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green gifts

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Green Father’s Day Gift Ideas

    It’s getting close to Father’s Day. If you’re stuck for ideas of what to buy for your old man, consider sustainable, green gifts. Your dad will likely appreciate his gift even more if it is functional and not harmful to the environment. We’ve put together a nifty list of green gift ideas for dads. In addition to this we’re running a %5 discount on selected Sustainable.co.za products.

    Home and Garden

    There are a range of excellent braai gifts available that have a reduced impact on the environment in comparison to traditional products such as Eco-logs and Green Light firelighters. Eco-Logs are made out of the recycled by-product generated during the production of grape seed oil. Available in 5Kg bags, these logs are all natural, burn like wood, and provide long lasting heat and hot coals. Eco-logs produce 30% less greenhouse gases, 80% less carbon dioxide and 86% less creosote than traditional wood.

    Also produced from grape seed oil, Green Light firelighters contain no parrafin, have a low odour and a burning time of approximately 20 minutes after being lit. Instead of buying chemical firelighters, consider the green option. At Sustainable.co.za we’re offering a 5% discount on Eco-logs and Green Light firelighters until Sunday.

    Eco-logs

    Green Light firelighters

    For the camping dad, the Eco Zoom - Versa Wood and Charcoal Burner (also on 5% discount) is a super-efficient, environmentally friendly, safe, and portable stove. Originally designed for the rural wood-using market, the stove is also a sustainable, simple, cost-effective and clean cooking solution for campers and outdoor-enthusiasts. By using only three small pieces of wood, this stove has the ability to cook a 1,5kg pot of maize meal in less than 20 minutes, through heat retention, while producing 70% less smoke and greenhouse gasses than open fires.

    Eco Zoom - Versa Wood and Charcoal Burner

    Gadgets

    The Waka Waka Power solar light and mobile charger (at 5% discount) is a lightweight, durable, solar powered charger that will fully replenish the batteries on your phone, and provide  hours of bright, safe light. The WakaWaka Power solar charger charges most phones in under 2 hours, fits into your pocket and is a lifesaver to those who find themselves without electricity. Extra features of the product include a SOS emergency light, an auto energy saving mode, 200% torch mode, simultaneous charging from an external power source, and the light and charger can be used at the same time.

    Waka Waka Power solar light and mobile charger

    The Wireless Weather Station (at 5% discount) is an easy to use weather monitoring system that reads, displays and records the weather data from both an internal and external sensor. Besides the internally measured values for indoor temperature, indoor humidity, air pressure and pressure history, the outdoor sensors will collect and transmit data for temperature, air pressure, humidity, UV index, wind direction, windspeed and rainfall. This a super cool gadget for your home and makes a great Father’s Day gift for the gadget loving dad.

    Wireless Weather Station

    Fashion and Grooming

    Ballo is a South African business that designs and crafts sunglasses locally in Cape Town. All their sunglasses are made from wood off-cuts from local furniture manufactures and other recycled materials. These trendy shades make a great gift for dads.

    Ballo

    Hemporium clothing is running a Father’s Day special on hemp wear. Hemp fabric is an amazing 700% stronger than cotton, highly absorbent, contains natural anti-microbial and insulation properties, and the more you wear it, the softer it becomes. If you’re wondering why hemp is kind to the environment, it grows at a rapid rate in a variety of climates and soil types. Hemp also grows very tightly and improves soil health. Buy three pairs of the Father’s Day favourite, hemp socks, for R100 or spend more than R200 and get a free pair of socks with you purchase. There’s also a 20% discount on selected men’s wear.

    Hemporium

    The gentle anti-bacterial properties of beeswax, soothes and moisturizes the skin, which makes Bee Natural Aftershave Balm a great natural organic product. Bitter orange and sandalwood essential oils have are added to the balm based on beeswax, avocado oil, sunflower oil and raw honey, for a refreshing and energetic fragrance. The healing properties of the balm will swiftly repair nicks and cuts whilst nourishing and keeping your skin supple. You can purchase the Bee Natural range, which also comes in a cinnamon and sandalwood variety, at a range of health stores including Wellness Warehouse.

    Bee Natural Aftershave Balm

    Food and Drink

    Here’s a fun fact, South Africa is the largest producer of Fairtrade wine in the world! Of the 27 million bottles of Fairtrade wine sold in 2013, two thirds of the wine was produced in South Africa.  Fairtrade wine is available at a range of stores. Instead of buying the standard favourites, keep an eye out for the Fairtrade label it adds something special to an otherwise standard gift.

