Page 1

life in balance i n s p i r i n g


s u s t a i n a b l e


c u l t u r e

I SSUE 12 Au g u st/Se p te m b e r 20 11


SpeciAl feAture: PG4: fracking exposed. Is nuclear energy an option?


energy news


decorex design


healing salts


cheetah centre, art & books


food & wine


the directory

02 editorial

welcome This issue is dedicated to energy matters and the special feature investigates the quest for natural gas in the Karoo and offers insight into South Africa’s nuclear debate by revealing just what the implications are for job creation. As this issue was being completed I read an article about the two new power stations that South Africa has committed to building that will cost about r8 billion each. What this means for us as customers of the energy system is higher electricity rates (more hikes to come) and a huge carbon emission to offset. Decisions like this have condemned South Africa to a coal based future so all we can do, as citizens, is look to ways we can reduce our own reliance on the grid. Mushrooms are the only veggie with natural Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin. See other benefits of fabulous fungi on the food page. In Travel we visit the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre and The World of Birds. Enter the give-aways and have a look at the new products, goods and services in the directory that are contributing towards enabling us to make more sustainable choices for our lifestyles. As this issue went to print the leopard attack in India made worldwide news, showing in stark reality what happens when man and nature conflict over territory. As wars are fought and famine is showing its bare face in Somalia, the earth is fighting her own war managing our species’ disregard for her resources and cycles. Where is the balance to come from if not from ourselves and our habits? We do have a choice and the journey towards a more sustainable future begins with a single step in the right direction.

our contributors Bernelle VerSter co-founder of TEDxCapeTown. GAreth MorGAn MP is the DA Shadow Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs. lAnce GreylinG MP sits on the portfolio committees of Energy, Water and Environmental Affairs and Public Enterprises.

talking garbage diSPoSAblE PowEr by MiChElE bEAThAM

Did you know that 50 million batteries are consumed in South Africa annually? Ninety percent of these are ordinary disposable batteries that end up in landfills via household waste. Most of us know that if it isn’t rechargeable, it isn’t recyclable, but what we don’t often know is how to dispose of disposables efficiently and safely. Most manufacturers no longer use mercury or cadmium in alkaline batteries and some claim that because of this, they can be safely disposed via household waste, with certain conditions. However, according to Jason Fisher of Uniross South Africa, this is not the case. Trace amounts or mercury are still present in alkaline batteries, so when taking into account the number that end up in landfills, it does add up. Not all disposable batteries are alkaline, many do still contain mercury and cadmium. All batteries contain other toxins. So whAT iS ThE SoluTion?

Switch to rechargeable batteries where possible. Most nickel metal hydride (NiMH) and nickel cadmium (NiCd) batteries can be charged up to about 1000 times. In the long run they will save you a lot of money. They are also recyclable. whAT AbouT diSPoSAblES?

Many recycling drop off points accept both rechargeable and disposable batteries - but if

disposables aren’t recyclable, what happens to them? There are two landfills in South Africa where disposable batteries are encapsulated in concrete, in specially-created trenches. However, this is not necessarily where your old batteries will end up. Uniross South Africa has a special collection and recycling programme in place. They collect both disposable and rechargeable batteries from specific companies and Pick n Pay stores around the country, sort them, then either transport them to the aforementioned two landfills or ship them to France where recyclable content is removed and the rest disposed of according to strict guidelines. At the time of writing I was unable to

TEd x SPEAkS by bErnEllE vErSTEr

GrAy MAGuire is Branch Secretary for Earthlife Africa Cape Town. chriStine SteVenS is an organic farmer, wine maker and author.

Publisher: Michael Beatham Editor: Melissa Baird Assistant editor and online editor: Michele Beatham Art director: elinore de lisle Advertising Manager: neil frye 072 075 3978 General Manager: Alex Tulleken Cover photograph Expansion - Sculpture by Paige Bradley ©Life in Balance is published by b-guided Media (Pty) Ltd 6 times a year. 20 000 copies bi-monthly.

Broadening our minds is vital to humanity’s progress and development. In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED talks created TEDx – a programme event review of local, self-organised events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. TEDxCapeTown, was held in April 2011 at Ratanga Junction and served as a platform to showcase how we believe businesses initiatives should be run in the future. The focus was on solutions that incorporated multi-disciplinary engagement, constructive cooperative relationships and being locally attuned and responsive. Held in solidarity with World Water Day (hosted in Cape Town on 22 March), and themed ‘Be Water My Friend’, TEDxCapeTown 2011 touched more than 2 million people in some way, showing that we can reach out and make an impact in a fun, yet professional way, on a sliver of a budget. Close to 400 delegates and 28 speakers attended the event. TEDxCapeTown 2012 will be held in April/May, and will be themed around the playfulness of life. Check out the website, twitter and the Facebook fan page to be kept up to date.,

ascertain whether other companies offer these services, so if you do have disposable batteries that you need to ‘throw away’, the best way to do so is to drop them off at Pick n Pay outlets nationwide, where specially-marked containers are available. Uniross also collects from corporate clients such as Steiner Services, and will, according to Jason Fisher, collect from other recyclers, by arrangement and with costs. If there is no Pick n Pay near you, it is vital to check with your recycling drop-off centre or kerbside collection company exactly what happens to the batteries they collect. Alternatively, contact Uniross on 011 312 0016 or email to find out which companies they have arrangements with.

CoP 17 upcoming When: 28 November event 9 December 2011 Where: Durban Why: The 17th United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 17) What to expect: Dare we say it – a whole lot of hot air? Negotiators from around the world will convene to discuss mitigation of climate change and yet the big players USA and China will be absent – or at least absent in their ability to commit to a series of cuts that will lessen the tons of carbon being emitted as a result of the dependence on fossil fuels for developing economies. Why should you care? Because climate change is happening and we need solutions that can take the next generation towards a future that will not make them look at the past and think “what a load of idiots”.

Sign up for our weekly newsletter and enter to win wonderful give-aways please recycle

news & innovations 03

news & innovations hoT STuff Kingspan renewables is expanding its presence worldwide by teaming up with Green Power, a South African-based company. This dynamic duo will target and service the South African solar thermal market. There is a need for quality solar products and installations and their flagship product - Thermomax HP200 - is unique in the solar thermal market because of its temperature limitation device, which prevents the collector from overheating. This is a necessary feature considering the hot South African climate. When installed by an accredited installer the vacuum tubes carry a 20 year warranty. The Thermomax HP200 is estimated to save up to 80% on all domestic hot water bills. As Eskom is expected to raise electricity prices on average of 30% p.a. this is a welcome partnership for businesses and homeowners, seeking a more cost effective way of heating their water.

MovinG PlAnET CAMPAiGn Africa is the continent most vulnerable to climate change and instead of waiting for solutions from governments who are failing in their leadership to bring about alternative solutions for energy needs and food security, Moving Planet campaigners are gathering and acting, determined to build climate-friendly energy alternatives, sustainable economies and jobs that increase African countries’ climate resilience. On the 24th September 2011 actions have been planned by civic organisations to bring their concerns public. In Egypt, organisers are planning a giant human flood that will flow through the streets of Cairo. youth groups will be wearing blue (to symbolise the nile river) and move together; walking, running and cycling to demand a clean transportation system and a clean energy future for Egypt. Organisers in Kinshasa, Dr Congo, are planning a bike race through the main streets of the capital city as environmental organisations, faith groups, church leaders and youths are coming together to demand political action from their government. In Buea, Cameroon, over 500 students, teachers, civil society activists and government officials will move together to the local river where they will spend the day picking up waste, planting trees, hearing talks, and singing songs. What can South Africans plan to show the government that we are paying attention to this very serious challenge? Join in with the action as collectively, each country’s contribution will bring a powerful message to the leaders of this world. for more information visit and

wATChdoG ChoSEn Due to the rapid growth of southern Africa’s sustainable and efficient energy sectors, the Sustainable Energy Society of Southern Africa (SESSA), has appointed a permanent ombudsman. Carel Ballack, who has extensive experience with a wide range of sustainable and efficient energy technologies, takes over from Colin Bain, who previously handled the portfolio on a contract basis. SESSA is dedicated to the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies including solar-based energies (such as photovoltaics, thermal heating and cooling), wind, biomass and hydro-generated power. Its inter-disciplinary nature attracts the membership of industry, scientists, researchers, developers and the general public. The only qualification that is required is a keen interest in renewable energy and its utilisation to ensure a future fuelled by sustainable energy resources. By appointing a permanent ombudsman, SESSA has committed to delivering on consumer expectations and adhering to stringent quality standards. The ombudman’s role is to mediate and arbitrate for the successful resolution of customer complaints, as well as assist members interpret and understand their responsibilities in terms of SESSA’s code of conduct. for more information visit

