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  • Off-grid living is easier than you think.

    .Off-Grid LivingMany 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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  • Sustainable.co.za proudly partners with Ecobrick Exchange

    We are very pleased to announce that we have partnered up with the EcoBrick Exchange. This is one of our favourite initiatives and is close to our hearts.

    About EcoBrick Exchange

    The EcoBrick Exchange (EBE) is an eco-centric company that facilitates the construction of preschools in underprivileged communities. This is done by using EcoBricks (plastic waste compressed into PET-bottles). This is a highly insulating building material that is water-, fire- and even bullet-proof. Their programmes empower individuals to address the shortage of quality education facilities, implement sustainable waste management systems and raise environmental awareness.

    How can you become involved?

    It's really very simple. Collect, clean and dry all non-recyclable plastic rubbish and compress it into a 2L Bottle with a stick or suitable instrument. Pack it tightly so that it can't be squished. Once it is ready, simply drop it off at our shop.

    Extra Incentive

    We love this idea so much that we have decided to give a 5% discount voucher to the person that brings in 20 Eco-Bricks at any one time.

    Start making a difference

    If we can collect enough eco bricks, we can build a school! Keep an eye out for our Mandela Day Campaign where we will be challenging South Africa to make a difference. Watch this space.

  • Stay Warm this Autumn. 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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  • 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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  • Recycling vs Upcycling

    Glass, paper, aluminium, and plastic are materials we use every day to make our lives easier, however, if disposed or managed improperly, they can have damaging effects on the environment. Fortunately, recycling has become easier and more convenient than ever with recycling bins available in public places and domestically. But, did you know recycling isn’t the only option to reduce your waste?

    Whether you're spring cleaning or selling your home, you're bound to throw out a few items. But, if you're a DIY interior designer or just an ordinary housewife who prefers to use old clothes as a cleaning cloth, you are already following a practice known as upcycling. Similar to recycling, upcycling involves converting waste materials into new materials and objects. But, instead of sending them off to a recycling facility, we reuse them for household purposes.

     

    An article by Private Property, Why Recycle When you can Upcycle? provides a distinction between these two processes of waste repurposing.

    When the contents of your recycling bin reach the recycling facility, they are broken down into a raw state. For example, glass that is recycled is crushed and remelted into a new material called cullet. The new material is then used to produce something new at the same, lesser or even higher quality. A glass bottle can be recycled into another glass bottle and the quality stays the same. But, a plastic bottle can be reproduced as part of a backpack, shoulder bag or a sleeping bag.

    When something is upcycled, it does not entirely lose its original form. Although the item can be reworked into a variety of new products, the material stays the same and the new product retains roughly the quality of the old product.

    The concept of upcycling was popularised in 2002 by William McDonough and Michael Braungart's book Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things. The book states that the goal of upcycling is to prevent wasting potentially useful materials by making use of existing ones. The only energy you use is our own and the only limitation is your imagination!

    Speaking of imagination, here are some creative ways to put your upcycling skills to use:

    • Use old CDs to make coasters or mosaic tile plates
    • Old tyres can be converted into tree swings, an ottoman and a garden planter.
    • Tin cans can be used for almost anything – from pencil holder to flower vase to outdoor lanterns.
    • Paper bags can be reused as school book covers while used gift wraps can be saved for another occasion.
    • Use glass jars or take-away containers to store cake decorations or buttons.
    • Empty paper rolls can be used in your children's paper crafts and school projects or as bird feeders and campfire starters.

    Upcycling is great for decorating purposes but it could also be a life-saver around your household (bet you didn't know placing your laptop on an egg carton tray will help cool it down while in use). Plus it can help you save money (why pay for a plastic bag at the supermarket when you can bring your own?). Whichever way you look at it, upcycling can help you live more environmentally friendly.

  • Joining hands with Greenpeace

    Sustainable.co.za is proud to be collaborating with Greenpeace Africa to bring you news, call to actions and events on the good work Greenpeace is doing to effecting Climate and Energy change on our Planet. We will be featuring articles from members of the Greenpeace staff, how you can help with raising awareness and exclusive promotions on renewable energy products and information. Please continue reading below on the action Greenpeace is taking and how you can help.