    Fairtrade wine

    If your dad loves biltong, there’s a great family business, Stokkiesdraai Biltong, which produces preservative free biltong. Stokkiesdraai Biltong receives meat from grass-fed cattle that are hormone or growth stimulant free. The business currently offers beef and game biltong, beef and game dried sausage, and their famous ostrich dried sausage made with olive oil is a must try. Their biltong is on sale at: Stellenbosch and Willowbridge Slow Food Markets, Tokai Earth Fair market, Earth Fair St. Georges Mall, Bay Harbour Market, Laborie Lazy Days market, Nitida, and Meerendal.

    Stokkiesdraai Biltong

    We hope that the ideas inspired you to get your dad an eco friendly gift for Father’s Day this year. Feel free to add your comments and ideas if you know of any other products that would make great green gifts and don’t forget to check our Father’s Day catalogue below that pertains to the 5% discount offer!
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  • Top Green Mother’s Day Gifts

    Mother’s Day, the 11th of May, is just around the corner. It’s the perfect excuse to spoil mom with thoughtful gifts which will not only bring a smile to her face, but will also show your appreciation for Mother Nature! We’ve shopped around to present you with our list of top green Mother’s Day gifts:

    Sun Jars

    Solar Jars are ideal Mother’s Day gifts which will light up her life again and again! These fun jars light up automatically at night after they’ve been left in the sun to charge, creating a festive ambience. Of course you can fill them with your favourite treats, too.

    The sun jars are available in various colours as well as an adorable hand painted ‘I love you’ solar jar.

    (Image Source: http://bit.ly/1frUcKI )

    Chocolate & More Chocolate!

    For delicious chocolate that will take care of your mom’s sweet tooth as well as the environment, you have a range of brands to choose from:

    Image source: http://bit.ly/PQYCyl Image source: http://bit.ly/PQYCyl

    Honest Chocolate

    The small artisanal chocolate company is based in Cape Town and offers a range of chocolate options, from bon-bons to slabs to spreads, all dairy and processed sugar-free. Their products are artistically packaged in eco friendly paper, ideal for gifting.

    Available: Selected Pick n Pays, Wellness Warehouses and many other cafes and outlets.

     

     

     

    Madécasse

    This unique chocolate range is produced in Madagascar from cocoa grown in Madagascar’s forests. Their range of exotic flavoured slabs are fairly traded and environmentally friendly.

    Available: Wellness Warehouse and Faithful to Nature Online Shop

    (Image Source: http://bit.ly/1o3zkt3)

    Green & Blacks Organic

    This US-based chocolate brand carries the Fairtrade stamp, being firm believers in taking care of the environment as well as human rights during the manufacturing process. Their wide range of slabs include everything from milk to ginger to 85% dark chocolate.

    Available: Wellness Warehouse, selected Spar stores

    Soylites Candles & Body Products

    slider 2 1680 x 547Soylites is a must-visit online shop for all your eco friendly candle and body care products. Their soy candles are petroleum-free, biodegradable and emit no toxins when burning. Treat your mom with a gift from their sensual range which includes normal and massage candles as well as body care products.

    Eco Stationery 

     

    Eco Friendly Gifts offer a range of green stationary, from notebooks to stationery sets, amongst other green gifts (even Spekboom plants!). All their products are environmentally friendly and their stationery in particular incorporates recycling. Ideal for busy moms!

     

     

     

    Green Meal

    279276tWhat better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than with a wholesome meal? SafariNow has compiled a list of organic restaurant options from across the country.

    From affordable eat-as-much-as-you-like buffets at Organics Alive in Muizenberg, to  freshly made organic treats catering for children, vegans and vegetarians at Organic at Heart in Wynberg, to natural Mediterranean meals with a South African twist at L’Epicurien in Pretoria, there’s a flavour for everyone!

    Foliage

    Image Source: http://bit.ly/1fzkLOb Source: http://bit.ly/1fzkLOb

     

     

    Although a bunch of flowers are lovely to receive, their beauty hardly lasts! Why not make a stop at your local nursery and get your mom a pot plant or even a small tree for her garden? Spekboom shrubs are a great option to consider – they are known for their ability to convert large amounts of carbon dioxide into oxygen, hence their nickname “The Carbon Sponge”.

     

     

     

    Darling Notes

     

    There’s nothing quite like adding a personal touch to Mother’s Day with heartfelt words. Capetonian Charlene Walton from BLANK{space} makes this easy with her range of original cards and gift tags. Her cards are made from 50% recycled post-consumer waste and 50% FSC-certified pulp. Her range also includes quirky wrapping paper produced from 100% recycled paper.

