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simply Leading the eco-lifestyle

march •  2013

water a hot topic graphene next best thing prince charles the eco-royal

earth-man gadgets kids & Nature

the tech edition smart eco-living with samsung antarctica: the final frontier • urban food garden • motoring

10 l 20 enta nm sm iro nali v En our ard J Aw er nn Wi ican Afr ited uth Lim e So ies Th er Brew





78 36 Inhabitat Readers Awards 38 Water: A Hot Topic 42 Antarctica 88 Being Earth Kind

08 General 12 Motoring 46 Building


32 The Eco-Royal 23 Graphene 29 10 Trends for 2013


48 Satori 56 Why Silver Rules



14 Honda Brio

simply Leading the eco-lifestyle • Cape Town Office • P O Box 30946, Tokai, 7966 Tel 27 (0) 21 713 0018 or 27 (0) 21 712 4665 082 579 7915 • Fax 27 (0) 21 715 2809 SG 2

18 Eco-Living from Samsung 98 App-Attack

16 Earth Hour




81 Plant Breeding in Africa

Publisher Chris Erasmus Editor Nicole Sherwin Creative Director Silke Erasmus Assistant Editor Lenard Roos

National Sales Consultants Tim Glen Tamzen Scoulelis Studio Manager Kevin Rule

Issue 1



Volume 6 No.1


23 42 Kids


70 Nature's Ratios 72 MySchool

68 Recreate

Family Fun

For Him

52 Green Easter Tips

62 Earth-Man Gadgets



51 An Eco-Mindset

78 Seeds Glorious Seeds 82 Urban Food Garden

House GS Publishing Green Spaces Publishing House

Webmaster Garry Doel




60 Wellness Warehouse 74 On Safari 100 Books & CDs 104 Listings

Copyright Simply Green is a registered trademark and is copyright protected worldwide. Material

Webdesign Michael-Ray Erasmus


published in Simply Green, including all

Opinions expressed in this magazine are not

artwork, may not be reproduced without the

necessarily those of the publishers or staff.

permission of the editor.

Accounts Tracy Lee Nash Green Spaces.indd 1

2/20/2008 3:51:48 PM

3 SG

editor's note Welcome to our brand new online magazine, Simply Green Digimag. As SA’s no1 green lifestyle print magazine, Simply Green has been inspiring our readers to live more sustainable lives without compromising on lifestyle. It is our hope that we can now reach a worldwide audience through our digital realm with the latest information, news, tips and expert advice from our amazing team of researches and writers. Simply Green Digimag launches with an initial reach of over 3.6 million via existing channels, with this expected to increase rapidly through partnerships and viral distribution. We hope that with our new digital offering, you will find insight and inspiration and will want to get more involved through social media, helping enviro-causes and getting friends and family to jump onboard the ‘hot tamale’ green train.

'I'm really excited to be working on the Simply Green Digimag and hope to continue to motivate more healthy lifestyle choices.'

We’d love to hear your feedback, so please feel free to join us on Wishing you many green blessings. Consciously yours, Nicole Sherwin Editor

Nicole Sherwin has lived and worked in England, SA and the USA, and is dedicated and focused on sustainability, wellness and social responsibility, inspiring people to make more conscious choices for a healthier, more sustainable life. Passionate about eco-lifestyles, Nicole hones her extensive experience in the entertainment and media industries as DIY TV presenter ‘Eco Diva’ on SABC 3’s morning breakfast show Expresso every Thursday between 8-8.30am and writes as Eco Diva in the Odyssey Digimag, Wellness Warehouse magazine and has a new regular expert column in Nicole has produced and hosted numerous carbon-neutral, green-focused events and has worked with many A-list clients on corporate launches, film premiers and TV shows. On the red carpet in Los Angeles, through her Celebrity Soul online videos, Nicole interviewed the Hollywood 'gliterati' to find out how they are using their celebrity status to make a difference in the world and inspire others through their charity work and enviro-activism. At COP 17 in 2011, Nicole co-hosted Sir Richard Branson’s Carbon War Room Gigaton Awards together with President of Costa Rica Jose Maria Figueres. SG 4

we’re on the right track.

Nedbank is the Sustainable Bank of the Year for Middle East and Africa. We were recently awarded the title ‘Sustainable Bank of the Year for Middle East and Africa’. Nedbank took top honours in the sustainability sector at the Financial Mail/International Finance Corporation Sustainable Finance Awards 2012 ceremony in London. The 2012 achievement is our third accolade in this category and an acknowledgement that the sustainability journey we began over 20 years ago has positioned us well to support our clients as we transition to a greener economy. Forging ahead we will continue to lead by example today for a better tomorrow. For more information on our green journey visit

Nedbank Ltd Reg No 1951/000009/06, VAT Reg No 4320116074, 135 Rivonia Road, Sandown, Sandton, 2196, South Africa. We subscribe to the Code of Banking Practice of The Banking Association South Africa and, for unresolved disputes, support resolution through the Ombudsman for Banking Services. We are an authorised financial services provider. We are a registered credit provider in terms of the National Credit Act (NCR Reg No NCRCP16).

purpleberry 0912/7264

Earning accolades for our sustainability effort tells us

Contributors Ariane de Bonvoisin is an author (The First 30 Days: Your Guide to Making Any Change Easier), speaker, change expert and entrepreneur. She is the CEO and founder of, a website focused on guiding people through all types of changes. Marie Le Fort, after graduating from French business school ESCP, became a journalist. Constantly looking out for emerging signs of creativity, she travels the globe to meet artists and trend-setters. She contributes editorial to numerous international magazines. See here. Peter Oldacre is the Sub Sahara Regional Manager for Skypower Global, a Canadian solar project developer which is an independent equity investor of renewable energy projects globally. Peter also lead the Deloitte Renewable Energy and Climate Change team in SA. Jane Griffiths has been growing organic vegetables and herbs in her Johannesburg garden for more than 15 years. She has published a few books and now shares her knowledge and tips with Simply Green readers. See here.

SG Advisory Board

15-17 MARCH 2013

Pretoria National Botanical Gardens

It starts with you and me

Come and see the latest trends in greening your home and garden. The GreenAge Theatre in partnership with Nampak will be hosted by Lorraine Jenks from Greenstuff together with Simply Green magazine. Find out more about gardening with packaging - how recycling in your garden is fun and can save you money. Visit The Gardener Live for eco-living at its best.

Sean Doel is the founding editor of Simply Green. A Technical Director at WSP, specialising in contaminated land investigations and remediation. He is also passionate about what we can all do to address climate change. Jeunesse Park established ProGreen, SA’s first environmental communications and public relations company, as well as Food & Trees for Africa and has won many awards. Liz Eglington (Western Cape Woman Farmer of the Year for 2005/2006) owns Buffelshoek Farm, is Chairperson of Terra Madre SA and Director and Secretary of the SA Organic Sector Organisation. Cormac Cullinan is an enviro-attorney and governance expert who has worked on environmental issues in more than 20 countries and founded the specialist enviro-governance consultancy, EnAct. Prof Bruce Hewitson is the director of the Climate System Analysis Group (CSAG) and was the co-ordinating lead author on regional climate projections for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Prof Mark Swilling is an internationally-recognised expert in sustainable development and is Academic Director of The Sustainability Institute, University of Stellenbosch. Raj Lochan is CEO of the Rose Foundation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to the recycling of used oils in South Africa, and has served on the regional committee of the Wildlife and Enviro-society of SA. Dr Pat Garratt is Managing Director of the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town, currently sits on the Steering Committee of the International Aquarium Congress and is vice-chair of the International Aquarium Forum.


N ews China leads on watershed protection investment

China is the leading nation in terms of global investment in protecting natural watersheds, a recent assessment has found. The report's authors said water insecurity was probably 'the single biggest risk to the country's continued economic growth'. Globally, US$8.17b was spent in 205 projects in 2011 to protect areas that provided drinking water and supplies, the assessment – produced by US-based NGO Forest Trends' Ecosystems Marketplace – reported. 'Healthy watershed systems do a range of services for us for free so we usually take them for granted,' explained Genevieve Bennett, Forest Trends research analyst and the report's lead author. 'But the reality is that we depend upon it – there is no substitute for clean water supplies and there is not enough money in the world to replace all of these functions with technology.' The assessment, State of Watershed Payments 2012 (which includes SA), looked at initiatives that funded individuals or local communities to preserve or revive natural features, such as wetlands, streams and forests that can store and filter freshwater supplies. The report can be downloaded at www.

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Gemasolar leads the way

Gemasolar is the first solar plant in the world to combine central tower technology (a type of solar furnace using a tower to receive the focused sunlight) with molten salt storage system (now in use as a means to retain a high temperature thermal store). The relevance of this plant lies in its technological uniqueness, since it opens up the way for new thermosolar electrical generation technology. The notable increase in the plant's power efficiency guarantees electrical production for 6 500 hours a year, 1.5 to 3 times more than other renewable energies. The plant will thus supply clean, safe power to 25 000 homes and reduce atmospheric CO emissions by more than 30  000 tons a year. The power generated by Gemasolar will be sent through a high-tension line to the substation of Villanueva del Rey (Andalusia, Spain), where it will be injected into the grid. 2

Levi's (finally) detoxes

They say you can tell next season's hottest trend by looking at the colour of the rivers in Mexico and China. That's because global fashion brands like Levi's were, up until recently, using hazardous chemicals and dyes to make their clothes. Toxic, hormone-disrupting chemicals have been found in the waterways where Levi's' suppliers discharged their wastewater. Sadly, it never had to be this way. Thanks to global people power, Greenpeace was able to convince Zara, the world’s largest retailer, to commit to work with their suppliers and clean up their toxic water pollution. Levi's, being the world's biggest jeans producer, have also now made a credible and ambitious commitment to detox. After many gruelling hours of talks with Greenpeace campaigners, and a global campaign with more than 215 000 eco-activists, Levi’s has committed to 'go forth and detox'. At the time of the announcement, the campaigners were inside with Levi's top brass, activists were outside in the company's courtyard, and thousands of concerned citizens were creating a storm online to make this happen.


'Sea levels rising 60% faster than projected' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

CAN DO! Trekking for Trash

New way of assessing a product's enviro-impact


The new year marks a milestone in the CAN DO! Trekking for Trash social change adventurers lives as they recently reached the halfway mark in the gruelling seven month, 3 000km trek across SA’s shoreline. Camilla Howard and Michael Baretta set off on their quest to clean up our beaches from Alexander Bay late in 2012 and have recently reached Brenton-on-Sea, the halfway point. Having endured strong South Easterly winds along the West Coast, and rocky coastline with shark-infested rivers along the East Coast, the team are facing their fear of heights and snakes as they make their way to Kosi Bay, the finish line, by late April 2013. The team have collected 2.5 tons of litter along the way and have engaged with six schools to educate the youth about caring for the environment. They have a competition on their Facebook page, encouraging local communities to initiate clean-ups in their area and post pictures of their efforts on the page in order to stand a chance of winning R5 000 – the competition ends in late April 2013. The team’s litter target is 7 tons and they hope to reach this goal with the help of local communities. Visit or follow them on Twitter @Trekking4Trash for more.

A new method of integrated accounting and reporting will allow companies to place a monetary value on the enviro-effects of their products, says professional services firm PwC. 'A paradigm shift is required by companies in the way they currently do business and account for all costs and report to stakeholders. The importance of comprehensive stakeholder reporting has been brought to the fore in the wake of the recent economic uncertainty, social disparity and enviro-degradation,' says Jayne Mammatt, an Associate Director within PwC's Sustainability and Integrated Reporting Department. There are signs that at least some institutions worldwide are taking the issue of sustainability reporting seriously. Sports and lifestyle firm Puma, with the support of PwC and Trucost, recently launched the results of its first product level Enviro-Profit & Loss (EP&L) accounts, which place a monetary value on the enviro-impact of products. 'The accounting method is designed to give a better understanding of the enviro-impact of the company and boost its competitive position in industry,’ says Mammatt. Currently accounting practices do not make recognition for the lost value of natural systems destroyed by the industry and as a result they are not protected by market forces.

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Are biofuels the greener option?

Dr Hartmut Michel (pictured) won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1988 for his work on photosynthesis, and he is currently the director of the Molecular Membrane Biology department at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysics and is a top expert on photosynthesis: 'Plants are only converting about 1% of the sun's energy into chemical energy. Leaving 99% of the energy on the table isn't a very good start. And this compares very badly with commercially available solar panels which can convert around 20% of sunlight into electricity, two orders of magnitude more. More than 50% of the energy stored in the biofuel had to be invested in order to obtain the biomass (in the production, for example) and the chemical conversion into the respective biofuel. So a minuscule fraction of the sun's energy ends up in biofuels, but a large fraction of even that end product had to come from fossil fuels. This means that carbon emission reductions are minimal, and sometimes there might not even be any. And to do that we have to use large quantities of arable land and food, thus degrading precious soil and putting pressure on food prices, hitting the poor especially hard. Biodiesel made from waste is a lot greener, but sadly it doesn't quite scale up and recent diesel vehicles have sophisticated emission controls that don't always play nice with biodiesel. Then there's second and third generation biofuels made from non-food sources like switchgrass and algae. Those have the potential to be a lot greener, but you still run into the inefficiencies,' says Dr Michel.

Government enforces steel plant emission control

Arcelormittal SA, a unit of the world's top steelmaker, recently received a notice asking it to cease operation at some units at its Vanderbijlpark plant over enviro-concerns. The Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development alleges that these units do not comply with certain conditions of the air emission licence for the Vanderbijlpark plant.

Tidal energy farm gets green light

Bord Gåis has partially won the rights to develop the first tidal energy farm to be built off the coast of Ireland. Along with project partner OpenHydro, the company will, over the course of the next eight years, develop and build a 100MW tidal energy farm off the Antrim coast. The project will generate enough power for approximately 75 000 homes across North Ireland. This project is part of efforts towards a target of having 40% of electricity derived from renewable sources by 2020.

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Grand Designs

25-28 April 2013. KZN Botanical Gardens. This popular fair also incorporates sustainable living ideas.

24-26 May. Coca-Cola Dome, JHB. SA's leading contemporary home show promises to deliver a unique, award-winning exhibition.

The Gardener Live

The Solar Show

15-17 March. Pretoria National Botanic Gardens. Spectacular events, designer gardens, interesting gardening goodies and much more.

Sustain & Build

9-10 April. Sandton Convention Centre. Sustain & Build Africa – the future of design, construction and the built environment.


9-10 April. Sandton Convention Centre. Africa’s largest solar forum bringing excellence and decision makers together.

Clean Power Africa

14-15 May. CTICC. Major stakeholders from the renewable energy sector get together and network.


'Corporate spending on sustainability, environmental and energy programs is likely to rise this year, despite a challenging economic backdrop'. Analyst firm, Verdantix



Indigenous Plant Fair

Promised Land

Directed by Gus van Sant, Matt Damon portrays a salesman for a natural gas company who is sent with a colleague (Frances McDormand) to convince farmers to give up their land for fracking. Things don't go as planned, however, as Damon's character, who was raised on a farm, is faced with growing criticism from the local community, leading him to recant his greedy ways. Released by Ster Kinekor on 3 May.

