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energy saving

  • 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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  • 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.

  • This Pre-Holiday Checklist Will Save You Electricity and Money

    Snowman on the beach

    The holidays are around the corner (and thankfully so!). Whether you’re leaving Jozi to hit the coast, or escaping to somewhere secluded, it’s time to prepare for the exciting road ahead! Before you head off and forget about home, consider what you can do to make sure your return home is just as much of a pleasure as the adventure forward.

    We all know that January can often be a tough financial month. With the kids returning to school, new books and uniforms being bought, and after the splendour of Christmas your wallet may feel a little empty. However, there’s no need to fret. The energy saving experts at Sustainable.co.za have created a list of simple tips for saving money and electricity while you’re away on holiday. To make sure you don’t leave anything out, we’ve arranged the tips according to how far in advance you should start to implement each step.

    More than one day before

     Shop for Gadgets

    There are a number of nifty gadgets out there to automate tasks such as watering the garden or turning on appliances. When you’re on holiday you don’t want your garden to dry up, and finding someone to look after your home while you’re on holiday can be difficult or expensive. Consider purchasing gadgets that can automate important tasks for you. We stock a range of motion sensing solar powered security flood lights that switch on in the dark when movement is detected with the aim to deter potential intruders. Another idea to think about is to install a geyser timer.  A geyser timer will allow you to set your geyser to stop producing hot water when you’re on holiday and then to start heating water again when you return. Imagine coming home from an epic overland trip to a hot shower, without having to wait for the water to heat up. If you haven’t considered installing one yet, you definitely should! See why in our blog on geyser efficiency.

    Solar powered security lights and geyser timers

    Watering Cheat

    If you can’t get your hands on a watering timer for the garden, we have a simple DIY irrigation solution that will help keep your plants hydrated. Take a plastic 2l bottle and nail a few holes into the lid. Fill the bottle with water, and dig the bottle neck into the soil near the base of the potted plants (full steps here). It’s best to test this drip irrigation before your holiday to avoid any nasty surprises.

    The Day Before You Leave

    One day before you leave: discard perishables (make sure that your organic waste goes to the worm farm or the bokashi), adjust your refrigerator’s temperature, set any timers you have installed to manage your home, and give your garden a final watering.

    Discard Perishables

    No one likes a stinky fridge (or wasting food for that matter) so be sure to look for any food that may go off while you’re away – and don’t forget to check the kitchen cabinets, ants just love open sugar pots! If there’s any perishable food lying in your fridge that you won’t be able take along on your holiday, give it to a friend or someone in need. If you find that your fridge is looking very empty, fill empty coke bottles with water and stack in the fridge. This will ensure that the cool temperature is retained better. The same goes for your freezer.

    Perishables

     Set Your Fridge Temperature

    At this step it’s important to check that your fridge’s temperature isn’t set too cool (an adequate temperature for safe food storage in a fridge falls between 2 °C and 4°C). The same goes for your freezer, the temperature doesn’t need to lower than minus 18°C, but don’t defrost your freezer – it costs more to restart the freezing than to keep the appliance running at its normal pace. Extremely low fridge and freezer temperatures cause unnecessary energy usage.

    Fridge Temperature

    Set the Hot Water Geyser Timer

    If you have a geyser timer installed, make sure that you have it set to go off as soon as you’re ready to leave for holiday, and to turn on again a couple of hours before your return home, so that you may enjoy a comforting hot shower after your long drive home.

    geyser timer

    Water the Plants

    Remember to water your plants right before you leave and to fill up your DIY irrigation lids if you have placed any in your garden.

    Watering the plants

    Three Hours Before

    About three hours before you leave, check that all heaters and air cons are turned off, unplug appliances, turn off your water and gas, and empty the trash cans.

    Unplug Appliances

    Ensure that appliances such as your coffeemaker, microwave, television and computer are switched off, and remember to unplug your phone and laptop chargers. Battery chargers and these appliances consume low levels of electricity when plugged into the wall in what is called “no load mode” or “standby mode”. Saving every bit of electricity counts thus it’s important not to overlook this step.

    Unplug appliances

    If you use a gas geyser, turn off the pilot light and shut down the water heater. You should also consider turning off the connection to your gas stove.  Close off the water to your dishwasher and the clothes washer too, to prevent the odd water pipe from bursting while you’re away.

    Turn off gas

    Remember to take out your trash. You don’t want ants, maggots and flies to have a party in your kitchen while you’re gone!

    Take out the trash

    Fifteen Minutes Before

    Lock Up and Switch Off the Lights

    Lock all doors and windows and turn off the lights fifteen minutes before you leave. The holiday season is associated with a higher crime rate and forgetting to close windows and lock doors can cost you. A good idea is to lock your garage from the inside to prevent clever thieves from breaking into your house from the garage.

    Switch off the lights and lock up

    You're Off!

    Going off on holiday

    The Sustainable.co.za team wishes everyone a safe and wonderful festive season. We’d also like to remind you that our last orders date falls on Wednesday, 12 December 2014 (12:00). Orders placed after this date and time will be processed in the New Year. Our head office will also be closed on 19 December 2014 and re-open again on 5 January 2015 to answer any of your queries.