    Let’s not beat about the bush. All environmental threats are serious, but climate change might just be the biggest threat mankind has ever faced, particularly in Africa. Africans aren’t responsible for climate change; the industrial nations are the worst offenders. But it is Africans who will pay the steepest price.

    The energy sector is the worst offender, creating almost 66 percent of all greenhouse gases. Yet in South Africa, where the government is faced with a major energy supply problem, their answer seems to be the building of more coal-fired energy stations, a 'solution' which only serves to worsen the problem.

    Greenpeace is locked in a desperate struggle to change people’s minds, especially the minds of the country’s leaders. We need to change the view that nuclear power is a cheap and effective solution to our energy problems -- it's not. We want to start a revolution in the thinking around energy, promoting the use of renewable energy sources, and saving the continent and creating jobs in the process.


    How to donate

    By becoming a member you'll join Greenpeace in our work to protect our precious planet and find the solutions we need to our most important environmental issues. You'll enable us to investigate, campaign, and lobby for a sustainable balance between humans and the environment. With your help we'll expose environmental abuses, raising awareness to protect our oceans, forests, and our climate – the very life support systems of our planet.

    Ready to support us?

    We have two options for you! We are working with the Given Gain platform for secure donations. Just click here and follow the steps. Or, if you live in South Africa, you can use our secure form to make your online donation directly.

    Want to talk more? Leave your details here and we'll call you back

    It's the support of caring people like you that gives us the courage and the resources to take on the goliaths in our society -- those who would otherwise recklessly plunder our oceans, tear down forests, and pollute our precious rivers. Greenpeace relies on donations from generous individuals to carry out our work. In order to remain independent, we do not accept funding from governments, corporations or political parties. We can't do it without your help. Please support us today.

    Click here to read more about Greenpeace 'Walking the Talk' and turning their new offices in Randburg carbon neutral.

  • Don't be in the Dark this Earth Hour

    Every year people switch off their lights for an hour as a collective gesture towards the protection of the environment. Unless you have a streak of Nyctophilia chances are that you would, like most people, prefer to avoid stubbing your toe against the kitchen table leg. If you are a shoe-wearing environmentalist, you'd probably prefer to avoid falling down the stairs when your shoes fail to warn you of the impending drop. Either way, some form of eco-friendly lighting might not be such a bad idea. Yes, we seize every opportunity to promote our wonderful products, see the full range of solar lights here.

    On the 25th of March at 8:30pm local time, people across 24 time zones will be coming together to make a noise in the interest of our only terrestrial home. There’s still a lot of sceptics out there, not to mention national leaders who choose to ignore the realities faced by future generations. Sadly, our society’s myopic policy-making is slow to catch on to the real dangers, but governments and corporates are at last starting to shift their stance on this issue that can no longer be ignored. China is finally enforcing stricter carbon cutting measures on a city-level and its notorious law enforcement isn’t accepting lame excuses; no more “the dog ate my emissions certificate” for Chinese factory owners. Freight ships entering Chinese harbours now have to switch off their diesel engins and take on power lines from the port authorities.

    We have all heard arguments that the earth has been through warmer periods before and that the current warming is due to natural cycles i.e. change in orbit over 100 millennia, the latter has off course been disproven. Increasing levels of CO2 and Methane are the leading cause of present climate change, the far-reaching consequences of which are already becoming apparent in ways far more disastrous than with natural warming. These changes are often far removed from our everyday lives yet thousands of children are dying the world over from pneumonia directly linked to hazardous air quality, but the urgency of environmental policies are still being questioned?

    This year we are privileged to be working with WWF and Green Peace to lobby for the renewable sector, an industry that continually has to justify itself and overcome bureaucratic hurdles. Moreover, the 4th Annual Eco Film Festival will be taking place around Earth Hour, as a co-sponsor, the Sustainable team is looking forward to take part in this event. Whether you are at a festival, sitting at a family dinner table or camping in the bush with stars overhead, join millions of people in a mass demonstration to affect change.

