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  • Winter Can Wait!

    With summer now little more than a distant memory and the nights already starting to draw in, let us help you keep warm this Autumn by enjoying a comfortable green lifestyle and saving money at the same time. Our motto at Sustainable.co.za is "Buy once, buy well", and we have so many great products available that you will be coming back for more.

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  • 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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  • 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, the Dafi 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. For the first time, we will be running a competition where you can choose your prize. 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

    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 and Rieyaat selected as their favourite gift ideas for Father's Day.

  • Tips to winter-proof your home

    Is it possible to save money running your household during winter? It is, and here are a few tips to make your home more eco-friendly and save money at the same time!

    Use existing insulation
    As soon as the sun begins setting, close curtains and blinds to keep warmth inside bedrooms and living spaces. It will mean your interior stays warmer for longer and will mean switching heaters on only if essential.

    Replace and switch off
    Replace all light bulbs with LED. Turn off lights, plugs and especially electric blankets and heaters when not using them. Just these few things can reduce your home’s electricity consumption by 15%.

    Lose 1 degree Celsius
    While going solar is ideal, turning your geyser down by 1 degree and switching it off during the middle of the day can make a difference. This can provide estimated savings of R100 a week on your electricity bill. Take it further and investigate using geyser blankets and timer switchers.

    Get a Spindel
    Doing laundry in winter is very costly if you are using a tumble dryer, so rather use a Spindel. It’s an innovative dryer that uses spin power instead of heat to remove up to 80% of the leftover moisture from clothes in just three minutes. Laundry dries in a fraction of the time and it uses 100 times less electricity than tumble drying. Spindel is also safe for all fabrics – perfect for those winter woollens and hand washed delicates.

  • Heritage Day - Braai Day the Green Way

    ...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.

    Heritage DayPre-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. Continue reading

  • Chocolate Benefitting You, the Environment and Society

    Eco friendly chocolate has added a new depth to guilt-free snacking. Whilst it might not mean you can bank the veggies and live off the loved treat, it does mean you will pledge your support to the environment and farming communities.

    We take a look at some of your best options available locally:

    Honest Chocolate

    This small artisanal chocolate company, based on our doorstep in Cape Town, are firm believers in taking care of the environment as well as your chocolate appetite.

    Honest Chocolate only make use of organically produced ingredients, avoid the use of preservatives, additives, emulsifiers, dairy or processed sugar, and all their cacao is ethically sourced from Ecuador.  They further pledge their support to nature by packaging their products in eco friendly paper. You can package your own delicious home made goodies using eco packaging from Sustainable.co.za.

    http://bit.ly/1p9TAgX

     Range: Bon bons, slabs and chocolate spread

    Available: At selected Pick n Pays, Wellness Warehouses and many other outlets and cafe’s.

    See more: http://www.honestchocolate.co.za/

    Madécasse

    Madécasse (pronounced mah - DAY – cas) chocolate is produced from organic cacao grown in Madagascar’s forests.

    The company, based in Madagascar, are firm believers of producing chocolate in the area that the beans are harvested – Madagscar. This ensures the ingredients are kept fresher and locals benefit substantially as they work directly with cocoa farmers to assist them in getting the most value from their crops.  According to the The New York Times, Madecasse chocolate is ‘. A refreshing anomaly. Fairly traded and environmentally friendly…The chocolate tastes so good’. Need any more motivation to indulge?

    http://bit.ly/Qd2RFh

    Range: Various slabs, including coconut, sea salt, winter spice and espresso flavours

    Available: Wellness Warehouse and Faithful to Nature Online Shop

    See more: http://www.madecasse.com/

    http://www.facebook.com/Madecasse.SouthAfrica/info

    Fairtrade’s Chocolate Range

    Fairtrade, a global movement encouraging equality, development and sustainability in the trading and farming sector, have recognised the cocoa industry as a key focus. According to their website, over 90% of the world’s cocoa is grown and harvested on small family farms, yet many of these farmers lack the resources and knowledge to farm in more lucrative, green and ethical ways.

    Fairtrade address the environmental issues by promoting agricultural practices which minimise the use of agrochemicals, promote effective and sustainable waste and water management, focus on soil fertility and avoid the use of genetically modified organisms.

