Dis-Chem promotes environmentally conscience choices

On 2 June 2011, in News, by Andrew Bennett

By Tanja Van Wie

By 2050 the world needs to reduce its current levels of carbon emissions by 80% in order to stabilise global emissions at a manageable level, according to the scientific consensus of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). It is hoped that this will limit the average global temperature rise to safer levels (less than 2˚C).

While South Africans often dismiss the issue of global warming as a problem that developed countries such as the US, China and those of the European Union are largely responsible for, new statistics reveal an alarming reality for South Africa. Our current average is 10.04 tons per person which is the highest in the developing world. South Africa ranks among the dirtiest energy producers in the world, and as a country, we contribute 1.5% to global emissions and rank 12th on the global emission list (

Leading industry

As a responsible corporate citizen Dis-Chem believes in promoting environmentally responsible behaviour in South Africa and aims to become an industry leader in implementing sustainable practices within the company’s operations, on the shop floors and in the products made available to customers.

As individuals there is a plethora of ways that we can all make easy changes within our homes, lifestyles as well as our choices as consumers to help lighten South Africa’s significant impact on the environment. Browse our selection of easy eco-tips for you and your family to adopt, and try and implement one or two new green tips each month.

Kill the lights

There are a number of ways you can cut your electricity bill. Lighting is responsible for about 11% of a household energy bill. Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs, which use 75% less electricity. No bulb saves energy like one that’s turned off. So flip the switch.

Unplug unused electronics, especially cellphone chargers to counter the ‘energy vampire’ effect. Switch your geyser off in the mornings when you leave for work and back on when you come home in the evening. Washing your laundry in cold water can reduce energy consumption by up to 90% and keeps colours brighter for longer. Dry your clothes on a washing line or clothes horse.

Save on petrol

Every litre of petrol you burn produces 1,3 bars of carbon dioxide, so it pays to conserve (in more ways than one). Drive to the speed limit and avoid rapid, unnecessary acceleration. Keep your tyres properly inflated and get regular services.

Reduce, Re-use, Recycle

Recycling for the average suburban household in South Africa takes a bit of organisation as the infrastructure for collecting recyclable material isn’t in place – yet. In the meantime there are three recycling options that you can set up quite easily and at little cost. The first option is to enlist a kerbside collection service for your home or complex. Alternatively you can take your recyclables to a municipal drop-off point or a buy-back centre.  (ED: The Smart Living Handbook provides additional support)

If you can’t pay for a kerbside collection service or take your own recyclables to a drop-off point or buy-back centre, start off by separating out recyclables in your rubbish into metal, paper, glass and plastics and putting them into separate bags (a different colour is helpful). On collection day place the extra bags on top of your wheelie bins for informal collectors. This way, the bin pickerswon’t have to rummage through the garbage, it reduces the health risk and they’re less likely to leave a mess on the street. In so doing you will be helping the less fortunate and the planet.

Eco shop

One of the most effective ways that we can help the environment is to include as many eco-friendly and organic alternatives into our monthly shopping purchases as possible. Dis-Chem offers consumers an ever expanding range of eco-friendly products. Our policy is to source ‘green’ products that are of the same high quality as other established brands and are of similar price. Look out for some of these organic and natural ranges available in store:

  • Clean green with the Dis-Chem Eco Home range of natural, organic biodegradable products for the bathroom, kitchen as well as mosquito repellent.
  • Dis-Chem’s Bamboo Toilet Paper and Bamboo Cotton Swab ear buds made from bamboo, are biodegradable, and ultra-soft.
  • Dis-Chem stocks the Seventh Generation range of baby products including non-toxic, chlorine free nappies and non-toxic and eco-friendly household cleaning products. (For more information visit
  • Nature’s Gate range includes herbal shampoo made with herbs such as Sage, Lavender, Yarrow, Rosemary and Thyme leaving your hair soft and manageable.
  • Dis-Chem’s Softi Organic Cotton Wool and cotton swabs (ear buds) are made from the virgin staple fibres of organically grown cotton.
  • The organic Botegga Verdi range is a luxurious toiletry range of moisturisers and creams containing natural ingredients.
  • Dis-Chem stocks several ranges of organic health foods including Bio-Friendly Nature’s Choice and the Wenselydale Farms range of rolled oats, sunflower seeds and pasta.

Visit the Dis-Chem site for more information on

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