Go green

Tackling climate change is high on everyone's priority list. Treading lightly on the Earth, reducing our carbon footprint and choosing to live in a more sustainable way can be achieved by making a few wise and simple changes. Every time you switch on a light, drive your car, run water or put out your rubbish you're making a decision that affects the environment.

pic: Save Water - Tamara North (SMART Living Handbook)

Natural resources – water, coal, oil, land, fresh air – will run out if we use them up at a rate faster than they can replenish themselves. There are many indications that this is already happening.

Our 'go green' section, based on the SMART Living Handbook, gives you practical ways to protect the environment.

The good news is that we CAN make a difference. Every kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity you don’t consume saves over a kilogram of carbon dioxide (CO2) that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere.

The issues

The case for less waste

Each day in Cape Town, 6 000 tons of waste are produced – between 1,7 and 2 kg of waste per resident; Of household waste alone, it is estimated that high-income households are responsible for the majority of waste – approximately 2 kg per person each day...read further

Clean versus dirty energy

Cape Town’s fuel supply lines are in many instances exceptionally long. Crude oil is shipped mainly from the Middle East, some 10 000 km away. It is pumped ashore at Saldanha Bay, 120 km north of Cape Town, then piped to the Caltex refinery situated 15 km from...read further

Water – a scarce resource

To save water we need to think not just about the water we use directly, for drinking and cleaning in our home, but also to become more aware of how water is used to make the food we eat, the products we use and... read further

Biodiversity - cause for concern

Cape Town is situated in the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom, making it an area of global importance, otherwise known as a global ’hotspot’ of biodiversity.  In fact, Cape Town is known internationally as a global biodiversity hotspot without parallel...read further

Source: SMART Living Handbook

Get practical

Start recycling now
Start a compost heap
Get a worm bin
Green cleaning
Heat your water
Cook with less energy
Take the quiz: how biodiversity friendly are you?
Plant an indigenous garden

Useful resources

City of Cape Town Environmental Resource Directory

A comprehensive reference tool identifying environmental organisations in the Cape Town to help initiate environmental action and enable networking within the environmental sphere in the City.

Cape Town Nature Reserves Booklet

A colourful, comprehensive booklet (PDF, 2.8Mb) showcasing the City of Cape Town's 24 nature reserves and natural areas. The nature reserves form part of a network of amazing urban biodiversity in the city.