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HOME living informed today

Issue 19 R29.00 incl VAT 9 772223 540014








SASOL HOMEGAS Bringing your home to life Sasol Homegas is an alternative source of energy for your home. Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) provides energy to heat your water, power your cooker and heat your home for less. Sasol Homegas is not just clean, safe and reliable but will also assist in tackling the current energy challenges and contribute to the economic wellbeing of the country. Aside from reducing electricity consumption and costs, Sasol Homegas contributes to a greener home and smaller carbon footprint. The future is Sasol Homegas.

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JOHANNESBURG 26 Feb - 1 Mar 2015 • the dome, Northriding

create | decorate | renovate Renovation



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PRODUCTS A - Z Hundreds of renovation ideas and solutions, all under one roof. 350 Exhibitors line up t o i n s p i re a n d e n t i c e y o u with the latest in home ideas. Products ranging from A-Z and everything in between! Experts will be there to advise you.

S U S TA I N A B L E L I V I N G Find the latest green appliances, solar powered products, technology and tips from expert ‘green’ exhibitors. Optimise y o u r h o m e w i t h g re e n a n d sustainable living products. The first 20 000 visitors will each receive the latest copy of Green Home Magazine.

Experience home theatre

CINEMA EXPERIENCE Experience the excitement of entering a big screen theatre…at home! Discover two examples of home theatre settings, one a Classic and the second a more Contempo Home Theatre. Bring your house plans and meet the experts!

Visit for the chance to win fantastic prizes or for

Inspiration for renovation

BUILDERS DIY THEATRE Renowned experts giving visitors DIY ideas and solutions when it comes to re n o v a t i n g a n d d e c o r a t i n g t h e i r g a rd e n s a n d h o m e s . A daily programme of experts will inspire you to do it yourself!

r more information

Created by pro’s, enjoyed by you

COFFEE LOVERS’ THEATRE Watch the SCASA (Speciality Coffee Association of Southern Africa) Barista Champ’s battle it out for the regional title. Enjoy the coffee buzz and settle in at the theatre to enjoy the remarkable performances of our budding coffee experts in Gauteng.

Innovation with trends

F L I P T H AT FA N You will be blown away by this fun and innovative display of cutting edge fans designed by University of Johannesburg’s final year Industrial Design students! The final 11 are displayed on the upper level.

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ame changing. Welcome to 2015 and the first issue of Green Home to set the scene for designing a life you love to live. If you are a regular reader you will know I like to celebrate the game changers out there, people who are over complaining about the way things are and go about doing something from their hearts. The more game changers I meet the more I see there is a distinct attitude that pervades within them, one of belief in a better world that they can contribute to with their extraordinary ideas by making something wonderful, coming up with a system that is better than before , connecting people in a way that brings out the best in them (the world was considered flat once) and producing solutions for problems a lot of people thought of as insurmountable. The crazy ones...once upon a time no-one believed we could fly. But those crazy thinkers don’t give up until a solution presents itself. A philosopher and writer born at the turn of the 2oth Century, Elbert Hubbard even then said “The world is moving so fast these days that the man who says it can’t be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it.” In the 21st Century technology is speeding things up but we need to slow down and connect with each other and with the earth we are close to. I spent my holiday in the garden, making new beds and tidying up after months of neglect. I was amazed at how the simple act of weeding a garden patch helped me relax and feel quite peaceful despite a very hectic year. I made a promise to myself that I would spend more time in the garden, more time reading and more time with people I love. Every new year resolutions are made that soon fall by the wayside but in these I hope I remain vigilant. Whether you have already made and broken your resolutions or are still at the starting point of new things, or indeed have decided not to make any at all this year, this issue of the magazine will offer you moments of downtime. Our focus as ever is to bring you inspirational stories that you enjoy and that offer you ideas to try out. I leave you with a quote from a famous sports coach who shook up the players he coached: “The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.” - Jimmy Johnson May 2015 bring you that little ‘extra’ in whatever way you most wish for.


Green Home is renewable and recyclable. Don’t let it go to waste. Recycling reduces greenhouse gas emissions by diverting paper from landfill, reduces litter and creates sustainable business and job opportunities. Visit








HOME living informed today

Green Home magazine is printed on FSC approved paper. Green Home magazine is audited by ABC


Issue 19 R29.00 incl VAT 9 772223 540014







Cover: House Allison. Photograph: Greg Cox





Melissa Baird Nicole Kenny Annie Pieters Elna Willemse, Stacey Sands, Zaida Yon Esther Kabaso Eunice Visagie Linda Tom Gordon Brown, Lloyd Macfarlane, Andrew Fehrsen Chevonne Ismail Cape Media House, 28 Main Rd, Rondebosch. TEL: 021 447 4733 FAX: 086 694 7443 2006/206388/23 4130252432 First Published July 2011 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any way or in any form without the prior written consent of the publisher. The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of the publisher or the editor. All editorial contributions are accepted on the understanding that the contributor either owns or has obtained all necessary copyrights and permissions. Publishers do not endorse claims by advertisers. Space limitations and source format have affected the size of certain published images and/or diagrams in this publication. For larger PDF versions of these images please contact the Publisher. Edward MacDonald, FA Print


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February / March 2015


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TALKING GARBAGE make your own table lamps LANDSCAPES planting guidelines and healthy soils LIVING indigenous gardens and re-purposed living WATER management and technology PRODUCTS chemical free hair colour, moisturisers and homeware COMFORT FOOD drink yourself to good health KNOW IT guide to the nasty chemicals in cosmetics BOOKS South Africa’s coastlines, natural cooking and coral reefs TRAVEL mysterious Emgwenya; waterfalls and sacred stone circles FUTURE LEADERS career guide & gap year options GAME CHANGERS WeCanChange…the World…yes we can TRANSPORT BMW gets electric & transport trends ADVENTURE SPORTS racing towards the Cape Epic RENEWABLE ENERGY singing solar praises, arguing nuclear nonsense

Ten lucky new subscribers can choose one of two books on offer by Jason Drew, South Africa’s most well known, game-changing environmental capitalists. The Protein Crunch and The Story of the Fly And How It Could Save The World are remarkable reading offering stark facts about our current food production methods and the long term threats therein. He gives you the facts, addresses the problems and then with brilliant out of the box thinking proposes solutions that heal the planet, make people money and prevent species extinction. Winner of numerous awards for his brilliant initiatives Jason is an entrepreneur and a leader in the new wave of ‘good’ business and a social change agent of note. Enter via the website: Entries close on 29 March 2015 and the winner is selected via a lucky draw.



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designer decor D



eciding to live green does not mean you have to compromise on design. In actual fact, recycling discarded goods, gives you the ability to revamp and possibly improve on an existing design, without spending a fortune. Recycling is the act of processing used or abandoned materials for use in creating new products. As a creative person I find it really exciting to find a furniture piece or a discarded item on the side of the road. When I do, I try and push myself to find a unique new design, or purpose for the chucked-out piece. Here follows three easy products, designed and made using items others did not need anymore.

BY Lizl Naude

Bedside table with light Many retail shops revamp regularly and throw out very usable items that can serve as furniture pieces. I managed to snatch up these two aluminium table frames from one of our leading pharmaceutical stores who threw out some of their old shop fittings. I also got some supa-wood off-cuts at a local carpenter. With it, I made a very cool dual purpose table. It is a side table that can serve as a bed-side table with a lamp fixture. Here is how to do it. What you need: –– Aluminium table base –– Wood off-cuts –– MDF backing –– Lamp holder kit (with wall plug) –– Round energy-saver light bulb –– Drill and hole- saw –– Screws Start by cutting the off-cuts to size, to fit on the table base. Also use the MDF board and cut to size. This will serve as the back support board. Use screws to secure the off-cuts to the back board and to secure the whole wood unit to the table base. Using the hole-saw, cut a hole in the corner for the light fitting to rest in. Make sure it fits snugly. Assemble the lamp, plug it in and switch on!


Pixar Lamp

I regularly look to nature for inspiration and design ideas. If you look outside, you find all kinds of wonderful décor elements to use in your home. I often pick up driftwood and fallen branches and use them. I loved the curve of this branch from our garden and decided my home-office needs a sculptural piece.

Reading increases knowledge and visiting the library is the simplest wayy to access oceans of knowledge and a great place to unwind . My daughter’s school reorganised their library recently. They threw out the old bookends and I could not resist! They represent the rich history of the school and I like the worn look of the yellow paint coming off. I decided to repurpose the block into a desk lamp. It almost looks like a character from the Pixar movies and I like the contrast of the contemporary steel against the old, worn wood.

What you need: –– Branch –– Water-based paint (in the colour of your choice) –– Paint brushes –– Sandpaper Start off by lightly sanding down the branch. When done, wipe clean from all dust. Lightly whitewash the wood with the paint. Leave to dry and carefully place in a beautiful corner in your home!