G GOVErnMEnT nEEDS TO PrOPErLy fUnD THE SOLAr WATEr HEATEr PrOGrAMME by lAnCE GrEylinG, MP S The Solar Water Heater (SWH) Programme should be driven as one of the country’s top national priorities. The benefits of this programme are widespread and cut across so many different areas. It can be the quickest and cheapest option for getting us out of the electricity crunch that we are going to face for at least the next three years; it will reduce our carbon emissions from coal-fired electricity and it can spur the creation of a SWH industry

along with creating tens of thousands of jobs for people to install the systems. It truly is a no-brainer and it is one of the reasons why the government has set a target of installing 1 million SWH by 2014. Unfortunately to date, according to a Ministerial response to my parliamentary question, only 104 000 have so far been installed. The Eskom rebate system, which currently is the only government financing scheme for SWH, is severely underfunded and it will require a major boost if we are going to come anywhere near to reaching our target. Other initiatives are being

considered though, such as new building regulations making it compulsory to install SWH on new buildings and an Insurance Geyser replacement scheme. To my mind though, government needs to invest more substantially in this programme and give its implementation far more political priority if we want it to realise the major benefits that it promises. lance is chief Whip of the parliamentary caucus and the national policy convenor. email:

know your CArbon fooTPrinT A lot of major corporate businesses are calculating their carbon footprints in order to do what is necessary to offset their carbon emissions and look at ways to reduce their energy usage. Offsetting carbon output is vital in trying to address the imbalances caused by South Africa’s dependence on coal to service the country’s energy needs. But it is not just up to big business; have you considered your individual footprint and how it contributes to the overall impact? This is especially true if you commute long distances via either car or plane. food and Trees for Africa have a handy personal footprint calculator on their site to help you work out your footprint and they offer solutions to enable you to offset your personal footprint. Since food and Trees for Africa began their work in 1990 they have planted over 4 million trees. Visit Slow MovEMEnT on ACid MinE drAinAGE By lance Greyling The government seems to be moving slowly but surely to avert the rising problem of Acid Mine Drainage (AMD). In April of this year the Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs issued a directive to appoint the TCTA as an agent to develop the implementation model for dealing with AMD. The TCTA seems to have proven itself as a competent authority at devising public private partnerships that can ensure sustainable financing of large infrastructural developments. The work required to confront AMD certainly falls into that category. It is a sad reality that while confronting AMD has to be an urgent priority, the issues involved are extremely complex and require some careful consideration, particularly in trying to remain true to the Polluter Pays Principle. The problem with implementing this principle is that AMD is due to the legacy of 150 years of unregulated mining. Many of those mining companies that have contributed to AMD have long since closed down and it is proving very difficult to hold many of them to account. This was one of the issues that were raised in the extensive parliamentary hearings into AMD that took place in June. The portfolio committee did manage to call the Chamber of Mines to come and address these issues, but while they were willing to be part of addressing the problem they avoided referring to their liability. Government for its part has put aside r225 million to deal with AMD, but this will clearly not be enough and all parties will have to move with haste if we are going to avoid this crisis from turning into a catastrophe.

04 energy special koeberg nuclear power Station in Cape Town. nuclear power facilities are always built close to water

Energy matters


ITH THE APPROACHING climate change talks (COP 17) that will be hosted in Durban later this year there is already a sense of disappointment and an acceptance that there will be little resolution on how to negotiate cuts from the world’s worst carbon emitters. As South Africa is the 14th highest contributor to carbon emissions in the world there is serious urgency in finding an alternative to coal, not only because of the emissions but also because of the excessive water dependence of coal fired power stations. So what are the alternatives? In the spotlight is natural gas extracted via a method called ‘fracking’ and nuclear energy.

frAck no! GArETh MorGAn

The processes and timing surrounding the current round of applications for gas exploration rights have exposed a number of material issues that reinforce the call this year for the Minister of Mineral Resources to institute a moratorium on the granting of these rights. These applications have resulted in significant opposition from civic stakeholders, mainly because of the proposal by the applicants to make use of a controversial technique called fracking, to test whether gas will flow. The possible negative effects of fracking have already been well documented and we know that it will use millions of litres of water and a toxic cocktail of chemicals. This method has the potential to pollute water sources if mistakes occur, and poses a significant challenge for effective waste management. The proposed processes are new to South Africa, and thus, we should not rush into approving them. While thousands of wells have been fracked around the world, most notably in the USA, South Africa would be ill-advised not to notice the concerns that have been raised as a result. Pollution incidents can and do happen. The Minister simply cannot ignore that the Environmental Protection Agency in the USA is currently studying the possible negative relationship between fracking and drinking water quality. The study is only due for completion in three years time. By the Minister’s own acknowledgement, there is no policy on fracking in South Africa. The Mineral and Petroleum Resource Development Act (MPRDA) provides, in general terms, for an applicant to demonstrate its technical ability to conduct exploration in line with best industry practice. The Petroleum Agency South Africa (PASA) is tasked with ensuring that operators have the required means, skills and understanding of any exploration activity. These provisions set off a number of alarm bells. PASA has no experience of regulating fracking. While applicants are at pains to point out that they will report any pollution events if they occur and will remediate affected areas, the Department of Mineral Resources’ record of defending the public interest against mines that deviate from their environmental management plans is exceptionally weak. The Minister refused to divulge details of actions taken by her Department against mines with environmental transgressions. So how can the public be assured that our government will monitor and enforce the law if fracking occurs? fracking drills penetrate thousands of kilometres underground

Dealing with applications for onshore gas exploration is new to PASA. This small agency, with a miniscule staff and possessing a budget which will not see it adequately through the next two years, is not in a position to make a considered decision on applications that cover a landmass of South Africa in excess of 200 000 square kilometres. In addition, these exploration rights can have fundamentally negative impacts on the value of land in the exploration areas. Because land owners do not know where the drill sites will be, as these will only be identified after the granting of rights to applicants, thousands of individual land owners will live in constant fear that their land could be the next drilling site. Due to the problems associated with interested and affected parties understanding the proposed fracking processes, the massive extent of land under application and the very narrow timeframe for consultation, it is my considered opinion that the processing of these applications cannot be done fairly and meaningfully. By the admission of consultants working on one of the exploration applications, they themselves feel rushed by the timeframes. It seems implausible that the applicants will be able to prove that they have informed all affected parties before the submission of their final Environmental Management Plans (EMPs). Notwithstanding that many affected parties may be left out of the consultation process, PASA will have to consider the summarised comments of thousands of stakeholders who have commented on the various applications during the drafting of the applicants’ EMPs. In my opinion however, PASA has already shown bias towards the process of fracking before the consideration of public comments. At a portfolio meeting in Parliament a staff member of PASA attempted to play down the known impacts of fracking, arguing they could be mitigated. This suggests PASA may already have made up its mind about the suitability of fracking before it has even officially begun to apply its mind to the submitted EMPs. This may be a material defect in the process. There are many substantial reasons to suggest that the current processes are underway are unfair, flawed, and will have unintended consequences if approval of rights are rushed. The Minister would do well to go back to the drawing board and to learn from the real concerns that South Africans are raising about gas exploration. read the full article at www.lifeinbalance/news Join the debate

