Winter Is Coming... 5 Things You Need To Do To Avoid Dying
Shorter daylight hours.
Winter is coming.
But we can help you to make it a bit easier! The best solution is to move to Mauritius.
No, huh? Hmmm.
Okay, in that case we have some tips and tricks to mitigate the agony that comes with the sun abandoning us for five months.
Jozi loves whacking us with a good frost, but let’s not complain because it kills all the goggas. What it also kills is your garden. Be sure to wrap up your trees now, and to keep your lawn alive follow these principles:
1. Keep watering! It might seem counterintuitive, but watering your grass the night before an expected frost will help keep your lawn warm and prevent damaging frost.
2. Fertilise before frost, because this gives your lawn essential nutrients needed to sustain itself through winter.
3. Keep mowing, even when it does get colder, and continue until you see the growth slow. It is essential to keep your grass at 2 to 2 1/2 inches tall throughout the autumn months. If it gets longer than 3 inches, it can mat, but if it is shorter than 2 inches, its ability to store food for growth will be limited.
Before you rush out and buy an electric heater and hike up your electricity bill, consider some of these eco-friendly options for keeping your home snug and warm:
1. Insulate your home
Insulating your home means it will stay cool in the summer and warmer in winter. You will find that insulation costs around R600 per roll, and the average home will use around six rolls.
2. Wrap up your geyser
As an alternative to turning up the thermostat for hot water, think about fitting a geyser blanket. An inexpensive option, at around R400, a geyser blanket allows you to keep the thermostat setting low, keeping your electricity usage down, yet still have plenty of hot water.
3. Draught-proof your home
Windows and doors are the main culprits for a cold home. Gaps around windows or doors allow hot air to escape, and cool air in. Fit a draught-proofing strip at the bottom of exterior doors and add draught-proofing strips to windows. Old blankets, a tattered rug or fabric scraps are perfect for making your own draught-excluder. Remember to also keep all your doors closed to reduce heat loss.
We know that germs cause sickness, not cold weather, but everyone is still whining. How to avoid pestilence and disease this winter?
1. Get vaccinated! Seriously. It’s 70 bucks at a pharmacy. If you’re a hippie you can load up on Viral Guard and vitamin C but the science there is fuzzy at best. Whatever makes you feel better, though.
2. Look after yourself - this means plenty of rest and protein. If you start to get sick, take yourself off to bed and indulge in the good ol’ chicken soup to help your body bounce back.
3. Don’t be gross… wash your hands and cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. This is the MAJOR way germs are spread. Florence Nightingale was on the money when she pioneered the simple hand wash.
BOW WOW WHOA
It’s cold for Fido too! Although SA doesn’t really get cold enough for concern, animals still need to be looked after.
1. Proper housing for outdoor pets is a must. Make sure that their doors face away from the elements, there is adequate insulation, and that the floor is raised at least 3 inches.
2. Give them more food, and add some warm water to their drinking bowls to encourage them to stay hydrated. We all need a bit of winter padding, and staying warm burns calories. Just ask your wife when she’s having another hot chocolate.
3. Seriously, just bring them inside.
GIVE A LITTLE BIT
Warm hands, warm heart… warm yourself by giving this winter! It’s tough out there and if you are in a position to give you are better off than the majority of SA.
1. 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day is a charity that collects handmade knitted or crocheted blankets from volunteers, to distribute to a specific charity each year on Mandela Day. So, if you are a knitwit who’s able to make a blanket, with love from you to someone in need, get in touch with 67 Blankets on firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
2. New Beginningz
New Beginningz is a local NPO that focuses on providing care for children living on the streets, from abandoned newborn babies to children of 18 years of age. There’s a big need for baby toiletries and food, including nappies, wipes, bum cream, good quality bottles, receiving blankets, Purity food and non-perishable food items. Putting together a hamper with these items, to deliver to New Beginningz, is a great way to make a real-world contribution in caring for the future generation of our country.
3. The CEO Sleepout
Love it or hate it, I am down with some rich guys shivering for even one night to raise money for charity. Know someone you think deserves some perspective? Let’s alleviate them of some rands. Visit https://theceosleepoutza.co.za for more information.
And, the best part about winter is that it ends. And then there are braais, swimming cozzies, cold beers and early mornings to look forward to. And mozzies. And sweating. Actually… I think I’ll just enjoy the brisk mornings and hot chocolate for a little while.
- Georgina Roberts