What you’ll need: –– Wood block (size in relation to the lamp-base) –– Lamp base (I used a stainless steel base) –– Drill and hole- saw –– Lamp holder kit (with wall plug) –– Energy-saver light bulb –– Screws Start off by cutting a big hole in the wood block using a hole-saw. Once you are done, change the size of hole-saw to a smaller size to accommodate the light fitting. Flip the block so it stands as a rectangle. Drill a hole on the inside and centre of the big circle you made earlier. This hole is for the light fitting to rest in. Once again, flip the block to the other end. Use a normal drill bit and make a hole for the electric wire to fit through. When done, pilot the electric wire through the hole and connect the light fitting. Test if the connection works. Connect the block to the metal lamp base and flick the switch!






BY Matthew Koehorst

The months of February and March mark the transition from summer to autumn in South Africa. The long hot days of January persist, but the days are gradually growing shorter and the temperatures are often slightly cooler than the December and January period. In summer rainfall regions you can still expect good amounts of rain, but be sure to keep your vegetable garden well watered, and covered with shade cloth or something similar during the hottest part of the day to prevent vegetables wilting, bolting or splitting under the heat. Be water wise by mulching heavily, watering during the cooler parts of the day and avoiding over-watering in areas that receive regular summer rains. March in South Africa brings further cooling and shortening of days and, in areas of summer rainfall, significantly less rain. However, it is a month where temperatures and precipitation can fluctuate significantly, as the country moves from summer to autumn, so be wary of hot spikes, dry spells and intense unexpected rain. You can begin preparing for your winter garden by planting shrubs and perennials that attract beneficial pest predators, clearing away spent plants,

pruning existing shrubs and perennials, and preparing or maintaining your composting area. Feed your garden well and begin to plan for your winter planting which could begin in late February or early March. Keep harvesting your summer crops and save seeds of plants that have gone to seed for next season. Lift and dry onions in the sun and pick beans, tomatoes and courgettes as they ripen. Watch out for pest infestations like aphids and cabbage butterflies as your summer crops age and weaken. Cool weather crops should be planted as soon in the month as possible as they need warm weather to germinate and begin growing. Think beetroot, brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, endive, leek, parsley, parsnip, potatoes, onions and chard. Tomatoes and mielies should be reaching their peak harvest period during March, as well as apples and pears. If you plan to ‘rest’ areas of your garden this coming winter by leaving it fallow, consider planting ‘green manure’ crops like oats, lupins and broad beans which fix nitrogen into the soil. Once these plants have reached maturity they can be cut back and added to your compost heap or dug directly into fallow beds.

A comprehensive 12 month planting chart is now available online! Go to: www. publications/ green-home-magazine/


Time for Seedlings to Emerge (days)

Time to Harvest (weeks)























































Bush beans








how can you create it for your garden?


he real secret behind being a good organic gardener lies beneath the surface of the earth. At the heart of any productive vegetable garden is well cared for and nurtured soil. Healthy soil is defined by its physical, chemical and biological properties. To be a good organic gardener, one must continually aim to improve the soil’s structure, composition and biodiversity. If you want to learn how to improve your soil health, it’s helpful to understand a little more about the three main areas of soil fertility. The physical properties of soil affect soil fertility by influencing how water, nutrients and roots move through it. Soil structure, texture and water repellence are three characteristics that define soil health, whereas water infiltration, waterlogging and soil erosion are all physical processes which influence soil fertility. The biggest factor influencing your soil’s physical characteristics is its mineral and organic content. Soil chemistry influences the availability of elements for plant growth as well as the presence of elements or chemical compounds that may be harm plants and soil organisms. The ability of plants to access nutrients is influenced by the presence of the nutrients in the soil, the pH of the soil, the life found to be living in the soil, and its physical characteristics. Biodiversity in soil is important for a variety of reasons including transforming ‘parent rock’ to soils, improving the cycling of nutrients, transforming nutrients from one form to another, minimising diseases in plants and assisting or preventing water from entering the soil. Bacteria, fungi, arthropods, earthworms, insects and nematodes all have their role to play in the biological health of soil. So, to create healthy soil, you should focus on improving the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of the soil.



BY Matthew Koehorst

HERE ARE THREE IMPORTANT STEPS IN ACHIEVING THIS: 1. Know your soil By testing your soil, you can identify what it needs to become more fully balanced. Doing a soil test from your garden is quick and easy and will give you insight into the physical properties of your soil and how best to treat it into the future. Add soil and water to a clear jar, shake it until all the clumps have broken up, and allow it to settle overnight. This will allow you to see what percentage sand (large particles) silt (smaller particles) and clay (very small particles) your soil is composed of. Take note of how much organic matter is floating in the water or at the surface. If there is hardly any organic matter, more should be added over time. You can also buy cheap DIY soil tests to get a basic understanding of your soil’s chemistry, or send your soil into a local soil laboratory to get very precise results.

2. Improve your soil’s physical structure: If your soil is sandy (more than 90-100% sand) work 12-15cm of compost into the top layer of soil and mulch around your plants with leaves, wood chips, bark, hay or straw to prevent water and nutrient loss. Growing nitrogen-fixing cover crops like Lucerne, Alfalfa or Clover will also help create better soil structure and add nitrogen to the soil. If your soil is clayey (40-100% clay) work 6-10 cm of compost into the top layer of soil, and consider creating raised beds to allow roots more freedom to grow and absorb nutrients. Clayey soils pack together very tightly and can become sticky and unworkable so your beds will need to be topped up regularly with potting soil and compost to eventually become workable and productive. If your soil is silty (30-50% silt) you can improve it by adding 3cm of compost a year, avoiding compacting the surface by not walking on beds, and considering constructing raised beds if the earth tends to be compacted or difficult to work.

3. Balance your soil’s pH The pH of your soil indicates if it’s acidic or alkaline. Most plant nutrients are available to plants when the soil’s pH is between 6.5 and 6.8. To improve your soil’s health, it’s important to balance your pH by adding amendments over one or two growing seasons. Buy a cheap pH test from your local garden center to test your soil’s pH. Once you’ve established your soil’s pH, you can adjust it slowly over time to try and reach optimum pH levels. To raise your pH you can add powdered limestone to the soil, and to lower the soil’s pH (make it more acidic) you can add ground sulphur or naturally acidic organic materials like pine needles, sawdust and oak leaves. Be careful to do so slowly and to not expect instant changes. The essence of a healthy vegetable is in the health of the soil it grew in, so take your time in creating healthy soils and it will pay off in the long run for your garden! In our next issue, we’ll take a close look at three ways to create nutrient rich food for your soil and garden!




Aquapol International was founded in Austria in 1985 by Engineer Wilhelm Mohorn. The Company specializes in the dehydration of buildings and prevention of rising damp. Aquapol South Africa (Pty) Ltd came into existence in early 2012 and since then has successfully done over 100 installations. Rising damp is a major concern for home and building owners and constitutes a high percentage of humidity issues in buildings. Left unresolved it can be the cause of structural damage and can significantly reduce the value and the life span of a building. It is also a well-known fact that health risks

exist for the occupants of buildings and homes which carry wall moisture. Aquapol SA installs a rising damp solution that eradicates rising damp from any building made out of brick, stone or other porous materials and keeps the building dry permanently. The system is installed with relative ease by a trained Aquapol engineer and installation can take only a few hours depending on the size of the building. No construction or wall-cutting work is needed. Once the system is installed it reverses the polarity of the water molecules inside the wall and sends the water back into the ground from

whence it came. It uses no batteries or electricity which makes it both ecofriendly and cost-efficient. Because it has no moving parts, it will keep on working for decades on end during which time the building will continue to be free of rising damp and will remain dry even when the damp proof course in the building has perished or is non-existent. Once installed, two free inspections follow over a three-year period. A detailed report is provided by the technical engineer showing precise comparative measurements from the point of installation through to the complete drying out phase.

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INDIGENOUS LIVING Including a substantial potager vegetable garden, free roaming hens and a refreshing ‘re-purposed’ approach to better living, this stylish home is full of surprises... PRODUCTION Sven Alberding PHOTOGRAPHS Greg Cox TEXT Jason Parker





  he muted tones of greens, grey and brown bring a sense of the outdoors in. Filtered light fills the living room, highlighting the collectable Danish classics and mid-century memorabilia, while various vignettes draw your eyes into the mind of its owners . ‘You’ll love it or hate it,’ words relayed telephonically via the Allisons would-be estate agent. Fortunately for Matt and his wife, Kathy, it was love at first sight. ‘I walked in, took one look around and knew it was going to be our new home. We made an offer, it was accepted and within days we’d procured finance. If only buying a home was always that simple!’ laughs Matt. It’s easy to see why the self-proclaimed modernist and interior stylist fell in love with this ranch-style, mid-century modern home: it’s a time capsule of a different era, straight out of a ’50s architectural journal, previously lived in only by the retired couple who purchased it

new. ‘We did update a few things, the electrics and plumbing had to be redone and we reworked the bathrooms. One was entirely duck egg blue, including matching basin and toilet, the other pale yellow and black. And while they both had their charm, we decided to update the fittings. Other than that, we just added a lick of paint, sanded and sealed the original wooden floors and moved in.’ Most of the work was done outside, as Matt—a passionate gardener—went about designing landscapes to match. The front garden brims with clusters of indigenous aloes, crassulas, proteas and various succulents that come alive with colour throughout the seasons—hues of red, orange and yellow, chosen to be a striking accents against the dark grey exterior of the house. The back yard is squared off into partitions planted with form plants: flaxes, wild grasses, restios, bamboo and a solitary prunus tree, divided up by industrial-like concrete pavers.