Why Should it Be - no to nucleAr? GrAy MAGuirE


OR THOSE OF US who have been following issues around nuclear power over the last few years South Africa’s recent history has left many of us scratching our heads. When the R13 billion government invested in the Pebble-Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) was clearly not yielding the kinds of results that the PBMR company was hoping for, we were hardly surprised when eventually government decided to pull the plug. Why the project had to go on for so long when previous research by the Germans (and elsewhere) had shown it was not viable years before we even started is another matter altogether, but at least there seemed to be a certain level of logic in the closure of the company. That was at the end of last year. For a short while thereafter it seemed that this trend of following logical courses of action on nuclear issues was set to continue into the future. This was born out by the Department of Energy’s (DoE) response to the high level of criticism for South Africa’s proposed new energy policy, the Integrated Resource Plan 2 (IRP2). Logic was appearing to prevail when at the end of January 2011 the DoE finally agreed to draft a new IRP2 that would exclude nuclear power as a future option in this country. Very soon after this announcement something happened that took nuclear power issues out of the relatively small sphere of people interested in energy issues, and thrust it into the minds of millions of people around the world. I am of course referring to the still unfolding nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi reactors in Japan. In time this disaster will dwarf Chernobyl in its consequences, but one good thing that has come out of it has been a long hard look at what nuclear power actually means to the various countries that have been investing in this technology. According to the World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2010-2011 there were only 64 plants under construction prior to Fukushima. China had 27 plants in the pipeline, Russia had 11 and India five. As a result of the disaster China enforced a suspension of approval of nuclear power projects, including those under development. India’s Nuclear Power Corporation’s (NPCIL) chairman Shreyans Kumar Jain stated that: “We and the Department of Atomic Energy will definitely revisit the entire thing, including our new reactor plans, after we receive more information from Japan.” In Russia Vladimir Putin commissioned a review of the future of Russia’s nuclear power sector. That’s 67% of global nuclear reactor construction put on ice by just three countries. In the same period of time since the demise of the PBMR Company, Germany has gone from facing massive protests over Angela Merkels plans to extend the life of some of their nuclear plants by eight years, to announcing that their entire nuclear fleet will be taken offline by 2022. All seems logical, right? Well that’s where it ends I’m afraid. In contrast to what the rest of the world is doing, in the week after the start of the reactor meltdowns in Japan our cabinet signed approval for a plan that includes the construction of six new nuclear reactors in the Western Cape. Even though the kind of reactors for the proposed plants have still not yet been determined, the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has been rushed through, with the public only being given 45 days to comment, (it was subsequently extended). Now when Nuclear Industry Association of South Africa (NIASA) president Dr Rob Adam says that investment in nuclear power would not only ease South Africa’s energy shortage, but would also allow for significant job creation, you can’t help but think, maybe this highly suspicious behaviour is simply a mis-guided attempt at responding to real needs. But when we investigate these two claims it becomes pretty clear that this is really a load of nonsense. nuclear energy creates


jobs per megawatt

renewable energy like photovoltaics creates between

35 & 50

jobs per megawatt

r power by nuclea n e k ta e tim the grid: energy to ly p p u s to

rs 15-30 yea

Source: the international Atomic energy Association (iAeA)

Where do the jobs go?


South Africa cannot manufacture nuclear reactors time taken by wind power to supply energy to the grid

6 months

ute nuclear power that can contrib rs? to the grid in the next 10 yea


china has added

W 40G wi of nd

worth power to their grid (that’s the same as our e entire grid) in th last 15 years.

There are a whole host of reasons why nuclear power is a bad idea; it is expensive (and getting more and more so), it creates waste that is lethal for hundreds of thousands of years that no country on earth has been able to develop a safe and guaranteed long term plan for. It is an ineffective response to climate change, as the mining, refinement, enrichment, processing and transport are all highly carbon intensive. It is harmful to the very few workers that do manage to get jobs from the process (remember the 90 workers that were irradiated at Koeberg last year? No? – Well apparently the government doesn’t either). The list goes on. Simply put, at a time when the whole world is reviewing their nuclear policies, why are we not doing the same? read the full article at www.lifeinbalance/news

decorex 05

Beauty and the Basics at Decorex 5-9 AuGuSt 2011, GAllAGher conVention centre, MidrAnd, GAutenG


ELEBRATING EIGHTEEN yEARS of showcasing the finest in interior design and home décor, this years Decorex will be host to 700 top notch exhibitors so that you can enjoy the biggest and best ever interior design expo in a city undergoing a design revival. you can expect to be amazed by ‘out-of-the-box roomscapes’ and concept stands created by South African design talent. A key trend to note is the hand-made revolution and the new show celebrates the ‘proudly self-made’ phenomenon with free theatre demonstrations, expert advice on colour and new techniques guiding a new generation of ‘make-it-myself’ enthusiasts. Advocating an earth-friendly lifestyle, the show sprouts a whole new genre of eco-caring products, planet-saving inventiveness and bee-friendly landscaping. Also expect halls filled with the latest in colour and textile trends, bathrooms with all the latest technology on tap, kitchens to lure the connoisseurs and interior landscapes to thrill the trend-seekers.

Experiences and highlights Here’s a pick of show highlights, special projects, installations and new reveals to urge you to get those walking shoes on and explore creativity and design at the go-to event for the design professional and passionate homeowner alike. GrEEn-finGErEd fulfilMEnT AT ThE GArdEninG PAvilion This is where aspiring gardeners, urban farmers, eco warriors and green guardians can discover the bliss of intentional gardening. Attend live demos at the Garden Theatre to discover the potential of your patch of earth. wAndEr ThrouGh Six ThEMEd GArdEnS Explore a Harvester’s Haven as you reconnect with nature and the joy of home-grown; awake the inner child at the playful ‘Kid’s Garden’ and celebrate the wild and wonderful in the ‘Garden with Wings’. The ‘rooftop retreat’ garden brings the country into the city; the ‘Soil and sanctuary’ therapeutic garden soothes the soul, while the ‘Kaleidoscope’ garden shows the soft approach to hardscaping. AlSo in ThE GArdEn PAvilion iS A GArdEn CAfé inSPirEd by ThE loCAvorE food MovEMEnT The fun & fanciful Garden Café entices visitors

to take time out from the show buzz and step into a world of make-believe. With grass underfoot, picket fencing and a garden filled with gnomes, pink flamingos and a fantasy post box, this happy place will stimulate the imagination and clear the mind. With the look and the food offering inspired by the animation film, ‘Gnoemeo and Juliet’ – and a nod to the evergreen Mad Hatter’s Tea Party - this café feeds the inner child in all of us. PlASCon unvEilS ThE 2012 Colour forECAST Laurence Brick, Greg Gamble of Tonic Design, Goet and A Point are the four leading lights taking on the creative challenge to interpret the coming year’s hottest hues. Will yellow be the wonder child? Will royal blue beg to be heard or purple reign supreme? Plascon Colour guru Anne roselt and a team of paint experts will be on hand to turn problem walls into talking points. SouTh AfriCAn hAndMAdE CollECTion Held alongside Decorex Joburg, this DTI-initiative is a window to the heartfelt and the handmade. from highly collectable ceramics, fashionable ‘it’ bags to designer beadwork, the creations selected for this all-imported trade show is a particularly colourful balance of heritage and innovation. These truly South African products capture the creative spirit of its makers and each have a special story to tell. dECorEx dESiGnEr CollECTion Ten fashion-forward pieces will be launched by ten local designers to make sure all visitors leave with their fix of home-grown interior design. ThE dSTv ThEATrE of idEAS Visitors get the inside scoop on inventive solutions to decor dilemmas while brushing up on DIy-skills. Expect a block-buster programme filled with make-it-yourself inspiration. nEw To ThE Show, ThE SundAy TiMES ChiC ShEbEEn is a meeting place of fun, food and drink in celebration of all things South African. The buzz is quintessential township, the ambiance creative, colourful and vibrant; the flavours a delicious twist of tradition and the more modern. dECAdEnT dinEr Get tickled pink in this designer space devoted to sweet delights and seductive treats. Sip on blush-pink bubbly and bite into french styled patisseries. A perfect rendezvous for show guests to catch up on industry gossip and take a breather. Go GlobAl A must-attend for trade visitors eager to search the globe for new opportunities and trade connections is the comprehensive International Pavilion dedicated to countries from Italy to India, Egypt to Syria.