    What can I do other than jumping up and down and banging on Parliament’s door?

     

  • 4th Annual Eco Film Festival

    The 4th Annual SA Eco Film Festival returns to Cape Town and surrounds, proudly supported by leading Western Cape ECO Friendly business partners Sustainable.co.za, Ballo, Reliance and Hemporium.
    This years Festival theme is #ChangeIsHere in light of a tumultuous 2016 – which took the record for the hottest global temperatures ever measured, served up several political surprises across continents and saw burgeoning technological advances from driverless cars to falling costs of renewable power – whatever your opinion or beliefs, #ChangeIsHere.
    With engaging and thought provoking program content the Festival seeks to explore what changes are needed, and how our personal change can affect the world for the better. We are proud to be showcasing challenging, intriguing and creative film content from SA and across the World highlighting issues that effect us all, whilst introducing participants, filmmakers and audience members alike to sustainable living choices and life style changes that are available, today.
    With audience Q&A’s, guest speakers and more, this years SA Eco Film Festival is gearing up to create an ever bigger impact than ever before.

    The program covers a broad range of pressing topics, each with a unique approach highlighting the urgency of the environmental situation and offering hope by uniting people working towards a solution. Among the issues covered are population growth and its devastating combined effect with consumerism; escalating global trade and the impact of the massive maritime freight industry, the hidden realities of climate change on the oceans and ideas to utilise this vast resource in addressing water scarcity. The exposé continues with threatened seed banks and the patenting thereof by corporate greed and social injustice still rampant in child slavery. Underpinning these themes is a call to action to protect what we take for granted and debunking an outdated system no longer in line with the demands of the future.

    BEFORE THE FLOOD (96 MINS, USA, 2016)

    Leonardo di Caprio travels to five continents and the Arctic speaking to scientists, world leaders, activists and local residents to gain a deeper understanding of climate change and the concrete solutions to the most pressing environmental challenge of our time.

     

    CAN YOU DIG THIS (80 MINS, USA, 2016)

    These South LA "gangster gardeners" are creating an oasis in one of the most notoriously dangerous places in America. Not a story of science and economics but a story of the human spirit, inspiring people everywhere to get on and "plant some shit."

     

    CHANGE (5 MINS, SINGAPORE 2016 - ANIMATION)

    Constant change is a natural part of Earth’s life, and its interconnected systems can easily adapt to slow change. But the natural balance gets disrupted when changes happen rapidly. Our growth and prosperity are changing Planet Earth, and some of those changes may be forever.

     

    CYCLOLOGIC (15 MINS, SWEDEN/UGANDA 2016)

    Traveling the streets of Kampala by bike is exhausting and dangerous. Chaotic and dangerous traffic, endless queues, pollution, motorcyclists and cars attacking you from every angle. Politicians seem to have given up on finding a solution. But there are a few people who strive to show that there are alternatives. Urban planner Amanda Ngabirano's biggest dream is to have a cycling lane in her city. An impossible task according to many.

    Not according to Amanda.

     

    DEATH BY DESIGN (73 MINS, USA 2015)

    Just what is the cost of our digital dependency? Director Sue Williams debunks the notion that electronics is a “clean” industry. From early poisonous practices in Silicon Valley, to China’s ongoing dumping of chemicals this is a story that isn’t being told - but can no longer be ignored.

     

    FOOTPRINT (82 MINS, FRANCE/USA 2016 – SOME SUB-TITLES)

    Takes a dizzying spin around the globe, spending time with indigenous health workers, activists, and the ordinary people who challenge ideas and suggest changes needed to cope with the weight of humanity’s footprint on the world.

     

    FREIGHTENED (84 MINS, SPAIN/FRANCE 2016)

    'Sea blindness' refers to a shroud of secrecy that allows hugely lucrative shipping companies to shirk labour, ecological & ethical responsibilities. As trade globalises, so do goods and services – at an alarming cost. Denis Delestrac exposes devastating effects of freight shipping & suggests workable solutions that prioritise consumer awareness & commercial accountability.