From left: Outdoor living with a custom-built steel and balau table and Joan Gaspar-designed Lisboa chairs from Sean Williams Contracts. The Nordic cabin-style playhouse was designed and built by Matt, and the custom-made Kreep planter by product designer Joe Paine is filled with exotic cacti and succulents; The front garden is a mix of stone chips, large stone pavers and rockeries, each housing an extensive array of indigenous aloes, crassulas, proteas and succulents; A vintage macramé planter houses a collection of hanging plants.





Custom planters made by local product designer Joe Paine are filled with tropical bromeliads and exotic cacti, their pots adding yellow and white accents. The garden also houses a Nordicinspired wooden cabin that doubles as a playhouse for the children, designed and built by Matt during a particularly wet winter – a ‘labour of love’ in his own words. Heritage koekoek chickens roam the lawn scratching for worms or roost in their mid-century-modern-inspired coop, while Matt goes about picking

herbs and vegetables from his wellstocked potager garden. Back inside lunch is prepared. ‘The kitchen was also redone; we lived with the old one for the better part of two years, but as an avid cook I found it counter-productive. I redesigned it to suit the way I work and opened it up for open-plan dining’. The living room is filled with mid-century modern and Danish collectables, each with a unique story. ‘The brass sconces were made for me in Palm Springs, California. I tracked down the person who designed them for the set of Mad Men and had him custommake me this set in brass.’ Teak collectables abound, matching chairs and sideboard from Duros and an iconic Poul Cadovius Royal System wall unit perches against the ’70s cork-lined

Left: A custom planter by local product designer, Joe Paine, is filled with tropical bromeliads. Below: The Nordic cabin-style playhouse was designed and built by Matt, and the custom-made Kreep planter by product designer Joe Paine is filled with exotic cacti and succulents.

Clockwise: A museumlike curation of natural history – preserved butterflies, living walls of plants and antlers mixed with old prints of new world birds and flowers – is evident on the feature wall; Vintage cameras, still in use by Matt, are displayed on shelves mixed with family photos, books and kids’ toys; n Matt and Kathy’s bedroom, simple Miss Lynn cotton percale sheets are accented with a mustard throw.



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LIVING wall of the dining room. ‘The Cado is a true gem. Much like many of these pieces, they were thrift-store or Gumtree finds. I bought it from an elderly couple, who in turn bought it from the Danish consulate in the ’80s. They wanted what they paid, which was R900 ($90), although today they sell for thousands.’ Vignettes cover many of the surfaces: collections of family photos, keepsakes and knickknacks. Old cameras, most still operational, rest atop bookshelves alongside wooden toys. ‘It’s important for the kids to feel that that this is their home as much as ours, so you’ll find the odd toy here and there, just little flourishes or touches that they add along the way.’ As the children return from playschool they gather around the old inherited piano, which starts to resonate with a happy cacophony. To the right is a chest of drawers filled with Matt’s styling props; above it a feature wall displaying a museumlike curation of natural history: preserved butterflies, wall plants and antlers mixed with old prints of new world birds and flowers. ‘I’ve always been fascinated by the natural world. I still have the first crocodile head I bought when I was 14, and over the years I have been drawn to collecting these

Left: The cork-lined dining room features a ’60s-era Danish-inspired Duros dining-room table, chairs and sideboard, and collectable Poul Cadovius Royal System wall unit filled with keepsakes and knickknacks from friends and artists. Below: Vintage cameras, still in use by Matt, are displayed on shelves mixed with family photos, books and kids’ toys.





Clockwise: A museumlike curation of natural history – preserved butterflies, living walls of plants and antlers mixed with old prints of new world birds and flowers; In Matt and Kathy’s bedroom, simple Miss Lynn cotton percale sheets are accented with a mustard throw; Matt and Kathy’s joint office features homemade shelving and simple plywood backing dotted with laser-cut hexagonal cork pinboards that keep things in order.

natural curiosities. I was born with bowerbird-like tendencies, I guess.’ Despite the seemingly random nature of these collections, they’re neat and orderly, perfectly styled as Matt plies his trade in this home-cum-gallery space. Matt and Kathy’s joint office also has a Nordic feel. Geometric cork tiles on plywood backing hold notes and cards, walls are lined with Matt’s guitars; this space is a sanctuary and escape, if only for a few minutes in what are often frantically busy days. The children’s bedroom is awash with colour, accents against the white walls, and bookshelves overflow with books and stuffed toys as Nathan prances around with his guitar, putting on a show for an audience of one.









think green think environment Tel/Fax: (+27) 011 614 5967 Tel: (+27) 011 614 5786 / 9786 Fax2Email: 086 246 9287 Email: Email: Web:

1.08 1.25 1.88 2.50

40 50 75 100

10 000 10 000 8 000 7 000

1 200 1 200 1 200 1 200

0.03618 0.040 0.040 0.040



6 000

1 200



14.9 16.53 15.06 15.55 15.86


Do you know where your water comes from?

ave you ever considered where your tap water comes from? Have you thought about the process that goes into making sure your water is clean and healthy enough to drink?

Water supply is a complex, expensive process. And because South Africa is a semiarid country we have had to get water from other countries to supply parts of highly urbanized and water-scarce areas such as Gauteng. Most of the water supplied to Gauteng is purchased from Lesotho. In fact, almost 25% of South Africa’s entire water supply originates from Lesotho. While water is stored in dams, treated, pumped to reservoirs for further storage and then piped to consumers, it is important to understand that our water does not actually come from dams, taps or pipes. The healthy functioning of water ecosystems is essential for a sustainable supply of drinking water. Healthy rivers, wetlands and catchments gather, direct and often clean water that circulates in a natural water cycle. For thousands of years humans have diverted and blocked rivers to create storage areas we now refer to as dams. This was especially important in settlements not created around natural water sources, such as Johannesburg. Johannesburg is one of two major cities in the entire world that was not built along a river or harbour, and as a result has had to harness large supplies of water by building dams. Sustainable water supply becomes more necessary as Gauteng continues to expand as South Africa’s economic powerhouse. According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), in order to maintain a sustainable supply of clean water for now and in the future, we have to look at conserving our natural aquatic ecosystems. We must understand their limitations and not strain resources to the extent that they become exhausted. This important task now falls to you, the consumer. Start by understanding your water use, how much you use and where. Then, make a conscious effort to reduce the amount of water you use and to use the water you need efficiently. To assist in this regard, there are numerous tips and articles available on our website. Every individual can make a difference by treating our natural resources with respect. Remember to always be Water Wise.

For more information on Water Wise, please visit and click on the Water Wise logo, or phone us at 0860 10 10 60.






he Western Cape Government has made the green economy a key aspect of its strategy over the next five years and water management is a pivotal aspect of its success. As Larry Symons says, “ If we don’t get it right we will be sucking mud”. Larry is driving the solution to better water management via water metering and the technology can do enormous work in enabling municipalities to manage their water resources better; starting with measurement. Correct metering can enable households to avoid those shocking water leak bills that often arrive out of the blue and enable all water users to see how much water they consume. Water is hugely underpriced and the municipalities that are not enabling their constituents to measure their water end up with unpaid bills that drive the departments further into debt and often bring them to the point of bankruptcy. Correct metering will enable water security and revenue collection without further burdening the poor and when one considers that Africa has more cell phones than water on tap, it makes you think about how technology can step in to save this precious resource. The journey of water begins at the source; most rivers begin as springs on top of mountains and the water makes its way through our settlements to the sea. Dams, reservoirs and other catchment areas are there to capture water and enable it to be directed towards the agricultural and residential sectors, as well as to industries that rely heavily on access to it. As consumers we forget that the country’s favourite beverage, beer, begins as water. That cool drink you enjoy does too. Those lights you turn on each night, the energy you use is dependant on water. South Africa’s coal fired power plants rely heavily on water and without it we don’t have electricity. We have already seen massive social unrest explodes around lack of water. Simply put, without water our society can not function. By installing water meters R 8 billion can be put back in to the economy with a “user pay policy” and water’s true value will be better appreciated and a system put in place to address the immediate crises in water delivery. Use your water wisely. More info : Larry Symington

–– Ensure all taps are fully closed – a dripping tap at 1 drip per second wastes up to 30 litres a day - that is equivalent to 10 000 litres a year. –– Replace tap washers regularly and fit tap aerators to restrict and spread the flow. This saves water yet feels like you are using the same amount of water. –– Ensure your plumbing system is regularly checked for leaks and engage a plumber when necessary.






In the Chinese calendar, 2015 is the year of the ram/goat. This could mean it is the year to be persistent, occasionally stubborn, and be in search of greener pastures. If none of these things sound appealing, one can always adopt the Hindi prediction for 2015 which involves love and peace in the home. Although this should always apply, there are some essentials that we recommend that can assist with creating a healthy, happy home.

