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sustainable energy

  • 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.

    Continue reading

  • 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

  • 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.

     

     


  • 2012 in Review: Good News and Home Truths

    The sustainable industry has gone from strength-to-strength. We continue to see more people making adjustments in order to practice an eco friendly way of living and 2012 has been no different. Although there are always challenges to be overcome in this ongoing battle, eco consciousness is continuously growing and we’ve witnessed it first-hand here at Sustainable.co.za. Here is a recap of the year through the eyes of Sustainable.co.za.

    Dark Days Ahead

    Eskom had some very big news to share earlier this year that once again demonstrated how important the reduction of electricity consumption continues to be. With the permission of the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa), Eskom have applied for a 16% electricity tariff increase in a third multi-year price determination (MYPD 3). Continue reading

  • Solar panel payback

    The initial set up costs of installing solar panels can be quite intimidating, enough so to discourage many people from making the investment. However, with the help of a reliable company specialising in solar products and services at reasonable prices, you can make your money back in less than ten years, while substantially reducing your overall energy costs and your carbon footprint.

    Solar power is an especially important alternative in South Africa, where the national electricity supplier Eskom has struggled for years to provide sufficient quality power to the population. This coupled with the fact that our climate is sunny and hot for most of the year means that South Africa is one of the world’s best suited locations for producing solar power. Continue reading

  • SA cuts PBMR funding. Are they finally investing in Renewable Energy instead?

    SA government cuts the PBMR budget by 75%

    SA government cuts the PBMR budget by 75%

    Environmental groups around South Africa are welcoming a decision made by the SA government recently to cut 75% of its funding towards the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) Company. Environmentalists are hoping that this is an indication that more money will be put towards renewable energy which is a much more effective way of attacking the energy crisis in South Africa.

    Despite the “good news” for most renewable energy supporters and companies such as Sustainable.co.za, the sudden cut in budget to the PBMR Company has resulted in possible major loss of jobs which could culminate in becoming the end of the PBMR Company.  In a statement released last week, PBMR spokesman said that they were seriously considering retrenching up to 75% of their staff. This would result in a total loss of 600 jobs if another source of funding can not be found within the immediate future.

    Over the last three years, the PBMR Company received over R7.2-billion from the government whereas renewable energy companies have received little to no funding. This is a massive amount as the government was looking towards nuclear energy becoming the saving grace of the South African energy crisis. Unfortunately, the PBMR has bore little fruit for the money which has been invested in them which is why the government has now only allocated R11 million to the PBMR over the next three years.

    Liz McDaid, of the South African Faith Communities Environmental Institute was extremely supportive of the government’s decision:

    "This PBMR programme has been going on from the early 90s and what is there to show for it? Now it appears that it is no longer something on South Africa's development agenda. It would be fantastic if we could now hear the energy minister (Dipuo Peters) say in her budget speech that the money that has been going to the PBMR will go into renewable energy sources."

    Richard Worthington, of WWF South Africa also had positive opinion on the decision:

    "For a long time the nuclear industry has received more state support than the renewable energy industry. We hope this cut in funding signals a policy commitment to investing in renewable energy, and the implementation of the 1998 white paper on energy policy,"

    Ultimately, it would be great if the PBMR could get the backing of an external investor and continue research without the assistance of the government. This looks a slight possibility as there is allegedly a group of high-level Algerian delegates who are interested in investing in the company.

    South Africa should look to increase it’s funding of renewable energy research as this is the way of the future. However, if we can continue research in both nuclear and renewable energy with the support of government and investors, this would be an ideal situation. Let’s hold thumbs for the people whose jobs are at risk at the PBMR, and let’s hope the government allocates the newly freed up budget towards renewable energy jobs and research.

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