conVerSAtionS on Architecture Speakers at the highly regarded conversations on Architecture one-day seminars probe the Zeitgeist of our era, debate new directions in architecture and design and challenge traditional thinking. the diverse line-up of international and local industry players will once again put the searchlight on contemporary issues in their fields, and by doing so educate and inspire in equal measure. the indepth presentations will be followed by enlightening panel discussions, giving a different perspective on the topics.

decorex JoBurG, GAllAGher conVention centre, MidrAnd ShoW dAyS: 5-9 August (5th and 6th are trade focused) tiMe: 09:00 - 17:00 daily entrAnce fee: r70 adults / r60 pensioners and scholars / r5 Children under 12 for more information or to purchase tickets visit find Decorex SA on facebook and follow @decorexSA on Twitter.

conVerSAtion on Architecture: JoBurG Venue: Gallagher convention centre, Midrand, Johannesburg date: friday 5th August time: 09:00 – 16:00 conVerSAtionS on Architecture: cApe toWn Venue: cape town convention centre, city Bowl, cape town date: thursday 11th August time: 09:00 – 16:00

06 living Sonja kruse – The ubuntu Girl

Sign up

Hemp update

there is a new fan of the hemp campaign in SA and as she journeys through the country more and more people will learn about the benefits of growing this wonder crop.


ONJA KRUSE – known as the Ubuntu girl - undertook a journey throughout South Africa with only R 100 in her pocket. Her quest was to draw attention to the warmth and generosity of spirit that is out there amongst our fellow citizens. She has signed the Hemp Now petition and we are reminding you, dear reader, to consider putting your name to the petition as well. Life in Balance has been supporting the cause for industrial hemp as a workable crop to replace water intensive cotton and because of its myriad other uses. We continue to pledge our support for this marvellous initiative and, just in case you were wondering, you cannot smoke hemp (a common misperception). Hemp is a viable agricultural solution that can

di d y ou k n ow? energy wise

the average household geyser contributes approximately 4.5 tons of co2 emissions per year and could reduce these emissions by as much as 20% by installing a solar geyser system. Something to consider as South Africa is the 14th highest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world. Source: SeSSA

cArBon cuttinG tipS you cAn iMpleMent

here’s a list of carbon cutting steps you can make to help reduce the impact of your lifestyle. remember your positive action = positive impact for the whole.


Change to accredited Green Power option Eskom is currently participating in a project with the Department of Minerals and Energy to consider the various market mechanisms in operation internationally, including green certificates, feed-in tariffs and a pilot green power market. They say this will come into effect in 2013. Let’s not wait and see. Put pressure on Eskom. Write a letter, make a phone call, start a petition. Install energy-efficient hot water system This can reduce your household emissions up to 30%. install solar panels A combination of energy solutions will help reduce your demand from the grid. Use energy-efficient white goods This can help to reduce household emissions from electricity by up to 50%. use triple-A rated shower-heads Up to 12% reduction in household emissions. Use energy-efficient light globes Up to 10% reduction in household emissions.

2 3 4 5 6

positively impact the economics and health of our communities in the quest for a more sustainable lifestyle. When there are 5000 signatures the petition will be presented to the government urging them to revisit the archaic and unfounded ban on producing this crop that can be used for housing, fuel, natural plastics and employment. By signing the petition you are also entered into a lucky draw. Hemp Foods Australia has pledged an ebook and a paperback on hemp foods as a gift to the winner. To sign the petition and download free posters and flyers to support this cause visit For more info on the Ubuntu Girl’s quest visit

7 8 9

Check fuel efficiency of your next car The higher the fuel needs of a vehicle the more carbon it emits. walk, cycle or take public transport, or car pool. Calculate your carbon footprint See page 3 for the handy calculator you can download from food and Trees for Africa and ideas for how to offset your current footprint. Suggest a workplace audit This is where you can make a big impact and task your businesses landlord to look at ways to reduce electricity and water use.

Sleep like a baby


’VE always wondered why this term ‘sleep like a baby’ has bothered me. It must be because when I observe my cats sleeping they seem far more adept at complete slumber than the little one who wakes every four hours or so. Green Coil mattresses and sleeping accessories are manufactured with the utmost craftsmanship so whether you want to sleep like a baby (or a cat), they are likely to take you far away into slumber land. All their mattresses and pillows are made from natural latex and have Eco Certification from Germany and Switzerland. The beds and pillows help to relieve pressure and offer superior comfort and durability. Natural latex is dustmite resistant, non toxic, hypoallergenic and perfect for allergy and asthma sufferers. It is also bacteriostatic, which means it inhibits the growth of mould, mildew, fungus and bacteria. For more info call 021 801 4909 or visit


Set yourself a goal to create a sustainable future. Start by writing down this goal, no matter how big or small you may think it is. (The written word is indeed powerful compared to a flying thought. Somehow action follows easier once it has been written and read.) As Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world”. by helen hansen

cAllinG inVentorS: reinVent the toilet rapid urbanistaion is adding immense stress on the water resources we have and how to effectively provide sanitation for millions of people is a challenge that could be a wonderful opportunity for anyone with a bright idea. it is time to “reinvent the toilet” because using water to flush away tons of human waste is no longer a sustainable solution. this is where it gets interesting, the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation is offering grants worth uS $ 42 million in order to do so. the university of kwazulu natal is working with their local municipality to design a community toilet that transforms the sewerage into clean water and energy. the trick is to invent a solution that does not rely on water or electricity and that will be acceptable to communities. it also needs to be scaleable over vast distances and be cost effective to implement.

wellness 07

Know your nasties! 1 4 TAkE your TiME

It’s important, when shopping, to take your time. Like the old saying goes: “Never shop on an empty stomach!” you need to take the time to carefully consider each product you plan on buying – from the ingredients, to the way it is made, to its benefits. This is particularly true when buying health products – marketers have become so good at highlighting specific product benefits whilst hiding the ‘nasties’, that it requires careful investigation to determine whether a product is good for you as a whole.


Avoid PArAbEnS likE ThE PlAGuE

Any product with an ingredient that ends in ‘-paraben’ should be avoided, including methylparaben, ethylparaben and propylparaben. Paraben is a chemical preservative often found in cosmetics products, but research has suggested a link between paraben and breast cancer. While there hasn’t been any conclusive evidence, there’s no reason to take the chance, so stick to products that are ‘paraben-free’.