COMPILED BY Melissa Baird and Jess Handley

Reclaim design If you feel that the house needs some sprucing up and a bit of fresh air, why not invest in one of these beautiful upcycled items made by Reclaim design. The idea sprung from a brainstorming session in a coffee shop in Mumbai while founders of Reclaim Nikki and Michael were travelling through India. These gorgeous pots, growers and vases are a manifestation of their love for reducing, recycling, and living a more conscious lifestyle. The products are available for purchase at their online shop:

The Owl

Rolfes wood glue

If during 2014 Eskom gave you a run for your money with their exorbitant hikes in electricity tariffs, why not get yourself one of these nifty electricity monitors called “The Owl.” These pocket sized creations are easy to use, as the device is wireless and is battery powered to sit comfortably anywhere in the home, helping you monitor and reduce your electricity consumption. You can order The Owl online from:

And from the beautiful to the necessary, is something that every DIY aficionado should own; wood glue. But this isn’t just ordinary wood glue, this is special wood glue that does a fantastic job, and is also non-toxic. Part of the Rolfes glue range, Rolfes wood glue dries within an hour of application and in addition to being non toxic, it is also odourless. Although the glue is designed primarily for bonding wood types, it is also suitable for bonding leather, felt, cloth, stone, concrete and paper. Rolfes wood glue can be purchased at many stationery and craft outlets.



LIVEWELL Solar Powered Swimming Pool Pumps The biggest consumer of electricity in the household is a hot water geyser that will typically consume 15-20 kWh per day per geyser. The next biggest consumer is your pool pump, which would consume 8-14 kWh per day depending on the timer settings. A Solar Powered Swimming Pool pump is powered solely by two to three solar modules connected directly to a solar powered pump using no mains power whatsoever—a saving of 8-14 kWh per day every day. A typical residential installation including solar modules and pump will cost approximately R 14 000 incl VAT. This equates to a payback period of less than 18 months at current electricity tariffs. The cost compares favourably with a solar water heater or heat pump but offers better value, as this product will run for many years without any electricity cost. Contact Ralph on 076 755 1584

Unique flooring Unique flooring launched itself into the market of laminate flooring in 1998 when it started retailing and installing Formica Flooring supplied by Pg Bison. It has since established itself in the market place and is now pleased to offer high quality laminate flooring supplied by the world’s leading manufacturer—the Krono Group (Kronoswiss, Kronotex, Kronpol). We are the direct importers of Kronoswiss, and have started our own brand called Kanon Flooring, consisting of laminates as well as LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tile). Kanon has been an established brand for thirteen years. We have our own in-house installation teams, and offer a 5 year workmanship warranty on our installations. For any further information, feel free to contact any of our four branches Centurion: 012 661 4438/ 012 661 8520 • Boksburg: 011 823 2165 • Benoni: 011 849 1234 • Montana: 012 548 9080

• • • • • • • • • • • • •

No red eyes or irritated skin Saves electricity No buying chemicals No pollution! Save water – use backwash water in the garden

Urban and rural usage Effluent meets DWA general limit Low power consumption Installed underground Low maintenance Low noise factor Small footprint Manufactured from non-corrosive materials

Tel: (012) 329 0488 Now with Roof Tiles Too~ Fax: (012) 329 0543 Now with Roof Tiles Too~

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303 Voortrekker & Flower Road, Gezina

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C eramic W holesaler

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For All Your Imported Tiles, Mosaics & Sanitary Ware Requirements

Tel: (012) 329 0488 Fax: (012) 329 0543 E-mail :

303 Voortrekker & Flower Road, Gezina

Or visit us at:

C eramic W holesaler

Now with Roof Tiles Too~

For All Your Imported Tiles, Mosaics & Sanitary Ware Requirements

Tel: (012) 329 0488 Fax: (012) 329 0543 E-mail :

303 Voortrekker & Flower Road, Gezina

Or visit us at:

Now with Roof Tiles Too~

TRADING HOURS: TRADING HOURS: Mon - Fri Mon - Fri : 8:00 - 17:00 : 8:00 - 17:00 Saturday Saturday : 8:30 - 15:00 : 8:30 - 15:00 Sunday/Public Holidays Holidays : 8:30 - 13:30 Sunday/Public : 8:30 - 13:30

TilesTiles NEW! and Bathroom Ceramic&&Porcelain Porcelain Tile NEW! Kitchen Kitchen and Bathroom DecorDecorCeramic Tile Mosaic MosaicRoofRoof We got you covered, from Roof to Floor, and anything that in between.

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Mon - Fri TRADING : 8:00 - 17:00 Saturday HOURS: : 8:30 - 15:00 Sunday/Public Holidays : 8:30 - 13:30

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Flora Force Turmerynne™

Solar geyser If you want to try and save on electricity all together this year, maybe think about installing one of those things that everyone says is a good idea (because it really is), namely a solar geyser. If the idea of putting in a whole new geyser seems daunting and costly, there is a great fast growing company in Cape Town named Mr.Sola that not only fully installs the geyser, but offers a rent to own scheme that makes financing a solar geyser much more viable (not to mention the amount you can save on electricity). To see the range of geysers or to book an appointment, please visit:

Love My Hair


Colouring your hair is now possible without having to coat your head in an array of chemicals that literally do make your eyes water. This product is made using botanical extracts from eight plants (grown without using chemical pesticides or fertilisers) that are finely ground into powders and carefully blended to create six shades. The ingredients have been used for centuries in Ayurvedic treatments and are reputed to encourage hair growth, eliminate dandruff and detoxify the scalp by improving circulation. The plant dyes work by coating each hair in a protective film, combining with your natural colour to give you a unique shade as well as a boost of volume and shine. As this product contains no chemicals, results on grey hair cannot be guaranteed. It will however work well for the first signs of grey. Very grey hair may need more than one application. Each box contains 100 grams of dye powder, a pair of nitrile (latex-free) application gloves, 10 ml of organic, extravirgin coconut oil in an HDPE plastic bottle and a detailed instruction leaflet. Love My Hair does not contain any PPD, resorcinol, parabens, ammonia, peroxide, fragrance preservatives or any other chemical. There are no animal ingredients in Love My Hair and the products are approved by Beauty Without Cruelty. For more information email cath@, phone 073 372 4578, and visit the website

Turmerynne™ is a unique formulation created by the South African homeopathic and herbal remedy company Flora Force Health Products to regulate and support all body functions. This natural detoxifier and cleansing formula acts principally on the metabolism, with an anti-ageing effect. It helps improve circulation, stimulates and regulates the heart and blood pressure, supports the digestive system, helps lower cholesterol and reduces obesity-induced glucose intolerance. Turmerynne™ also fights inflammation, eases pain and may even help inhibit chronic disease. Turmerynne™’s active ingredients are a synergistic blend of: –– Turmeric. This spice’s principal compound is curcumin, which research shows has anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antibacterial properties. –– Cayenne, a potent anti-oxidant that supports the heart and circulatory system, reduces cholesterol levels, relieves inflammation and pain and improves vitality. –– Black pepper, also an anti-oxidant, improves digestion, fights infection and stimulates the metabolism. Flora Force Turmerynne™ is available at Dis-chem, Clicks and most health shops and pharmacies or online at Tel.: 0861336723/

Block and Chisel If you’re looking for something beautiful to add the your home that is also made from a sustainable source of materials, locally produced, but still gorgeous, take a trip to Block and Chisel in Diep River, Cape Town and in Illovo, Johannesburg. Block and Chisel supply a wide range of beautifully crafted furniture made from different types of wood, as well as various lighting and home accessories. However, it is really the wood objects that will take your breath away. From vintage style desks to quirky hat racks and modern bookshelves, each piece has been created with such care, giving it a warm, unique feel. Visit the Block and Chisel website to get an idea of the kind of products which are in stock:



Super Summer

Smoothies – DRINK YOUR WAY TO GOOD HEALTH Summer time, long hot days and what better way to begin a beautiful summer’s day than with a delicious, healthy smoothy that will nourish and energise you. Here are five amazingly simple recipes that you will love trying.