     

     

    Gaia Water Boy Clock

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    Sustainable.co.za’s Water Boy Clock is a playful way to help the mom of the house keep on top of things. The innovative clock simply needs water added to the body to see the time without using energy.

     

     

     

    Natural Body Products

     

    Wild Olive produces nourishing artisan bath, body and perfumery products by hand from natural and organic plant materials. The company is rooted in a deep respect for nature and the preservation of natural resources as well as respect for people, tradition and art. Spoil mom with a product from their wide range including body butters, lotions, hair treatments, bath oils, parfum and face products.

     

     

    Eco Watch

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    If you want to go the extra mile this Mother’s Day, why not order your mom a stylish, environmentally friendly watch? American-based WeWOOD sells wooden watches which are biodegradable, chemical free and produced from recycled and sustainable materials. For every watch sold, a tree is planted – now that’s a gift that keeps on giving!

     

     

     

    Caffeine Fix

     

    Fairtrade ensures that products are manufactured in an environmentally sound and socially responsible manner. They offer the following organic coffees in their range: Bean There Coffee (Rwandan and Ethiopian blends available), Espresseco Biodegradable Capsules, Fabino Coffee and the Woolworths Espresso range. You can’t go wrong with one of these for mom!

     

     

    Mother’s Day is the perfect excuse to spoil mom silly. From chocolate to body butter to sun jars, you can’t go wrong with treating mom with one of these green gifts! Happy shopping!

  • Tis the Season to Go Green

    Whether you’re an ethical eco-warrior or you’re looking to start making small environmentally-friendly changes in your lifestyle, our special Sustainable.co.za Christmas guide will help you to make this holiday season a little greener without compromising on the fun or festivities.

    Consider the Packaging

    Most of us have those childhood memories of sitting around the Christmas tree, surrounded by a flurry of wrapping paper as we excitedly tear our way through our presents. However, most of this beautiful gift wrap ultimately ends up in the bin, which, to be honest, is a bit of a waste of both money and trees.

    • If you’re feeling creative, why not make your own gift wrap? With so many craft supply stores selling stamps, ink pads and a whole range of items to prettify your creations, you can add a personal touch whilst avoiding excess wastage. We recommend using newsprint or recycled paper, and you can even get the kids involved!
    • Gift bags are a much better option than wrapping paper, since you can actually reuse and regift them, instead of throwing them away.
    • Recycle all the Christmas wrapping from the gifts that you receive, and encourage others to do the same.

     

    green xmas

    Light up the Season

    Many people love to adorn their Christmas trees with colourful twinkling lights – and for those who take the festive season very seriously, you will also find all kinds of delightful (pun intended) decorations in the garden, outside the house and wherever else they can possibly find space.

    However, all these light-up decorations can become a drain on your electricity, and we’re all about reducing consumption. Here at Sustainable.co.za, we have a range of LED Christmas lights that use a fraction of the energy of traditional bulbs. Whether you’re looking for fairy lights or rope lights, multicoloured lights or white lights – our wide range of festive items will have something to suit your needs.

    Gift Giving

    This season, we encourage you to shop local and support artisans, crafters and other producers. Items that are made and bought locally have a lower carbon footprint, since they haven’t travelled as far as other products brought in from overseas.

    There are so many craft markets taking place in cities all across South Africa – you’re sure to find a unique, handmade item for the special people in your life. Make special note of the Cape Town Summer Market, which will run from 14–30 December 2013 in the Company’s Garden from 12pm to 11pm. With over 200 stalls selling a range of goodies, a food court and live entertainment, this market is set to be great fun for the whole family.

    The Great Christmas Tree Debate

    There are some fiercely raging battles occurring in hidden corners of the internet, debating the merits of artificial versus real Christmas trees. Most experts have concluded, however, that there is minimal difference between the two in terms of environmental impact.

    Artificial trees are usually made in China, from petroleum-based PVC. They can also last many years, saving you money and petrol, as you don’t have to drive around each year looking for just the right one. Once disposed of in a landfill, however, they also take a very long time to break down.

    Real trees are usually grown on farms, where pesticides/herbicides may be used. However, they have to be grown, chopped down and purchased every year. Once they have served their purpose, these trees are often turned into mulch.

    [According to the National Christmas Tree Association, Americans purchased 24.5 million live Christmas trees and 10.9 million artificial trees in 2012.]

