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  • Your Guide to Green Gifts this Christmas

    On the upside, Christmas is a time for giving, for holiday cheer and for spending precious time with the special people in your life. On the opposite end of the scale, Christmas can also bring about some anxiety from packed shopping centres, over-priced goods and not knowing what to buy for that special someone in your life.

    At Sustainable.co.za, we believe that Christmas should be a time to relax with your family and not have to worry overmuch about these sort of things. That is why our worker elves have put together a list of ideas on what to buy and for whom. We've also added some great specials, so that you can shop from the comfort of your own home and not worry about breaking the bank. A green gift is not only something unique but also something that keeps giving back by saving the planet.

    Green Gift Guide

    Listed below are a few types of people who would greatly benefit from an Eco Gift this Christmas:

     

    The Braaimaster

    You KNOW this person, the one that's always at the braai and takes over, whether at home or at a friend's place. To start off with, we would recommend our Eco-Logs. The smoke is odourless and the logs stay hot for a long time. With that in mind, it's a good idea to ensure that there is a light source around. Our Solar Torch would be perfect as well as our Solar Lanterns which will create some great ambiance around the fireside. Don't forget to ensure they have a drink in their hand by getting them a Sol Glas that come with a convenient sleeve to protect the hands from heat or cold. And last but not least, a Hemp Holster Belt will allow them to operate hands free.

     

    The Chef

    Whether a master at home or at work, there are some great green gifts that you can get your Chef this Christmas. Working with food in the kitchen always produces a lot of waste. Make your waste work for you by investing in the Bokashi Composter Kit. Easy to use and produces precious "Black Gold" for your garden. Hygiene is of utmost importance when working with food and our Eco Hand Sanitizer will ensure that your hands are squeaky clean. If you are a budding Barista as well and are concerned about coffee pods littering the earth, we have a great new Coffee Pod Recycling Bin which will make your life easier. To top it all off, eco-packaging is the way to go when serving your cuisine, whether it be at home or at a restaurant.

     

    The Gardener

    With water being scarce and more people focusing on farming food from their garden, an eco backyard is the way to go. Get great results from a Worm Farm, which is not only great to dispose of natural waste but produces invaluable nutrients for your soil. Create your own indoor garden with our range from Microgarden. Our Solar Automatic Watering Systems will keep your plants hydrated and a Grey Water System is always a great investment to reduce water wasteage.

     

    The Home Executive

    Being a Home Executive is not an easy job and those who tend to this do so with aplomb. Our Sputnik Wonder Wash is a perfect alternative to handwashing (plus you get a little exercise in too). If you are looking for a drier but don't want to waste energy then a Spindel Drier complements the Sputnik perfectly. The new range of Stasher Bags are great for food storage plus they can be used to cook AND freeze in. When shopping for energy efficient appliances, Bosch wins every time. Check out our range of fridgeswashing machines and dishwashers that save power and money! Replace your existing lights with LED lights and see the savings almost immediately. We even have a light bulb that can be dimmed without a dimmer switch! And last but not least, our stainless steel pegs are durable and easy to use, and we even have a marine grade option!

     

    The Adventurer

    Whether you are a Hiker, a Cycler, a Caravanner, a 4X4er or a Camper, if the outdoors is your thing, we have the perfect gifts for your. Check out our range of Solar Chargers and Powerbanks that will ensure that your phone, camera and laptop have juice when you are adventuring. Our Snomaster fridges are portable and efficient, and will keep your drinks cold. Our flexible solar kits are perfect to carry around as they are compact and easy to use. Look for appliances that can run directly off a 12V battery? Check out our 12V Kettle and Iron, no inverter required! Clean water not available? Our Water-to-go bottles will ensure that this is not a problem. Take along a Madidrop Water Tablet or some Aquatabs to be safe. Out in the middle of nowhere? Ensure that you are never stuck anywhere with our Hummer Powerbanks with Jumpstart capabilities.

     

    The Eco Child

    Start them young we say. The new generation is very much geared towards saving the planet before it's too late. Protect them from the effects of the sun with our Hemp Bucket Hat. Teach them about Solar Power with their very own Solar Light Kit. Light up their room or the back garden with Solar Lanterns. Solar Fairy Lights are always a win with adults and children alike. We can assure you that your teenagers will love our range of Speaker Lanterns. Why not get the younger ones a Snackbox made from recycled materials that are BPA free or a Stainless Steel Water Bottle? BPA, PVC, and phthalate free, they have a leak proof cap and are available in a variety of bright colours and designs.