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1/2 Cucumber 1 whole lemon (just cut end nubs off ) 1 handful of spinach 1 banana 2 tbsp of green super-food powder 1 tbsp of organic flax power 1 cup of frozen pineapple 2 scoops of organic yogurt Coconut milk/Water

2 3


COMFORTFOOD –– –– –– –– –– ––

A few handfuls of spinach and kale 1 Banana 1-2 cups of frozen berries 1 whole lemon (just cut end nubs off ) 2 tbsp of organic chia seeds Water

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1 cup of carrots 2 tbsp of organic flax powder 1 tsp of bee pollen 1 whole lemon (just cut end nubs off ) 2 oranges 1 banana A few slices of grapefruit or 3 drops of grapefruit oil 2 scoops of organic yogurt Water/Coconut milk

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1 mango 1 cup of carrots 1 apple 1 banana


At the heart of the unripe, green-shelled coconut lies water from a veritable fountain of youth. Not to be confused with coconut milk, this clear beverage is loaded with potassium, magnesium, calcium, and electrolytes. It is also low in sugar and 99% fat free – sipping just one of these slightly sweet treats is enough to noticeably elevate mood; two servings hydrates the body after a long workout at the gym, and three can annihilate even the most persistent hangover. From the unspoiled shores of Costa Rica and Panama to the idyllic beaches of India and Africa, the water from this exceptional nut has long been prescribed as a holistic treatment for headaches, fevers, obesity, kidney stones and even the pains of pregnancy. In fact, the sterile substance is so metabolically complete that it can be infused directly into the human bloodstream instead of saline—a practice often utilised

in emergency situations during the Vietnam War. As an added bonus, coconut water also promotes weight loss—and at 45 calories per serving, even the most dedicated dieter can guzzle them down guilt-free. After soaking up the health benefits of this invigorating drink, don’t forget to slice open the shell and devour the milky fruit inside. Try this delicious Coconut Juice Smoothie recipe: –– –– –– –– –– ––

1 Cup coconut juice 2 Mangos 2 Tbsp honey 1 Cup strawberries ½ cup Greek yogurt 2 bananas

–– Place coconut juice in ice trays and leave until frozen. –– Combine roughly 12 coconut ice cubes with other ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth

Recipes 1-4 : Courtesy of Jenna Barrington.. recipe 5: Original recipe taken from:



Orange oil is an essential oil produced by cells within the rind of an orange fruit. In contrast to most essential oils, it is extracted as a by-product of orange juice production by centrifugation, producing a cold-pressed oil. Being a common constituent of many beauty skin care products, orange oil has many healing properties and is used to heal cracked and dry skin. Extracted from bitter orange as an essential oil, neroli is known to slow down the process of aging and strengthen sensitive skin. In South Africa a large % of the population wash their clothes, dishes and their homes by hand, coming into contact with detergents and the harsh chemicals that that they posess daily. With orange oil as the main ingredient the Triple Orange range just makes sense! TRIPLE ORANGE™ soaps are emulsifiers which contain no synthetic chemicals, petroleum distillates, or alcohol. The products are concentrates and can be diluted with water. They are: • ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY • BIODEGRADABLE AND • NON-TOXIC What could be better than a range of cleaning products that are capable of handling the toughest industrial cleaning problems, while remaining safe to use in and around the home, around children and animals!


Speak to our experts: 011 023 7208 • •




BY Melissa Baird


ith increasing awareness of the dangers of many ingredients, consumers are opting for safe alternatives like the products we feature in this magazine which are innovating and using natural ingredients that do not harm you over time. Here is a handy list of what to look out for when you read your cosmetic labels: FORMALDEHYDE was used frequently in the past as an active ingredient in nail hardeners and a preservative in many creams and still features in some cosmetics today, despite being banned internationally over 20 years ago due to its carcinogenic activity. PHTHALATES, absorbed through the skin, act as hormone disruptors, especially risky during pregnancy. All perfumes contain carrying concentrations. Cosmetics containing “parfum” are also affected. PRESERVATIVES (parabens, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, quaternium-15) are under investigation. Cosmetic houses have been asked to remove these ingredients, shown to be linked to breast cancer and skin irritation. SODIUM LAURYL SULPHATE and sodium laureth sulphate have a harsh drying effect on the skin. Sodium lauryl sulphate forms the base of conventional washing powders, dishwashing liquids, is used to remove motor grease from workshops floors and features in 90% of bubble bath formulations. TRIETHANOLAMINE is a pH-regulator avoided due to the possible presence of the harmful toxin 1,4 dioxine. Cosmetic companies have been asked to exclude it and while some have switched to sodium hydroxide (cuastic soda), and the costlier, but mild and conditioning, jojoba derivative. CYCLOMETHICONE and its derivative cyclopentasiloxane are light and increasingly popular due to the velvety after-feel, despite concern that both can penetrate the dermis. Research is underway to determine the toxicity. Evidence already shows that cyclopentasiloxane is toxic to our waterways. MINERAL OIL, a by-product of the petrol refining processes that often lead to dehydration and sensitivity. ISOPROPYL MYRISTATE, a popular thickener, has suspected comedogenic (pore-clogging) effects, especially in teenagers.

Further research Google: “not too pretty” and “the toxic trio.








CLEAN HOME. CLEAN CONSCIENCE. Offering an extensive range of natural, high performance probiotic solutions for home use and professional housekeeping.

& CA








Green cleaning PROBAC® technology follows the simple principle that ‘nature cleans best’. The primary ingredients in PROBAC are selected blends of highly concentrated, completely safe beneficial bacteria (probiotics), selected from nature for their ability to biodegrade dirt and waste. PROBAC also incorporates leading edge high performance green chemicals from natural, biodegradable, renewable and sustainable botanical resources. PROBAC offers a unique distinction in green cleaning, giving the end-user exceptional cleaning and odour control as well as the effective accelerated break down of waste matters in a natural biodegrading process. “Traditional cleaning with chemicals, (good or bad) results in ‘lifting and shifting’ dirt and waste along with the chemicals, which all transfer to the environment as a pervasive toxic mix. PROBAC simply uses the same good bacteria that nature does. Probac formulations have billions of these good bacteria that can be put exactly where they’re needed like surfaces, drains, washing dishes and clothing, deep cleaning and achieving super-fast biodegradation, cleaning the way

nature intended, just a million times quicker. The result is an amazing technology shift, free of nasty chemicals, one that works in harmony with Mother Nature. PROBAC has gone beyond ‘friendly’, every drop being ‘good’ for the environment, and this new generation cleaner is now being widely accepted as the worlds most advanced cleaning technology.

PROBAC uses natures own probiotics, mimicking the natural process of biodegrading – cleaning the way nature intended.

Incorporating new generation biotechnology, PROBAC offers a total solution in their extensive range of natural, high performance household and commercial cleaners. Partnering with PROBAC allows customers and consumers to differentiate, add value, practice environmental leadership, and apply environmental ‘best practice’ in the home and business. PROBAC uses the concept of probiotics to clean many different environments and the positive effects in the home and business reach far beyond the point of use, right to our rivers and oceans.

It’s all about the process being green PROBAC must not be confused with ‘biodegradable’ or ‘green’ chemicals. With PROBAC, it’s all about the ‘process’ being natural, and not just the contents, which of course are naturally organic, biodegradable and green anyway. PROBAC restores sustainable microbial stability in our home and the environment, and is completely safe to use. PROBAC achieves microscopic deep cleaning, leaving good bacteria behind to continue the fight, keeping surfaces cleaner for days after cleaning, and prevents bad bacteria at the same time – something other cleaners cannot do effectively. PROBAC is vital for the good health of your family and our natural environment. It makes sense, cleans brilliantly, and “doesn’t cost the earth®”.

More than biodegradable Most chemical substances tested for their ability to biodegrade are tested in perfect laboratory conditions. That means a relatively neutral pH, nutrient supply, and enough micro-organisms. But these conditions are rarely found in our natural environment. ‘Biodegradable’ chemicals may take much longer to biodegrade than claimed. PROBAC probiotics have a built-in biodegradation effect creating the ‘perfect conditions’ for biodegradation. This results in minimal chemical transfer into waste-water and the environment. Simply put – PROBAC effectively biodegrades its own chemical element.

Why choose PROBAC? –– –– –– –– –– –– –– –– –– ––

Proven Performance Low Oral, Dermal and Inhalation toxicity Low Aquatic Toxicity 100% Sustainable Ingredients 100% Readily Biodegradable Ingredients Built in self-biodegrading mechanism No Indoor Pollution No Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) No Toxic Ingredients GOOD for Septic Tanks, Bio-digesters and Grey Water Systems

PROBAC mimics the natural process of biodegradation, establishing healthy biostability in your home or business, while cleaning and combating bad germs in a safe and sustainable manner.

Available in leading supermarkets or online at Commercial enquiries: 031 579 2491;




Books etc. T his edition’s book choices take you on journeys around our country and its coasts, and also on journeys of discovery relating to hobbies and interests - from natural cooking to photography and the ocean. There are two beautiful photographic treats – one of which examines the history of photography, while the other features awardwinning images of our local coastlines. A book on the creatures of our reefs builds on the theme of our coasts, and there is also a useful aid for planning journeys througout all of South Africa.

