* Shop carefully: Buy in bulk to reduce the amount of packaging required; choose returnable or reusable containers.
* Avoid over-packaged products and unnecessarily packaged food, e.g. cling-wrapped vegetables on polystyrene trays.
* Choose durable articles that will last a long time.
* Buy products with a recycled content.
* Use rechargeable batteries where possible, cloth dishtowels and napkins instead of paper ones, and refillable ink pens. Avoid disposable plates, cups and cutlery.
* Store food in the fridge in re-useable, airtight containers, rather than plastic cling film, tinfoil or plastic bags.
* Take your own basket, or re-useable plastic bags, to the supermarket to avoid using new plastic shopping bags each time. Use the supermarket's trolley or basket when selecting items, and use your own bag or basket to carry it home. Ask your supermarket to take back used shopping bags.
* In the office and at school, photocopy on both sides of the paper.
* Glass and plastic bottles with deposits can be returned to shops for re-use. Likewise, milk bottles are re-used by distributors.
* Wash and dry plastic bags for re-use.
* Staple together office paper that has only been written on one side, for scrap paper.
* Nursery schools make good use of the inside core of toilet rolls and paper towels, egg boxes, cereal boxes and jam jars.
* Charities welcome unwanted clothes, furniture, toys, books and magazines.
* Repair things rather than throw them away.
* To find out what recycling programmes operate in your area, contact either the local branch of Keep South Africa Beautiful, your City Cleansing Branch, the Wildlife Society, or any of the organisations listed below.
* Glass is 100% recyclable - make use of bottle banks.
* A compost heap is a must! Kitchen and garden waste can be added to the compost heap, or used to feed pets or garden birds (see Enviro Facts "Compost").
* There are many recycling programmes operating nationwide - see contacts below.
* Used motor oil can be handed in for recycling at your local garage.
* South Africa recycles approximately 18% of the virgin plastic it uses, most of which is recovered from post consumer waste.
* Many shopping centres have igloos for glass collection, and some supermarkets supply bins for collection of plastic shopping bags.
YOUR GUIDE TO GREEN LIVING IN SOUTH AFRICA. W. Mclintock, Londolozi, 1990.
THE 3R'S OF PACKAGING: REDUCE, RE-USE, RECYCLE. Packaging Council of South Africa, address below.
RECYCLING REALITIES. Fairest Cape Association, 1993, address below.
All books are available from Russel Friedman Books, PO Box 73, Halfway House 1685. Tel. 011-7022300/1.
Collect-a-Can (Pty) Ltd. Head Office, PO Box 43304, Industria, 2042. Tel. 011-4742507.
Glass Recycling Association. PO Box 562, Germiston, 1400. Tel 011-827 4311.
Sappi Waste Paper. PO Box 114, Eppingdust, 7475. Tel. 021-5313077. Run a nationwide "War on Waste" programme for offices, schools and community projects.
Mondi Paperwaste. PO Box 688, Pinetown, 3600. Tel. tollfree 08000 22112. Offer a range of free services including Paper Pick-Up, Paperbanks and Confidential Shredding Services. Support fundraising by collecting waste paper in bulk.
Nampak Paper Recycling. PO Box 8257, Elandsfontein, 1406. Tel. 011-9741965. Branches nationwide, collect from offices, schools, charities and supermarkets.
Natal Recycling Forum. The Secretary, PO Box 1535, Durban, 4000. Tel. 031-376 243.
Fairest Cape Association. PO Box 97, Cape Town, 8000. Tel. 021-4622040.
Wildlife Society of Southern Africa. P O Box 44344 Linden, 2104. Tel. 011-486 3294/5 ot 0938. Run a Recycling Info. Line.
Keep South Africa Beautiful. PO Box 1514, Randburg, 2125. Tel. 011-7871080. Branches nationwide.
National Coordinating Committee for Recycling. P.O. Box 1378, Pinegowrie, 2123. Tel. 011-7891101.
Institute of Waste Management. National Office, P.O. Box 1378, Pinegowrie, 2123. Tel. 011-7891101.