The sustainable industry has gone from strength-to-strength. We continue to see more people making adjustments in order to practice an eco friendly way of living and 2012 has been no different. Although there are always challenges to be overcome in this ongoing battle, eco consciousness is continuously growing and we’ve witnessed it first-hand here at Sustainable.co.za. Here is a recap of the year through the eyes of Sustainable.co.za.
Dark Days Ahead
Eskom had some very big news to share earlier this year that once again demonstrated how important the reduction of electricity consumption continues to be. With the permission of the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa), Eskom have applied for a 16% electricity tariff increase in a third multi-year price determination (MYPD 3). (more…)
Advent calendars are lining supermarket shelves, end-of-year functions are looming closer and the frenzy that is the festive season is just around the corner. Traditionally, this period is all about giving, but why not make this year about taking? That is, taking the right steps towards celebrating a green Christmas.
The Christmas tree is perhaps the most iconic symbol of the Christmas period. Going green, however, doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to plant a piece of foliage in your living room for a few weeks. You can use recycled materials, cardboard etc. to fashion a work of art, under which Santa can deliver your behaviour-dependent rewards. (more…)
With new international pressures for companies to start producing green ships to help reduce CO2 emissions worldwide on our oceans, PlanetSolar is a project born of these ecological ideals. Its intention is to circumnavigate the globe using only Solar Power and so far has travelled across the Atlantic Ocean and international shipping agents are eying the technology with an eye to sea cargo logistic applications. This Green ship aims to show the potential of renewable energy and to cement the idea that the global economy and ecology need to work hand in hand for our future.
This eco friendly project is the brainchild of Raphaël Domjan, who realised in the late 1980’s the responsibility of business to the environment in the ways that they operate. With his own company he focused on offering green web hosting solutions and email services with Horus Networks and then focused for the next decade on the PlanetSolar project. From humble beginnings of only his child like enthusiasm to sail the world on a ship powered by the sun though to the total of 100 people working on the project, he has made his green dream a reality. Planet Solar plans to be the first green ship design that will successfully circumnavigate the globe, first to cross the Indian Ocean and the first to cross the Red Sea as well. Crewed by a team of 6, PlanetSolar has a total of 537 m2 of Solar Panels catching the precious rays of sun that provide all their power, from living quarters through to propulsion.
Already the green initiative has raised the awareness of renewable technologies. Sea freight companies are already seeing the possibility for incorporating the use of solar panels to ease fuel consumption and carbon emissions. The challenges that PlanetSolar faces are that it cannot use any power besides that harnessed by the sun and that they are limited to solar technology that is available for mass production. Should this green ship succeed, it will no doubt pave the way for greener marine logistics vessels on our oceans.
Cargo logistics and transportation of goods amongst the global village is a multimillion dollar industry and comes under a multitude of criticism for lack of green practices. However Eco Freight Containers are looking to change all of that with some simple changes in materials and the food source of Panda’s may make the industry a friendlier to the environment. Whether you are sending air freight Johannesburg or sending cargo along the South African coastline, packaging is an integral part of the process that ensures the safety of your freight container packages, but at what cost? Companies such as Blue Sky Intermodal are changing that, with their use of bamboo instead of wood inside containers.
Bamboo has been used in construction for years. This strong, durable and natural material has been the backbone of the Asian scaffolding industry due to its ability to sustain consistent weight without buckling and snapping under duress. However in the shipping and freight container industry, its appeal is in its eco-friendly properties being its fast growth in relation to wood. The industry standard wood currently used in the freight container industry is Apitong wood, which takes up to 60 years to reach the maturity needed to be used for containers. Bamboo can be matured and ready for production in 4 to 5 years, therefore a far more sustainable material from an ecological point of view. Only found in one particular area of the world, Apitong wood has been shown to have amazing waterproofing and strength properties making it the favoured choice for sea freight containers, but bamboo is showing that it has similar properties and is being viewed as a cheaper and greener solution.
Companies are already starting to invest heavily in the new bamboo freight container solutions. Industry leaders are seeing this as the way forward with thousands of units already being tested on open waters. Bamboo is looking to outperform in both technical and ecological factors in comparison to its compatriot and perhaps this new freight container solution will save both the industries pockets and our forests.