REVIEWS Lia Lubuschagne

Photography: the Definitive Visual History

Edited by Anthea and Tony Ribbink and with a foreword by renowned marine scientist Sylvia Earle, South African Coasts showcases the best photographs among the entries for the Sustainable Seas Trust 2013/2014 competition. The Sustainable Seas Trust (SST) is a charitable organisation engaged in conservation and poverty alleviation through education—and the proceeds of the book will be used to benefit coastal communities—especially children whose families depend directly on the sea for food. The award-winning photographs are accompanied by essays by a number of champions of the South African oceans. Among others, well-known marine scientist Professor George Branch writes about the origins of diversity in the sea, concentrating mainly on invertebrates and algae. Judy and Bruce Mann, of the SA Association for Marine Biological Research (SAAMBR), write about fish and mammals, while Professor Charles Griffiths, Director of the Marine Biology Research Centre at UCT concentrates on new species and novel observations. Sport and recreation along the coasts also come into the spotlight with a contribution about sea kayaking in South Africa by Johan Loots. Kim van Kets, the founder of the SA Sea Kayak Society and a trail runner who circumnavigated South Africa in a 6772-km journey along its entire perimeter on foot, bike and kayak in 2011, writes about the joys of running on a beach alone. Since the book also marks the establishment of the first Hope Spots—peopleoriented marine conservation areas—researchers and conservationists directly involved with the different Hope Spots also contributed short items on each of those areas. Struik Nature, ISBN 978 1 77584 211 8




South African Coasts

This beautiful new hardcover book by award-winning photographer and author Tom Ang is an absorbing journey through the history of photography. One of Ang’s earlier books, The Digital Photographer’s Handbook, has been translated into twenty languages and sold over half a million copies. Having exhibited internationally as university lecturer in photography for 12 years, Ang was well equipped to compile an overview of the history of his craft. He uses iconic photographs to tell the story of photography from its origins in the 19th Century, where it was available only to the very few, until today’s era of digital photography where most of us have access to digital photography through our mobile phones and cameras. Ang weaves interesting technical information about the art and craft of photography into this beautiful volume that among others pays tribute to the masters: featured among others are profiles fifty of the most famous photographers. He also tells the detailed stories of some of the most of the iconic photographs ever taken, and analyses them to show exactly what made them special. This is intended for anyone who appreciates the art and craft photography, and who wants to gain a deeper insight into its powerful role in capturing dramatic moments in history—but also for anyone with an eye for a good picture, or who wants a collection in one volume of some of the best photographs since the first images were taken until today. Dorling Kindersley, ISBN 978-1-4093-4645-6

— Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!


The Natural Cook Good cookery books make you hungry. The best ones also entice you to think green and make use of locally-produced ingredients. British chef Tom Hunt’s The Natural Cook: eating the seasons from root to fruit make you want to drop everything else and invade your kitchen with renewed zeal to become a better cook, but also one who thinks green without being boring. Hunt’s bases his whole food philosophy on thrifty cuts of meat, seasonally sourced fish and seasonal vegetables. His own restaurant in Bristol won the Best Ethical Restaurant award at the Observer Food Monthly Awards in 2013, and 75 per cent of his ingredients come from within a 80-km radius of the restaurant. The excellent photography by Laura Edwards contribute to make his dishes look mouth-watering, but mainly it is his enthusiasm for natural, efficient and clever way of using ingredients —to make best use of all the edible parts of plants, and to use leftovers in imaginative ways—that captures the imagination. Divided into the seasons from Spring to Winter, Hunt concentrates on 26 ‘hero’ ingredients – mainly vegetables and fruit, but also including some meat and fish - for each of which he first presents three techniques, and then three recipes with further variations and ideas. The book is not presented as a cookery course, but it could certainly make better cooks of many of us – or at least people who cook and eat well, in season, without wasting. Although the book is of British origin, most of the ingredients can be sourced locally as well. But mainly it is Hunt’s message and approach, with mouthwatering ideas for wholesome cooking which makes it as useful locally as it would be in Europe. Quadrille Publishing, ISBN 978- 1-84949-418-2

The Reef Guide Paging through The Reef Guide for the east and south coasts of Southern Africa opens up an underwater world of the beautiful creatures found in and around our coastal reef areas. Denis King and Valda Fraser combined their knowledge about the topic, scuba-diving experience and photographic skills to create a guide that covers some 800 species of reef fishes and invertebrates. Divided into six sections—on fishes, sea anemones and corals, marine worms, shrimps lobsters and crabs, molluscs, and starfish, sea urchins and sea cucumbers—the information and photographs will help divers as well as rock-pool enthusiasts, fishermen and others to identify the different species. The text containing some basic information about each species includes common and scientific names, brief physical descripions and some notes on habitat and behaviour. Each description is accompanied by colour photographs – clearly the result of dedicated study of the wondrously diverse and rich variety of life found along our coasts. Since it covers not only our own coasts, but the entire east coast of Africa and the islands of the western Indian Ocean (Seychelles, Mauritius, Reunion, Madagascar, the Comoros and the Maldives), this book would also be useful for visitors to those areas known for the beauty and diversity of their reef areas and their underwater creatures. Struik Nature, ISBN 978-1-77584-018-3

South Africa for South Africans South Africa is a large country, and we are used to long distances between major towns and cities. It is also a country rich in diversity in terms of its natural beauty, areas of cultural interest, climate, opportunities for outdoor activities and holiday attractions. Most of us have some special favourite places to stop at along the way, but there is always more to discover. South Africa for South Africans by Mariëlle Renssen and Hirsh Aronowitz covers the entire country from the perspective of 23 routes of varying distances. This user-friendly guide will help to make weekend or holiday travel – or even business trips by car—more interesting. It gives brief overviews on things such as mountain passes, nature walks, cultural sites, wine farms and the wildlife of a particular area. Together with traditional maps, other aids are provided with the modern traveller’s commonly used technology in mind: GPS coordinates are given for all the destinations mentioned, as well as QR codes to scan via phone or mobile, and links to additional website content. Particularly useful for planning to be at the right place at the right time, are the calendars of events and seasonal information for the various areas. Although not intended to be comprehensive, there are also some accommodation pointers which would be useful as a starting point for first-time visits to a particular area. Map Studio ISBN 978-1-77026-515-8





Exploring Emgwenya and it’s ancient stone structures BY Matthew Koehorst


mgwenya, previously named Waterval Boven, is a small, sleepy and historic town situated just above the stunning Elands River falls, 260 km east of Johannesburg. Established in 1894 as a railway depot, the town served as an important stopover for steam engines bound between Mozambique and what was then the Transvaal Republic. The town used to be a cacophony of chugging steam engines, screaming whistles, raucous train workers and preachers whose sermons were often drowned out by the sounds of industry. Once steam power was phased out of South African locomotion in the 1960s, Waterval Boven began to fall off the radar of industry and economy. The railway workers’ houses were sold to pensioners, the soot settled, and the echoes of the trains faded away. These days, Emgwenya is an



international hotspot for rock climbing, a popular local destination for trout fishing with some of the most renowned fly fishing in the region, and a fantastic place for a peaceful weekend away. If you are looking for a getaway to a small town that’s affordable, abundant with natural beauty, relaxing landscapes and the potential for some adrenalin-filled mountain biking, rock climbing and fishing, look no further than Emgwenya. But is there more to the history of this area than just a small, once busy, now quiet, locomotive town? If one explores the rolling, sun scorched and fire blackened hills surrounding the town, you may notice clusters of small trees, gnarled and aged dotted across the landscape. On closer inspection, it becomes apparent each of these clusters of trees is surrounded by low, curved circles of stacked rocks. These circles of

rocks are connected by walls of stones lying just beneath the long grass. The landscape feels ancient, weather worn and rounded, and these walls of balanced stones share that feeling. The rocks are well settled in their places amoung these semi-hidden structures, and the lichen growing on them hints at the many thousands of years they’ve spent lying on the surface of the earth. The origins of these mysterious walled structures, found across Mpumalanga, most densely in the hills of Machadodorp and Emgwenya and said to be numerous beyond measure, are shrouded with a murky and uncertain history. The sheer scale of the structures, which vary from meters to hundreds of meters in size, boggles the mind and brings up some obvious, but difficult to answer questions- Who made these walls and why did they do it?


Stones piled high within a large circle. Many of these ancient circles fall on farmers land and have yet to be documented or mapped.

The beautiful Eland’s River waterfall that Waterval Boven (literally “Above the Waterfall”) was originally named after. An ancient circle of stones, believed by academics to be used as a Kraal, has no entrance for animals and is shaped like a magnetron

Despite the size and magnitude of the estimated 20 000 ruins in the province, very little formal academic interest has been shown by archaeologists from the area. In fact, in an early observation of the structures, experts ruled that the circles were ‘of little historical importance’, and were most likely kraals used by old tribes. This does not, however, account for the fact that each and every one of the circles lacks an entrance to allow lifestock to pass through and that the sheer number of people required to build such large structures must have numbered in the tens of thousands, a far greater population than what is thought to have lived in the area. These days, Michael Tellinger, an independent researcher, Ubuntu Party founding member, author and alien theorist fascinated by the rock structures is pushing the theory behind these circles into extra-terrestrial territories. To Tellinger, the circles exhibit ‘obvious’ signs of being constructed with the purpose of harnessing and channelling energy from the earth for transmission to alien space ships by a population of humans that had been established to mine gold for these otherworldly beings. Is it possible that before we started mining coal for fuelling our own transportation needs,

Emgwenya is home to some of the world’s most spectacular rock climbing locations

there was another species using the Waterval Boven area as a pitstop for their own unknown intergalactic travels? It is said that history repeats itself, but maybe that’s going too far. Despite academic scepticism of Tellinger’s theories on the circles, there is little doubt that their origins are mysterious and there is a history in the landscape of the region that we just can’t be sure about. If your alien senses are tingling, your adrenal glands in need of a workout, your fishing skills need honing, or you’re merely in need of some down time, why not take a weekend to visit Emgwenya and see what the Mpumalanga foothills have to offer.

