one leaves the geyser on all the time and thus getting the power on intermittently for a short time or else switch on some time before usage.
To be honest i have no clear position on this maybe some others can help.
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The reason why you will use less electric is that the losses will be less, since the temp differential between ambient temp and the water inside the geyser and also on the way to the tap, via the pipes, is reduced. That is the only place you have losses, and, short of washing in cold water/using less water, the only place you can make savings, apart of course from making the insulation of the geyser and pipes even better.
Similarly switching the geyser off, the only benefit is the above, that the internal temp will eventually fall through usage and losses, and the temp differential is reduced, and has nothing to do with it being "always on" as there is the thermostat to take care of that.
Simple physics will otherwise dictate that if to wash you need 100 litres of water at 45 degrees, it makes absolutely no difference at all in terms of energy requirement whether you achieve that aim by using 100 litres of exclusively the "hot" water which was heated to exactly 45 degrees, or say 50 litres of much hotter "hot" water mixed with 50 litres of "cold" water.
The energy requirement is the same, else basic physics (energy can neither be created nor destroyed) will be turned topsy turvy.
RB, we keep the geyser 70C all time becasue if we keep it 45, the second person finds tepid-cold water, so the 45C thing works best mostly for single baths.
From the eletronics point of view, the thermostat will cut the elec to the heating filament when the req temp is achieved.
One way to save a little consumption, and faster warm drinks is when preparing coffee or tea, there is no need to fill the whole kettle. For 2 cups, you barely need 300mls of boiling water ( 20% of a 1.5L kettle). For coffee, no need to boil water.
My general rule is when applying Energy, make wise thinking how much energy you need to perform the work without leaving excess wasted energy.
Boiling a 1.5L kettle to use 300ml of water, and the rest cools down in the kettle is loss of electrical energy. (Microwave is efficient in this case?)
Driving full speed, knowing that you have to brake hard within 100m because of a roundabaout is approaching is waste of fuel energy.
Preparing too much food, so as a considearble portion is thrown away is waste of chemical energy, as is eating too much than your body requires.
All requires planning rather than sacrifices!
Driving landrover over a garigue with the risk of having a puncture due to glass bottles dump is waste of energy Mr. LR (joking... )