British engineers create petrol from air & water

Engineers at Air Fuel Synthesis (AFS) in Teeside, northern England, say they have produced 5l of synthetic petrol over a period of three months. The technique involves extracting CO from air and hydrogen from water, and combining them in a reactor with a catalyst to make methanol. The methanol is then converted into petrol. By using renewable energy to power the process, it is possible to create carbon-neutral fuel that can be used in an identical way to standard petrol, scientists behind the technology say. 'You just make what you need to make in terms of the contents of it, so it doesn't contain what might be seen as pollutants, like sulphur,' said Peter Harrison, chief executive officer of AFS. The work is part of a two-year project that has so far cost around R12.8m. The green petrol will not appear on forecourts any time soon, though. 'We can't make the petrol at pump prices, but we will do eventually,' Harrison said: 'All we need is renewable energy to make it, and so when oil becomes a problem we will be able to make a contribution to keep vehicles moving.' AFS said it was confident the technology could be scaled up to refinery size in the future. Each of the processes that go into making the fuel already take place separately on an industrial scale. For now, however, AFS plans to build a commercial plant in the next two years that will produce around 1 200l a day of specialist fuels for the motorsports sector. 2

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Motoring News

Hyundai-Kia's Ray EV

The Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group achieved a major landmark with their announcement that sales of their eco-friendly hybrid cars have surpassed over 100 000 units in just three years since the launch of hybrid variants of the Kia Optima and Hyundai Sonata in July 2009. The best sales have been in 2012 with 56 203 units – an almost 70% jump over the same period last year. While still a way behind the hybrid market leader, Toyota (which sold more than a million hybrids last year alone), the Korean carmaker has been actively pushing development of their electric, hybrid and other low-emission vehicles. Kia introduced the Ray – their first electric car – last year, while Hyundai has plans to release another new enviro-friendly car in 2015. They also have hydrogen fuel cell cars in the works with launch rumoured to be as early as 2015. On a side note, Kia's corporate social responsibility included a donation of around R80 000 to the Red Cross, R800 000 to Make-A-Wish International, R1.6m to the Children's Cancer Hospital in Egypt and R50 000 to CANSA.

Nissan supports Reach for a Dream

Late last year, the GTR_Z Club and Nissan’s Reach for a Dream raceway event for 21 terminally ill junior race enthusiasts was an overwhelming success. The excitement and laughter that pervaded the track as the boys took their turn in Nissan’s iconic sports car was a triumph for the club and its co-host Nissan. When the dust settled the children, aged between 10 and 18 who come from disadvantaged backgrounds, were still on 'cloud nine' after a morning of fun-filled activities.

Chrysler SA joins forces with the Reserve Protection Agency (RPA) Chrysler SA’s Jeep brand has joined forces with the RPA by sponsoring two Jeep Wrangler vehicles to assist in the fight against poaching within SA. The cars will be utilised by the RPA for a period of one year.

Chevrolet supports communities in need

Chevrolet Ute Force is a varied team of skilled experts, from carpenters and plumbers to electricians and industrial designers, comprising dedicated individuals with a fleet of Chevrolet Utilities at their disposal, who have started travelling around the country over the span of a year to assist communities who need it most. The latest Ute Force initiative, called the Lighthouse Run, includes a group of four women athletes (left) who ran 1 200km along SA's coast to raise awareness for abuse against women and children. Lighthouse Run will repeat this year, seeking to include one or more additional countries in 2014, and then will extend to one run per continent by 2016. The project seeks to raise R1m to fund the relevant NGOs concerned. Visit for more. S G 12

Ford Fusion Hybrid

The Fusion Hybrid isn’t just a pretty face. From its MyFord Touch infotainment system to its hotspot functionality, this third generation Fusion adds some much needed fun to the hybrid equation. Throw in Ford’s SmartGauge EcoGuide and Lane Keeping System, and the 2013 Fusion Hybrid (starting at $27,200) makes hybrids look down-right sexy. Ford’s MyFord Touch infotainment and telematics system is available as an optional add-on to the Fusion. The system runs the latest version of the MyFord Touch software. An impressive intuitive feature is when EV+ Mode is activated, the Fusion can detect when you are approaching your home and automatically switch over to electric-only mode. The car does this by learning your driving patterns over a two to four week period. Once it understands your usual routes it will automatically activate EV+ Mode at a predetermined distance from your home and run on electric power the rest of the way.

GM leads in energy challenge

GM now has 54 facilities meeting a voluntary energy reduction challenge – requiring facilities to reduce energy intensity by 10% within five years, as set by the US Enviro-Protection Agency – more than any company worldwide. GM’s 54 facilities

cut their energy usage by close to 26% within just two to three years, resulting in a saving around R720m and a CO2 reduction of 1.25 million metric tons – equal to the electricity needed to power more than 142 069 homes annually.

GM Aims for zero landfill

waste by 2015

GMSA is focused on reducing and eventually eliminating the amount of waste which gets sent to landfill sites over the next three years. Non-recyclable waste produced during the manufacturing process is measured by kilogram per vehicle produced. In 2008 the amount of non-recyclable waste collected at GMSA’s Port Elizabeth plants was measured at 34kg/ unit. Through the diligent work done by the team, this has dropped considerably to 9kg/unit, an improvement of 25kg/unit. GMSA Facilities Area Manager, Lushen Govender, says: 'What this means for us is that we are pushing the boundaries in terms of incorporating the three "R's" into our business model of reducing, re-using and recycling of our waste.'

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honda brio You don't need a hybrid, plug-in or alternative-fuel vehicle to be a more eco-friendly motorist. The arrival on the scene of Honda's latest small-engined offering, the Brio, makes this point. We take a look.


With the introduction of the bright and bold new Brio, Honda Motors SA offers an exciting and affordable alternative in the entry level hatchback market. The stylish and nimble Brio, aimed at the younger first-time car buyer, fits in below the Jazz in the local Honda model line-up and will be available in both manual and automatic in comfort trim specification with service plan as standard. The Brio’s name was derived from the Italian word for 'verve', 'vigour', 'cheerfulness' and 'energy'. This aptly describes Honda’s first entry into the growing and increasingly important segment which will allow budget-conscious buyers to experience the brand's famed product quality, driving dynamics, fuel-efficiency, spaciousness and safety in a new and affordable package. For the designers and engineers it was quite a challenge to realise Honda's ideal of combining affordability and utility with excitement, stylishness and visual appeal. S G 14

'The Brio's combination of styling, affordability, quality and, above all, motoring fun, will offer young first-time buyers an attractive budget motoring option.' A feeling of spaciousness that makes a car seem roomier than it actually is, as well as a feel of quality that makes the owner proud are design qualities that appeal to everyone, regardless of age, gender or nationality. While particular emphasis is placed on affordability and value with the Brio, it still retains the Honda brand's key virtues. Advanced technology is epitomised by the sprightly 1.2l i-VTEC engine, new to South Africa, which delivers both sparkling performance and frugal fuel economy. S G Visit for more.

Fuel economy & enviro-performance Fuel efficient 1.2l i-VTEC engine with combined consumption figure of only 5.6l/100km (manual) and 6.3l/100km (auto) CO² emissions of only 133g/km

(manual) and 150g/km (auto) ECO-indicator, driver coaching


Scan the QR code to see how we created this ad using the very tread that inspired it. Follow us & see how ‘smart choices’ can change things.

Tread Smartly. When you choose a Bridgestone Ecopia tyre, you aren’t simply choosing ‘the greener option’ or leading technology and innovation that inspires superior performance in moments when you truly need it. You are choosing a philosophy that says: “I made the smart choice”.

Bridgestone South Africa. Visit our website: Available at: and other selected Bridgestone dealers.

As the countdown to Earth Hour 2013 continues, WWF South Africa (WWF-SA) is calling on everyone to switch off their lights for one hour and switch over to more sustainable ways of living, and doing business, beyond the hour.

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n South Africa, the majority of fuel and electricity used comes from 'dirty', non-renewable sources such as coal, oil and gas. We all depend on energy, from lighting and heating our homes, to charging our mobile phones or getting from place to place. 'We must become aware of the kind of energy we use every day and the need to switch over to clean, renewable energy sources such as sun, wind and water,' says WWF-SA CEO, Dr MornĂŠ du Plessis. 'If we embrace the power of nature rather than act against it, we can ensure a more sustainable energy supply into the future. In addition this will help preserve the health of the planet on which we depend.' Du Plessis explains that first and foremost, we all need to aim to be energy efficient. This means using the stairs instead of the lift, switching off the lights when you leave a room and unplugging appliances when not in use. It also includes switching over to more energy-efficient and sustainable solutions such as energy-saving light bulbs, renewable energy sources such as solar-water geysers and solar panels, and reducing our transport energy consumption by carpooling, walking or cycling where possible. Currently, we are using the equivalent of 1.5

times the planet's natural resources to support consumption patterns. Much of this overshoot relates to the Earth's inability to keep up with storing excess carbon. For this reason, we cannot afford to ignore the critical environmental challenges we are facing, especially from the use of dirty fossil fuels. 'Our small positive actions all add up. Together we must find the energy to turn the inspiration of one hour into the actions of every hour,' explains Du Plessis. 'We encourage all South Africans to unite with millions of people around the globe for the world's largest mass participation event for the environment by switching off your lights and celebrating Earth Hour in whatever ways best honour the planet.' S G

This annual symbolic act takes place on Saturday, 23 March 2013 from 8:30-9:30pm and gives all of us an opportunity to reflect on our impact on the environment and renew our commitment to protecting the planet. Click for more on Earth Hour Click for WWF

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A greener techno lifestyle? How do you do it? Green is without a doubt more than a passing fad! Everyday consumers are becoming more environmentally conscious and want, no, demand, products that consider conservation while still delivering innovation. If we consider that global warming is a serious reality, where the planet’s temperature is set to increase by 3-4 degrees* by the year 2100, it’s of little surprise that consumers are voicing their demand for choice. Today, consumers want to be able to contribute to a greener world by choosing eco friendly and energy efficient technologies – without any extra effort or compromise on their part. Worldwide, Samsung is a brand that intrinsically understands this proposition and has built its business on delivering leading green technologies throughout its product range. In fact, Samsung is now considered one of the Top 10 brands in the world, based on its recent jump from 17th to 9th place on the Interbrand Best Global Brands Report for 2012. Certainly this honour is, in part, indicative of Samsung’s ability to inspire the world, while enhancing the lives of its customers. In fact, Samsung is making it effortless for consumers to contribute to sustainability in their daily lives by simply choosing products that boast innovative technology and ‘A’ energy ratings, all of which intentionally save precious resources – such as electricity and water. There is a common misconception that eco/energy efficient products are seen to be more expensive. In some cases perhaps they are, but what consumers should bear in mind is that the long-term benefits, and in fact the related cost savings of purchasing eco friendly products can far outweigh the initial purchase price when comparing everyday energy savings. So if you consider a retrofit LED light bulb, while a little pricier than a traditional light bulb, they are 80% more energy efficient and last for 15 years – meaning not only are you saving on your electricity bill, but you are also saving on having to buy light bulbs regularly. So, examining the Samsung range of products for example, the Deep Foam washing machine, awarded an A+++ energy rating, has a unique bubblegenerating feature that helps detergent penetrate clothes 40 times faster. While conventional washing machines use heated water to wash clothes, this machine is able to wash clothes perfectly in low-temperature water, reducing energy consumption by up to 70%. On the other hand, the Samsung Jungfrau air conditioner uses a Smart inverter to ensure no

standby power is required and therefore reduces energy consumption by up to a massive 90% - saving you money on each month’s energy bill. And if that is not enough, the latest range of notebooks retain 80% of their original capacity, ensuring less reliance on electricity. Where energy supply is often limited to the more affluent communities and of course, the cost of energy is more often than not exorbitant – where the supply vs. demand for energy is very much skewed – there is no doubt that these products can make a vast difference. In fact, such a difference, that companies like Samsung have set a goal to reduce the average energy consumption of all their products by 40% and to achieve 0.5W of standby power by 2013. So as a consumer, you have to ask yourself, if corporate South Africa is taking this so seriously, surely there is merit in adopting the same or a similar level of eco-consciousness? But it’s not only energy products that are critical to making a change. Corporates and consumers need to commit to behaving in a socially responsible manner and changing everyday behaviours – whether user or developer-based. Samsung South Africa, for example, is proudly the first consumer electronics company to sign the 49M pledge - committing the brand to energy efficiency through both its product line and internal environment to encourage responsible use of electricity. As consumers you can also get involved in the 49M pledge – making a commitment to energy efficiency and the environment by simply visiting It is this type of commitment to proactively take responsibility for our use of resources and the required behavioural changes that will make the difference to South Africa’s CO² output and ensure a change within our environment. *


Get started! Tips to help you on your green journey: Fact: Use notebooks, tablets and phones that boast longer battery life and which require fewer charging cycles. Fact: Download books and magazines to your mobile device while travelling. Not only will you have less to carry, but you will contribute to reducing the reliance on printed materials. Fact: Using Wi-Fi enabled cameras while travelling ensures that you don’t need to connect to any additional devices to upload your photos, an action that uses more electricity. Rather, Wi-Fi lets you connect to any social media platforms or the Cloud directly from the camera. Fact: Unplug electrical appliances in your home when travelling – this can save you anything between 6% and 26% on your electricity costs monthly!

Samsung supports a greener world with Smart Eco-living solutions.

P roduct


Samsung 55' ES8000 Smart TV Samsung LED TVs are known to be energy-saving and easy to wall-mount. In fact, LED TVs are highly efficient power consumers. Depending on the series and screen size, Samsung's LED TVs in standard mode can be up to 46% more efficient than old back-lit LED screens Through a design that keeps the environment top of mind, Samsung's LED TVs are manufactured in a way that makes it possible to use harmless materials in production. The latest Samsung LED TVs do not require Cold Cathode Fluorescent Light (CCLF) for backlighting and as a result are completely mercury-free. Additionally, these TVs do not use lead to attach any of the necessary components making the disposal and recycling of these products safe to manage and more importantly eco compliant. The innovative Crystal Design bezel, made up of a combination of multiple colours, does not use harmful volatile organic compounds such as spray paint, reducing the amount of CO2 emissions released into the atmosphere during manufacturing. Additionally, a dual injection moulding process is used to create the Liquid Crystal effect, emitting no harmful chemicals. Such processes and design also ensure that Samsung's TVs are fully recyclable at the end of their life span.

GALAXY S III The Galaxy S III is 22% more efficient-based on how it consumes battery power versus its predecessor. Energy savings are achieved by specific power management software designed to look at how the device manages data and connectivity to the networks. However, with smartphone users demanding better performance with longer battery life, Samsung mobile devices balance power efficiency with performance to ensure the consumer experience is not impacted.

Series 9 new generation Notebook Samsung notebooks achieve much longer battery-life than most competitor products and the latest batteries retain about 80% of their original capacity for up to 1 500 charging cycles. Five years ago you could not rely on your laptop battery to function at full capacity beyond six months, but improvements in battery technology mean that you are unlikely to replace a battery, until you replace your Samsung notebook in around three years' time. This means that there is less need to depend on power to keep your notebook charged and in working order. Additionally, Samsung's notebooks are all energy-star-rated – ensuring that they are built and customised to save energy while plugged in.