3 Healing with salt


FTER A HECTIC DAy and stress has built up to bursting point, indulge in a hot, salt bath; it does wonders to relax and detoxify your physical and energetic body. The choice of salts, however, is of paramount importance and new research has shown magnesium sulphate tops the list of salt to choose. Recent research from the School of Biosciences at Birmingham University, has shown that magnesium and sulphate will pass through the skin, raising the levels of both, detected in the blood. This can have important benefits to health because both magnesium and sulphate deficiency are common. Magnesium is found in vegetables and grains, depending on the quality of the earth in which they are grown. However, many soils are magnesium deficient either naturally or through over cropping. Magnesium is also found in sea water. It is essential to life and deficiency is linked to many diseases including cardiovascular disease. (Visit: Sulphate is also essential to your body’s overall health because it is vital for the formation of proteins in joints; for digestive enzymes and the gut wall lining. It is active in the formation of brain tissue and is also involved in detoxification. It is not

easily absorbed from the diet which means bathing in magnesium sulphate is therefore a significant, safe and easy way to correct deficiency. Any surplus is naturally removed by the kidneys, just as it would be if there was a surplus as a result of your diet. The recommended amount for regular bathing is 1% solution which means ten grams (2 tsp) per litre. A standard bath holds about 60 litres of water; this means you need about 600gm (two and half cups of salt). Please note that most normal commercial bath salts are based on common (and cheaper) salt, sodium chloride. Sodium chloride is present in all processed foods and often absorbed in excess due to the nature of a highly processed and convenience focused diet. It is no wonder that absorbing more through the skin is not recommended. Flotation tank therapy is one way of enjoying a boost of the salts as the concentration of it in the water is much higher. Floating in a solution of magnesium sulphate enables muscle relaxation, capillary dilation and endorphin generation and it is easily absorbed through the skin. article courtesy ubuntu Wellness centre

life in BAlAnce


Win one of 10 boxes of The FountainHead Healing Bath Salts. To enter email with “Salt” in the subject line. Entries close 30 September 2011

product choice

Oh these salts are pure heaven and a must have for every person’s bathtime treat. Life in Balance loves their beautiful healing protection sprays and this fragrant bath salt. They do what they say on the box and are energising, nutritive, detoxifying, skin soothing and deeply relaxing. Made from magnesium sulphate, ginger, rosemary and chamomile.

SCruTiniSE your SoAP

Most soaps and shampoos – with the possible exception of homemade ‘boereseep’ – contain sodium laureth sulphate (SLS). The concern is that, due to the miniscule size of SLS molecules (especially in shampoos), the chemical can easily be absorbed by the skin. While trace amounts of SLS is harmless, it has been noted as a carcinogenic. It’s therefore best to use shampoos, body washes and soaps with ammonium lauryl

sulphate (ALS) – this substance’s molecules are so large that it’s very difficult for the skin to absorb them, rendering them harmless, especially in a wash and rinse situation. ‘nATurAl’ doES noT AlwAyS MEAn ‘niCE’

People often labour under the misperception that all ‘natural’ products are good for you, but this is completely false. Many natural ingredients are harmful to your health if absorbed or ingested in the wrong dosage. Due to consumer demand for ‘green’ products, many brands have simply ‘greenwashed’ their products, claiming organic as a product benefit when only a small percentage of the actual product is organic. When buying organic products, always look for certification by credible international bodies such as ECOCERT, LEAF or the Dutch/Germanbased Control Union.


invESTiGATE your inGrEdiEnTS

The ingredients on cosmetics products are listed in order of volume – you’ll usually see aqua (water) as the first ingredient listed, because most products are water-based. In many run of the mill body and skin care products, you’re likely to see three ingredients listed just after water: glyceryl stearate, cetyl alcohol, and stearic acid. While all three are safe to use in volumes of less than 3%, it’s best to avoid products where they are listed at the top of the ingredients. By elma rivera, product developer and co-owner of Meadowsweet

08 travel

World of Birds: No fly by night


ECENT REPORTS IN THE PRESS that The World Of Birds, the largest bird park in Africa, was about to close sent a shiver of dread through me. I have loved the place since my father introduced me to its wonders and I am now an annual member so that whenever I am in Hout Bay, I can pop in and savour the sights of the avian haven. It is home to over 3000 birds and a variety of primates and small mammals and has enabled thousands of visitors each year to see species they would never have before - and - up close. Recently I went there and was positively breath taken by the white peahens that have eyes the colour of blue slate and glow, as if covered in a halo, because of the sheer whiteness of all of its feathers. One of my favourite enclosures is that of the squirrel monkeys. These tiny primates are entirely captivating and one can easily lose an hour just watching their gymnastic antics and inquisitive interaction. Walter Mangold is the owner and visionary of World of Birds and he has fought tireslessly to keep the place open for business by fending off a list of municipal objections against his work and battling financially (there is no official funding). The place is in need of good repair and that can only be achieved through the generosity of visitors. The ethos of The World Of Birds is to bring wildlife to the city in order to connect people and nature in order to foster an understanding of the magnificent diversity that creates the

by MEliSSA bAird

natural world. Critics will say that the birds should fly but what they don’t know is that many have ended up at The World of Birds through injury and are unable to fend for themselves in the wild. As I sat in front of the birds of prey enclosure that reality was very clear. I looked at the magnificent raptors that will never fly again and gave thanks for being able to be in their presence. They do not call out like most of the other birds so I viewed them in silence; their fierce disregard of what lay beyond them, was humbling and I had a better understanding of dignity; in fact my only real experience of it – in the presence of a wild bird. It is well worth a visit and could do with support from all who desire to be close to the splendour and wonder of birds, primates, reptiles and a few small unexpected additions to the menagerie. World of Birds Wildlife sanctuary, Valley road, hout Bay cape town tel: 021 790 2730 Squirrel Monkey

white Peahen

fESTivAl round uP SEPTEMBEr ArTS AlivE Where: Johannesburg Website: Arts Alive, held every September since 1992, features a heady mix of dance, visual art, poetry and music at venues in the Joburg inner city. The main concert, held at the Johannesburg Stadium, headlines international superstars such as 50 Cent and Busta rhymes. Over 600 artists perform during the four-day festival, with most shows at various venues in newtown. The ever-popular Jazz on the Lake is held on the final day. AArdkloP ArTS fESTivAl Where: potchefstroom Website: Aardklop Arts festival offers a feast of arts and an all-round good jol for five days in late September and early October. first held in 1998, Aardklop - Afrikaans roughly

Hope for Cheetahs


F LENTE ROODE WAS a novelist her book would rival that of Karen Blixen’s ‘Out of Africa’. Lente’s story is steeped in contradictions of farmers and their respect for their livestock and lack of regard – often most cruelly – for the predators that too have a right to the land. She was given an orphaned cheetah cub as a child; its mother had been shot by a farmer and there began her lifelong captivation by this magnificent animal. They were hardly apart. Fast forward to her wedding day and a union with a man who transformed his cattle farm into a game farm and a new chapter began. Her passion and a series of remarkable serendipitous events, like being ‘given’ custody of 35 cheetahs, led to the infrastructure of what would become the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre. The arrival of these cheetahs led to The Hoedspruit Cheetah Project which was conceptualised with the help and guidance of Professor David Meltzer of the Onderstepoort Faculty of Veterinary Science (at the University of Pretoria) and Des Varaday, the man who gave her the cheetahs. Very quickly other endangered species were added to the list and African wild cats, ground hornbills and bald ibises were transferred to the centre in 1991 and 1995. African wild dogs (considered “problem animals” by conservation authorities) are also included in the breeding programme. Sixteen years ago the centre started a black-footed cat breeding programme and then the blue cranes arrived as farmers brought in abandoned chicks. The centre has an impressive list of accreditations from environmental watch dogs and, having

by MEliSSA bAird

had the privilege of visiting there and seeing a King Cheetah in all its wild glory and a pack of Wild Dogs, I had to temper my questions about what would happen to them if the centre ceased to exist, or if there were fewer people in the world who actually did something for the animals they revere. Fred, the intrepid ranger from neighbouring Camp Jabulani where I stayed was a dedicated guide through the many cheetah enclosures and watched quietly as I gagged when we arrived at the vulture’s ‘restaurant’ at feeding time. I had never seen a vulture except for circling high up in the thermals of a bright African sky, and here they were gathering to feast on the left over carcasses from the carnivores, right in front of me. They are regular visitors to the centre and it is good that they do because they too are under threat – from the muti trade and poisoning from farmers. This place does amazing work in educating and helping to preserve the creatures that make SA so environmentally blessed. There are a host of environmental initiatives you can be a part of. Visit For an elephant tale, Camp Jabulani is the place to stay. Visit:

ts on our colourful e is a pick of the upcoming highligh selves. Spring is around the corner – her our y enjo the mad weather blues and cultural scene. Time to shake off

translated as “earth beat” - has over 90 productions, with classical music, jazz, hard rock, cabaret, visual arts, theatre, circus performances, opera, African and World music, poetry and more, ending with the OppiAarde rock festival on the final day.

