Friday, 26 December 2014

Saving money through recycling

(First Published in New Era Newspaper - 22 October 2014)

As a married man, I had my first difference with my wife last week. The argument was over a rather petty issue (taking out the rubbish – is it a man’s job?). This however started me thinking about rubbish and the ways in which we dispose of it. I look around Windhoek and I am always glad to state that I live in the cleanest city in Africa if not the world. However, there are small signs that as humans we are such a consumer throwaway society that we will find ourselves with so much waste we will not be able to dispose of it in the traditional way which is to bury it. I think the efforts being made by the City of Windhoek, together with various service providers, to get residents to separate the various types of rubbish so they can be recycled should be lauded.
As consumers, I believe we must throw our weight behind such efforts and encourage all our fellow housemates, neighbours and work colleagues to become involved in the “recycle culture”.
As I finished taking out the rubbish (Yes, it is the Man’s JOB), I noticed the high number of 2 litre plastic cold drink bottles that were in the garbage. When I was little, these were always a huge source of amusement as we made various objects from them. These included pot plant holders, candle stands and of course my favourite, holders for fireflies. This led me to thinking not only about recycling, but also “reusing”.

Homemade Mosquito Trap
Many of us in Namibia are plagued by mosquitos and flies around our houses. Often we as consumer will go and buy a product such as a zapper, a wall plug that kills them or even spend hours looking to kill that one mosquito in our ears. While search on the Internet, I came across this really easy way to make a Mosquito Trap. All you will need is an old 2 litre cold drink bottle, 1 cup of water, ¼ cup of brown sugar and a little yeast (around 1 gram).

To make you trap start by cutting the bottle in half. Boil the water and mix in the brown sugar while it is still hot. Let it cool for a while until it is about room temperature. Now that’s it cold, pour the sugar water mixture in the bottom half of the bottle. Add the yeast (less than a teaspoonful works). You do not need to mix the yeast in the sugar. Place the top half of the bottle (the funnel) upside down into the bottom half. You can use cellotape to tape them together if you want. Now wrap the bottle with something black and leave the top uncovered. You are ready to place your mosquito trap in an area away from your normal gathering place (for example outside in the garden, behind the kitchen door, etc.)
The yeast will create carbon dioxide that will attract the mosquitos. In addition, mosquitos are also drawn to the colour black – something to think about when going out at night.)
Remember to change the solution every two weeks for continuous control.



This same type of trap can be made for bees and wasps by putting in a more sugary mixture and no yeast. Something that can come in very handy when having childrens’ parties with lots of cold drinks around.

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