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SAMSUNG DEEP FOAM ECO BUBBLE WASHING MACHINE Samsung's Deep Foam washing machine with ecobubble™ technology is designed to actually save electricity and water. Awarded an A+++ energy rating, the unique bubble-generating feature helps detergent penetrate clothes 40 times faster, which also protects clothes by completely removing detergent residue – ensuring that 'brand new' look is always kept. While conventional washing machines use heated water to wash clothes, the Samsung Deep Foam washing machine is able to wash clothes perfectly in low-temperature water, reducing energy consumption by up to 70%. This is the ultimate in design technology – it's kind on clothes, your pocket and, more importantly, the environment.

Samsung French Door Refrigerator The Samsung French Door fridge is guaranteed to keep foods fresher for longer as well as operate on less energy. This is thanks to Samsung's Digital Inverter Compressor Technology – a world first in fridge technology. Digital Inverter Compressor utilises a smart controller and five convenient RPM speeds, delivering up to 40% more energy-efficiency and significantly reducing noise when compared to models with similar food storage capacities. As a result, the compressor precisely adjusts cooling performance based on daily refrigerator use and temperature levels, both internally and externally. These technologies, as a result, maximise the freshness of food and reduce overall carbon dioxide production, a smart solution to reduce energy consumption while preserving the environment.

Samsung NX1000 SMART camera (with built-in Wi-Fi) With built-in Wi-Fi technology you can connect your digital camera to a wireless or social network without using any cables – making it possible to download and save photos directly to a computer while you shoot, print wirelessly or upload to social media channels. As a result, there is no need to boot up your PC to download your pictures – ensuring less reliance on electric power by supporting devices and ensuring the eco-efficient use of electricity.


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Know your recycling symbols Sometimes the modern world seems like one colossal plastic palace, this versatile material is in our cars, toys, packaging, clothing, home goods, food utensils, medical devices and so much more, but it is also littering our streets, clogging waterways and killing marine life. Many plastics can be readily recycled but how do you make sense of all the different types? Tuffy provides you with your guide to figuring out what those recycling symbols on plastics mean.

Energy Training 2013 for optimal sustainable development Certified Energy Manager (CEM ) 5 CPD credits for ECSA Understand the full spectrum of energy efficiency by identifying significant energy savings opportunities and implementing effective solutions for continued sustainable energy management programs in all industries. Attain international professional status through the AEE in the energy engineering industry that recognises ethical fitness and competence in 89 countries. Cpt 11-15 March 2013 Jhb 20-24 May 2013 Jhb 14-18 October 2013

Certified Measurement and Verification Professional (CMVP ) 1 PET or PETE (Polyethylene Terephalate Ethylene): Light-weight, low-priced and easy to fabricate, PETE is the most prevalent plastic material in use today and can be remade into polar fleece, fiber and carpet.

2. HDPE (High Density Polyethylene): HDPE is more durable and more impervious to chemical degeneration and poses a relatively low chance of spreading chemicals when used as container for food and drinks. They can be re-used into floor tile, drainage, new HDPE bottles, piping and other strong plastic items.

3. PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride): PVC is mainly used for piping and window cleaner bottles items that we do not have oral contact with. It can be reprocessed into mud-flaps, panels and mats.

4. LDPE (Low Density Polyethylene): LDPE is the material present in plastic bags, clothing and furniture. Resilient and flexible, it is perfect for packaging, insulation, and sealing, and can be
reconstituted into cans, compost bins, and landscaping tiles. 5. PP (Polypropylene): PP is most suited for boiling fluid receptacles and is made into brooms, straws and tomato sauce bottles, and reprocessed into rakes, brooms and trays.

6. PS (Polystyrene): PS is the top component for insulation and is used in foam products like expanded polystyrene (EPS), commonly known as styrofoam. It is found in take-away food containers, meat trays and CD cases. It is reprocessed into insulation, packaging and plant containers. Tuffy black bags are made from 100% recycled content, with the highest percentage of post-consumer waste possible. 350 tons of waste are diverted from landfill sites every month by choosing Tuffy refuse bags. The bags are also fully audited but SGS, the world’s leading certification company making Tuffy the only South African refuse bag manufacturer to be fully certified 100% recycled.

For more info visit: Join the conversation on Facebook: tuffybrands or Follow us on Twitter: @tuffybrands

3 CPD credits for ECSA Set industry required energy baselines, and measure and verify energy savings in compliance with international (IPMVP and EVO) and local standards, legislation and regulations. This AEE course uses protocols, methodologies and tools to quantify and manage the performance risks and benefits associated with end-use energy efficiency, renewable energy and water efficiency. PE 11-13 March 2013 Jhb 22-24 May 2013 Jhb 16-18 October 2013

Fundamentals for Energy Management Training (FEMT) 3 CPD credits for ECSA Learn the basics of electrical, mechanical, thermal systems and energy management fundamentals. An ideal course to invigorate technical knowledge and provides sufficient tools and knowledge to identify the correct technologies for your applications.Training is aimed at preparing delegates for the comprehensive CEM® and CMVP® training courses and examinations. Cpt 12-14 February 2013 Jhb 16-18 April 2013 Dbn 23-25 July 2013 Bloem 13-15 August 2013 Jhb 17-19 September 2013

Energy Management Systems Implementation (EnMSI) 2 CPD credits for ECSA Developed with DQS SA and Certification Europe the EnMSI is an ideal starting point to gain the knowledge and understanding to implement an energy management system, in accordance with ISO50001:2011 and EN16001:2009, using case studies and practical exercises. Jhb 20-21 May 2013 Jhb 16-17 October 2013

Customised and on-site training available.

The EnTF is the approved Southern African trainer of the US-based Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) and the SAEE in South Africa for CEM and CMVP.

Contact: Lydia Marais 076 401 3881/2

a division of Energy Cyber netics

WATCH THIS! meet-the-scientific-accidentthat-could-change-theworld?tag=futurism


OTENTIAL You may or may not have heard about graphene. Either way, it is a material that is about to change our lives in much the same way – more, perhaps – as the silicon chip has done through powering the IT revolution. We take a closer look.

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raphene is a substance composed of pure

wire made of carbon atoms and their bonds

carbon, with atoms arranged in a regular but

(see image). The crystalline or ‘flake’ form of

densely packed hexagonal pattern similar to

graphite consists of many graphene sheets

graphite, but in a one-atom thick sheet. It is very light,

stacked together. Because each component

with a single square metre weighing only 0.77mg. The

of a graphene sheet is so small (less than

term graphene was coined as a combination of graphite

two-tenths of a nanometer) this is one of

and the suffix-ene by Hanns-Peter Boehm, who described

the first nano technologies likely to see

single-layer carbon foils in 1962, so knowledge of this

widespread application in the near future.

amazing substance is not exactly new. What is new

has the great advantage of sequestering carbon

turning ordinary clothing into mobile, wearable computer

out of the atmosphere – though there is the issue of how

displays – among many other remarkable applications.

much carbon is released in making the material in the

Such clothing, with a graphene layer embedded in it, can

first place. Still, it’s better to be using carbon than simply

be crumpled, washed and generally used and abused in

burning stuff and releasing it to do its global warming

all the usual ways that clothes often are without damage


to the embedded graphene. It is most easily visualised as an atomic-scale chicken

'Because each component of a graphene sheet is so small (less than two-tenths of a nanometer) this is one of the first nano technologies likely to see widespread application in the near future.'

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And, because it is made from carbon, it

are the many ways it is being used, including, in effect,

Graphene is the basic structural element of some carbon material types, including graphite, charcoal,

carbon nanotubes and fullerenes. The Nobel Prize in

more than $1000 as of April 2008 (about $100 000 000/

Physics for 2010 was awarded to Andre Geim and

cm2). Since then, exfoliation procedures have been

Konstantin Novoselov at the University of Manchester

scaled up, and now companies sell graphene in large


quantities. Even cheaper graphene has been produced





two-dimensional material graphene’.

by transfer from nickel by Korean researchers, with wafer

In 2004, physicists at the University of Manchester and the Institute for Microelectronics Technology,

sizes up to 760mm reported. In 2011 the Institute of Electronic Materials Technology

Chernogolovka, Russia, first isolated individual graphene


planes by using adhesive tape. They also measured

announced a joint development of acquisition technology

electronic properties of the obtained flakes and showed

of large pieces of graphene with the best quality so far.

their unique properties.

In April the same year, Polish scientists with support from

These ultra-thin graphitic layers have been grown on various substrates, with vast implications for where our technologies will going very soon. In 2008, graphene produced by exfoliation was one of the most expensive materials on Earth, with a sample that can be placed at the cross section of a human hair costing






the Polish Ministry of Economy began the procedure for granting a patent for their discovery around the world.

Electronic properties

Graphene differs from most conventional 3D materials. Intrinsic







'Not only is graphene lighter, stronger, harder and more flexible than steel, it is also a recyclable and sustainably manufacturable product that is eco-friendly and cost effective in its use.' Ali Reza Ranjbartoreh, University of Technology, Sydney.

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semiconductor. Understanding the electronic structure of graphene is the key to understanding its potential applications – which include everything in our known micro-electronics world and much more besides. Experimental results from transport measurements show that graphene has a remarkably high electron mobility at room temperature. The resistivity of graphene is less than that of silver, previously the lowest resistivity substance known at room temperature.

Graphene's unique optical properties combined with its electrical and conductivity properties means that there now exists a material with the ability to display data on a one-atom thick 'screen', with mind-boggling potential applications.

Due to its 2D property, charge fractionalisation (where the apparent charge of individual pseudoparticles in low-dimensional systems is less than a single quantum) is believed to occur in graphene. It may therefore be a suitable material for the construction of quantum computers, which to date have been only the stuff of speculative fiction and generalised musing by physicists. But photographs of graphene in light reveal that a one-atom-thick crystal can be seen with the naked eye because it absorbs approximately 2.3% of white light. Graphene’s unique optical properties combined with its electrical and conductivity properties means that there now exists a material with the ability to display data on a one-atom thick ‘screen’, with mind-boggling potential applications. For one thing, Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak could now become a reality as a single-layered graphene sheet could project an image from behind an object or person, rendering either object or person effectively ‘invisible’ against that same background. The military applications are enormous, but so are the civilian applications.

Mechanical & other properties

Apart from working as a semiconductor (much like those

which are then processed into sheets as thin as paper, according to the university. Lead researcher Ali Reza Ranjbartoreh said: ‘Not only is it lighter, stronger, harder and more flexible than steel, it is also a recyclable and sustainably manufacturable product that is eco-friendly and cost effective in its use.’ Ranjbartoreh said the results would allow the development of lighter and stronger cars and planes that use less fuel, generate less pollution, are cheaper to run and ecologically sustainable. He said large aerospace companies have already started to replace metals with carbon fibres and carbon-based materials, and graphene paper with its incomparable mechanical properties would be the next material for them to explore. Graphene’s high electrical conductivity and high optical transparency make it a candidate for transparent conducting electrodes, required for such applications as touchscreens, LCDs, organic photovoltaic (PV) cells, and organic light-emitting diodes. In particular, graphene’s mechanical strength and flexibility are advantageous compared to indium tin oxide, which is brittle, and graphene films may be deposited from solution over large areas.

in your cell phone, tablet or computer) graphene has

Large-area, continuous, transparent, and highly

some other unusual properties. One is that graphene

conducting few-layered graphene films have been

appears to be one of the strongest materials ever tested.

produced by chemical vapour deposition and used as

Measurements have shown that graphene has a breaking

anodes for application in PV devices. A power conversion

strength over 100 times greater than a hypothetical steel

efficiency (PCE) up to 1.71% was demonstrated, which

film of the same (incredibly thin) thickness. Translated

is 55.2% of the PCE of a control device based on

into common language, a 1m square graphene hammock


would support a 4kg cat but would weigh only as much as one of the cat’s whiskers.

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reshape and reform it into nano-structured configurations

Organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) with graphene anodes have also been demonstrated. The electronic and

Graphene paper or GP has recently been developed

optical performance of devices based on graphene are

by a research department from the University of

shown to be similar to devices made with indium-tin-oxide.

Technology Sydney by Guoxiu Wang, and which can be

An all carbon-based device called a light-emitting

processed, reshaped and reformed from its original raw

electrochemical cell (LEC) has been demonstrated with

material state. Researchers have successfully milled the

chemically-derived graphene. Unlike its predecessors,

raw graphite by purifying and filtering it with chemicals to

this device contains no metal, but only carbon-based

electrodes. Room temperature distillation of ethanol for fuel and human consumption gGraphene oxide membranes will allow water vapour to pass through, but have been shown to be impermeable to all other liquids and gases including helium. This phenomenon has been used for further distilling of vodka to higher alcohol concentrations, in a room-temperature laboratory, without the application of heat or vacuum normally used in traditional distillation methods. Further development and commercialisation of such membranes should revolutionise the economics of biofuel production and the alcoholic beverage industry. Also a likely application is desalination, with research suggesting that graphene filters could outperform other techniques of desalination by a significant margin.

Solar cells

The USC Viterbi School of Engineering lab reported the large scale production of highly transparent graphene films by chemical vapour deposition in 2008. In this process, researchers create ultra-thin graphene sheets by first depositing carbon atoms in the form of graphene films on a nickel plate from methane gas. Then they lay down a protective layer of thermoplastic over the graphene layer and dissolve the nickel underneath in an acid bath. In the final step they attach the plastic-protected graphene to a very flexible polymer sheet, which can then be incorporated into an OPV cell (graphene photovoltaics). Graphene/polymer sheets have been produced that range in size up to 150 square cm and can be used to create dense arrays of flexible OPV cells. It may eventually be possible to run printing presses laying extensive areas covered with inexpensive solar cells, much like newspaper presses print newspapers (roll-to-roll).


Beyond the applications discussed here, there are many more possibilities, including in medicine, materials science and others. Already major electronics companies such as Samsung are seeing the potential to produce new products with the substance. Samsung has developed a new transistor structure graphene, described by some as ‘miracle material’, to increase the possibilities for transistors. Reported in the journal Science, Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology, the core R&D incubator for Samsung Electronics, said it had developed a new transistor structure utilising

Techno terms Schottky Barrier: Named after a German physicist Walter H Schottky (pictured), it is a potential (energy) barrier formed at a metal-semiconductor interface. It prevents an electric charge to flow from metal to silicon. Generally, a metal-semiconductor junction would have fixed work function and Schottky barrier height, but as for graphene, Schottky barrier height can be controlled through the work function (which is the minimum energy needed to take an electron out of material). Inverter: A basic logic gate that converts a digital signal into the opposite level; '0' into '1' or vice versa. Half-Adder: A logical circuit that performs addition of two binary digits.

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Nokia's graphene-based Morph-Concept wristband phones.

graphene, brining us one step closer to the development

of digital switches, Samsung Advanced Institute of

of transistors that can overcome the limits of conventional

Technology has developed a device that can switch off


the current in graphene without degrading its mobility.

