South Africa's leading Eco Store serving our planet since 2002!
...when South Africans celebrate the diverse cultural heritage that makes up a "rainbow nation". It is the day to celebrate the contribution of all South Africans to the building of South Africa(sic) —Lowry 21:1995
Why Heritage Day?
Heritage Day is arguably South Africa's favourite holiday because it is otherwise known as National Braai Day. South Africa's favourite past time!
Before delving into tips and tricks on how to make your Braai Day better than ever this year, let's have a look at why the 24 September is National Heritage Day.
Pre-1995, 24 September was know as Shaka Day in ode to the well-known Zulu King, Shaka Zulu. Shaka managed to unite all the tumultuous Zulu tribes into one cohesive nation. When the updated Public Holidays Bill was presented to the new parliament in 1995, 24th September was not listed. After the IFP objected to this, the IFP and parliament compromised with National Heritage Day. A day for all South Africans to celebrate their rich and diverse cultural history and traditions.
With braaing being a South African tradition across all cultures, many celebrate by stoking up a fire in the backyard, surrounded by friends and family.
This Braai Day, do something a little extra for you and your environment by investing in eco-friendly products. Not only will they bring peace of mind, but they will improve your Braai Day enormously.
Sunny weather, swimming and good food goes hand in hand with National Braai Day. Fire up the braai with our green eco-lighters and eco-logs. We even have a solar radio to provide some great local musical radio shows.
If you are spending your day out, our water purifiers will ensure that you have fresh water when you need it. Swimming and wet clothes? No problem. Our portable dryer is affordable and easy to use. We also have a great powerbank that provides power for cellphones, tablets, cameras and laptops too.
Save on doing the dishes and keeping the earth clean by getting some biodegradeable crockery and cutlery for the day. No more wasteful polystyrene products this year. Invest in your garden by throwing your salad off-cuts into our very convenient indoor kitchen composter. A great source of nutrients for your vegetable garden! Recycle, recycle, recycle with our fab range of recycling bins. Need to boil potatoes? Save
electricity with our large hotbag. Simply bring the pot to a boil, switch the stove off and place the pot into the hotbag. The bag insulates the heat and food can be left to cook without wasting power. It also serves as a heating tray to keep food warm for longer.
When dusk settles in, keep the celebrations going by lighting up the evening with ambient solar.
lighting and some traditional story-telling. And feel free to send us pictures! We would love to see how you celebrate your culture. Let's include some green consciousness into our own traditions and cultures from this year on to ensure that future generations have many more years to celebrate this wonderful day.
Sustainable.co.za will once again be sponsoring the 3rd Annual SA Eco Film Festival. The festival will be returning to Cape Town and surrounds on March 31st – April 3rd this year. Other sponsors include leading Western Cape ECO Friendly business partners Ballo, Reliance and Group 1 Nissan showcasing the 100% electric Nissan Leaf. With engaging and thought provoking program content, Q&A’s, audience interaction, guest speakers and more, this year the SA Eco Film Festival is gearing up to create an ever bigger impact than ever before. Sponsors are getting involved to create some exciting competitions and events, such as Electric Vehicle day. Continue reading
Valentine’s doesn’t need to be steeped in consumerism. A thoughtful gift with both your loved one and the environment in mind is actually quite simple! We explore a few sustainable options for gifts, outings and even creative pursuits…
Green gift ideas
A personalized gift makes for a much more lasting expression of love, and best of all it doesn’t have to cost much at all. Don’t forget the simple power of a handwritten card – best of all you can source cards made locally from recycled paper for your special message, or get creative and make your own!
If you have a knack for crafts, a lovely idea is to take a photo of yourself and your loved one and create your own one-of-a-kind jigsaw puzzle! Simply glue the photo to a piece of cardboard which you can up-cycle yourself, the board from the back of an old exam pad is perfect. Continue reading
This year, we want to give back to you to say thank you for your loyal support. Join us in our weekly Festive Eco Challenge and you could be walking away with a product of your choice. Make your festive season just that little more special this year with your very own eco-gift. Continue reading
Rocking the Daisies, one of South Africa’s greenest music festivals, will be taking place during the first weekend of October at the Cloof Wine Estate in Darling. The four-day festival has a great line-up, including 7th Son, Alice Phoebe Lou, Jeremy Loops, The Kooks and Monark, among others. Here at Sustainable.co.za, we’re just as excited about the green as we are about the music scene!
Green Measures at Rocking the Daisies
There are a number of ecological initiatives in place at Rocking the Daisies. No bottled water is sold at the event, push taps are used to reduce water wastage, and grey water is recycled. Food-ware and cleaning products are biodegradable, and all paper marketing material is printed on recycled stock. LED lighting is used wherever possible, and on-site generators run off bio-diesel. There are also bus shuttles provided, and festival-goers are encouraged to walk, cycle or carpool wherever possible. This year the festival will be hosting official initiatives including #RTDSPRINGCLEAN which facilitates the re-homing of unwanted clothing to those in need, and Walk/Cycle The Daisies, a two day hike prior to the festival which aims to promote positive environmental action. Continue reading
With Heritage Day on the horizon, Capetonians across the city are no doubt eagerly anticipating their first braai of the season. However, not all of us have access to private braai facilities. Thankfully, we do have access to beautiful surroundings and public braais designed to help us locals make the most of the weather, the holidays, and our unique heritage. These are a few of Cape Town’s favourite braai spots that are open to the public this Heritage Day. Take your pick and happy braaing!