    Thank you to everyone for your support throughout the year!

  • Fun in the Sun this Festive Season

    The festive season is nearly upon us. Luckily here in South Africa we can enjoy a lovely, warm, sunny Christmas. To take advantage of this great weather, what’s better than having a Christmas braai? Here are some tips to really enjoy your patio and pool in an environmentally friendly way.

    Why Energy Efficient Lighting?

    You can create a fantastical land in your backyard while keeping your family safe with Sustainable.co.za’s range of energy efficient lighting options. Our price range is diverse enough to fit any budget and any need. LED and Solar fairy lights can capture the imagination of your friends and loved ones, while providing quite a few benefits. They may cost more than your average 60W bulb but are definitely worth the investment.

    LED Fairy lights

    LED lighting options have proven to be a better option than standard lighting. Firstly, they are energy efficient; the fact that they produce more light per watt than incandescent bulbs means you save on the cost of buying regular lighting in the long run.  Secondly, they last longer than incandescent lights, so you can use the fairy lights for quite a few festive seasons. They are also more durable and robust than conventional light bulbs, so they can survive any boy’s imagination (or lack thereof). They operate at a lower temperature, which translates to less energy wasted through heat, and can save you a pretty penny on your electric bill. Finally, they don’t contain the toxins that are usually present in incandescent bulbs, such as mercury. Unfortunately, this means that any dreams of becoming a superhero after exposure to harmful chemicals are thwarted. We at Sustainable.co.za like you just the way you are.

    Solar lighting can make a great alternative to LED lights while still reaping the benefits.solar colour fairylights In order for the solar fairy lights to remain enchanting all night, the solar panel will need about 6 hours of charge a day. There are 50 lights per string and the string is about 5m long. They are also rather versatile. You can mount the panel in the garden with the spike, or directly to a vertical surface. And then there’s the qualifying factor that makes them true fairy lights, which is that they can be in either blinkable or non-blinkable mode.

     

     

     

     

     

    Daymaker: Solar Flood Lights

    Keeping your family and loved ones safe is top priority while having fun. The best way to do that, while still enjoying your garden, is by investing in flood lights. All Sustainable.co.za’s lighting options are energy efficient, allowing you to enjoy your garden while saving you money in the long run.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    consol solar jar

    For those intimate festive evenings, we suggest our solar consol jars. Their soft, warm light, which is safely housed in a beautiful 1-litre Consol Classic preserve jar, can create the perfect romantic atmosphere. It is literally bottled sunshine. The LED lights are powered by sunlight which is harnessed through solar paneling fitted on the lid.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Badu Solar pool pump

     

    It is statistically proven that the rate of belly-flops increase during our summery festive season. In order to ensure that they take place in clean pools that also take advantage of the abundance of energy from the sun, it would be a good idea to invest in one of the solar pool pumps.

    Standard electrical pool pumps generally wreak havoc on your electricity bill and should be replaced as soon as possible. We now have a comprehensive solution for your pool of up to 60 000 litres. Sustainable.co.za’s solar powered pool pumps are easy to install and packaged for your convenience – they also have a lifespan of approximately 20 years and require virtually no maintenance. We have a wide range of pumps, all innovatively engineered, to suit your budget and save you money in the long run. Because not all solar pool pumps are created equal; before you buy one, make sure you have considered your pool’s needs.

     

     

     

     

    Amongst the hustle and bustle of this modern age, the moments we share with all our family and loved ones are too few and far between. At Sustainable.co.za, our ultimate goal is for those rare, cherished moments to be even more memorable. We hope you have a very merry festive season of sustainability with all your loved ones.

     

     


  • Gear Up for Winter with Geyser Efficiency

    The leaves are changing colour, the nights are getting longer and South Africans are scampering for shelter as winter arrives in our usually sunny country. Households across the nation will be cranking up the heat in an effort to ward off the winter chills, and of course this also means energy consumption will be steadily on the rise in the coming weeks – making next month’s electricity bills an unpleasantly chilling experience. The good news is this can be easily avoided with by taking better care of that overworked and undervalued home appliance, the geyser.

    While you cosy up on the couch, your geyser will be working overtime behind the scenes to provide your home with hot water – that household luxury we tend to appreciate the most when we can’t have it! Water heating accounts for around 40% of your home’s energy consumption, which means a happily functioning geyser is essential to a warm house in winter. Here are a few ways you can ease the load placed on your geyser during the colder months, saving heat and money at the same time. Continue reading

  • One, Two, Hassle-Free: Simple Steps to Solar Power

    energy-use-reductionOur most recent blog posts have been focussed on educating as many people as possible about the active steps that can be taken to alleviate unnecessary energy use in the home. When consumption has been reduced to the most efficient level possible, it’s time to consider the benefits of going solar.

    Once you’ve taken the appropriate measures we will offer free consultation in the design and supply of your solar power system. It is, however, mutually beneficial if you can supply us with the following information. The more detailed this is, the quicker we can get the ball rolling to purchasing your own solar power kit.

    1. Budget:
      People are often intimidated by the cost involved in a home with solar power. In previous posts we’ve highlighted how, aside from drastically reducing energy use and eradicating your electricity bill altogether, covering your initial cost only takes a few years. Continue reading

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