Currently, semiconductor devices consist of billions

The demonstrated ‘graphene-silicon Schottky barrier’ can

of silicon transistors. To increase the performance of

switch current on or off by controlling the height of the

semiconductors (and thereby the speed of devices),

barrier. The new device was named ‘barristor’, after its

the options have to been to either reduce the size of

barrier-controllable feature. You may expect to see this

individual transistors to shorten the travelling distance

word entering our lexicon in the same way the transistor

of electrons, or to use a material with higher electron

and semiconductor have in recent decades.

mobility which allows for faster electron velocity or

In addition, to expand the research into the possibility

movement. For the past 40 years, the industry has been

of logic device applications, the most basic logic gate

increasing performance by reducing size. However,

(inverter) and logic circuits (half-adder) were fabricated,

experts now believe we are now nearing the potential

and basic operation (adding) was demonstrated (see

limits of scaling down.

Techno terms box for definitions of these operations). In

Since graphene possesses electron mobility about

other words, the Samsung development has effectively

200 times greater than that of silicon, it has been

replicated what happens in your computer, cell phone,

looked at as being a potential substitute. One issue with

calculator of whatever else uses semiconductor circuits.

graphene is that, unlike conventional semiconducting

The Samsung institute says it has solved the most

materials, current cannot be switched off because it is

difficult problem in graphene device research and thereby

semi-metallic. This has become the key issue in realising

has opened the door to many new potential applications

graphene transistors. Both on and off flow of current

for this extraordinary material.

is required in a transistor to represent the ‘1’ and ‘0’ of

Even if you have little to no technical background

digital signals. Previous solutions and research have tried

and much of this article may seem like Greek to you,

to convert graphene into a semiconductor. However, this

remember this: graphene is here and set to change

radically decreased the mobility of graphene, leading to

your life more than any other single material has ever

skepticism over the feasibility of graphene transistors.

done, should it live up to even a small part of its evident

By re-engineering the basic operating principles

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potential. And you read it here, first.


10 trends for 2013 1


E-tailing: Couch based retail therapy With the traditional barriers to e-commerce fast disappearing (lower



payment security and efficient delivery), 2013 is the year when South Africans finally

Fashion designer and futurist, Dion Chang, along


with Amanda Ballen – an Intern at Fluxtrends – report.

are likely to diversify online

Convergence: The new social media diet


The yin & yang of extinction & opportunity



wholeheartedly. SA retailers to fight competition on two fronts. Firstly, the influx of international



Zara and TopShop are forcing

Technology is proving to be the 'ice-age'


(think Apps, Tablets, super Smartphones

for many businesses. It has resulted in

sidelined. The second is from

and multiple social media platforms),

bookshops disappearing and companies

international online portals

then 2013 will be the year of the 'techno

like Kodak destroyed by their own

that can ship as easily as the

spring clean'. For every successful app,

invention – the digital camera. 2013

local versions. There is no

like 'Foursquare', there are dozens of

brings with it not only the continued

longer a 'non-compete zone'

failing clones (Godwalla, SCVNGR, and

threat to our natural resources, but also

in retail.

so on). Users are starting to experience

to familiar objects from our past. Landline

A wide variety of online

If 2012 was a year of digital proliferation






telephones and their dial-up tones, cheap

portals are emerging: from

Facebook feed, our burgeoning Twitter

point-and-shoot cameras and even alarm


responsibilities and our photo-sharing

clocks are already becoming endangered,,

platforms, have started to result in social

argues futurist Mark Pesce.

industry-specific ones like 36




like to

media burnout. Ironically, millennial

However, it is not only objects

Boutiques and YuppieChef,

youths are already beginning to resent

that will be rendered obsolete. Flux

as well as the more recent

the social pressure put on them by sites

has been tracking the disappearance of

online brand extensions at

like Peer Index and Klout, which rank

tried-and-tested business models and

DionWired and Cape Union

their success in terms of 'social media

modes of thinking that are proving to



be outdated in the 21

online services have started


century. As



In 2013, what cyber junkies will look

FastCompany puts it: 'Technology forces


for is not more choice, but solutions that

disruption, and not all of the change

as well as credit payment


converge the clutter of the virtual world:

will be good. Optimists look to all the

options, making the lure so

apps that recommend other apps, like

excitement. Pessimists look to all that

much more enticing. Estee

Android's Best Market App, and choosing

gets lost. They're both right. How you

Lauder's new cosmetic and

a preferred social media platform that

react depends on what you have to gain

fragrance online portal will

automatically feeds your other accounts.

versus what you have to lose. This is the


The blogging and twitter world will

moment for an explosion of opportunity,

environment as their online

become more meritocratic, with followers

therefore the taking by those prepared to

offering now competes with

redefining their selection based on

embrace the change.'

their traditional distribution




criteria like quality, creativity, ingenuity

In essence, opportunities are not lost,

channel – the department

and above all brevity. According to The

but rather transformed. For example,

store. The winner in this retail

New York Times' Stephanie Rosenbloom,

bike-sharing schemes may close down

war is the new couch shopper,

the new 'social-media diet' consists

bicycle shops, but a new maintenance

who is taking to this 'see,

of curated social networks and strict,

industry is born.

click, buy' process like a duck

scheduled, time online.

to water. Shopping 'Proudly

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South African online' will soon be the new patriotic mantra.


The photo-sharing war It has attracted over 100m users in two years, and without hesitation, Facebook bought it for billions. Despite its simplicity and ease of use, Instagram has taken photo-sharing to another level. It has moved us from a hyper-verbal cyber sphere to a hyper visual one. According to the New Yorker's Silvia Killingworth, the rise of photo-sharing social media, (including online scrap booking sites like Pinterest) has refocused our gaze away from our navels towards experiencing and sharing the 'visual candy' of the world that surrounds us.

In our always-on, high-tech world, the lure of the new supercedes price concerns.

Although Instagram reigns supreme as a photo-sharing platform, other platforms are challenging its throne.

restaurant. With micro greens appearing in Woolworth's

There is talk of Snapchat sharing roughly the same

fridges, is the molecular gastronomic packed lunch next?

number of photographs per day as Instagram (around five million). Likewise, Cinemagram's animation features could prove to be the outsider that wins the race. Will users stay loyal to Instagram as the major catalyst of a photographic revolution, or will they stray to more novel pastures? Instagram is already about to launch its own camera, as well as a range of related products, like a mini, old school-style projector in 2013. The battle will, dare we say, end in a tense photo finish.


The democratisation of gourmet food

According to 'social innovator' Rachel Botsman, trust between strangers on new service provision sites like TaskRabbit and Airbnb, as well as in collaborative consumption of cars, apartments and skills, have moved us towards a 'reputation economy': a marketplace that shifts its attention towards who people are, and their trustworthiness, as opposed to what they have accumulated on their CV. The growing online detective work done by employers will signal the death knell of politically incorrect, or

Last year, Flux Trends followed the rise of the artisanal

inappropriate Twitter usage – just think what the Jessica

eater: the new foodies who are as interested in their

Leandra Dos Santos' 'tweet-in-mouth' racist rant did to

food's provenance and hand-made pedigree, as they

her modelling career. We're now in an era that calls for

are in the taste. This year, the trend is towards making

a social media 'stiff upper lip', where job-seekers must

gourmet more mass-market. According to Baum and

refrain from publicly posting something embarrassing

Whiteman's annual report of food and dining trends,

or venting at one's colleagues, job or company. A study

2013 will usher in 'trickle down dining'.

from Pew Internet Research has noted that university

In part, this has been propagated by a trend for

applicants are now starting to delete comments they

photo-food journaling across photo-sharing communities,

have made or photos they have been tagged in from their

but it has also got to do with the fact that fast food joints

social media platforms. This certainly boosts the discreet

are offering gourmet versions of their products. Heston

and professional format of sites like LinkedIn, but it also

Blumenthal's ingenious concept of egg and bacon ice

threatens to unleash a wave of privacy neurosis, where

cream has permeated Burger King chains in the form

users scramble to separate professional and personal

of their new 'bacon-sundae'. Wendy's natural-cut fries

profiles, and obsess about privacy settings.

sprinkled with sea salt is credited to Teller Keller of French Laundry and Per Se fame, who built entire dishes around a particular sea salt. In Japan, Burger King's 5th anniversary in the Japanese market was celebrated by the 'Kuro' burger: black bun's made from dough coloured with bamboo charcoal and ketchup made from squid ink. On the flipside, A Hole-In-The-Wall Canteen, in Hong Kong, has become the world's cheapest Michelin-starred S G 30


Reputation aggregation


Goodwashing, the new greenwashing In its 2012 publication, New Urban Tribes of SA, Flux Trends tracked the rise of the techno hippie: the New Age activist who galvanises change from the comfort of his/her laptop (like the thousands who assisted Molly

Katchpole in her fight against The Bank of America on

to the nest after living alone, or simply reluctant to leave However, in 2013, philanthropic feistiness

at all. The emergence of this trend is unsurprising. In a

starts to fade into a fatigue. Clicking for a cause, whether

world seeped in recession, youth unemployment is at

for a campaign page, vote, or petition, is no longer a

an all-time high and academic degrees no longer ensure

novelty, but is beginning to feel like a chore.

opportunities, leaving the nest has never been riskier.

This means that charitable crowd sourcing initiatives,

In SA, where constant hustling to sustain a middle-class

like Pepsi Refresh, which tries to bring a moral, socially

lifestyle is leading to burnout, many 18-25 year olds have

aware element into a brand, are becoming passé. More

reverted to relying on Mom and Dad.

importantly, the idea of the armchair advocate also

2013 will bring with it the secondary effects of

heightens suspicion for consumers about the extent

this 'Boomerang Generation'. According to Dr Erica

to which a company's do-gooding is 'pseudo-gooding'.

Goodstone, the financial strain will impact on parents'

Increasingly, brands will be under even greater pressure

mortgages and retirement funds. As a result, youngsters

to convince their ever-cynical customers of their empathy

will be more likely to care for ageing parents and to

levels. For companies it means their corporate social

respect value systems instead of rebel against them.

initiative (CSI) talk must be reflected in the entire

Stuck in limbo, in an awkward 'adultescence', the freedom

company's DNA – from the CEO to the cleaning staff. For

that comes with financial independence, such as owning

petitioned weary consumers it could spark a dangerous

a car or property, becomes a distant dream, skewing the

disengagement with fixing the growing problems of the

traditional benchmarks to adulthood. The compromise


will be in innovative living: a hybrid of homestead


co-existence and collaborative consumption – trends

Designed in Asia' – the new 'made in China' On the 25th November 2012, 'Gangnam Style' by South Korean 'rapper' PSY, became the most watched video on YouTube with over 808m views, unseating Justin Bieber

already on the rise.


Learning to think small Technology has forced traditional business models within industries to change radically, but now, how a company

from top spot. Hailed by UN secretary Ban Ki-Moon as

is structured is being reassessed. Today's business

a 'force for world peace', the music video represents a

challenge is no longer 'small versus big', but rather 'fast

greater Asian cultural wave sweeping the world. Five

versus slow'. Spanish fashion retailer Zara revolutionised

years ago, South Korean brands like Samsung and

the clothing retail industry by competing on speed to

Hyundai were not considered the global competitors they

market rather than on lowest manufacturing cost, the

are today. The 2013 launch of renowned art fair, Art

standard industry focus. In our always-on, high-tech

Basel in Hong Kong, is just another bellwether signalling

world, the lure of the new supercedes price concerns.

the global shift in consciousness towards contemporary

The problem is that bloated and hierarchical management

Asian art, culture and design.

structures are not conducive to competitive business in

Without a doubt, the epi-centre of this movement will

a digital era. For maximum agility and flexibility, a CEO

be China, which will no longer be considered the land of

should no longer strive to be 'king of the castle' but

copy-cat and mass manufacturing, but as the inspiration

rather the 'centre of the circle', and run the business with

of art celebrities like Ai Weiwei, who recently sold (less

the zeal of an entrepreneur and passion of a start-up.

than a hundredth of the total produced) porcelain

In SA there is an additional layer to this trend: call it,

Sunflower Seeds for over R8m; 1  600 workers were

the 'Marikana effect'. Large corporations are starting to

employed by him for five years to paint the seeds.

feel the negative effects of unionised labour, shareholder

In 2013, Shanghai's future of being a 'global cultural

demands and cumbersome administration channels.

hub' begins to flower, with its new China Art Palace

Breaking a large corporation into two or three smaller

and Power Station of Art. As an indication of China's

companies offers flexibility as well as the option to

ambitions, the Jing Daily reports that the city plans to

fly under the radar, with a lot more autonomy. The

attract over 3m visitors a year by building 16 new art

unbundling of Goldfields could be seen as part of this

museums by 2015.

trend. In 2013 a smaller boutique mindset becomes best


practice for big business.


The umbilical extension cord In the UK, they call them 'Yuckies', in Italy 'Bamboccini':

Email or visit

young adults around the world who are migrating back for more. 31 S G

'We must take care of our environment.' Prince Charles recently revealed how the prospect of being a grandfather has sharpened his anxieties about nature. Here, he argues that it would profit us all to show it more respect.

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ne of the gravest misconceptions of the modern

natural systems as the sort of cost that should be avoided

age, and one which has concerned me for

altogether, simply because it actively interferes with

more years than I care to remember, is the

development, job creation and economic growth.

presumption that nature can be taken for granted and

This prevailing attitude could not be further from

her needs ignored. There are some who seem to think

the truth. Nature is, in fact, the source and very basis

that only when times are good should we afford the cost

of our welfare and economic prosperity. For me, this is

of nurturing the natural environment. There are plenty

so self-evident as to seem ridiculous even to say it. But

more, I am afraid, who see the process of protecting

as countries struggle to meet the enormous economic

is also slowly being reflected more confidently in those economic policies which enable people to achieve a better balance between keeping nature’s systems intact and creating economic development that results in more jobs. But if we are to deepen this commitment to nature’s needs, it is paramount that we adopt a different mindset; one that veers away from the focus that has dominated the past half-century or so. Essentially, we have to become far more joined-up in our thinking and behaviour. For example, the so-called 'Green Revolution' which began in agriculture during the Sixties and quickly enabled global food production to expand and keep pace with the accelerating growth in population has also, among other things, caused the dangerous depletion of fresh water around the world, made a huge contribution to climate change, caused a massive loss of biodiversity and damaged soils worldwide. Biodiversity is absolutely crucial. You cannot simplify nature’s system and expect it to carry on operating in the way it did before. There is nothing in nature’s elaborate system which is not necessary, so to take one participant out of the dance leads to the dance breaking down and, sooner or later, this will have a serious impact on the state of human health. This is why these costs have to be taken into account if we are to see what we do in its proper context, and then an approach to food production that avoids these disastrous side effects has to take its place, otherwise we are lost. It is far too easy to believe what we see at first glance – that is, that there are huge economic benefits if we use modern farming techniques and that no alternative which does not have efficiency and profit as its priorities can challenges they face, the biggest one of all remains largely hidden from view.

possibly replace it. But if we stand back, the picture quickly looks a lot

The services and countless benefits to the human

less positive. In fact, it looks frighteningly bleak because

economy that come from nature have an estimated value

the predominant approach is effectively cannibalising its

every year of around double the global Gross Domestic

own future by degrading the natural systems it absolutely

Product, and yet this colossal contribution to human

depends upon.

