get a consol solar jar

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2012-01-24 11:29

We've just got one of these really nifty, and pretty solar jars from Consol.

The solar jar has a wee solar panel in the lid of the jar that stores energy during the day. It then releases light at night; a fun and sustainable alternative light supply - great for when the lights go out (they're threatening blackouts again soon).

The solar panelling, when placed in the sunlight, powers the LED batteries for almost six hours before it needs to be recharged.

And it comes with a little click or ‘switch’ so that the light can be controlled - it is not automatically 'on' and working when you don't want it to be.

Great gift idea, and green credentials - the glass jars are 100% recyclable and on average each Consol Glass container consists of 35% recycled content.

cost: R120/R150

where can you get one? At Consol retail outlets in Woodmead (Gauteng) and Stellenbosch (Cape Town) or on the website www.solarjar.co.za


leaving only footprints

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2012-01-17 13:58

We do one of 5 new trails in the Cape West Coast Biosphere

After another average week, similar to the one most of us experience – rush, dash, hare down the road, swerve round that corner, beat that deadline, race to fetch/buy/get – the drive out to Paternoster did little to relax me.

The sun beat down on us, as we drove towards the slowly setting star that is the source of our energy, and the traffic was, well, it was Friday traffic, need I say more?

But as we strolled down onto the beach in Paternoster and I felt the sand between my toes – no watch, cell phone or child (he's been left safely with relatives) to distract me, bar the camera I hold in an attempt to capture the moment – it is as if I sink into a comfy and well-worn sofa.


home DIY - fun, simple, satisfying, green!

Submitted by ConsciousBabe on Mon, 2012-01-16 14:03

The more I see how much DIY has become a worldwide trend in recent years - due to lack of money and a growing green conscience - the more I am beginning to believe that the recession has helped to trigger society back into a place of creativity and self-sufficiency.

From the Facebook group ReUseConnectionFrom the Facebook group ReUseConnection

From making your own cushion covers to creating furniture from the wood of used Christmas trees, innovative creations have been springing up everywhere. And you have only to look to the internet or your own mind for ideas.


wind generator design uses recycled hard drives

Submitted by incoming on Thu, 2011-12-22 07:39

Hartmut Jagau with the generator he designed using magnets from discarded hard drivesHartmut Jagau with the generator he designed using magnets from discarded hard drivesThe design for a sustainable wind generator using redundant materials has earned a prestigious international award for Hartmut Jagau, a master’s student in electrical engineering at the University of Cape Town.

Jagau won the Student Poster Presentation award at the 2011 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ Energy Conversion Congress & Exposition that was held in Phoenix, Arizona, USA, in September 2011.

His design reuses the permanent

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first bus company in sa to achieve carbon neutral status

Submitted by incoming on Tue, 2011-12-20 15:32

City Sightseeing Cape Town, the company that operates the well-known red double decker open-top buses has become the first bus company in South Africa to be certified carbon neutral.

City Sightseeing operate a fleet of continually upgraded, low emission buses that comply with all Euro standards for environmental impact. The fleet has consistently complied with Euro standards since 2006.

City Sightseeing has also made great inroads into greening the rest of the business and has adopted all the latest available methodology and technology to reduce noise pollution as well as energy and water consumption. The company also recycles all of their waste, which has in turn led to the creation of sustainable employment.


winds of change

Submitted by JimmySprout on Mon, 2011-12-19 13:28

domestic wind-turbine unitdomestic wind-turbine unit

As Eskom keeps raising the price of our local electricity, more of us are seeking new, greener and cleaner, independent sources of power. Not only can 'off-the-grid' power save us (a lot of) money, it is also more kind to our environment than the coal-hungry power of Eskom. Although often more expensive upfront, green and localised sources of electricity always pay themselves off… and once that’s done, guess what? You’ve got free power!

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cycling, walking, best for health and climate justice

Submitted by incoming on Tue, 2011-12-13 10:12

pedestrians make use of the new paths in Durban: pic by Luke Reidpedestrians make use of the new paths in Durban: pic by Luke ReidRapid transit and safe cycling/walking networks are good for both health and climate - and climate experts should consider more systematically how these strategies can reduce CO2 emissions in the transport sector, one of the world's major contributors to climate change, says a new WHO report.

The new report, Health co-benefits of climate change mitigation - Transport sector was released 6 December, 2011 during the United Nations Framework on Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP-17).

The report reviewed over 300 studies on health outcomes from different types of land transport systems to identify those mitigation measures most closely associated with specific health co-benefits or risks.

The review is the latest product of


eLabel technology empowering consumers

Submitted by ConsciousBabe on Mon, 2011-12-12 14:17

At last! A phone app that will help consumers spend money on products they agree with.

'e' is for ethical electronics'e' is for ethical electronics

Voltaire said ‘never underestimate the power of the vigilante consumer' and I also believe that our spending power is something to be taken seriously. Ultimately, everyone is a consumer in some way or other and businesses have a nasty habit of misleading us sometimes.

‘What is the effect of our purchases?’ asks Eitan, project manager of the eLabel team, staunch believers in business transparency and public access to information.

If you are anything like me, you are sooo over greenwashing scams and may have become a little jaded about


interactive climate change centre to be built at v&a waterfront

Submitted by ConsciousBabe on Mon, 2011-12-12 13:24

Imagine there was a place you could go to learn about Climate Change in a fun, interactive way?

The International Polar Foundation is bringing these kind of science centres to the world and South Africa gets to accommodate the first one!!

A small taste of what is to beA small taste of what is to be

(image by Grant Mcpherson)

For young and old, businesses and families, this science society interface will function to provide all the information and knowledge to empower a more ecologically responsible future.

With the recent discoveries on humankind’s specific


machismo and energy planning: time for soft energy paths

Submitted by Hélène Connor on Mon, 2011-12-12 11:38

From time immemorial, mankind’s relationship to nature has been far more adversarial than cooperative or convivial. Man has had to fight and scurry in order to ilk out a meagre living. The contest between man and nature remained vastly unequal until the Industrial Revolution when coal, previously considered “evil” as it came from underground, became widely used and thus changed the face of the earth in many ways. One way was the ability of man to be able to harvest more and more with less and less effort. Technical progress has increased man’s efficiency to such an extent that lately nature’s ecosystems have become overtaxed; they are unable to cope. The result is that these ecosystems can not return to a balanced equilibrium that is necessary to be able to provide  the services that man depends on for survival (clean water, air, arable land etc).

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