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    If you can’t choose between them, then why not go for a completely different option? Christmas trees made out of twigs/branches appear to be quite fashionable at the moment – and they’re eco-friendly to boot! You could also buy a potted plant or tree, and then decorate it. Once Christmas is over, you can plant it outside. (Provided it’s not an indoor specimen, of course.)

    Think. Eat. Save

    This year’s theme for World Environment Day was Think. Eat. Save – we need to consciously make an effort to reduce food wastage – particularly on a day of excess such as Christmas. Avoid over-catering – cook enough food to comfortably feed all your guests without having so many leftovers that they’ll end up going green in the fridge. Also refrain from over-indulging – do you really need lamb, gammon, chicken and that hybrid monstrosity known as turducken? If you do end up with excess food, please make a plan to donate it to a shelter or those in need.

    The Christmas Spirit

    With the excitement of holidays, family gatherings and presents, let’s not forget the more serious message underlying the festive season. Henry David Thoreau once said “What is the use of a house if you don't have a decent planet to put it on?”, and this quote is more relevant than ever amidst the rampant Christmas consumerism. We’ve only got one planet, and the greatest gift we can give to one another is to live carefully, sustainably and ethically, preserving the natural wonders and resources for future generations.

    green_christmas

    Have a safe, green, and merry Christmas, from all of us at Sustainable.co.za.

  • May: Mother’s Month

    Every single person on the planet is here today because somewhere, a woman became a mother. These special women have been honoured on Mother’s Day (normally the second Sunday in May), since the early 1900s.

    A Different Perspective

    These days it’s easy to write of Mothers Day as a commercial-money-making-racket; but when Anna Jarvis originally became the driving force behind the celebration in 1908, she did it in memory of her mother.

    Jarvis had lost her own mother in 1905 and viewed the day as a special occasion for sons and daughters to acknowledge their mothers. She promoted Mother’s Day as a very intimate day people could spend with their own mothers, not Mothers Day as a general celebration of all mothers.

    Whether you choose to acknowledge your mother specifically, or mothers in general why only do it on one day? Why not be mindful of your Mama, Mother or uMama’s influence on your life for the duration of May?

    Give a Green Gift

    Celebrating your mother needn’t be an exercise in commercially generated chocolates and cards. There are plenty of gifts that are as affordable, as they are good for the environment. Here are a few great present ideas to use on Mother’s Day, throughout the month of May, or anytime you want to thank your mom.

    The Gift of Live

    Planting a tree is a great way to commemorate a special event or person so why not opt for an indigenous tree starter pack? These kits provide everything needed to grow a Sweet Thorn, White Stink Wood or a Wild Olive tree from seed.

    Making Light of Laundry

    The BIOWASHBALL® is a unique device that lets you do away with laundry detergent entirely. All you need to know is that it’s made up out a of non toxic sphere which contains ceramics, rich in micro organisms that clean your clothes, as well as making the water used during the washing cycle suitable for use in the garden.

    Charging on the Go

    This soccer themed dynamo radio will never run out of power, and also comes equipped with three mobile charging adapters meaning mom never has to struggle with a flat battery again.

    Keeping Time

    A great way to help your mom keep the time is a water powered clock. The Water Boy Clock makes use of the latest water technology to power its LCD screen. All it needs is a little water to activate it and the clock won’t run out of power (although the water does need to be replaced every 6 to 12 months).

    Power Traveling

    We’ve got a number of eco products that will keep your gadgets powered up while you travel. The Powermonkey extreme contains a 9000mAh capacity Lithium Polymer battery which can charge 5V devices like iPhones up to six times.  The Powermonkey Discovery is essentially a smaller version with a 3500mAh battery.

    Not only are these gifts environmentally friendly, they’re great alternatives to the run of the mill Mother’s Day gifts and useful to boot. Why not consider a different approach to the day this year?

  • The Greatest Gift this Season: Christmas Gift Packs for a Healthy Planet

    camping-christmas-packThe festive season is a time of frivolity and excess, and it’s easy to get carried away in the excitement of shopping, wrapping, eating and drinking, and to forget about how our activities impact on the environment. To counteract our indulgent consumption, green Christmas gifts are a meaningful way to fill the Christmas stocking, and are also a gift to Mother Nature in return for her world’s offerings. We’ve combined some of our most popular energy and water saving products into delightfully green Christmas Gift Packs, to help spread the meaning of efficiency and green living amongst families and friends. Furthermore, our green Christmas gifts keep giving for years to come, offering sustainability as well as massive savings. View our extended range of Christmas Gift Packs below.

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