well-being is hardly ever mentioned when countries

The same picture emerges if you look at the way we

consider how to create future growth. As I have long been

regard the economic benefits derived from destroying the

trying to point out, this situation cannot remain the case

world’s tropical rainforests. The soils and minerals that

for very much longer. We are reaching a critical turning

lie beneath the forest and the timber that comes from

point when humankind has to realise that people and

the trees certainly all have tremendous market values,

the human economy are both embedded within nature’s

but what about the huge role they play in soaking up

systems and benevolence.

the vast quantities of carbon dioxide produced by power

To some extent, this awareness is slowly starting to

stations, factories, cars and planes? It is a natural service

gain ground in the mainstream of our collective thinking.

which has recently been calculated to be worth literally

In part, this is the result of recent scientific studies and

trillions of dollars.

discoveries which are being translated into many inspiring

And remember, they are 'rain' forests. Take the forests

examples of practical action. Our dependence on nature

out of the equation and you very quickly affect how much

33 S G

rain falls from the skies – which, of course, has very

This is why I was so pleased to see Tony Juniper’s new

serious implications for our ability to generate power and

book as, for me, it hits the nail firmly on the head when

produce food. And yet we conclude that the forests are

it explores how our economic system is so disastrously

worth more to us dead than they are alive.

misaligned with the realities that enable it to exist in the

This is an insane example of the kind of short-termism

first place.

that dominates the present economic world view which,

Not only does it provide readers with a clear and

by definition, is obviously not going to help us succeed

compelling explanation as to what nature does for us,

as a species in the long term. Sooner rather than later the

it also offers some very strong examples of how that

wheels will start to fall off.

misalignment can be rectified – and that includes ways

There are a wealth of examples of how nature sustains our civilisations and economies – from the oxygen we

in which nature’s value can be harnessed even within our existing economic approach.

breathe, to the soil, water and pollinating insects that

It describes simple things, like planting trees in city

produce nearly all of our food; from the scavengers that

centres which would help to cool the air while giving

help control disease to the oceans that replenish fish

city dwellers that contact with nature which has such


immediate psychological benefits. Thus, they would

To understand what nature does for us every single day of our lives is clearly vital if we are to maintain our

improve well-being and reduce the need for expensive air conditioning.

welfare and develop in the future. Yet, as I say, these and

On a larger scale, it also describes radical schemes

other natural assets continue to be liquidated as if they

like the one in New York, where the city has been given

are inexhaustible. What has perplexed me for so many

a modern water treatment system that relies upon

years is why we fail to put two and two together and see

water-friendly farming and good forestry practice. This

how dangerous this is. It is surely not for want of good

is no small scheme and it depends upon the integrated

science and reliable information.

co-operation of many thousands of stakeholders.

In part it is to do with that ancient, instinctive human

The result of such joined-up thinking is the biggest

tendency to grasp the short-term solution because, as

unfiltered public water supply system in the United

hunter-gatherers, this was once necessary in order to

States, one that initially saved the city some eight billion

stay alive. It is also perhaps to do with the seemingly

dollars and has since dramatically slowed down the rise

impossible task of finding consensus on the kinds

in consumers’ water bills. They have gone up by just 9%,

of national and international laws and policies that

whereas had the city installed conventional treatment

protect nature, especially when the task depends upon a

systems that figure would now be nearer 100%.

multilateral or global process.

S G 34

On a larger scale still, the book explains how some

Some of the reasons are to be found on a much

countries have begun to integrate natural values into

deeper level of human experience where there now

their national accounts. One of the pioneers is the Central

abounds a disturbing lack of a sense of the sacred. This

American country of Costa Rica, which has taken a much

is very important. If nothing is sacred, most of all nature,

more integrated view of how nature and the economy

then we create the potential for the perfect kind of storm,

interact, seeing them as two sides of the same coin. As

to which it will be virtually impossible to adapt, let alone

a result, since the Eighties, not only has Costa Rica more


than doubled its forest cover, it has also doubled the per

capita income of its citizens. Dramatic examples like this should encourage us to see the tremendous opportunities there are in approaching things in a much more joined-up way. All it needs is the inspiration and unlimited capacity of the human imagination to do so. One very positive development I have been greatly

There are a wealth of examples of how nature sustains our civilisations and economies – from the oxygen we breathe, to the soil, water and pollinating insects that produce nearly all of our food; from the scavengers that help control disease to the oceans that replenish fish stocks.

moved by in recent years, and towards which I hope I have made some small contribution via the activities and

it needs to go much further and happen much faster.

projects I have initiated, is the increasingly prominent

I am not so naive as to imagine this is an easy

discussion about what is known in the jargon as 'natural

transition to achieve, especially in such economically

capital'. This idea defines nature as, among other things,

challenging times, but perhaps our current very fraught

a set of economic assets which, if managed well, can

economic circumstances offer exactly the right moment

produce dividends that flow from those assets indefinitely.

for the world to force this new attitude to break through

This is not what generally happens at the moment. Assets

into the mainstream.


such as soils and forests are often simply liquidated as if they do not need to be maintained or replenished, and it surely does not require a financial expert to point out that this is the fastest way to bankruptcy. This shift towards seeing nature as the provider of a set of economically vital services, rather than resources that can be used up to fuel economic growth is, for me, one of the most important conceptual shifts in history. I am pleased to say that the shift is already under way, but

ŠHRH the Prince of Wales. Foreword to What has nature Ever Done for us? by Tony


Juniper, published by Profile Books and available to order at Telegraph Books.

We have TWO copies of What Has Nature Ever Done For Us? to giveaway. Simply click here to stand a chance of winning.

Click here for a review

35 S G

Inhabitat Readers Awards 2012 S G 36

News/Editor's Choice An Indian man single-handedly plants over half a hectare of trees

Architecture The Radisson Blu Hotel's 31m Aquadom Aquarium brings sea life and scuba diving to Berlin

Energy Germany sets new solar record by meeting nearly half of the country's weekend power demand

Transportation Aeroflex develops a working Hover Bike that’s straight out of Return of the Jedi

Original Photos Ray Villafane's pumpkin art at the New York Botanical Gardens during Halloween

Recently, Inhabitat readers have been voting on their favourite stories of 2012. From the heart-warming to the high-tech, there was certainly no shortage of eye-catching news in the mix. Diane Pham reports.

Science/Technology Wilson Solar Grill stores the sun's energy for night-time cooking

Interview Building Science pioneer Dr Joe Lstiburek on the good, bad and ugly side of buildings



Takanori Aiba's Bonsai

Invisibility Cloak for (initially) military use

Tree Castles

DIY How-to grow an

Kids How to

avocado tree from seed

make fruit


& vegetable

for more.


infused water

Jake Dyson's CSYS Lamp extends

in Mason jars

the life of its LEDs by 37 years 37 S G

Water is Life S G 38

Conserve it Respect it Enjoy it

Water is the world's most critical resource. It sustains life, and thus the global food chain. It powers industrial production, and thus the global economy. Fresh water is perhaps the most important natural resource for human survival. But, it is also highly limited and currently under severe stress. Timony Siebert, Sustainability Consultant at Talbot & Talbot, reports. 39 S G


ess than 1% of the world's water is readily available for direct human use and for the goods and services that sustain us in our daily lives.

According to United Nations agencies, one-third of the world's population live in countries that are experiencing moderate to high water stress. More than one billion of these do not have access to clean fresh water. Three billion do not have adequate sanitation services and the annual death toll from water-borne diseases is estimated at more than three million. Furthermore, pollution and the effects of climate change are creating additional pressures that are rapidly impacting on what little fresh water supplies we have left. We are now witnessing one of the world's most significant and underreported public health, development and economic challenges – water insecurity. The situation for South Africans is no less dire. South Africa is a water stressed country, increasingly dependent on water sources outside our borders. We have a legacy

South Africans therefore need to stand up and take collective responsibility of our water use and learn to become more water-efficient. Through our choices and actions we can significantly impact how water resources are used and allocated, and help to influence whether or not our resources are being sustainably managed.

of mining and industry-driven pollution, combined with aging water treatment and distribution infrastructure. A conservative estimate tells us that demand for water will

its people. But despite this critical role and its growing

exceed available supply by 2025. More recent statistics

scarcity, water continues to be undervalued in society,

project that South Africa is likely to experience a 17% gap

and is often incorrectly thought of as being 'free'.

between water demand and supply by 2030, equating

South Africans therefore need to stand up and take

to (according to the CDP Water Disclosure South Africa

collective responsibility for our water use and learn to

Report, 2011: Assessing the value of water) a water

become more water-efficient. Through our choices and

shortfall of 2.7 billion m3. With an emerging economy and

actions we can significantly impact how water resources

a rapidly growing population (and consequent standard

are used and allocated, and help to influence whether or

of living) that will place tremendous stress on resource

not our resources are being sustainably managed. More

needs, critical challenges lie ahead for managing our

than that, as a country, we need to invest in technology

finite local fresh water resources and ecosystems. Not

and behavioural change to either reduce the demands

only do ecosystems rely on water for optimal health,

placed on our limited water supplies or implement

but they offer valuable ecosystem services by enhancing

strategies to recycle and re-use our water. In this way

water provision and purification and providing adaptive

we can help create alternative sources of this precious

capacity to climatic changes.

resource to replenish natural ecosystems and supply local

In recognition of this, South Africans across the

Fortunately, many individuals, groups and businesses

Week (18 – 24 March 2013), ahead of World Water Day on

are responding to this water challenge and are working

22 March 2013. Under the theme 'Water is life – Conserve

together to try to reduce the pressure on water resources,

it, Respect it, Enjoy it', this annual campaign aims to raise

and encourage sustainable water stewardship. Whether

awareness about the role of water in social and economic

water is a core ingredient or plays a supporting role in

development and encourage citizens to take ownership

producing a final product, it is vital to the operation

of natural water resources by becoming more conscious

and growth of almost every business. So when water is

users. The campaign emphasises the importance of water

scarce, not replenished at the same rate it is used, or

conservation as a key intervention towards securing

otherwise inaccessible due to pollution or quality issues,

future water supplies for the country and hopes to

the effects of local water scarcity have ramifications on a

highlight the centrality of water as a resource for the

much larger scale.

well-being and functioning of both the environment and

S G 40


country have been gearing up to celebrate National Water

Specialist companies such as Talbot & Talbot are

embracing this challenge and partnering with leading corporations in exploring alternatives





and sustainable (re)use of water where possible. By properly accounting for water use and wastewater discharge, companies can identify obstacles, risk areas and potential solutions for improving water use and even take steps towards replenishing the water used in the production of their products. When seen against a backdrop of a projected national water crisis, the case for urgent action is compelling. Solving the water crisis in its many aspects may be one of the biggest challenges facing humankind in this third millennium, and one that is too large for any one sector to tackle alone. But collaborative efforts and management initiatives between public and private groups (businesses, government regulators, policy makers, NGO's, local communities) that continue to fuel new investment into water stewardship will go a long way towards delivering change and helping to secure and sustainably manage South Africa's precious water resource.


For more info click here.

41 S G

Photos Marie Le Fort


Terra Incognita

Heading for Antarctica is like reaching the earth’s final frontier. Known for centuries as Terra Incognita, Antarctica remains inscrutable to many. A mystery, it causes one to think of cold and frostbite, southern nights – too dark or too light – and a 'white desert' for men. Untamed it is. Extreme it remains. Marie Le Fort reports. S G 42


oth feet (still) grounded on Patagonian soil, one boards the Austral ship from La Compagnie du Ponant with both fear and excitement. Yet, the luxury of the suites and elegance of

the white tablecloths and artworks around the restaurants suggests that the cruise will bring lifestyle to barren latitudes. Ushuaia looks like a sleepy little town where one grabs a last piece of gear, checks emails remotely, buys a few additional books and memory sticks, just in case. Dinner is served on board as the ship leaves the harbour and heads out through the Beagle Channel. If all looks calm and quiet, everyone knows that Cape Horn and the Furious Fifties await just a few degrees south. Seeing the sea shaping up to form foamy crests and swells, one suddenly realises why Antarctica is almost exclusively described using superlatives: you need to brave the extremities with humility even to catch a first glimpse of it. Starting with the Drake Passage's extreme violence – a sailor's worst nightmare – creates a wall around the white continent. Surrounded by polar waters – 4-5ºC colder than the waters around Ushuaia – and intense winds that circle around with nothing to stop them (at this latitude, south of Australia and Africa, there is nothing but sea), Antarctica is secluded from the rest of the globe. And if one easily thinks of it as the coldest continent, it is also the driest and windiest of all, with blasts of up to 350km/h. And with 98% of its surface covered with a layer of ice with an average thickness of 1.6km, it is unmistakably the world's largest icecap and freshwater reserve. Untouched, Antarctica is a miracle. With a hint of Love Boat in the air – think five-star cabins and great French food, a wide array of conference and shows played inside the vast theatre dressed in red velvet – one suddenly realises that the team of experienced guides will not only provide a reassuring presence, but be the sole anchor of this expedition cruise. On such a cruise, there is what you see, and the unknown, for which you need an 'eye opener' – in the form of the knowledge and dedication of the expedition guides on board. After 36 hours at sea, land is in sight. As human beings, we want to believe in a land, a piece of tangible ground. But there

'As I look out to sea, the sun goes down gradually, the shades of blue are so varied and so soft, the icebergs have become more crude, and soon the dark blue of the cracks and crevasses are all that persist. It gradually succeeds with an exquisite softness and a colour that is now pink, and it is so beautiful, that in asking me if I dream, I would like to always dream of this. The sky becomes an iridescent pearl shell, merging without encountering, all the colours of nature '. Jean-Baptiste Charcot – The French in the South Pole. 43 S G

is nothing like this: Antarctica is a white line that runs along the horizon. An imprint of the cold. Steeped in silence, its image oscillates between the roll of the boat and the impulses of the roaring wind. If it looks serene, it speaks an intense language under the surface: that of the cracking ice and creaking crevasses, of the ice field which undulates like a huge sail. The movement of tides and icebergs traps everything in their path. Extreme by all means, Antarctica plays out the full range of icy possibilities: in one day, she plunges from a windy state of despair to a crystalline ecstasy. In a tender dawn, she congeals into a scowling visage of rocky outcrops. Immaculate, she appears dressed in a white fluffy coat one moment, and darkened by volcanic hills and beaches of black ash the next. Inhabiting this region like hundreds of evil spirits (or kami as the Japanese say), the icebergs sculpt each map of chiselled shapes: they bend and widen into arches, they stretch – and almost stride – towards sharp peaks. Constantly drifting, these ice giants populate every horizon, revealing all the nuances of Antarctica: they emphasise the glazes of faded blue, pale pink and bright yellow and vibrate with a glowing blue, covering themselves with white chalk, and unfold in shades of grey. And then there are the penguins: agile underwater, staggering (though expertly) on the surface, they tackle all the terrains and conditions with a most contagious enthusiasm. Even better, in certain places, you can see the 'Penguin Highway', where they form a bicoloured trail as they roam back and forth from the sea to their nest – white chests forward on their way downhill, black back on the upward path. In the face of the hubbub of a colony of 100 000 penguins, one remains speechless, fascinated by this spectacle of nature; far more entertaining than even the best cartoons. Throughout the day, the closer you get, the more Antarctica recoils, revealing an ever-larger landmass. As days go by, Antarctica symbolises the ultimate refuge, a place where dreams seem to be continuously projected around you. It simply magnifies all elements, and embodies peace. Antarctica is the culmination of all world tours. An incommensurable journey.