     

    We consider our customers to be family and all of us at Team Sustainable.co.za are more than happy to help you find the perfect gift this Christmas. We are only a phone call away. Otherwise, pop in at our office in Cape Town for a cup of coffee and a chat and browse some of the products you can buy off our website.

    We look forward to celebrating the season with you and really making the end of 2020 count! It's been a tough year!

    Wishing you a prosperous and safe festive season.

  • If I could, I would buy you the Earth this Christmas

    Well now you can. Christmas is a time for giving and the best investment you can make for your family is to "buy the earth" back.

    At Sustainable.co.za, we believe that green living should be easy and add to your lifestyle rather than detract. Our little elves spend all their time ensuring that we not only have an expansive range of high quality, cost effective products available, but that there is something for everyone.

    With warm Summer evenings, festive cheer filling the streets, and long, lazy days surrounded by family and loved ones, we certainly are lucky to spend this joyous day in the Southern Hemisphere.

    christmas-in-summerThe Gift of Christmas

    We understand that Christmas gift shopping can be stressful with long queues, packed shopping centres and low or no stock available, it is not a very relaxing thought at a time of year when we need it most. Online shopping greatly alleviates this stress. Browse through our range at any time of day, ask advice and get everything delivered right  to your doorstep from the comfort of your own home. Continue reading

  • Off-grid living is easier than you think.

    Many people aspire to becoming totally self-sufficient and living off-grid but feel that it is impossible due to the technology involved and the financial implications, but we are here to tell you that going off the grid is easier than you think, if you put the time in.

    Like anything desirable, achieving aspirations take time and dedication. Due to the fact that we have more than 15 years of experience, we have listed our top tips on how to go to make a smooth transition to going off-grid.

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  • Let us put the Spring back into your Step this Season

    Let us put a Spring in your step.

    Spring is, simply put, the reawakening from the slumber of Winter. Cold weather and dark days start turning around. Birds can be heard twittering harmoniously as the dawn breaks earlier and earlier. This is much to the enjoyment and pleasure of most.

    Renewal, Rejuvenation and Revitalisation

    At Sustainable.co.za we have decided to focus the start of the lighter, warmer months on the theme of the renewal, revitalisation and rejuvenation of your lifestyle and the life of the planet.

    Our team have spent many hours putting together fantastic, well packaged Spring Kits. From eco-friendly cleaning products to the perfect water-saving hampers and Braai Day packages and more. We will also be running the biggest competition we have had to date. Read on to find out more.

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  • Load Shedding - Don't be left in the dark

    Load Shedding - Don't be left in the dark again.

    Is Load Shedding back? Are we forever waiting for another run of stage 1, 2 and 3bs? Whenever there is a power cut, many of us wait with bated breath for the dreaded announcement. For some South Africans, load shedding has never stopped. After another scare a few weeks ago, we at Sustainable.co.za have decided to write a guide on how to prepare yourself for power cuts. From small cost effective solutions, to larger, long term applications, we have ensured that we have it all.

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  • Planet or Plastic? Reduce your Reliance.

    This amazing picture that was featured on the cover of National Geographic is as poignant as it is effective. Not only did it speak volumes, but the fact that the  actual magazine was plastic wrapped is indicative of the conundrum we find ourselves in - we want to make a change, but do we?

    Dedicate this year to breaking free from Plastic

    Plastic has become so much a part of our lives that it almost seems impossible to break free completely. Sometimes it feels like plastic has been forced upon us by the consumer industry and that living plastic free is next to impossible. We at Sustainable.co.za feel that everybody
    should be able to at least make a start in reducing their reliance on plastic products.

    Shopping no longer needs to be a plastic affair

    15 years ago, thin plastic shopping bags came standard with grocery shopping at leading supermarkets. In 2003, a new law came into effect, namely that plastic bags be made thicker so that they could be easily recycled or reused. The problem with this was that this did not do much to deter consumers from treating them much the same as their thinner counterparts. Leaving rubbish dumps full of thick plastic bags.

    It is time to start making a concerted effort to using reusable bags. Not only does this save you approximately 50c a packet but perhaps leading retailers will stop offering plastic shopping packets as an option if the cost of stocking them outweighs what people (and the earth) will pay for them. We have a few great solutions to your grocery shopping requirements. The Hemp Circle Shopper is a truly environmentally friendly shopper bag made from sustainable, unbleached hemp fabric and can fit quite a lot of groceries in it. We also have the fantastic reusable Freshbag for your fruit and vegetable shopping. You will never have to resort to the small thin plastic packets used for fruit/ vegetable storage.