To find out more about the ancient rock structures of Mpumalanga or to book a tour to see these structures yourself, visit For more information on rock climbing in the area visit For information on trout fishing in the area visit the Waterval Boven Trout Association website,



WATNEY DESIGNS Watney Designs is a Johannesburg based business that started back in 2011 when father-and-son owners Grant and Warric Dyers started making decor out of unique second hand building material. They had tons of ideas but were short of manpower. They then took on the initiative of providing jobs for the vast amount of unemployed youth in the neighbourhood. With the major rejuvenation of infrastructure going on in and around the Johannesburg CBD, this was a great opportunity to create jobs and recycle the materials that are being thrown out. Now their team of talented carpenters, shop-fitters and picture framers have devoted their time to keeping the history of this great city by designing and creating modern, trendy furniture and decor .

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Millennials are arguably one of the most fortunate generations in the human line of succession. With ample access to information, the most up to date technology, as well as the previously almost unheard of luxury of freedom of choice when it comes to picking a career. Apart from the occasional exception, generation Y are beneficiaries of various career opportunities have evolved as a result of constant development in an ever globalizing world. Twenty years ago, it would have been odd to meet a digital analyst, a water security programme manager, or even a carpenter that specialises in eco design. But even today’s mushrooming job market lends itself to a more traditional saying; namely that it takes all types to make a world, and even the most undervalued trades often form a vital part in the efficiency of a society. For example, “I will never need a plumber”- said no one ever, and although plumbing may not be the most glamorous of trades, it can certainly prove to be a lucrative one. To practice the art of plumbing, one will need to complete a course and gain a certificate in order to register as a plumber. The duration of the course depends on where one chooses to study, as some courses are designed for full time students while others are shorter in order to provide company employees the chance

to up skill. For students, the False Bay College in Cape Town offers a three year training certificate programme that teaches theory as well as having a practical component. For those of you who enjoy beautifully crafted furniture and home accessories (especially the handmade kind), exploring opportunities within the realm of design and carpentry might be a worthwhile exercise. Just as with plumbing, South African students can obtain a national certificate in construction carpentry after completing a three year course. Each training year is divided into theoretical and practical components where students will learn about various aspects of carpentry such as cabinet making, construction design as well as necessary work place skills including health and safety. One can apply to do a course in carpentry at the Africa Skills TVET College, an accredited SETA college which has training centres in the Northern, Western and Eastern Cape. If you find that you are more artistically inclined, there is a host of design courses offered for school leavers, from fashion design to interior decorating. LISOF, located in Johannesburg and Pretoria is the leader in fashion training in South Africa, and they offer a unique, one-onone teaching approach about the fundamentals of fashion design,

as well as bespoke, individual training in the practical item making component for each of their students. Due to its good reputation, LISOF also has a high placement rate and assists their students in developing skills required by the industry. LISOF also has a satellite campus in Cape Town which offers part time short courses and workshops. Still in the line of creating beautiful things is Chapters Interior Design Company, which offers tailormade courses for individuals, as one can sign up for an individual workshop in the course, or chose to do the entire course as well. Run out of our interior decorating and framing studio in Johannesburg, all courses focus on practical learning and the application of skills. If you’re a creative but are also technologically inclined, there are many routes to take that can evolve into a career in digital design. For example, animation, graphic design or even games design all sit within the realm of digital creativity, and where there is a particular stream of digital design, there is a place where one can study. Inscape Design College, AAA school of advertising, The Animation School in Johannesburg and Cape Town and The Red and Yellow School, are just a few examples of the places where one can complete courses in various streams of digital design.

False Bay College plumbing course: Africa Skills TVET College course in Carpentry: www. LISOF: Leaders in the science of fashion design: Chapters Interior Design Company: Inscape Design College: AAA school of advertising: The Animation School: The Red and Yellow School:




COMMIT TED TO SUSTAINABILIT Y We love sustainability, it’s such a great word to use. It makes us look amazing. We put it on everything – even our packaging. We love it. Sustainability.





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2014/06/23 2:45 PM



AUTHOR Jess Handley

If you have yet to decide on a chosen career path and what to study, there are plenty of ways to spend a ‘gap’ year. As globalisation is upon us, and means of travel are becoming more and more accessible, travelling to distant, foreign lands is becoming more of an exciting reality than a far off dream. However, as the fad of the “Eurotrip” may weigh heavily on the budget due to the current exchange rate, there are other ways to see the world that require much less in the way of expense, and may even prove to be more rewarding, take for example, Wwoof-ing. WWOOF – World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms was founded in the UK in 1971 and has grown to encompass almost every country on the planet. The online network connects hosts with potential volunteers and publishes lists of organic farms and smallholdings that welcome volunteer help at certain times of the year. From Chile to Sri-Lanka to Macedonia -there are a multitude of interesting locations where wwof-ing takes place. The diversity of hosts provides opportunities for a wide variety of people with different skill sets who want to work in gardens, on nature trails, with animals, or even cook and apprentice artists. The best part is that it is not like typical “voluntourism” where a standard fee is set for those who opt to go the volunteering travel route. Volunteers do not pay for their stay and live as part of the host family with all accommodation and food expenses covered. All that is required is a genuine interest in learning about organic food production, country living or ecologically sound lifestyles and a willingness to help their hosts with daily tasks for an agreed number of hours. In return there is the opportunity to travel to places they may not have dreamed of before and learn more about life in different lands in a sustainable way. To find out more, visit





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Clockwise from top: Bead work made from recycled materials by exoffenders are popular with tourists; Cheryl Harper, game changer and founder of WeCanChangeOurWorld; Graham Pickard, partner of WeCanChangeOurWorld; Students at Brother’s for All being trained on content management in Langa

In the “green” sector, they are working with the following NGO’s: –– GreenPop –– Clean C –– Soil for Life –– Waste to Food –– Green Life Store –– Trees SA –– Cape Town Partnership –– EarthChild projects –– Foodbank SA –– Hands of Honour –– Hippo Water Roller project –– Lavender Hill –– Plant a Future

You can become a game changer and participate within the online community by registering on the portal or contact Cheryl via email:

Cheryl Harper is a lady who does not take no for an answer and her work to connect, collaborate and inspire change is having enormous positive impact in social transformation and upliftment of communities who need help the most. She is the master mind of WeCanChangeOurWorld an online network and platform working towards social development and transformation in South Africa. I have known Cheryl for a number of years now and am constantly amazed at her passionate commitment towards getting the job done and how she develops platforms for discussion . Currently she is masterminding the compliance scorecard for corporate social investment which has been long overdue; its lack having caused many millions to be mismanaged within the social transformation sector.


WeCanChangeOurWorld helps to connect influencers and non-governmental/governmental organisations involved in sustainable social transformation in South Africa and the wonderful stories resulting from this collaborative approach and the relationships between the brands who sponsor social transformation and the NGO’s that facilitate the work are entering the arena of “Good News” which in South Africa is thin on the ground if your focus is purely on the mainstream press. If you are looking for a happy story, a story that shows that partnerships and true social healing can transform lives, then WeCanChangeOurWorld is an information destination you will enjoy. This highly dynamic industry sector has many passionate activists involved in worthy causes; NGO’s driving social projects and companies as well as organisations acting to implement programmes that can change lives. One such story has come out of the recent partnership with Brothers For All, a very successful ex-offenders project, who work in prisons and then re-integrate and employ ex-offenders. They are now running all the IT requirements of the portal and are an example of ‘change’ in action. See

From above: Cheryl Harper and Graham Pickard pose with Sihle Tshabalala & their IT support team at Brothers for All; A beautifully crafted product made by..Brothers for All.



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s the cost of living escalates owning a car is possibly one of the most expensive ‘investments’ you will ever make. But the trend towards car pooling, car sharing and better and better public transport could see a whole new shift in the way we look at the need for cars in our lives. But what of cars that drive themselves? We asked Zack Kantor his opinion: “Most people—experts included – seem to think that the transition to driverless vehicles will come slowly over the coming few decades, and that large hurdles exist for widespread adoption. I believe that this is significant underestimation. Autonomous cars will be commonplace by 2025 and have a near monopoly by 2030, and the sweeping change they bring will eclipse every other innovation our society has experienced. They will cause unprecedented job loss and a fundamental restructuring of our economy, solve large portions of our environmental problems, prevent tens of thousands of deaths per year, save millions of hours with increased productivity, and create entire new industries that we cannot even imagine from our current vantage point. The transition is already beginning to happen. Elon Musk, Tesla Motor’s CEO, says that their 2015 models will be able to selfdrive 90 percent of the time. And the major automakers aren’t far behind—according to Bloomberg News, GM’s 2017 models will feature “technology that takes control of

steering, acceleration and braking at highway speeds of 70 miles per hour or in stop-and-go congested traffic.” Both Google and Tesla predict that fully-autonomous cars—what Musk describes as “true autonomous driving where you could literally get in the car, go to sleep and wake up at your destination” – will be available to the public by 2020.