During all austral summers (late November to early March), the Austral de Compagnie du Ponant sails in the waters around the Antarctic Peninsula with, or without, a stop in South Georgia. Visit for more.

S G 44

Do you cooperate? T

he 22nd March 2013 is World Water Day and the United Nations (UN) theme is 'Water Cooperation'. Water is essential for all life on Earth. However, it is a finite resource, which means that the more the population grows and the more we pollute our water, the less water there is available for survival of plants, animals and humans. Luckily, every one of us has the ability to conserve and look after water. We are encouraged to work together to make a difference to this precious natural resource.

Tips for water conservation & cooperation

1. Monitor how much water you actually use every day. Officially, every South African has the right to 25l of water per day. Sadly however, people living in urban areas can use up to 130l of water per person per day! 2. Reduce the amount of water you use. For example, turn the tap off while brushing your teeth. You can save money while saving the environment. 3. Spread the word. Make sure that your friends Forests provide shade, food, and ha and family are aware of the shortage of water indigenous shade-loving plants to c we can expect to experience in the near future GardeniaWater volkensii Ekebergia capensis and encourage them to implement Wise (Cape ash) (Transvaal gardenia) practises. The more people involved, the better. 4. Keep up to date on the water situation. Listen out for news on water shortages and low rainfall periods. Then, change your behaviour accordingly. For example, if you know that rain has been scarce in your region, use bath and laundry water to water your garden instead of clean drinking water. 5. Develop good habits. It takes approximately 25 days to develop a habit. Make it your personal challenge to use water wisely for one month. Before you know it you will have a Water Wise way of life. 6. Subscribe to our monthly Water Wise


reening your

Make 2013 your year for water conservation

newsletter for the latest information on water and the environment.

Dracaena aletriformis ÂŽ Adiantum aethiopicum (Large-leaved For further information on being Water Wise (Maidenhair fern) dragon tree) please visit and click on the

Tri (Na

Water Wise logo further or contactFor us on 0860 10 10 60.

informat t

45 S G

Building News

Qatar National Conference Centre

The recent Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week looked at the coolest sustainable architecture in the Gulf. These buildings are specifically engineered to save energy and respond to the region's harsh climate and terrain – vast deserts, glaring sun and temperatures reaching up to 50°C. This building with organic-looking pillars that resemble the branches of a tree is the Qatar National Conference Centre, which opened in 2011. Natural light in the $720m building reduces energy consumption and automated shades save on air-conditioning.

Sustainable Indian homes

Last year, Rintala Eggertsson Architects and a group of students from the Norwegian University of Science & Technology in Trondheim, held a workshop to design and build an eco home model for the Western Ghats region in India. The workshop was in support of the Panchabhuta Conservation Foundation to develop concepts for eco tourism and an affordable, sustainable and replicable home. The successful efforts yielded Hut-to-Hut, a two hut compound made from local materials that allows for expansion over time. The off-grid project is powered by solar panels and makes use of a composting latrine that produces biogas to provide energy for the family.

The future of eco-living?

The Green Housing Company's first off-the-grid development has recently been completed after many years of preparation and research. Situated at 108, 8th Road, Noordwyk, Midrand, readers are welcome to stop by this development to view the 'Future of Eco-Living in SA', say the developers. The final show home launch will be happening from 12-17 June – there are more than 12 various home designs available to choose from and 52 property stands available. For more info, visit S G 46

Villa Vals

This amazing holiday house – Villa Vals – is built in the hills in Switzerland (right next to the popular Thermal Bath of Vals) and was designed by Christian Muller Architects. Their design plan was to completely integrate the villa into the landscape to avoid disturbing the unspoiled nature. The client seized the opportunity to develop the site, without disturbing the Bath’s expansive views. A central, circular patio is lined with large window openings, which allow for a heavy supply of natural light and impressive views of the Alpine Vista, which sits across the narrow valley. An earth-sheltered home also makes for low-cost healing and cooling as the earth regulates the temperature inside the home.

Nedbank provides loan for green business park

Nedbank has provided the Improvon Group with a R192m loan to develop an exceptional, upmarket industrial park called Gosforth Business Park in Gauteng, which will set new standards in the sustainable building and development industry. 'Nedbank Corporate Property Finance has granted finance to the Improvon Group for the acquisition and reticulation of land in Gosforth Business Park, and the development of Phase 1, a 20 817m² warehouse with ancillary offices,' says Ken Reynolds, regional executive: Nedbank Corporate Property Finance, Gauteng.

Can white roofs fight global warming?

In the world of energy-efficient technology, painting roofs white – like switching to LED bulbs – has often been cited as an easy (and inexpensive) way to reduce energy use and stave off climate change. Some researchers claim white roofs can cut summer cooling costs by as much as 20%. 47 S G

R etreats

A river runs through it S

S G 48

atori was created by husband and wife team Jeff

with tasteful simplicity and opens up to a view of the

and Louise Ghersie, who own the farm, from the

stunning scenic landscape of the Natal Midlands.

natural surroundings of the land. The private

The owners wanted to create a different concept for

lodge was built with straw-bales and thatch, water is

the experience at the lodge – they wanted a place of

supplied from a natural underground stream and lighting

harmony, of balance and of connectedness with nature

is provided by solar power. The lodge has been decorated

and for people to reconnect with themselves through

Louise & Jeff's journey to sustainablility 'We searched a long time to find our piece of land which had four criteria to fulfil: a natural water supply, mountains, indigenous bush and no visible neighbours. Our dream was to create a space for ourselves and others to share, with as little disturbance to nature as possible,' says Louise Ghersie.

Satori Farm is nestled in the Natal Midlands – a beautiful place surrounded by mountains, fresh water streams and has a river running through it – all the aspects of an unspoiled piece of paradise. the natural environment; to remove themselves for a while from hectic city lifestyles, modern day stresses and pressures. 'It's about being able to sleep in late if you want, hike up a mountain, take a leisurely stroll in the beautiful indigenous forest, sit quietly by the river and just ''be'',' says Louise. Satori encourage guests to take part in art workshops as well as the

The first hurdle was organising a water supply. With the immense blessing of having a natural stream, with its source on their land, running through the indigenous forest, they could gravity-feed their water supply to their retreat. They had to divert the water temporarily to build a weir, which Jeff did single-handedly, carting a ton of cement by himself up the mountain through the forest. Pipes, valves, and so on, were put in place to connect to their water tank and voila – fresh spring water on tap. Many people cannot fully fathom what this feels like, but only when one is conscious of the source of one's drinking water, does this realisation hit home, they say. 49 S G

Satori Retreat Centre boasts a natural spring on the grounds.

drumming workshops – 'and no, you don't have to be an artist or a musician but just getting involved in these activities will help you to unwind and to have fun', say the owners. The Ghersies invite guests to get involved with the kitchen if they so wish – in baking scrumptious breads and wholesome country meals or to sit and chat, have a glass of wine and enjoy the process of preparing food, which is in itself an art after all. So many people today do not have time or the inclination to cook good food, preferring restaurants and fast foods, so to experience country cooking is an event on its own. Satori is a destination, an experience in itself, a different side of life which the owners wish to share. 'It's about taking a moment and just being in that moment and finding a quiet contentment. 'So many people are caught up in the busy-ness of life and have little quality time for themselves, their friends and families. "One day I'll do this, one day when I have lots of money, when the kids have left home, when I retire", I hear so many people say, and so, life moves on and that "one day" moves further away. 'We want people to kick off their shoes, walk barefoot, play, laugh a lot and enjoy being in the moment, to find a balance in themselves, a fresh outlook on life and take with them a little piece of paradise,' says Louise.


Visit for more. Accomodation at Satori is available for up to 10 guests sharing – ideal for team building events and other group bookings or for individuals who don't mind getting to know new people. Satori offer the following workshops: Creative, Team Building, Drumming, Couples Retreats, Parent-Teenager, Communication, and Workshops for Women and for Men.

1 S G 50

We have a weekend away at Satori for two to give away to a lucky reader. Includes all meals, an art and a drumming workshop and guided walks/ hikes. Send your details, name and address to

During this time they were living in a tent with a compost toilet and a handmade shower. They had all types of weather, including gale-force winds which blew their tent down the mountain one night. They then installed a septic tank – again this sounds simple, but the digging of trenches, laying of pipes and cement compartments is no mean feat. They got it done in the end, with just the two of them on this project. Add a veggie garden, a few chickens, a temporary wooden cabin erected for shelter (Louise was done with the tent at this point), a flushing toilet and a hot shower – and they were on their way to starting their retreat centre. Louise asked Jeff if they could build with straw-bales, and he said simply, 'Why not?' They sourced the straw from their own land and a kind neighbour lent his baler, and so they began building. Two years later they have their retreat, which to them, is an ongoing project. Satori runs its lights off solar panels and when there’s little or no sun they light lots of candles. They plan to put up a wind turbine in the near future. Jeff and Louise survived the elements, and have gotten to know, understand and appreciate these same elements. They would like people to know that it's possible for basically anyone to become self-sustainable – and you don't necessarily require piles of money. One requirement they've learnt though, through all this, is that you have to be fearless. Satori will be offering courses on straw-bale building and how to create a natural water supply to tap in the near future. 'I think of where we began with our virgin land and where we are now – a long and interesting journey and still so much to do,' says Louise.

eco mindset

If you want an eco-mindset: build your 'choice' muscle. Ariane de Bonvoisin reports.


very day, we get to choose what we say, what we think, what we eat, what we drink, how we treat others and, of course, what we do with our time. Any change starts with your mind. Is it running you, or are you running your mind? Being eco isn't only about recycling and the global trash problem, taking care of the planet, climate change awareness and our carbon footprint. Many times, those goals can seem overwhelming, where one person can't really influence the whole. Every day, you get to be either a warning or an example. To everyone around you: your partner, your kids, your friends. We are always observing others. Yes, although you don't want to hear this, in some ways, even you are a warning. Maybe it's your health and drinking habit or how you are always working, or how you talk negatively about everything. Ask yourself, in what ways am I a warning to others? And yes, you are also an example to people. Being eco is an identity change, its about seeing yourself in a different way. It's not about associating yourself to Cameron Diaz, or driving a Lexus. It's about what you put your attention on. It's about what you make important. Remember, what you focus on even slightly, expands. Here are 7 ways to simply raise your awareness and consciousness.

Choose what you say Instead of telling people 'not bad', when they ask you how your day is going, choose a more empowering word. Try 'amazing', 'blessed,' 'fabulous'. Your choice of words creates your emotional states. Instead of gossiping, which never makes you feel good, try saying positive things about someone or what's great about them.

Choose what you spend your time on Instead of wasting time, try a yoga class or sport you've never tried before. Instead of surfing the internet and social media in search of nothing, actively go research and learn something new and empowering.

Choose what you think Instead of waking up with a head full of negative and stressful thoughts, choose to sit in meditation for 10


7 ways to an

minutes or do a breathing exercise to centre yourself. Instead of comparing yourself to others, which always brings you pain, choose to only see whether you are a better version of yourself.

Choose how you treat others Instead of thinking about yourself, your day, your goals, your life, turn that energy around and look for people to support. Who needs help? Who needs a phone call or email check in and some encouragement? Instead of judging peoples behaviours, how they drive, how stupid they are, choose to be patient and understanding of them and their circumstances.

Choose how you treat your surroundings Instead of being mindless about rubbish lying around, do your part to take care of the Earth. If you open your eyes a little, you will have plenty of opportunities to help. Instead of taking things like water, electricity, air-conditioning for granted, choose to be conscious about what and how much you are consuming.

Choose how you relax Instead of spending 30 minutes more in front of the TV at the end of the night, turn it off and go read a book or write a journal. Instead of going out for a drink, go for a walk or hike at the end of the day with a friend.

Choose what's important to you Instead of working at a job that doesn't inspire you, choose what's worth doing with your life. Perhaps you can start volunteering, or being part of a group that is more aligned with who you are. Instead of going along with what everyone else wants to do or eat, choose to have the courage and inspiration to be your own person. Share something you've learnt or point people in the right direction. An eco-mindset is whatever you want it to look like. No two people are the same, so there is no one-size-fits-all mindset either. Your mind is yours to empower. And more conscious choices will make you feel stronger and aligned with the feeling of just doing and being good. S G • 51 S G


Eco Diva’s

Tips to an Eco-Friendly Easter

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Choose Natural Dyes To create a variety of colourful egg designs use natural dies such as turmeric, beets, red cabbage, and onion skins. Imprint natural designs with herb sprigs to create a strappy, modern look. For extra fun, use the decorated boiled eggs as part of an outdoor family picnic if you are celebrating in an area where the weather is warm.


Use Paper Grass Who says you have to use wasteful materials to display your Easter wares in a gift basket? Rather use decorative paper grass, which comes in a variety of colours, including the unbleached natural kind if that’s the look you’re going for. Otherwise re-use old wrapping paper to line the basket with, or a fun T-shirt that will give the recipient an extra gift and be more useful.


Buy Fairtrade, Organic Candy There are some great tasting and fabulous looking Fairtrade, organic chocolates to use for your Easter celebrations. Your local health food shops or Wellness Warehouse will stock them, alternatively you can research online and get them delivered directly to your door.


Recyclable Containers and Baskets Choose large glass bowls, bamboo baskets or plastic containers for your Easter basket. These can all be re-used as either salad bowls, shopping baskets or food storage containers. Much kinder to the environment.


Promote Green A fun and very different way to celebrate Easter would be to give a gift of gardening supplies in a colourful watering can instead of an Easter basket. Paper seed packets, gloves, and simple gardening tools are great starter kits and fun plant pots to use for a windowsill or balcony garden, which makes the gardening gift package workable for urban families as well as rural ones.

As you can see, having a more eco-friendly Easter holiday isn’t out of reach at all. There are many Easter ideas that are fun and planet-friendly. Tweet me with your ideas @ecodivanicole.

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M edicine

More than just honey

Honey's honey, right? Wrong. Manuka honey is something special. We take a close look.


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hile honey has been used for centuries as a

boils, ulcers, burns and pressure sores by providing a

natural healing medicine – on wounds and to

clean, moist, sterile environment for the wound to heal.

fight off various infections – Manuka honey

Manuka does a lot more than just controlling the bacteria

appears to have enhanced abilities. Manuka honey is a

in the wound; it draws required nutrients to the affected

natural product that is used both internally and topically

area to aid in effective wound healing, minimises scarring

on the skin for a wide range of both serious and minor

and contains anti-inflammatory properties which reduce

ailments. Manuka comes from the nectar of the Manuka

swelling and irritation. Manuka honey helps healing after

bush (Leptospermum scoparium) which is indigenous to

surgery and is becoming a popular treatment for cancer

New Zealand and thrives in the wild, uncultivated lands

sufferers as an application to wounds and ulcers resulting

of this pollution-free environment. Manuka has been used

from radiation or fungating wounds where the cancer has

by the Maori people of New Zealand for many centuries.

broken through the skin.

Apitherapy (the use of natural honey as a medicinal

Many health stores and medical professionals have

treatment) has been used for thousands of years in many

found increasing numbers of their clients asking for this

different cultures, dating as far back as ancient Greece.

unique product.