    Plastic Straws Suck!

    One of the biggest campaigns at the moment is the anti-straw campaign. Straws pose a huge threat to the environment and the animal life around us. These single-use plastic death traps are not necessary but are freely available at a number of retail outlets. We challenge you to give up on straws completely by using a glass for your drinks or if you love having the luxury of a straw, either invest in paper straws or reusable steel straws. Again, this comes down to supply and demand and the consumer sets the tone.

    Take home more for less

    Takeaway packaging is another culprit of single-use application with terrible results. In this day and age, fast food is a luxury that most people can afford. The health implications is a discussion for another blog as this blog is focused on the dire consequences of Styrofoam packaging and plastic packaging. Polystyrene is one of the most common forms of plastic used today. Although it can be recycled, the costs are high and due to the chemicals contained in it. It cannot be used for food packaging due to the health risks.

    We have noticed a significant upsurge in restaurants turning to compostable takeaway packaging. A wide range of this alternative packaging is now available and food distributors no longer have an excuse. Would you be willing to pay a small fee towards biodegradable takeaway packaging? We know we would.

    Remember that biodegradeable goods need to be composted and not thrown into a rubbish dump. We have a wide range of recycling bins and composters available so that very
    little waste has to go to the dump.

    At the end of the day, plastic reduction is about playing our part as a member of the larger eco-system of our planet, ensuring that we are not the reason for its deterioration. We are Earth-Keepers and have been sitting idle for too long in our role as perpetrators in the degradation of the earth and its animals. It is time to make a concerted effort to make a change, before it is no longer an option.

  • Come out of the Cold this Winter

    Winter has arrived in Summer-loving South Africa, and that means the days are darker, the nights are colder and the electricity bills start creeping skyward.

    At Sustainable.co.za, we are all about improving lifestyles the green way, not only through energy efficiency but by saving you some cash for a rainy day adventure.

    Let there be Light

    The fact of the matter is that the nights last longer in the cold months, so lighting is imperative in keeping things cosy. Simply replace your lights with their LED counterparts and they can burn all night while still using a fraction of the power used by incandescent bulbs in the evenings.

    Some people are concerned by the quality of the light but fear not, we have a wide range of LED lights available in warm, natural and cool white, catering to all tastes. Our Solar Lights are also great for outdoor use, whether you crave the ambiance of outdoor lighting or have them installed for safety reasons, we have what you need.

     

     

    Snuggling up

    It is very easy to reach for the aircon or electric heater/ blanket when the days are cold but we have some alternative solutions that will warm your cockles.

    If you are lucky enough to have a fireplace, rather opt for a roaring fire over an electrical heater or aircon. Anything that generates heat uses a lot of power so the environment and your pocket will feel the expense. We have fantastic eco-logs and firelighters available. Our eco-logs burn longer and hotter and create minimal smoke and our firelighters don't smell at all because, you guessed it, zero parrafin! Best of all, our prices match standard bags of wood and firelighters that can be purchased at retail shops so it's a win-win kind of deal.

    To beat the cold in bed, pile up on the blankets, or put a hot water bottle in the bed for a few hours before you go to sleep at night.

     

    Keep things Steamy

    Geysers struggle in Winter and become less efficient due to the cold. Keep your geyser happy by wrapping it in a blanket and pipe insulation and greatly reduce heat loss. Gas geysers are also a great alternative to standard electrical geysers and can be great back-up for off-grid homes. For those that do not like wasting water, Instant Water Heaters are a great way to save on water by reducing the time it takes for the water to heat up. This also allows you to switch your geyser off and save on electricity. Why not install an Efergy Electricity Monitor so you can watch all your savings?

     

     

    Warm Winter Fare

    In many households across South Africa, the aunties start gearing up for Winter by hauling out their secret stew and curry recipes and spend all day cooking for the family. Keep aunty (and your bank manager) happy by investing in a gas stove. For those who enjoy slow cooking, the hot bag can keep the pots hot all day long without using a stitch of electricity. Simply bring the food to the boil and pop it in. It couldn't be simpler. On a personal note, my mom swears by the Eco Zoom. It takes much quicker to cook a rice on this fantastic little wood burner than it does on a conventional stove.