     

    KAYABIKE (45 MINS, SOUTH AFRICA 2016)

    The life of a kids and their BMX coach training in a South African township (Kayamandi), waiting for competition day. Throughout the process they will learn much more than just how to pedal.

     

    KOKOTA (30 MINS, CANADA 2016)

    Kokota was teetering towards collapse, climate change and local deforestation were the culprits. This inspiring gem shows how unlikely heroes have managed to adapt to a warming climate.The film promises to leave audiences around the world believing that simple solutions really can have huge impacts for change.

     

    LITTLE TEETH (7 MINS GERMANY 2016)

    Indonesia is one of the world’s biggest exporters of shark fins. They are consumed in a soup that is considered a delicacy. Rising demand devastates the balance of the ocean. One surfer in Bali didn’t just stand back and watch - he convinces local fishermen to sell the sharks to him alive instead of killing them. This short includes the release of rescued baby sharks into a protected marine park.

     

    NORMAL IS OVER (103 MINS, NETHERLANDS/SA 2015)

    A compelling film chronicling the way humans have inadvertently imperiled our planet, while Offering changes and solutions, from practical everyday fixes to rethinking the overarching myths of our time. This film is intended to challenge viewers on many different levels but, most of all, offers hope.

     

    SEA OF LIFE (86 MINS, CANADA 2016)

    Sea of Life seeks to inspire change by bringing audiences an eye-opening adventure from the beautiful world of coral reefs. There are introductions to the heart of the environmental movement, meeting passionate scientists, activists, and explorers who reveal an enormous opportunity to rise up and become the heroes the world needs.

     

    SEED – THE UNTOLD STORY (94 MINS, USA, 2016)

    A David and Goliath battle to defend the future of our food, this harrowing and heartening story features reluctant heroes rekindling a lost connection to our most treasured resource and reviving a culture of life.

     

    TAWAI (100 MINS, UK 2017)

    Bruce Parry, BAFTA award winning documentarian, explores what has happened to humankind since we stopped roaming and began to settle. From the jungles of Borneo to India and from the Amazon to the Isle of Skye what has happened to our societies, to our relationships with each other, and how we relate to the natural world?

     

    THE AGE OF CONSEQUENCES (80 MINS, USA, 2016)

    The Hurt Locker meets An Inconvenient Truth, this film investigates the impacts of irreversible climate change through the lens of US national security and global instability. The film's unnerving assessment is not a reason for fatalism but a call to action to rethink how we use and produce energy.

     

    THE CHOCOLATE CASE (90 MINS, NETHERLANDS 2016)

    In 2003, a group of young Dutch journalists began a campaign against child slavery in the cocoa industry. Their journey towards a slave-free world cocoa began as part of a report on a current affairs TV program. Combining archival material with new footage and interviews an inspiring story is brought up to date.

     

    THERE WILL BE WATER (58 MINS, DENMARK 2016)

    With the world rapidly running out of water, British engineer Bill Watts has a big idea: turning salt water into an energy source, and using large desert areas to produce energy, food and clean water. But turning his lightbulb moment into a viable commercial prospect proves a difficult nut to crack.

     

    THE VALUABLE WASTE (47 MINS, NIGERIA 2016)

    Waste management is a problem everywhere. Now, with the cooperation of stakeholders and social groups contributing and participating in managed recycling schemes at a local level, a clean and healthy environment seems a possibility through a sustainable development in West Africa.

     

    WHAT IS REAL (79 MINS, SOUTH AFRICA 2016)

    Join South African director, Jay Mac, as he narrates a world of change through a method called, Jivamukti Yoga. Told through the people that made that history around the world, spanning over three decades including Sting, Russell Simmons, Krishna Das, Donna Karan, WAH, MC Yogi and many more...

     

    WOMEN ARE THE ANSWER (90 MINS, AUSTRALIA 2016)

    Population growth has been left out of the climate debate because it is seen as controversial. The global population has passed the 7 billion mark, but one state in southern India has found a solution. The unique history of Kerala and ‘the Kerala Model’ is outlined, using it as an example of achieving population control in developing countries without coercion.

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