Maiden’s Cove: This beachside braai spot is situated on the coast between Clifton and Glen beaches, and offers striking views of both the ocean and the mountain. Other features include a swimming friendly tidal pool, large boulders for sun tanning, a grassy area on which to sit, and numerous braai places available to the public. This spot is open to the public all year round, and entrance is free.
Little Bay: This popular braai spot located in Blouberg is ideal for active families who enjoy kite flying, kite surfing and wind surfing. The braai spots are situated on a lawn, which means braai goers are privy to braai food sans seasoning by sand on windy days. This spot is open to the public all year round, and entrance is free.Wynberg Park: This park features a number of braai and picnic spots, ample greenery, a river and a well-equipped children’s play area. The park is located in Wynberg, open from 8am-6pm daily all year round and entrance is free.
Meulwater, Paarl: Enjoy unrivaled scenery at the Meulwater Wildflower Reserve in Paarl while making use of one of the reserve’s many braai areas. The reserve also offers various hiking trails available to the public. Entrance is free.(Image source: http://photos3.meetupstatic.com/)Zandvlei, Muizenberg: Known for its sprawling lawns, beautiful lake and popular braai spots, Zandvlei is open to the public in summer between 8am and 6pm. Entrance is free. (Image source: http://www.sa-venues.com/)PAID ENTRANCETokai Forest: A fantastic spot for the kids to run around while the adults take it slow, Tokai Forest boasts a large number of braai spots beneath the shade of the forest’s pine trees. The area is open from 7am - 6pm (October to March) and 8am - 5pm (April to September). Cost to enter: R20 per adult, R10 per child and R20 per car.
Oudekraal: Situated between Camps Bay and Llandudno beaches, this beautiful beach boasts relatively private braai areas offering seating and a view. Entrance costs R35 per adult and R15 per child. Open from 7am – 6pm (October to March) and 7am - 6pm (May to September).
Buffels Bay and Bordjiesdrif in Cape Point: Both of these spots are located within the Cape Point Nature Reserve. They also both offer access to beaches, tidal pools, and grass covered lawns. Entrance is R110 for adults and R55 for children and students. The reserve is open from 6am – 6pm (October to March) and 7am - 5pm (April to September).Krismis Camp, Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve: Enjoy surroundings of fynbos, boulders and olive trees at the Krismis Camp Mountain Nature Reserve in Paarl. Entrance costs R29 per car, R8 per person on weekends and public holidays, and is free on weekdays. (Image source: https://farm3.staticflickr.com/)
Eerste Steen, Melkbosstrand: Eerste Steen is situated within the Blaauwberg Conservation Area. The spot boasts striking views of Table Mountain and ample opportunity to practice water sports. Alcohol is prohibited. The area is open from 8am – 7pm (November – April) and 8am – 5pm (May – October). Entrance costs R13 per person, R6.50 for pensioners, and R18 per car.
Preekstoel & Kraalbaai, West Coast National Park: Arguably two of the most widely loved braai spots in the Western Cape, both Preekstoel and Kraalbaai are located within the West Coast National Park and boast braai facilities overlooking the Langebaan lagoon. Entrance is R40 per adult and R30 per child. (Image source: https://c2.staticflickr.com/)
Millers Point, Simon’s Town: A braai spot on the beach known for being sheltered from the wind, Miller’s Point is a firm favourite amongst Cape Town locals. The area also boasts a boat launching slipway, tidal pool and allows for the use of gas and portable braais. Entrance fee is minimal and area is open between 8am and 6pm daily. (Image source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/)Don’t forget that while braaing may be a wonderful way to relax and enjoy the outdoors, it can be dangerous. Fires can start in seconds and spread just as fast, so be sure to never leave your fire unattended. Pay extra attention to your fire on warm, dry, windy days as these present the highest risk for veld fires. Keeping a large bucket of water next to your braai is advisable in case of an emergency. Remember, pets, children, alcohol and even the weather can all present an increased risk of trouble around an open fire. Also take care not to litter while enjoying braaing – especially in areas of nature conservation. Consider using eco-friendly logs and fire lighters out of respect for the environment, and make sure to leave your braai location the same way you found it.
Make this Braai Day even more memorable. Enter our Heritage Day competition and stand a chance to win an EcoZoom Versa Wood & Charcoal Burner and more!
View the competition prizes and eco-friendly braai products below.
