The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt

Going Green in Cairo: Easy At-Home Solutions

Going Green in Cairo: Easy At-Home Solutions
written by
Hannah Cooper

‘Going
Green’ is on the rise around the world, and while it’s often portrayed as a
trend, its implications on the planet and on our everyday life is extremely
relevant and worth taking the time to learn about.

We
decided to take an ecological foot print quiz documenting our lifestyle habits, and the results show the effects that we
personally have on the earth. The results were pretty shocking, so we wanted to
share a few eco-conscious habits that are  easy to follow and will genuinely
help protect our planet while doing so.  

Cleaning
Products
: According
to the Environmental Protection Agency in the USA, the air that we breathe
inside our homes could be nearly five times as polluted as the air outside.
From skin irritation to air quality, there’s a reason that we find ourselves
with sensitive hands and gasping for fresh air when we use cleaning products. Household
cleaning products contain an unnecessary amount of chemicals in them; they get
the job done, but they’re toxic.  

Solution:
While organic cleaners can be pricey (but can be purchased here
in Cairo), there are a few at-home
solutions that get the job done just as well, saving you money and
keeping the air around you clean from the mess of chemicals. Click this
link
for a simple list of easy and cheap ways to cut out harsh cleaners and ease yourself
into ‘going green’ with your everyday cleaners.

Lights: You might be surprised to
know that lights make up nearly 25% of your electricity bill. Not only does
your electricity bill increase when you leave lights on in a room; but so does
your energy consumption. For every 40 watt light bulb left on for one hour, 0.04
kWh (kilowatt per hour) of energy is used. If those numbers don’t mean anything
to you; take a look at this.

Solution:
Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) can be found at most electronic shops in
Cairo. They last thousands (yes, thousands) of hours longer and the mercury
within the bulbs helps prevent a large amount of energy from being released.
Although a typical incandescent light bulb can be powerful and cheap, spending
16LE to 30LE for a CFL saves money in the long run with their long-lasting effect
of 75% higher efficiency than your typical bulb.

Trash
Compiling:
We
are all familiar with the donkey carts and piles of trash on Cairo’s streets;
but you may be surprised to know that the Zabaleen community in Cairo has turned
trash into treasure and makeup, as arguably the world’s most efficient form of
waste disposal by recycling. Not only do we
waste kilos of food and ridiculous amounts of trash on a daily basis; but we also throw
away goods that could be recycled in several different ways.

Solution:
Get two different garbage bins and you’re set; separating your garbage between
recyclable materials and waste will save the worker’s trouble when
they’re separating your trash, and you’ll be making a significant difference to the environment with
minimal effort. Take a minute, click the link, and read about
the documentary detailing the life of those that take the trash off our hands.

Plastic
Bags:
Shops
in Cairo love to give out an unnecessary amount of plastic bags like they’re
Chiclets. While many of us have piles sitting at home, they often go to waste, putting a strain on the
environment as they litter every nook and cranny of this city.

Solution:
Don’t use them. All it takes is a stylish, sturdy tote bag to accompany you on your
shopping trips! Check
out shops like Tao and Al Qahira in Zamalek, or Qirtassiyat for a good shopping bag. If you really want to reduce your carbon
footprint; choose one made from recyclable materials.

Water:
For every
minute of your shower, five gallons of water are used, raising your electricity and
water bills and increasing water shortages. Heating water happens to be one of
the most energy-guzzling processes at home. We love our long hot showers, but
after realising how much water was going to waste for a few minutes of
pleasure, cutting back on our water consumption seemed necessary.

Solution:
Cutting back on hot water usage significantly helps with energy consumption and
that pesky water bill. Turning off the faucet when brushing your teeth for
example, will go a long way towards cutting unnecessary water usage. Faucet aerators (a type of filter) are also on the market. Not only do they help reduce energy
consumption; but they also cut back on water pressure.

The
changes above are just a few of the small steps that we can take to help
ourselves preserve Planet Earth.  

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