    Socially, Fairtrade make a difference by offering small scale farmers organisations a consistent Minimum Price - ensuring production and future planning costs are covered, and providing credit access. A Fairtrade Premium is also added to the retail price which is used to contribute towards social, economic and environmental investments.

    Furthermore, the Fairtrade Certification Mark on a chocolate product implies that the cocoa producer complies with Fairtrade’s strict labour standards prohibiting child and forced labour. In South Africa, the following chocolate brand is Fairtrade approved:

    Green & Blacks

     

    Range: Organic milk, white and dark chocolate

    Available: Wellness Warehouse, selected Spar stores

    See more: http://us.greenandblacks.com/

     

     

     

     

    When shopping for Easter chocolates be aware of the use of palm oil in the chocolates you buy. The Guardian recently published an article revealing that many loved chocolate brands including Ferrero Rocher and Cadburys use unsustainable palm oil in the production of their chocolates. See the report by the Rain Forest Foundation. The use of unsustainable palm oil is posing a major threat to the world's rainforests, their indigenous wildlife, and the people whose livelihoods depend on the forests. Having destroyed vast areas of forest in countries such as Indonesia, palm oil companies are now planning to expand in the rainforests of the Congo Basin in Africa.

    The team at Sustainble.co.za have recently changed over to using Fairtrade coffee at work – read more here about how you can make this switch too. Don’t feel limited to coffee and chocolate, however, as wine, tea and certain foods with the Fairtrade label are all on the menu.

    If anyone has ever needed further reason to indulge in the splendor of chocolate – here you have it.  Look after the environment, care for social needs and satisfy your treat craving... pass the chocolate our way!

  • Product Spotlight: Keeping it Sustainably South African

    suscoza-sa-logo-2Sustainable.co.za supports sustainably South African products and we often receive enquiries across social media platforms on the topic of whether our stock supports communities within South Africa.  We firmly believe in the ‘local is lekker’ mantra and that sustainability with a focus on our country’s upliftment is crucial to the development of our company. Here are just a number of our products that promote a greener South Africa.

    Consol Solar Jars

    Consol Solar Jars are one of our most popular sellers and it’s an added bonus that these are produced locally, exported and made from recycled glass. They epitomise form and function and work as a standalone energy-collecting and energy-producing product.

    Geyser Duvet

    geyser blanketsYou should always remember to put your geyser to sleep at night, but keeping it snug isn’t all that the Geyser Duvet is good for. The product has a very strong socially responsible backbone, as its manufacture is in part aided by adults who struggle with cerebral palsy. These employment groups are based at the Cerebral Palsy Association's Village Work Centre in Cape Town and Forrest Farm in Gauteng, where their help is used wherever possible. It’s just testament to the fact that even some of the smaller products can have a large impact on the lives of others.

    The HotBag

     

    The HotBag Project screams sustainably South African eco-conscientiousness. Besides the 50% less stove time it uses and the 3-5 hour retention of steaming hot food it can hold, this product is developed under non-profit conditions. The initiative was launched in 2001 and each HotBag is personally sewn by subcontracted seamstresses who all work from home.

    Raylite Batteries : M-Solar Range

    Our robust M-Solar Batteries draw a large amount of energy from tubular cells, while making a small dent to the pocket. With over 1500 cycles to a 50% depth discharge, this locally produced product competes very well in relation to many other power storage options, not to mention its added value to job creation in South Africa.

    Microcare Inverters, Charge Controllers and Wind Charge Controllers

    The Microcare range, while produced right at home, has a large international demand. Products are competitively priced and local manufacture means that support is effective and efficient.

    There are many more locally produced products that form part of the Sustainable.co.za catalogue and we are always happy to run through these should you require any more information on the topic. All of these products will shortly be tagged with our Sustainably South African label on our site for your convenience.

    Whether our products are manufactured here or not, we believe that they are all sustainably South African in their own right, as even those imported from overseas undergo a labour intensive journey right to our front door, supplying everyone along the way with the opportunity to contribute and be compensated as we champion sustainable communities in South Africa.

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