     

     

    Our Sustainable Promise

    Not only do we promise to keep you up to date with the latest and greatest products that will improve your lifestyle and the future of this planet, but we also always ensure that we have a little something extra to offer. This Winter, we will be running a Giveaway looking to Spring (as it ends at the end of Winter) and will be focusing on a Green Camping theme.  Read more about it here. Father's Day is also in June so we have put a spotlight on our green dads and will be running a giveaway on our social media pages so keep an eye out!

    "What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness." -John Steinbeck

  • Spotlight on our Sustainable Fathers

    “Anyone who tells you fatherhood is the greatest thing that can happen to you, they are understating it.” ―Mike Myers

    Celebrating Father's Day

    Father's Day is a celebration of the role of the father in a child's life. This month we celebrate the amazing fathers in our team by putting the spotlight on them. We find out more about their role in their children's lives and what it means to be a part of the green industry.

    More from the great fathers on our team

    " As a child growing up, I always tried to live as sustainably as possible. I joined our school wildlife and clean-up programmes and spent a lot of time outdoors, trying to save the planet.
    As a father working in the green industry, I strive to find innovative products and creative ways to make the future better for my children and others. I truly believe that to make a significant change in the world, we have to start at home with our family."  ~ Rieyaat

    " What does it mean to be a father? It is an honour and a rite of passage. How special is it that you can be a mentor, a teacher, the chief tickler and the bear to hold and protect your children? Every day is a chance to guide your children on how to be the best they can be and that can be hard at times when most of us are merely just trying to be the best we can be. The results of this comes when you see them trying to emulate you and preaching to someone about how better to save water or start a fire.  

    Being an advocate of eco-living it is great to see my children asking about how solar energy works and using it when we are road trips, charging the music player, setting up the solar lights at camp. Or have my second in charge of the tools handing spanners as we install the water purification filters on our home system. What fun to watch and just absorb the moment." ~ Zeke

    Sustainable Fathers" As a father, I understand what comes with the role of fatherhood. Long days, late nights, financial pressures; but there are an abundance of joys that cannot be matched by anything else.

    I wake up every day and head off to the office looking at the blessings I have – my kids. Father’s Day is not about us. It’s a reminder to work on building a relationship with our kids by encouraging their dreams, spending time with them, and showing them love. They're grow up faster than we think.

    I take renewable energy very seriously and having the knowledge is a great way of preparing them for the future. As far as I'm concerned renewable energy is the future.

    My work at Sustainable.co.za Online Eco Store as a Technical Sales Consultant, gives me access to everything renewable. I am in the process of going bit by bit off the grid... slowly but surely we'll all get there.

    For now, I have invested in a Solar Briefcase and a Solar Battery on our website. I am now able to take my kids on outdoor adventures and having a source of electricity is extremely vital when you're in the bush far from amenities. Also its always good to keep them entertained by being able to charge devices such as your kids tablet PC, your laptop, cell phones etc.

    Going green is your responsibility. How will you get there? No stress, I can walk the journey with you!" ~ Thaabit

    Fathers look toward the future

    We believe that a parent's job is to ensure a bright future for their children to enjoy. This goes hand in hand with making conscious choices in the way we live so that children may learn from this. With this in mind, we will be giving away 3 x R 250.00 gift vouchers to dad's who tell us why being a father is so special (this is open to moms too).

    Great gift ideas for Father's Day

    Click here to check out the range of products that Zeke, Rieyaat and Thaabit selected as their favourite gift ideas for Father's Day.

  • Grow with us this Spring

    Spring has Sprung at Sustainable.co.za and we are celebrating in style this year.  To kick off for Arbor Week we have challenged our team to grow their own Bonsai Trees (from seed nogal). Indigenous trees only, of course, including the African Baobab, the Wisteria and the White Stinkwood Tree. Keep a close eye on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more updates. Can we just mention that we love trees? If you are interested in planting something yourself, contact Seeds for Africa, a really great website with a wide range of options. If you are not much of a gardener, why not donate some trees at GreenPop? Every bit counts.

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  • July is Madiba Month at Sustainable.co.za

    July is Madiba Month at Sustainable.co.zaAs everyone is well aware, Tata Madiba's birthday is on the 18th of July. At Sustainable.co.za, we love what Madiba Day stands for so we have decided to dedicate the month of July to Madiba and challenge everyone else to do the same!

    In the spirit of this, our team have dedicated themselves to 67 random acts of kindness in July. You can follow our progress via the checklist below. We will post evidence of our deeds to our Social Media accounts so keep an eye out!

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