woodSToCk MuSiC fESTivAl Where: hartbeeshoek, north West Website: Woodstock, first held in 1999, is the largest youth-oriented music and lifestyle festival in South Africa. In addition to mainstream music, the festival offers a

market of crafters and alternative lifestyle products over four days. It is held at Hartbeeshoek Holiday resort near Hartbeespoort Dam in north West. GAriEP kunSTEfEES Where: kimberley Website: The Gariep Kunstefees (arts festival) features an impressive line-up of local musicians, a film festival showcasing South Africa’s new film-makers, as well as art exhibitions and children’s theatre. hErMAnuS whAlE fESTivAl Where: hermanus, Western cape Website: Every year, southern right whales travel thousands of miles to the Cape south coast to mate and calve in the bays. Join the villagers of Hermanus for an entertainment-packed festival, with the best land-based whale watching in the world.


sanctuary news

art & books 09

Street art shaping restitution

artist to watch


OR MAxWELL SOUTHGATE, better known as Mak1One in the graffiti community, his romance with graffiti started when he was 11. Growing up in the Cape Flats definitely had its effect on Mak1one. His graffiti has beautified the once barren walls of not only the Central Business District (CBD) but many community centres, houses in Khayelitsha, and entering walls of underprivileged communities. Without any formal training in art, and someone who didn’t even graduate from high school, he credits experience and not education for his successful career. “When I spotted something, I stood there for hours copying it with my eyes,” says the soft-spoken artist. As an artist, the kid from Cape Flats, now South Africa’s well-known graffiti artist says, they have a huge responsibility. And for someone who

spent his childhood in a small home with limited resources, he says he wants to make people believe in their dreams and showcase that while born in a struggling community, you can still overcome the challenges and be successful.” “I want to paint something for

people and not myself,” he adds, “I want kids to say ‘I want to be an artist like that.’ It feels like it’s a dream and you can live your dreams,” he says with a big smile nodding his head. Mak1one is represented by Shani Judes, who has recently launched her new agency,

SJ Artists. The agency provides a business platform for freelance creative’s. If you have seen the large scale portraits in Cape Town over the last two weeks, that is one of the project Judes has recently project managed. For more please see

rEviEwS by MEliSSA bAird music review

hoT wATEr “SouTh”

The lively sounds of Hot Water have been captivating the live stage at events like Rocking The Daisies and they are regulars on The Farmhouse stage in the southern peninsula in Cape Town. The music they make has been described as combination of rock/ jive/ South African pop but don’t let the definitions confine their extraordinarily diverse and fresh sounds. Each time I have seen them perform over the past few years the energy and pure vibe of these talented musicians brings me to my feet to get down and dance! The third album South offers great new tracks, some purely instrumental with powerful didgeridoo influences, a lot of guitar and fresh, raw lyrics. Big Bang gives Donovan (the lead singer) full scope to exercise his remarkable voice and Tribal Man has a resonance of Johnny Clegg in the early days of Juluka although there is nothing copycat about the style. Hot Water rock and with three albums in hand we look forward to the next. Catch them at OpieKoppie on 6 August 2011 and at Kirstenbosch on 21 August 2011.

book review

ThE wiSdoM of bEES – what the hive Can Teach Business About Leadership, Efficiency and Growth by Michael o’Malley, Ph.d.

It is said comparisons are odious, but certainly not in this case as this delightful little book will reveal. By comparing the remarkable organisation of the honey bearing bee – Apis Mellifera, the author is able to point out just how much we can learn from these extraordinary creatures that, in essence, are the tireless little workers that support our entire agricultural system and provide us with one of nature’s most healing offerings – honey. Shakespeare remarked on the wisdom of bees in the Life of King Henry Fifth; to paraphrase: “They are the magistrates, merchants, soldiers, singing masons, civil citizens, mechanic porters that teach the art of order to a peopled kingdom.” And indeed the close observation of a hive’s activity as the workers, drones and queen arrange their society offers remarkable insight and a charming model for anyone wanting to learn more effective ways of increasing output and engendering success out of an organisation with consideration and input from the whole team. Set out over 25 easy to read chapters – and you don’t have to read them in order if you don’t wish - the lessons of honeybee organisation are made relevant to current issues causing stress in the workplace. What is the most effective way of communicating messages, organising work flow and bringing the best out of the individuals in your team? Let the honeybees guide you on a terrific journey of sweet ideas that will make a remarkable difference to your home or place of work. Portfolio, Penguin Books ISBN: 978-0-670-91948-2 read an excerpt at

GivEAwAy froM hAy houSE Are you stuck and not sure which direction to move toward? Celebrated author and angel healer Doreen Virtue has compiled a beautiful selection of 44 sumptuous images and messages to help you consider your career and spiritual path ahead, from a slightly different perspective. Hay House South Africa has donated R5.8 million to NOAH (Nurturing


One lucky reader can win a pack of the Life Purpose Oracle Cards from Hay House Publishing. Please email with Life Purpose Oracle cards in the subject line before 30 September 2011

10 products Marvellous MIOJA We love Miöja’s philosophy which wholly recognises that our bodies are wonderful, highly evolved, self regulating systems. The less we interfere with their natural balance, the better. The products are made using organic plant extracts and minerals; these key components nourish and assist the body’s own healing and regeneration processes. Ingredients like cardamom, ginger, elder flower, honeybush, frankincense, grapefruit and fennel have been trusted through the ages to bring the body back to its innate state of health. True health encompasses the physical body and energetic body and all Miöja’s products contain vibrational remedies inspired by the perfect balance found in nature as a blueprint for mental, emotional and spiritual harmony. priced from r155.00

Just mooching around


La Ninna Nanna makes gorgeous slippers and all-in-one-sleep-suits with a trap door modelled on the traditional ‘baby grow’ garment inspiring you to stay in your pyjamas for much longer than you intended. The 100% cotton sleep wear is designed to fit all body shapes and is comfy, cuddly and just a little bit cheeky. The slipper-socks are hand knitted by Zimbabwean refugee women using South African wool. The socks are stitched into nappa leather soles giving them a soft and cushiony feel that will make any cold tired pair of feet sigh with desire and relief. priced from r450.00

Chia seeds are familiar to those of you who know the Chia Pet; those clay animals with sprouted seeds covering them. What is not readily known is the amazing nutritional value and medicinal properties of the seed itself. For centuries Native American Indians and Aztecs used this seed as a staple part of their diet. The Aztecs called it “the running food” and the warriors apparently consumed Chia seeds during their battles eating only a teaspoon full to fuel their no doubt strenuous days. There is a soluble fibre in the seed that, when mixed with water, turns to gelatine after 30 minutes. This gel creates a barrier between carbohydrates and the digestive enzymes that break them down which means the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar is slowed down creating better use of energy. r49.95

reel gardening Beat rising food prices and discover the joys of eating home grown produce by cultivating an edible garden. REEL gardening has made it so simple to start by creating genius, bio-degradable growing strips that encase seeds with fertiliser and space them out at the perfect growing distance. All you need do is prepare your soil, dig a little trough (the strips tell you how deep) and plant your strip of seeds. you will be surprised at how little space you need for a bounty of edibles. Aimed at health conscious consumers who want a simple method of sowing seeds, the strips come in a variety of ten veggies, nine herbs and three flowers. priced from r25.00

real old world soda For a real feel of InneSense values, take yourself back in time when lemonade and ginger beer were home-brewed. These delicious, healthy soft drinks are inspired by real old fashioned recipes using the finest ingredients and are free from artificial additives. Traditional Ginger Beer, Cloudy Lemonade and Old fashioned Cream Soda are firm favourites with two new additions; Vanilla Rooibos Soda and energising Guarana Berry Soda. The 275ml collectable glass bottles feature iconic Hollywood-style images from the 1950’s, reminding us of a time before we relied on artificial flavourants, preservatives and colourants. priced from r6.95 please recycle