With the advent of penicillin and other antibiotic drugs

Manuka Honey Africa supplies the highest quality

in the 20th century, the use of honey as a medicinal

Manuka Honey available from New Zealand, and has

treatment has taken a back seat. However, in the light of

recently introduced the Watson and Son 15+ label Manuka

extensive research over the last three decades into the

honey to the South African market. Watson and Son take

medicinal properties and benefits of Manuka honey, such

great pride in sourcing and harvesting this special honey

uses are now being renewed and have received a growing

from some of the most remote and unpolluted regions

acceptance in both the academic and medical fields.

of New Zealand. Each batch of Watson and Son Manuka

Manuka honey has many health benefits when used

Honey is tested by a certified laboratory using the method

for medicinal purposes, both internally and topically.

developed by Dr Peter Molan at the University of Waikato.

When taken orally, Manuka helps with general vitality and

What makes Manuka honey so unique and effective

immunity as well as soothing and nourishing more specific

is its antibacterial efficiency as compared to a standard

problematic areas in the mouth, throat and digestive tract.

antiseptic – in many cases it has been shown to

It obviously tastes better than conventional 'medicine',

out-perform traditional forms of medicine. It even tackles

has no negative side-effects and often is more effective.

antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria which are a growing

Most doctors and medical professionals are of the belief

problem the world over. One of the most wound-infecting

that the majority of health issues are caused by types

species of bacteria, staphylococcus, is highly sensitive

of infectious micro-organisms such as bacteria, viruses,

to Manuka honey. Even the most resilient bacteria, such

fungi and parasites – and Manuka has been shown to

as MRSA and VRE, are no match for Manuka honey's

combat all of these microbes. Topically, Manuka honey is

unparalleled antimicrobial properties, which has been

used as a leading treatment for skin irritations, wounds,

observed in many studies around the world and has


been demonstrated to be effective against a long list of common and treatment-resistant micro-organisms. Research indicates that Manuka honey inhibits enzymes called cysteine proteases, which have been implicated in muscle-wasting diseases such as muscular dystrophy, viral replication, tumour invasion and metastasis.


Manuka honey is also one of the best treatments on the market available for wounds and burns. This is because it provides a moist, sterile environment for the regeneration of the tissue. Manuka not only destroys the bacteria that cause the infection in the wound, it also provides a soft barrier between the wounds and bandages, preventing new tissue from being torn away when the dressing is changed.

How it works

All honey contains hydrogen peroxide in varying levels. This is produced when the bee adds enzymes to the nectar. In honey, hydrogen peroxide is released in a

*Leptospermum scoparium

Mature, wild growing Manuka* from the rugged East Coast of New Zealand’s North Island forms the essential ingredient of our oil and honey.

slow-release manner that is strong enough to be effective in destroying bacteria but low enough to not harm tissue. What makes Manuka different and so unique is that it contains plant-derived components such as methylglyoxal – this is referred to as the 'unique Manuka factor' – this is, in turn, what determines the strength of the Manuka honey, classified on all the jars as the 'Unique Manuka Factor' or more recently as the 'Molan Gold Standard' (named after the driving force behind

Alpine Manuka Oil and Manuka Honey offer effective healing properties for a variety of conditions including: MRSA, infections, cuts, athlete’s foot, acne and other bacterial and fungal skin imbalances. Even the most resilient bacteria are no match for the unparalleled antimicrobial properties and being all-natural products, they have no negative side affects.

the discovery, research and growth of Manuka honey – Professor Peter Molan). This is classified on a ratio of 0-30. The most common certified Manuka factors are from between 15+ and 20+ as anything below 10 is not considered to be active and suitable for therapeutic use and is too low to have some desired effects, whereas anything above 20+ is used for specific medicinal purposes. Bacteria have the ability to mutate and become resistant to elements that are attempting to destroy them, such as antibiotics. However, Manuka honey destroys bacteria in a different manner, by drawing water out of the bacteria, making it impossible for the microbes to survive. To date, there has been no reported bacterium that has been able to develop a resistance to Manuka honey. Research has shown that Manuka honey provides an optimum germ-free, moist, wound-healing environment which supports and facilitates the natural healing of

100% Alpine Manuka Oil

15+ Manuka Honey

This essential oil is easily absorbed and non-sticky. Available in 10ml.

The honey can be taken orally or applied topically to affected areas. Available in 250g and 500g.

Visit our website for a list of stockists and information

varicose and skin ulcers, diabetic ulcers, pressure sores, wounds, burns, boils, cracked skin, cuts and grazes.


See ad, right, for details.

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Why silver rules


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e take metals for granted these days, but once they were really quite rare. As best we can tell, the current round of human civilisation began to understand the importance of

metals with the birth of man-made copper-based implements. But there are many others, some we don't even think of as metals, all of which are important to life, some of which are vital for health and others which we need to avoid at all costs – at least, in some of their forms.

Copper, iron, zinc & silver If you have any history, or know anything about your metabolic health, you'll know that copper has played a key role in human development and continues to do so in terms of personal health. Much the same is true for iron and even zinc. But the 'shining metal' among the most commonly encountered in our daily lives is, perhaps surprisingly, silver. Silver has long been valued as a precious metal, and is used as an investment, to make ornaments, jewellery, high-value tableware, silverware, and currency coins. Apart from other hi-tech applications, mostly in the electronics and astronomy contexts, it has mainstream recognition as a powerful disinfectant and microbiocidal. While many medical antimicrobial uses of silver have been supplanted by antibiotics, further research into clinical potential continues and there is a revival in the realisation that in silver we have a widely applicable metal. Some unexpected applications

Metals of all kinds are vital to us. They are critical resources, not merely to make our modern lives work but for our very lives themselves. But some metals really need to stay outside of us – and some we should have nothing to do with at all. We take a look at the good and bad of metals.

include its use in carpets, for example, to reduce the incidence of microbial and fungal build-up in the fibre pile. Silver ions and some silver compounds show a toxic effect on a range of bacteria, viruses, algae and fungi, typical for heavy metals such as lead or mercury, but without the high toxicity to humans normally associated with these other metals. Its germicidal effects kill many microbial organisms in vitro, but testing and standardisation



products is difficult. Silver




recognised for its ability to help ward off infectious diseases. For example, Hippocrates, the 'father




wrote that silver had beneficial

healing and anti-disease properties, and

like all things, with silver too there is 'too

the Phoenicians stored water, wine, and

much of a good thing' being bad. One

vinegar in silver bottles to prevent spoiling.

fellow, who had used colloidal silver for

Its germicidal effects increased its value

many years, appeared on an Oprah show

in utensils and as jewellery. The exact

because his skin had taken on a distinctly

process of silver's germicidal effect is still

bluish hue.

not entirely understood by mainstream

However, argyria is only caused from

science, although several theories exist.

chemically-made silver. True colloidal silver

One of these is the so-called oligodynamic

contains no nickel, copper or other metals

effect, which explains the effect on

or their compounds – it must be made from

micro-organisms, but would not explain

99.999% pure silver and distilled water.

antiviral effects.

And, in order to have pure silver, you need

Silver is widely used in topical gels and

a precious metals license. Some people

impregnated into bandages because of

have apparently used ground up silver

its wide-spectrum antimicrobial activity.

in capsules and silver nitrate, etc, which

The antimicrobial properties of silver stem

means they were not ingesting colloidal

from the chemical properties of its ionised

silver at all. Colloidal silver made through

form, Ag+. This ion forms strong molecular

electrolysis from pure silver electrodes has

bonds with other substances used by

a silver particle size of between 0.005-0.010

bacteria to respire, such as molecules

microns and a concentration of 10 parts

containing sulfur, nitrogen, and oxygen.

per million (ppm). Strictly speaking, this

When the Ag+ ion forms a complex

is the only silver colloid 'recipe' that is

with these molecules, they are rendered

functional and non-toxic, with no known

unusable by the bacteria, depriving them

side-effects. Apparently, the fellow who

of necessary compounds and eventually

turned blue and went on Oprah's show was

leading to their deaths.

taking something different. When properly

Silver compounds were used to prevent

prepared, as outlined above, colloidal silver

infection in World War I before the advent

in the correct ppm ratio can literally 'do no

of antibiotics. Silver nitrate solution use

harm'; you would have to consume at least

continued, then was largely replaced by

30-50l per day for many years for it to

silver sulfadiazine (SSD) cream, which

have any potentially negative effects, and

generally became the 'standard of care' for

your kidneys would have given warning

the antibacterial and antibiotic treatment

signs of packing up way before any other

of serious burns until the late 1990s.

harm would occur. Some people using the

Now, other options, such as silver-coated

correct colloid silver preparation have been

dressings (activated silver dressings), are

using it for decades, with no discernable

used in addition to SSD cream.

ill effects – in fact, the converse is true

Coloidal silver Various silver compounds, devices to

and they are reported to be remarkably healthy. There






make homeopathic solutions, and colloidal

colloidal silver works, but the most likely

silver suspensions are sold as remedies

explanation is that the free silver ions in

for numerous conditions. Although most

a colloidal silver preparation attack a wide

colloidal silver preparations are harmless,

range of microbes without harming human

cases where excessive consumption led to

cells. The problem with many homemade

argyria over a period of months or years

colloidal silver applications is that beyond

have been reported. High consumption

a certain point, the preparation has an

doses of what has been called 'colloidal

increasing number of silver molecules

silver' have been reported to result in

(several silver atoms clumped together)

various negative health effects, including

rather than silver ions in suspension. It

coma, pleural edema, and haemolysis. So,

is the 'clumps of silver molecules' which

Silver has long been valued as a precious metal, and is used as an investment, to make ornaments, jewellery, high-value tableware, silverware, and currency coins. Apart from other hi-tech applications, mostly in the electronics and astronomy contexts, it has mainstream recognition as a powerful disinfectant and microbiocidal.

57 S G

The antimicrobial properties of silver stem from the chemical properties of its ionised form, Ag+. This ion forms strong molecular bonds with other substances used by bacteria to respire, such can become toxic or change skin colour

malleable, ductile and having a relatively

– and they don't appear to play much

high density. But then some metals don't

containing sulfur,

meaningful role in improved health.

have all these characteristics and are

nitrogen, and

Other 'good' metals & the 'bad'

as molecules

oxygen. When

are arsenic and antimony. There are other exceptions, so to keep from getting

Most metals not mentioned above are also

thoroughly bogged down in advanced

the Ag+ ion

to be found in the body – but most of them

chemistry, the generally accepted idea

forms a complex

are toxic. There is little point mentioning

of metals is what we are working with

all these metals, save to say that if

here. And the bottom line is that there

with these

something is labelled a 'heavy metal', like

are, in human health terms, both 'good'

mercury, lead or cadmium, and is not in

and 'bad' metals. The question of how

molecules, they

the above list, it's probably dangerous

much is good for you of any of these,

are rendered

and should be avoided. And this is

ranges from 'absolutely nothing', as in

obviously not to mention the super-toxic

the case of plutonium which is arguably

unusable by

heaviest metals, almost all of which are

the most toxic substance known, through

also radioactive, from radium through

to quite a lot, as in the case of iron or

the bacteria,

uranium and plutonium to other far more

silver. As with so much in life, the answer

depriving them

obscure but no less dangerous chemical

is: 'it all depends'. That's why we rely

relatives. Indeed, there is something of

on professional input from the likes of

of necessary

a problem with the common versus the

doctors, chemist and naturopaths when it comes to identifying which necessary


technical description of a metal. With the exception of mercury, most people

metals we are in need of, externally or

when asked would say a metal is usually

internally, and which we have to avoid or

solid at room temperature, hard and used

get rid of.

and eventually

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referred to as metalloid. Two examples

leading to their

in industry. That's largely true, but the

On the home front, though, we can


reality is far more complex. Technical

be sure that using a metal like silver in a

works define metals as having, among

wide range of applications, from utensils

other characteristics, a 'metallic' lustre

to bio-cleaners, is as safe if not safer than

(which seems cyclical in argument), being

going for most of the alternatives.


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Wellness corner

 Lifestyle RESolutionS Add more wellness to your day with products that inspire you. From body work-outs to inner workings of the mind, wellness is about paying attention to all aspects of the self and striking a good balance. STRENGTHEN & TONE

Path of Wisdom

Easy grip vinyl dumbbells are available in 1kg, 2kg and 3kg weights and are perfect for increasing strength and muscle definition. Follow a program to increase your reps on a regular basis. Wellness Warehouse Dumbbell – 3kg R119.99, 2kg R99.99, 1kg R69.99. WIN a set of Wellness dumbbells, simply email your favourite wellness tip to with 'Welness Dumbell' as the subject before the end of April and stand in line to receive a 3kg set designed to enrich your workout.

Wisdom stones are used as a tool to gain insight, access wisdom and inspire intuitive feelings. They also offer clarity, meaning or direction to life issues. Each stone has a symbolic meaning that connects thoughts, emotions, experiences, living things and the wisdom of spirit. These local African Wisdom stones have been developed by Glenn-Douglas Haig and follow the symbolic rune from the ancient world. Life Stones Wisdom Stones From Africa R249.99

Footwear forever

Super snack

FitFlops are designed to engage the foot, leg and thigh muscles. Warming up the muscles before exercise and a passive stretch afterwards helps to reduce next-day soreness. FitFlops are ergonomically engineered to recreate soft sand walking where the muscles stabilising the foot are constantly engaged. This strengthens the wearers feet and helps muscles warm down after exercise. They also absorb more shock in the lower legs and encourage correct walking techniques and body alignment. This gives the wearer more energy and less likelihood of developing knee, hip and back problems. In a nutshell, FitFlops are stylish, incredibly comfortable, assist with overall recovery after sport, and are good for overall physical health and well-being. Fitflops Caffeine For Your Feet: Sling Leather R899. (Available at Wellness Warehouse Kloof st and online only.)

Chia seeds are one of the best known sources of essential fatty acids, with nearly two-thirds being comprised of Omega-3 as alpha linolenic acid. They are also an excellent source of Omega-6, vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, dietary fibre, and protein. This Chia Seed meal can make a nutritious addition to protein shakes, cereals, salads and yogurt and more.

STORE LOCATIONS Wellness Warehouse Kloof: Lifestyles on Kloof, 50 Kloof Street, Cape Town • 021 487 5420 Wellness Warehouse Cavendish: Cavendish Square, Claremont, Cape Town • 021 673 7200 All products are available from Wellness Warehouse

Brought to you by Robyn Wilkinson – Editor of Wellness magazine for Wellness Warehouse.

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0800 live life / 548 3543

Never change a battery with Citizen’s revolutionary Eco-Drive technology. This collection offers unquestionable sophistication, giving you the confidence to do it all. 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. Fewer batteries in the waste stream mean that you will be making a positive contribution towards saving our environment and creating a sustainable future 011 257 6000

Wear a watch that careS

WIN Citizen are giving away TWO Eco-Drive men's watches valued at R5 999 each. Send your full name and address details to

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Hot off the press Cool for Dudes

envirodomes We provide products ranging from domestic garden use products, such as greenhouses, children’s play equipment and storage domes, to specialised domes for things like jacuzzi covers and products which serve as venues for outdoor events or occasions like weddings, conferences, exhibitions or even festivals. We focus on safety and ensure our products are durable and easy on the eye to cater for the specialised needs of all clients.

