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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, 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

  • Green Solutions Become a World Focus

    Nations around the world are taking green solutions and renewable energy proposals from the drawing board, and implementing them in real life. A number of key inventions and strategies are currently being developed, many of them in South Africa.

    Vodacom Goes Green with Solar Power

    Local communications giant, Vodacom, recently made a big commitment to greening its business when it unveiled a new solar panel project in Cape Town; the company’s office in Century City now features the most solar panels on a single building in Africa.

    According to Vodacom, the new panels are able to generate up to 75% of its energy usage, albeit during peak production periods. "The electricity produced will feed into the two main distribution boards and a display panel, installed in the reception area of the building, and will display instantaneous power produced (yield), energy yield and carbon emission savings," the company claimed in a statement.

    Maka Makanjee, Vodacom’s chief officer of corporate affairs, explained that the company is working towards reducing its carbon emissions by 5% per year until 2014. Makanjee said, “Through this particular project Vodacom aims to demonstrate that business can take the lead in promoting renewable energy solutions, thereby stimulating the green economy."

    Green Charcoal the Future?

    Aurecon, an engineering company, in cooperation with Stellenbosch University and the Tshwane University of Technology, have reportedly developed technology with which green charcoal could be made from sugarcane biomass.

    According to Sapa, sugar cane growers in Mpumalanga may soon have a new source of revenue, as the new torrefaction technology creates a use for the previously unutilised biomass. The next step is the running of a pilot project estimated to cost R20m.

    Sandton Businesses Opt for Green Solutions

    Sandton, Gauteng, is the home of big business in SA and recently a number of industry leaders have chosen to make their buildings more eco friendly. Business Day reports that the Twin Towers office complex on 5th Street will be restored and Giles Pendleton, managing director of developments at Liberty Properties, explained that “Our vision is to create the first four-star Green Star SA rated commercial building in the Liberty Portfolio”.

    A little further down the road property development company, Abland, has received a four-star Green rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) for the design of its R1.7bn mixed use development. According to Lorraine McHugh, marketing co-ordinator at Abland, they obtained all 52 points they aimed for. Only 45 were needed to obtain the four-star rating and the company is very proud to be one of the only multi-tenanted buildings with such a rating.

    Another Green Option: Water from a Billboard

    Green solutions are popping up all over the world as natural resources become scarcer and people more populous. UTEC (the University of Engineering and Technology) in Peru recently came up with a world first; a portable water generator.

    Essentially they designed a billboard that is capable of extracting moisture from the atmosphere and converting it into drinking water. Take a look:

     

    Going Green at Home

    Everyone needs to do their share to ensure that this world remains habitable and it is possible to do so; by making a few adjustments to residential properties, significant amounts of electricity and water can be saved. Sustainable.co.za offers a range of products that make contributing to the cause hassle free; ranging from solar panels to LED lighting, water saving shower heads and gas water heaters. It really is easy to make a contribution.

     

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