All products available at Wellness Warehouse online store: for further information about Wellness Warehouse or any queries, call 0860 liVe life or visit

products 11 E-clean up

Welcome to a whole new way to clean that requires no chemicals. The E-cloth makes it possible by using fibres one hundredth the width of a human hair, giving a deep and smear free clean by breaking up and holding grease and dirt which ordinary cloths leave behind. With just a few E-cloths, you can clean your entire house. All you need is water. E-cloths come in mop form, cleaning cloth packs and general purpose cleaning. They are safe to use anywhere in the home. priced from r79.95

yoga Shmoga

Some activities need the type of gear you can bend, stretch and sweat in and still feel good. yoga is one of them and the creator of yoga Shmoga clothing, Lucinda Van Rooyen, knows how to make sure that when next you are on your yoga mat, butt hoisted in the air, doing your best downward dog you’ll be thanking her for the stretchy, gorgeous fitting leggings and top. Match your mat with an appropriate colour from the range; soft grey, tinged with candy pink and classic white is just one of the variations to choose from. What further inspiration do you need to roll up your mat and head off to class? priced from r190.00

Triple thumbs up We love the idea of having two products that take care of all household cleaning. Triple Orange uses the strong degreasing and cleaning properties of orange oil in two products as a complete solution for any type of cleaning. The General Purpose Wonder Gel is a super powerful cleaner and degreaser suitable for all surfaces and gentle on hands (no sulfates or phosphates). The other product is a Bio-Detergent and fabric softener in one that guarantees a perfectly clean wash and a beautifully fresh fragrance. It is pH balanced, 100% biodegradable and gentle on fabrics. priced from r33.99

Hotbox cooking THE HOT BOx THERMAL COOKER is an incredibly simple, yet effective form of insulated cooking that is power saving and convenient. Once food has been heated through, and transferred to your hotbox, it effectively seals in heat so food can continue cooking at a high temperature, without using any additional power. Available in small, medium and large. priced from r229.00

Honeywood farm Honey has many healing properties and is an excellent natural anti-biotic and skin care remedy. It offers a truly natural alternative to sugar and can be used in baking, to sweeten hot drinks, in salad dressings, on cereals and fruit, or as a topping on bread. Badger Friendly. r36.95

Pure sensation Simply irresistible, Just Pure is made from 100% pure plant oils and natural scents that are safe for the whole family to use, and are kind to the earth. Minimal packaging is kept simple and easy to recycle, yet the range looks fabulous. The products are never tested on animals and the preservative free creations promotes beauty, balance and wellbeing for men, women, children and babies. priced from r25.00

theSe pAGeS proudly BrouGht to you By

12 food

The nutritional marvels of




Research has indicated that an increased intake of selenium decreases the incident of prostate cancer by up to 60%. A serving of Portabellini mushrooms (between 80 and 100gm) provides almost a 1/3 of the daily required need for selenium. Portabellas (big browns) and white button mushrooms are also good sources of the nutrient.


AnTi-AGEinG oPTion

Fresh cultivated mushrooms contain important anti-aging antioxidants such as Ergothioneine that fights free radicals. Wheat germ has always been considered an essential source for this antioxidant, but apparently mushrooms contain twelve times more! And as they are readily available and affordable, eating them may be a better long term anti-ageing investment than those expensive creams!


RESH, CULTIVATED MUSHROOMS are readily available, affordable and extremely versatile and studies are showing that they play a vital role in maintaining health.


rEduCE ThE inCidEnCE of hEArT ATTACkS

Excessive salt intake is associated with high blood pressure (or hypertension), which can damage the arteries and lead to heart disease. Fresh mushrooms are one of the best low-sodium food choices as they contain only 14mg of sodium per 100gms. A low salt diet allows for between 400 - 1000 mg of sodium

5 per day showing just how impressive their low sodium content is.


wEiGhT ConTrol

A 2010 research study by the South African Mushroom Farmers’ Association (SAMFA) confirmed fresh mushrooms as a formidable ally to aid weight loss. They have a high nutrient density compared to their kilojoule/calorie content (one cup of raw mushrooms contains approximately 20 calories) and provide essential nutrients without increasing the consumption of sodium or saturated fat.

flu-fiGhTinG funGi

Vitamin D increases our ability to fight infections by increasing the production of antimicrobial peptides that can destroy viruses, bacteria and fungi. Mushrooms are the only vegetable that naturally contains Vitamin D. A 100g serving of white button mushrooms contains 4% of the daily requirement of Vitamin D.


viTAMin And MinErAl booSTEr

Mushrooms are also packed with B vitamins: thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pyridoxine (B6) and folate (especially important during the early stages of pregnancy) and contain essential minerals: potassium, selenium, phosphorous, copper and small, but nutritionally important, amounts of iron.


lowEr blood PrESSurE

Recommended lifestyle changes to control your blood pressure include attaining and keeping a healthy weight, cutting back on salt and eating more foods rich in potassium. Fresh mushrooms are high in potassium. In fact most people may be surprised to learn that while orange juice is touted as one of the highest potassium foods, one medium Portabella mushroom or five white button mushrooms have more potassium than an orange!


inCrEASES rEd blood CEll ProduCTion

Mushrooms provide a significant amount of copper - one of the essential minerals that help our body to produce red blood cells to function efficiently. A cup of stir-fried white button mushrooms provides 0.3 milligram of copper, which is about onethird of the recommended daily intake for adults.


ThE kinG of uMAMi

While many ingredients have umami, there is one that stands alone as the king of umami: fresh mushrooms! Mushrooms not only deliver plenty of umami on their own, they actually intensify the umami of the other ingredients, an effect called “synergy.” This means that by adding mushrooms to just about any savoury dish, everything else in the dish will taste even better! So there you have it. Fresh mushrooms are the ultimate trump card – delicious and angelically good for you too. Now all you have to do is make sure that you throw a handful of mushrooms into every dish you serve. courtesy

drink 13

What’s in your wine?