In celebration of Women’s Day, we caught up with some of the awesome ladies from the Sustainable.co.za team, Angela Lee-Wright, Sian Kleyn, and Megan Brown, to ask them a couple of questions about their careers in the exciting, and fast accelerating, alternative energy industry. Here’s what they had to say… Continue reading
Sustainable.co.za is proud to participate in this year’s Nelson Mandela Day. After spending Madiba Day 2014 cleaning up Zandvlei, this year Sustainable.co.za turns their attention to animals directly. This year they will be donating 67 Everlight Solar Lights to Outraged South Africans Against Rhino Poaching (OSCAP).
Sue, from OSCAP, comments upon receiving the news from Sustainable.co.za manager, Angela Lee-Wright, this morning,
“How amazing to open this message this morning! We have been struggling badly to support KZN Crime Investigation Unit - we are also support Thula Thula Rhino Orphange and Anti Poaching Units Black Mambas and Protrack in Greater Kruger. This donation will help each of the above individuals…Bless you for caring and supporting Rhino OSCAP/DAN.”
It is imperative for South Africans and rhino lovers across the globe to join together and take a stand against rhino poaching. OSCAP focuses their attention on ensuring the rhino hunting permit system is sound and are promoting a White Rhino census within South Africa. They work closely with other rhino organisations to increase local and international education and awareness about rhinos.
Winter in South Africa is fairly predictable. The scarves come out. The quantity of Facebook status updates about the cold reach an annual peak. And the rising readings on our electricity meters (and subsequent bills) are most often upsettingly inversely proportional to the plummeting temperatures, both outside and inside.
In order to help save you from both icy toes and frozen accounts this winter, we’ve put together a list of both conventional and somewhat unconventional tips and tricks you can use to help restore equilibrium to both the temperature around you and the content of your wallet. Continue reading
Electricity. We all need it. We all pay for it. Most of us would like to keep our electricity consumption (and our bills) to a minimum. But most of us also have no idea where to begin when it comes to calculating our own personal electricity expenses, or understanding how electricity consumption varies from appliance to appliance. To help you better understand your electricity consumption habits and expenses, we’ve put together a very basic guide to help you understand how your electricity bill is calculated.
How is a unit of electricity measured?
The power of electricity is measured in watts (W). While watts are used to measure the power of an electrical appliance or product, the amount of energy converted in a one hour (h) period is known as kilowatt-hours (kWh). Therefore the units of electricity we purchase in store for our paid meters or on our electrical bill are equal to the kilowatts of electricity consumed per hour. So, one unit of the electricity that we purchase is equal to 1000 watt-hours (Wh) or one kilowatt hour (kWh).
By the numbers:
- 1 unit of electricity bought = 1 kilowatt hour = 1000 watt-hours.
- The wattage of something tells you how much electricity it consumes.
- The higher the wattage of an item or appliance, the more electricity it uses in a standard period of time.
How much electricity will an item or appliance use?
An appliance will use its wattage worth of electricity in an hour (if left on, uninterrupted for an hour). For example, a 60 watt light bulb will use 60 watt hours of electricity in one hour. It will use 120 watt hours of electricity if left on for 2 hours, and more electricity as the time passes and it is left on to operate. The higher the wattage, the more electricity is required to run the item per hour.
How is the price of electricity determined?
In South Africa, the government has established an independent collective of experts who help to determine the prices we are charged by utilities such as electricity. This collective acts as a regulator and is known as the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA). It helps to determine the price of electricity by considering the cost to the supplier (as it should be if they run the company efficiently) and what a reasonable profit (rate of return) would be on the regulatory asset base.
The electricity costing program established by NERSA runs according to a semi-set Multi-Year Pricing Determination (MYPD). Currently NERSA operates on a five-year (macro-style) Multi-Year Pricing Determination plan (due to end in March 2018). This is so that the increase in the cost of electricity per year is slightly more predictable. The current price for 1 unit (1 kilowatt-hour) of electricity varies based on numerous factors, but hovers at around roughly R1.50 in domestic environments.
How much electricity does your home use?
To simplify things and help you make educated decisions about how you choose to use your electricity, we’ve compiled a guide to estimating how much electricity your home uses on average. See the appliances below found in a common household, along with their power ratings in Watts, and follow the instructions to calculating energy consumption:
Appliance power rating (in Watts) X hours in use i.e. 40W x 2hrs = 80Wh or 0.08kWh.
Feel free to share this infographic with your friends, family, and colleagues. The Beginners Guide to Understanding Electricity Consumption by Sustainable.co.za is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Based on a work at http://www.sustainable.co.za/blog/2015/06/the-beginners-guide-to-understanding-electricity-consumption/.
Being informed when it comes to how electricity-heavy various appliances are can help us make better informed decisions with regards to effectively saving electricity. But ultimately, the price of electricity is only set to increase with time. As a result, changing your energy consumption habits and investing in energy efficient appliances now will ultimately cut your energy bill in the long run. So the next time you purchase an appliance, do your future self (and bank balance) a favour and consider investing in a solar or alternatively powered version if possible.