Hybrid cars are almost reaching a point of being “cool” in countries like the States and the UK, but in South Africa for some reason we’re still way behind the rest of the pack. But who’s to blame? Is it the public? Or is it purely due to the complete lack of awareness and availability as far as hybrid cars are concerned?
Personally, I don’t think we can start blaming the public. I mean, if we don’t have access to hybrid cars or get constantly reminded that there are even hybrid cars available, then why would we decide to buy one? The only hybrid car that is readily available in South Africa at the moment is the Toyota Prius Hybrid car (I could be wrong on this point). Imagine an entire country driving around in the same car, I think not. (more…)
Styrofoam bubbles, packing peanuts or petroleum balls of fury – call them what you like, but the Styrofoam packing peanuts that get used in millions of fragile packages everyday are virtually indestructible and are terrible for the environment. Enter Ecovative Design and their Magic Packing Mushrooms…
Ecovative Design is a small company operating out of New York that looks to change the world of shipping around the world, from the States to freight shipping Durban where hundreds of agencies deal with clearing and forwarding Durban on a daily basis. Headed up by their 26 year old CEO Eben Bayer, who has almost reached celebrity status in the eco-friendly community, Ecovative Design has recently developed an alternative solution to the small Styrofoam packing peanuts that we use to protect our precious goods in transit; a small, eco-friendly, peanut-like particle that is made from mushroom spores. (more…)
With a budget of over R21 Billion, a development site of over 640ha and constituting at least 5 to 10 percent of Gauteng’s construction GDP, Waterfall City just outside of Midrand is the largest property development in South Africa’s building history. And what’s more, the entire development is revolved around “green” principles.
Homes within Waterfall city’s boundaries will be expected to make use of solar heating, power and other sustainable energy sources, something that I’m sure plumbing contractors around the country will be benefiting from nicely, especially plumbers in Midrand. The city’s overall carbon footprint will be reduced by a substantial 60% compared to current households around South Africa. (more…)
For the next installation of Alternative Energy Made Easy I have decided to concentrate on LED Lights. These are fantastic as they are not only eco-friendly, but they also cut down one’s electricity consumption by up to 90%!! Replacing your regular lights with LED lightss is one of the first steps in making your household environmentally friendly.
LED is an acronym for Light Emitting Diode. Basically, as the name suggests, this is a little diode that emits light when in an excited or active state. Each LED light bulb is made up of a number of diodes, dependant on their respective wattage. (more…)
I’ve decided to take a little break from my Alternative Energy Made Easy series (although expect another great installation soon ) and list some of my favourite products and great deals that have been listed on our site.
Our latest special on Tenesol Panels is AWESOME – you won’t find them cheaper anywhere else! From R45 p/Wp to R25 p/Wp – that is 45% off on very good quality Solar Panels. I know I sound like a bit of a salesman, but seriously, this is a fantastic deal, so don’t miss out!
The New PowerTraveller Range
Now these are great little gadgets, beautifully packaged and of a very high standard! We have some samples in the office and most of us have taken time out to marvel at these mobile chargers, especially the men (you know, boys with their toys and all that ) (more…)
Better Earth Dishwashing Liquid on Sustainable.co.za
So … I’m not very fond of washing dishes but someone’s got to do it … pity its me
I’m quite familiar with the Enchantrix range of cleaning products, they’ve been around for a long time and have a good standing reputation. I decided to use the Better Earth range to help me with my domestic duties.
Their products are free of ethoxylated ingredients, sulphated surfactants, parabens, animal products, colourants and synthetic fragrance. The great thing about Better Earth is that they are kept simple while still being effective! They have a small product range consisting of a cleaning spray, floor cleaners, air fresheners, dishwashing liquid and dish washing gel for automatic machines.
The dishwashing liquid is readily biodegradable and really cleans your dishes. It is gentle on my hands . I found that it did not foam as much as conventional dish washing liquids and had to keep reminding myself that just because my sink isn’t having a foam party, doesn’t mean my dishes aren’t getting clean.
I’m all about things smelling nice and this fragrance doesn’t disappoint, after my dishes were clean and sparkling … my entire kitchen smelt like a citrus farm.