I love coffee Coffee lovers congregated at The Biscuit Mill in Cape Town for the first coffee festival. This initiative is aimed at raising awareness of the many varieties of delicious coffee available in South Africa and in providing an online platform where coffee aficionados can swop information and debate who has the best cup in town. Whether you like it black (as a sign read - milk is for babies) and can distinguish the different flavours that a region imprints upon its beans, or prefer it concentrated and with a powerful punch – triple espresso anyone? I Love Coffee will point you in the right direction. Join their free directory at

HE EVENING WAS A GREAT SUCCESS but as you pull yourself out of bed the next morning you wonder why you are feeling so terrible! Understandable perhaps if you drank a lot, but if you still feel awful after only a couple of glasses of wine? A bottle of wine is one of the few things you purchase that does not list its ingredients; nowhere on the bottle are its contents listed, yet more often than not it will be additives such as sulphurs and added acid that will give you that thumping headache or feeling of nausea. The selection of wines available in South Africa is huge; every year dozens of new labels appear on the supermarket shelves so there has never been a better time to get to know your supplier. Make a list of the wines you enjoy and try to visit the wineries where they are made, this gives you an ideal opportunity to ask questions about how the wine is made, whether artificial additives are used and how much acid is in the wine. Most importantly ask about the producer’s farming practices. Most wineries are only to happy to share their knowledge and even show you around the winery and vineyards. It is often better to choose a slightly older wine that has had time to mature in the bottle, thus allowing its natural flavour to evolve. As an organic farmer and winemaker I know from firsthand experience that it is possible to manage the vineyard without spraying a poisonous cocktail of pesticides and herbicides which will leave a residue that can affect your health. With careful management of the grapes in the cellar it is equally possible to make fine wines by using natural wild yeasts and not adding enzymes and acids and filtering and agents

By christine stevens - winemaker at Mountain oaks organic winery

checkout wine and biodiversity initiatives:

Primitively smooth



T IS NO COINCIDENCE that the finest sipping vodkas are made from grains grown on the high Russian steppes and during the short Scandinavian summers; cold climate grain makes smooth vodka with fine flavour. So how on earth can vodka be made in South Africa? The grain used by Roger Jorgensen at the distillery on his farm in Wellington, where he produces Primitiv Vodka and other finely-handcrafted spirits, is itself primitive. Primitive spelt was the staple grain of choice from the Bronze Age through to postmedieval times. Now a relict crop, spelt is precious. It is grown high in the Cedarberg, right on the snowline, on virgin land, to strict holistic practices. It is also this primitive spelt that gives Primitiv Vodka its unique flavour. Primitiv is not just another vodka; it’s authentic, sophisticated and silky smooth, with a rush of peppery spice, elusive floral and anise touches over a creamy grain. Drink it cold; very cold.

bEAn ThErE – fAir TrAdE CoffEE roSETTA roASTEry

primitiv can be bought online: alternatively, contact Jorgensen’s on 021 8641777 or for more information email

life in BAlAnce

such as gelatine. There are now a growing number of wineries in the Cape using organic and natural practices and most are committed to improving the welfare of the land on which they farm. There are also a growing number who are careful about what they put into their wines, so make a little time to get to know them and their wines; by doing so you can avoid those dreadful morning after symptoms.


Two lucky readers can each win a bottle of Jorgensen’s Primitiv Vodka. Email by 30 August 2011 with the words Primitiv Vodka in the subject line.


Our unique cross-platform marketing solutions, with options to suit any budget, can help you reach up to 160 000 readers and 30 000 loyal subscribers who are making conscious choices towards living a life in balance. To discuss how we can meet your needs contact Neil Frye on 072 075 3978 or email


e-newsletter cuts through the clutter and presents instant access to selected topical content, products and services. THE WEEk goes out 4 times per month to 30 000 subscribers.


presents a comprehensive resource guide to sustainable living, natural & organic products and services and is actively promoted via the newsletter and print magazine. The Directory offers monthly access to 65 000 directory page views.

life in balance

showcases news and innovations, design, products and services, and all elements of a balanced lifestyle. The publication is bi-monthly in our popular A3 format presenting 20 000 copies nationally.



Subscribe to our digital newsletter - THE WEEk - and enjoy selected topical content, news, views, reviews, interviews and competitions, special offers and giveaways, many of which are available exclusively to subscribers. THE WEEk delivers bite-sized offerings on all aspects of a balanced lifestyle straight to your inbox. Delicious recipes that take minutes to prepare, tips and how-to’s that don’t cost the earth, edible gardening in even the tiniest spaces, book and product reviews and much more to inform, entertain and save you time and money. Subscribe via the website or email to make sure you don’t miss a single issue.

the directory 15


he Directory is Life in Balance’s online resource guide to the best goods and services for sustainable living. Whether you need a landscaper, a water-saving shower head, a natural remedy, clothing, cosmetics, pet food, the most natural and organic products for your baby, local or handmade goods, or looking for importers, manufacturers and distributors of the best in natural, sustainable products, The Directory will point you in the right direction. To find just the product or service you need, visit The Directory via our website

Vice BreAkertM

SWediSh Spike MAt

THErE’S A rEMEDy fOr THAT! website provides a comprehensive guide to homeopathy as well as an extensive list of everyday as well as less common ailments, with remedies to suit babies, toddlers, teens, adults, pregnant mums, sports men and women, and even pets. More info at

Quitting smoking is not easy. On average it takes seven attempts to quit before quitting for good. Choosing the right programme can make all the difference. Vice-BreakerTM, an oral capsule made from natural ingredients, works to block nicotine receptors in your brain, making it easier to quit. More info at

Based on the ancient Indian bed of nails, the Swedish Acupressure Spike Mat provides pain relief, relaxation, deep and restful sleep and relief for tired, aching muscles, while activating the production of endorphins and promoting the release of oxytocin, the body’s own ‘”happy pill”. More info at

BeAutiful eArth

eArthnloVe productS


there’S A reMedy for thAt!

100% natural aromatherapy products for everyday personal care for the entire family. free of colourants and dyes, synthetic fragrances, sulphates, mineral oils, parabens, animal proteins and animal by-products, all products are cruelty free and vegan-friendly. Beautiful Earth is also an environmentally friendly company with strong sustainability credentials. More info at

Earthnlove utilises fynbos essential oils, plant ingredients and earth salts. These ingredients assist with skin conditioning and improve skin aliments. Earthnlove does not use perfume, colourants, parabens, sodium lauryl sulphate, EDTA, alcohol or mineral oils. Use Earthnlove and feel the benefits of clean plant formulations. More info at

Healthmakers are the largest suppliers and distributors in SA of healthy lifestyle equipment. Specialising in equipment for raw food diets, healing from disease, and healthy lifestyles, they stock purifiers, distillers, food processors, slicers, blenders, dehydrators, peelers, sprouters, juicers and much more. More info at nAhix1

GreenQueen coMMunicAtionS

liVe life lekker

pure nAturAlS

Brand Interaction or a five-sensory experience is a powerful marketing tool that gives your customer an opportunity to interact with your brand. This method of marketing is ideal to build brand awareness, build relationships, reach a wide audience and leverages off the Power of Sampling and the Law of reciprocation. More info at provides a Step by Step Online Self Coaching Program to guide and support you to achieve your dreams and live purposefully. Become part of a community of positive and successful people and discover the means to achieve the same. More info at

Most commercial incense and fragrances are made with synthetic ingredients. Pure naturals products based on ancient recipes appreciated for their purity, variety and deep, sensuous aromas - are made with flower petals, tree resins and rare essential oils. More info at

Join the directory

the directory is different to other online resource guides in that it is actively promoted in a number of ways, including via our very popular weekly e-newsletter, emailed to nearly 30 000 loyal subscribers. To find out more about how The Directory and Life in Balance can help you reach thousands of South Africans countrywide, contact Advertising Manager neil frye at or call 072 075 3978

Time 4 Change With its range of new, environmentally friendly ‘eco-drive’ timepieces, citizen has established a ‘time 4 change’ movement with a collection that offers unquestionable sophistication. Citizen’s progressive Eco-Drive technology harnesses the power of light- from any natural or artificial light source - and converts it into energy. This means it recharges continuously, so you’ll never have to replace a battery. A total of 7.2 million Eco-Drive watches were sold between 2005 & 2007, which means that 7.2 million batteries were effectively removed from the waste stream and ultimately the environment. To put this in context, if 7.2 million batteries were piled on top of each other, the stack would be 1.7 times the height of Mount Everest.


One lucky reader can win an Eco-Drive watch from Citizen, valued at r3 000. Complete the following sentence: Eco-Drive watches are powered by .............. Email the missing word to before 30 September 2011 with “Eco Drive Watch” in the subject line. One entry per person.

Life in Balance issue 12  

Inspiriting a sustainable culture