How it will unfold Industry experts think that consumers will be slow to purchase autonomous cars – while this may be true, it is a mistake to assume that this will impede the transition. Morgan Stanley’s research shows that cars are driven just 4% of the time, which is an astonishing waste considering that the average cost of car ownership is nearly $9,000 per year. Next to a house, an automobile is the second most expensive asset that most people will ever buy—it is no surprise that ride sharing services like Uber and car sharing services like Zipcar are quickly gaining popularity as an alternative to car ownership. It is now more economical to use a ride sharing service if you live in a city and drive less than 10,000 miles per year. The impact on private car ownership is enormous: a UC-Berkeley study showed that vehicle ownership among car sharing users was cut in half. The car purchasers of the future will not be you and me – cars will be purchased and operated by ride sharing and car sharing companies.

In South Africa Uber has taken the taxi market by storm A few good reasons to use Uber cars: No metering so you know exactly what you are going to pay (and there is a set rate) , ease of access, no hanging around waiting – you know exactly when the car is due to arrive, no more driving under the ‘influence’ and good service – including discounts and promotional offers.


BY Melissa Baird

HOT OFF THE PRESS: IT’S ELECTRIC March this year will see the BMW i3 electric city car and the i8 hybrid sports car make it to the domestic market. Four dealerships will offer the vehicles: Club Motors Fountains, inPretoria; Sandton Auto, in Johannesburg; SMG, in Cape Town; and Supertech, in Durban. BMW is partnering with Schneider Electric, an international expert in electrical mobility, to install homecharging BMW i WallBoxes for the BMW i3and i8. The partnership agreement also covers the checking of the electrical installation in customers’ homes, supplying and assembling the WallBox charging point, as well as maintenance and other services for BMW i vehicles. This partnership will enable future owners of an i3 or i8 to quickly re-charge their vehicles safely, from their home or office. The BMW i3 was recently awarded Green Car of The Year, while the BMW i8 had been named as Top Gear UK magazine’s global Car of the Year 2014.


In many parts of the world, especially in more eco-conscious countries, one is not allowed to wash a car in the driveway with a hosepipe or use any large amount of water to clean a car. This is why many people are investing in the use of a waterless carwash. A waterless car wash is a high lubricity pre-mixed spray detailer that is used to heavily saturate a panel and then you carefully wipe any dirt or road grime off to a dry shine. All one needs is a good waterless lubricant product and a good microfiber towel. They’re a fast way to clean your vehicle between washes.

BMW i8 concept car



The biggest consumer of electricity in the household is a hot water geyser that will typically consume 15-20 kWh per day per geyser. The next biggest consumer is your pool pump, which would consume 8-14 kWh per day depending on the timer settings. A Solar Powered Swimming Pool pump is powered solely by two to three solar modules connected directly to a solar powered pump using no mains power whatsoever – a saving of 8-14 kWh per day every day. A typical residential installation including solar modules and pump will cost approximately R 14 000 incl VAT. This equates to a payback period of less than 18 months at current electricity tariffs. The cost compares favourably with a solar water heater or heat pump but offers better value, as this product will run for many years without any electricity cost.

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or a second time in its 11 year history The ABSA Cape Epic will traverse the rocky jeep tracks of Table Mountain in the prologue—a short sharp racy event to determine start seeding for the 1st stage. For those of us who ride Table Mountain regularly, it’s fantastic to have our back yard featured in the world’s biggest stage race, not just because we ride there all year, but because most of us feel a deep sense of privilege in being able to do so and we love to share that experience. The route chosen is also interesting in that it takes in both the dry leeward side of Table Mountain, the side we all know and which looks over the city bowl and Table Bay, flanked by Lions Head on the west and Devils Peak on the east; and the windward side that presides over the rugby and cricket grounds of Newlands, with views to False Bay in the distance. These facades are distinct, the juxtaposition of dry grass and fynbos of the City Bowl side against the ferns and thick bush of the Newlands side, is stark and obvious up close. The ride up Plumb Pudding Hill on the Newlands side includes grassy forest moving into a riverine thicket that is completely canopied for about half a kilometre—it’s is steep though, so it’s not always easy to appreciate the natural beauty around you as your heart rate shoots up through that section. The city of Cape Town with Table Bay Harbour is a magnificent sight as it comes into full view as you come around the final spur not far above De Vaal Drive. This strip heralds

the dryer, hotter main face, characterised by savannah grassland at the bottom and fynbos higher up. Table Mountain National Park is just that—a nature reserve, with all the natural wonders you might expect, and whizzing along a contour road or chugging up a steep jeep track on a mountain bike, you will encounter all manner of plants and critters. Several fynbos species are in flower at different times throughout the year, with July through November being the most spectacular months for the floral kingdom to show off its splendour. Look out for approximately 200 different flowers from the Arum Lilly to the King Protea. My most enjoyable close encounters with animals on Table Mountain include a caracal and a porcupine, both on the lower slopes on the Newlands side. There are other characters however a little more dangerous, including puff adders and Cape Cobras, and unfortunately the odd ‘snake-in-grass’ of a different kind in the form of muggers. Racing-snakes (mountain bikers too busy racing to enjoy the view) however will be highly prevalent come 15 March when the ABSA Cape Epic tees off from the University of Cape Town—come and check out the action, take a ride/hike onto the slopes, and apart from the guaranteed huffing and puffing of mountain bikers, you never know what else you might find! For more information about mountain biking on table mountain go to



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BY Melissa Baird

Mapping it out:

Carbon Offset News The Carbon Neutral Group are making news with their new initiatives that demonstrates how companies that offset their emissions can have postivie effects on the communities who need energy . As Eskom’s failure to deliver is causing chaos amidst consumers and business es alike the opportunity to invest in clean energy projects becomes something that a business can really value and benefit from. Those most in need benefit and new projects enable the first steps that can be taken to restructuring our carbon and energy intensive economy. Greendreams is one such project supported in South Africa by the Sustainable Tourism Partnership Programme (STPP). The aim is to offset 100,000 bed nights in 2015, enough to provide 10,000 households with cleaner, safer and more reliable energy.

ONE TO WATCH: UNEARTHED REACTIVE: Greenpeace denounces dodgy nuclear deal In response the “strategic” partnership South Africa has been signed into with Russia on nuclear energy Melita Steele, Senior Climate and Energy Campaign Manager for Greenpeace has said:

Nuclear power is nothing more than a dead-end: it takes far too long to deliver and will cost much more than South Africans can afford. South Africa needs electricity now - not in ten years’ time and with a trillion rand price tag. This latest deal is taking us one step closer to the construction of new nuclear reactors, but Russia’s ability to deliver on the deals it offers remains untested and its ability to provide finance to markets like South Africa is in serious doubt. We absolutely should not be taking the risk of betting on dangerous nuclear power, it is not the answer to our current electricity crisis, and new nuclear investments put all South Africans at risk.

It’s important to get a grasp on the scale of what renewable energy projects can offer South Africa in terms of energy support. I found a brilliant map at this link that will show you – at a glance- how many projects are currently in operation in South Africa. These projects create jobs and resources where before there were none so it is a map of great achievements with more to follow.

Solar power is a potential game-changer for more than 50 percent of Africa’s 1.1billion people who have no access to electricity and may reposition Africa at the forefront of global energy sustainability. This would mean access to medical care technology, clean water, refrigeration to preserve food and digital media for education and greater participation in the information age.”This is the opposite side of the story as voiced by Gregor Küpper the managing director of Solar World – a company that has been generating solar power in Africa for over 30 years.

Fracking has been most recently banned in New York state in the USA as more and more cases of contaminated ground water as a result of fracking are brought into the public domain. South Africa however has approved the prospecting for shale gas in the Karoo with the first wells likely being sunk in 2015. Unearthed, is an independent South African feature documentary, that investigates fracking in the United States – the technology’s place of origin – in order to understand what this new method of gas extraction could mean for the semi-arid Karoo and other countries who are looking to this source of energy as a long term solution to energy supply. Karoo born director, Jolynn Minnaar, undertook months of research conducted over 400 interviews; traversed South Africa, the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom; battling gag orders and no trespassing zones; losing cameras to extreme heat and subzero temperatures and suffering first hand chemical exposure from drilling sites – to get to the bottom of the controversial topic. The film toured across the UK at the end of 2014 and has left a lasting impression ( In South Africa it won the audience award and the director Jolyn Minnaar was made woman of the year in 2014 in the Change Agent category)amidst the proganda surrounding the benefits of shale gas extraction without fully uncovering the tremendous risks that we can ill afford to take when renewable energy can offer the answer for wide spread, efficient and cost effective energy supply to communities still needing to connect to the grid. We have solutions to hand but legislative delays are causing severe pressure to be put on the wind and solar technology manufacturers who are not only in a position to create lasting jobs but also boost our country’s much needed energy levels. View the trailer and request a screening here



Green Home 19  

Living Informed today. The Homemaker's Edition

Green Home 19  

Living Informed today. The Homemaker's Edition