8 JUST PURE Many hygiene and skin care products on the market today contain potentially harmful chemicals. This range of skin and body care products is 100% natural and promotes beauty, balance and above all, well-being for men, women, children and babies. No harmful synthetic ingredients or preservatives are used in the creation of these products.

We have EIGHT Just Pure for men hampers to give away. Simply send your full name and address details to with 'Just Pure' as the subject header by April 10 2013 to stand a chance of winning. S G 62



The CiVViO t-shirt range is made from a 55% hemp / 45% organic cotton blend and has many benefits to both you and Mother Earth. Hemp breathes well and has superior insulation properties so be it hot or cold, you will be comfortable at all times. Due to its mildew and microbe resistance, it's a healthy option for your skin too and your hemp t-shirt will stay free from nasty odours. Known as the most durable natural fibre, your hemp t-shirt will retain its shape and becomes softer with every wash. These shirts retail at Due South stores at R299. See ad here.

We have 10 CiVViO hemp t-shirts to give away. Simply send your full name and address details and shirt size to with 'CiVViO' as the subject header by April 10 2013 to stand a chance of winning.

uFIX A first of its kind in Africa, uFix is an easy to use repair kit for DIY enthusiastic Apple product owners. The kit contains all the tools, videos and parts needed to fix the more minor breakages to your Apple products with no labour costs that will ultimately save you money.

We have 3 uFix toolkits (valued at R1 000 each) to give away. Simply send your full name and address details to giveaways@simplygreen. with 'uFix' as the subject header by April 10 2013 to stand a chance of winning.


1 1

BEMA Bio Eco Man provides a no-fuss daily routine with skincare and grooming products that combines the power of science and nature. Made in Italy, this ICEA -certified organic men's range uses nature's best anti-aging ingredients to treat your skin day after day. The range includes after-shave, anti-ageing cream, combination skin cream, eyes contour emulsion, body wash. Stockists: Cape Town Wellness Warehouse,,, For more info visit or email

We have Bema products to the value of R4 000 to give away. Simply send your full name and address details to giveaways@ with 'Bema' as the subject header by April 10 2013 to stand a chance of winning.


SH'ZEN MEN Men, too, can take advantage of the emotional, physical and therapeutic benefits of essential oils that possess an earthy, spicy, and masculine aroma. Sh'Zen has chosen nine essences and combined them in a base of EFA - rich plant oils, to create the cornerstone of the range – EnneaEssence. The oils come together to create a unique, warm, sensual and most attractive oriental fragrance.

We have ONE EnneaEssence hamper to give away. Simply send your full name and address details to with 'Sh'Zen' as the subject header by April 10 2013 to stand a chance of winning.

iSockit Since the 2005 introduction of her iSockit line of vintage fabric computer cases, artist, designer, and self-taught seamstress Blythe King has carved out an improbable niche in a saturated market. Using vintage fabric from old military uniforms, work clothes, and spare yardage gleaned from dressmakers estates, Blythe creates simple yet stylish cases tailored to fit an array of computers and portable electronic devices.

We have ONE iSockit to give away. Simply send your full name and address details to with 'iSockit' as the subject header by April 10 2013 to stand a chance of winning. 63 S G


Indigo Plus Lantern This compact, variable brightness lantern with its nine ultra-bright LED ’s eliminates the need for batteries. It also charges emergency mobile phones when needed.

We have ONE Indigo Plus Lantern hamper to give away. Simply send your full name and address details to with 'Indigo' as the subject header by April 10 2013 to stand a chance of winning.



The Swell BookCase for iPad has a hardcover book casing and a sculptured bamboo tray on the inside. It has been designed to allow easy access to the volume rocker, orientation/mute switch, lock button and the headphone jack. The dock connector and the speaker grill are not obstructed – so don't worry about muffled sound. In fact, the sculptured shape of the tray actually allows for an audible increase in volume and clarity of sound. The BookCase has a series of magnets that hold the iPad in place, as well as utilising the smart features of the iPad to wake/sleep your device on opening and closing the cover, and is held closed with a magnetic catch.

We have ONE Swell BookCase to give away for both the iPad 2 and iPad 3. Simply send your full name and address details to with either 'Swell 2' or 'Swell 3' as the subject header by April 10 2013 to stand a chance of winning.

GAMMATEK Gammatek, leading distributor of Branded Technology Accessories in Southern Africa has introduced Osungo’s range of award-winning, eco-friendly battery chargers which aren’t only great to look at, but feature the company’s patented GreenZERO technology – an eco-friendly way to charge mobile devices while totally eliminating the wasteful stand-by consumption typically experienced when chargers are left in AC outlets.

We have THREE Gammatek eco-chargers to give away. Simply send your full name and address details to giveaways@ with 'Gammatek' as the subject header by April 10 2013 to stand a chance of winning. S G 64

Studio-inspired, heart-pumping, Beats headphones will get you moving with the pounding bass, the thrilling highs and the dynamics. These wireless headphones allow you to experience sound without having to fuss over cables. With Bluetooth connectivity, a built-in mic, convenient control buttons on the ear cup for hands-free, mobile calling, music control and volume, these headphones produce extended highs, natural mid-tones and powerful lows. Phoenix Software is one of the leading suppliers of consumer-related products and features leading brands such as Dr Dre’s Beats headphones, which can be found through mass retail outlets in SA ranging between R1 400 and R7 500.


Kagga Kamma Kagga Kamma Private Nature Reserve’s Outcrop Open Air “Room” offers you the opportunity to get away from your day-to-day routine and City noises. Sleeping under the stars among the sounds of nature in a luxury bed, you can have a picnic basket looking at the sunset and later on touch the stars. It’s a wild-outdoor mind blowing experience.

Unbelievable value: R489.00

A revolution in battery recharging! Intelligent disposable battery charger capable of recharging most everyday alkaline batteries as well as Ni-CD and Ni-MH batteries over 25 times. Distribution by DMQ Trading, Tel: 021 200 0747 • Email: For online sales and additional info go to Also available at The Green Shop •

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R ecipe Grilled Angelfish with Thai-style mango & sprout salad Serves 4

Ingredients 800g angelfish 15ml cooking oil salt 200g bean sprouts 1 ripe mango 20g fresh coriander 1 medium cucumber 40g sesame seeds, toasted 4 limes 40g palm sugar 20g mint ½ a small chilli 30ml fish sauce 2cm ginger stem, peeled and sliced

Using a peeler, shave the cucumber into long, thin ribbons. Avoiding the watery centre of the cucumber, shave around the outside of the cucumber. Put the cucumber ribbons into a medium mixing bowl.

Peel the mango, and cut the flesh away from the pip. Slice the mango and add it to the cucumber ribbons. Add the bean

'This is the perfect time for a new super-healthy

sprouts and coriander to the cucumber. Cover the bowl and refrigerate.

eating plan. As the weeks start rolling into the Juice the limes. In a jug blender, add the lime juice, ginger, palm sugar, mint, year, it tends to become quite challenging to chilli and fish sauce. Blend together to stick to new year 'resolutions'. The following recipe is light and fresh, perfect for summer and bursting with interesting flavours. It's also really

Pour the dressing over the mango salad, toss the salad mixing all the ingredients together in the dressing.

quick and easy to prepare,

Put a large non-stick frying pan on a

and easy on the waistline. I

Season the angelfish with a little salt.

use the sustainable option of

fillets into the pan. Cook for 2 minutes

high heat, and drizzle in a little oil. When the pan is hot, place the angelfish

angelfish in this recipe, which

on the first side, then turn over and cook

is on the SASSI "green" list at

is done, serve it with your fresh mango' S G 66

make a green, light textured dressing.

for a further 2 minutes. Once the fish salad and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Vanessa Marx is the head chef at Dear Me, Cape Town

C ompany

Reward your wrist with a Mistura renewable timepiece – carry a piece of nature with you, enabling you to look hip and support sustainable forestry practices at the same time.

green luxury I

ntroducing Mistura, a meticulously hand-crafted range of wristwatches that capture the exotic radiance and beauty of South America's enchanting rain forests. Each exquisite piece combines living and breathing textures to reveal nature's innermost secrets – uniquely iconic, responsibly sustainable and highly fashionable. Made from the finest woods found in the Colombian rain forest that have been certified under sustainable preservation policies, and from leather cut-offs from the local leather industry, these wrist watches offer an eco-friendly sophistication that transforms nature into a life-time wearable treasure. At a time when ecological awareness is of critical importance to societies worldwide, Mistura timepieces minimise negative production effects on the environment with each piece being made from renewable resources. Mistura designers diligently work through a very slow and rigorous process on each timepiece for up to 85 hours. The process begins when experienced craftsmen hand-pick the finest wood pieces from areas which have been certified under sustainable preservation policies. They wait for the Moon’s last quarter before cutting the wood, the reason being that by then the sap of the tree has concentrated at the centre



of the tree and this makes the wood harder and more durable. Each interchangeable leather strap is dyed naturally to produce exhilarating whites, robust blacks, refined greys, warm reds, cool blues and purples, peaceful greens and earthy browns. The Mistura brand has three collections: The wood collection with the prestigious Mistura seal engraved on each buckle and on each of its timepieces different woods are used for the case like teak, pui, purpleheart, and for the dial, woods like ebony, zebra, and in some watches, bamboo. The Green collection is made with recycled materials such as paper, aluminium and plastic to create a work of art full of fantasy and innovation. The Santa Elena collection is the other collection. Santa Elena is a township, located in Antioquia in Colombia. This fresh and natural township is privileged by having a magnificent gift of nature in the form of the Hortensia flower with the most magnificent rainbow of colours. The fallen petals from the flowers are vividly immortalised on the dials of each timepiece. The Santa Elena collection can be found in both the wood and green collection.


For more info call 082 897 9538 or email

We have two Mistura timepieces to give away, each valued between R1 800-R2 300. Send your details, name and address to giveaways@, subject 'Mistura' by 10 April 2013 to stand a chance to win. 67 S G

U pcycling 1






Recreate is Katie's passion and flair for transforming

the ordinary to the extraordinary. Using pieces of discarded junk, she recreates a unique, recycled range of furniture, lighting and interior accessories, each piece infused with its own previous character but with a new function. By



South with

African high-end

finishes and her own eclectic 3


perfectionist flair, she creates an original end-product with a new integrity that epitomises the very best of South African design. Katie's style is always innovative and novel. Her trademark choice of colour, texture and finish gives her designs an ever present element of surprise. Recreate also specialise in interior



and renovations and its design philosophy is to strive for the unconventional and unique in 5

6 7

every project. Katie has an honest, reliable and transparent nature and this is reflected in long-established industry relationships with her clients and suppliers.


Visit for more.

Recreate was started by Katie Thompson in 2009 and is a cutting edge interior design range which incorporates unique repurposed furniture. S G 68

11 8


Katie pictured with one of her latest projects, which includes repurposed interiors from a Mercedes Benz.

Behind Recreate Graduating with a distinction from 10


Design Time School of Interior Design in Cape Town, Katie has seven years experience in the design, furniture and fabric industry in London and Cape Town. Her passion lies in finding the intrinsic beauty and new, hidden purpose of the old, discarded items in her pieces. A hoarder of all things useless, impractical, broken, colourful and shiny; Katie's designs show tell tale signs of her Dadaist leanings. By nature an extremely energetic, bubbly and creative individual, her energy filters through to her work and into her pieces and the lives of her


13 14

Recreate specialise in interior design, redecorating and renovations and its design philosophy is to strive for the unconventional and unique in every project.

clients. Opposite page: 1. Vintage kitchen scale revamped into a clock • 2. Old rusted baking trays now framed in customised perspex boxes • 3. Mismatched Old English teacups and saucers now mini herb pots for the kitchen • 4. A leather suitcase starts its new life as a cupboard • 5. A Jägermeister bottle becomes a desk lamp with a stainless steel adjustable arm and highgloss black base • 6. A broken mini-fridge becomes a quirky side table/cupboard • 7. Antique wooden printers drawers re-used as cupboard doors This page: 8. An old porthole is re-used as a contemporary side table with custom made tapered solid brass legs and a smokey grey mirror top • 9. A printers tray forms the drawer of this table with a toughened glass top and mild steel legs • 10. A tractor seat converted into a comfortable bar stool with a black powder coated steel frame • 11. An old timber paraffin crate is upcycled into a side table with tapered timber legs. 12. Bashew's cool-drink crate transformed into a quirky side table, with reclaimed timber legs and a black coloured sliding glass top • 13. A blue vintage Fiesta suitcase now becomes a comfy classic chair, is steel reinforced and upholstered in 100% linen with a deep button detail and whitewashed timber tapered legs • 14. Original coach lantern now rewired and boasts a new frosted glass cover.

69 S G



Nature's Ratio Educator Sharon Levy investigates the shapes and patterns of nature and shares some simple experiments to identify them.

From ancient Greeks to the Renaissance artists of the 1500s to graphic artists of today, ÎŚ, or Phi, is a mathematical ratio recognised for its ability to give a sense of aesthetic appeal in beauty, balance and harmony of design. Any number of the Fibonacci series: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21....divided by the previous number approximates to 1,618, near to the value of ÎŚ Phi. For example, 8 divided by 5 = 1.6; 13 divided by 8 = 1.625 and so on. Any number divided by the following one in the series approximates 0.618. These are proportional ratios between major and minor sections of the golden section.

The Parthenon Knowledge of aerodynamics, the structural strength of materials, the physics and chemistry of engines would seem the most obvious considerations in the design of an aircraft. The design of Boeing 747 also reveals harmonious proportions strikingly similar to those seen in natural forms and works of art. Phi is also used today to add style and appeal in the marketing and design of everyday consumer products, ranging from cars to logos, such as the latest icloud logo. See following page for our example. S G 70

Investigation Draw the so-called golden rectangle of 5x8 proportions and discover the golden section ratio of 0.618 and Φ (pronounced pi) approximately = 1.618

What you do   With the help of a square inscribed

The golden section's proportions are frequent in patterns of organic growth. This maple seed (above) has the proportions of the golden section. The seeds are dispersed by the wind in a manner that they can be windborne for as long as possible.

Investigation Determine whether the ratios of a helicopter affect the duration of flight

into a semicircle, draw a circle from the centre of the square's base touching the opposite corners of the square .   This will produce a golden section's proportions along both sides of the extended baseline. The golden section can be expressed in the equation as: A:B + B: (A+B).

What you need?  An A4 sheet of paper  Paper clip  Scissors  Stopwatch

What you discover:

cutting and folding a piece of paper as shown below.   The total length of the helicopter must be 21cm and the width 6cm.   Start by cutting out this rectangle 21cm by 6cm.   Then cut along the solid lines and fold along the dotted lines as shown.   Add a paper clip at the base to provide some stability.   Now make a few more versions where lengths A and B vary.   Investigate how the ratio A to B affects the duration of flight.   Choose a standard flight test and time the duration of flight of each helicopter.

The ratio A:B = 0.618 and the ratio B: (A+B) = 0.618. 0.618 is known as the golden section ratio. If the square's sides are 1 unit long, then each of the extensions will be 0.618 unit long and the 1x 0.618 rectangles on either side of the square will be golden rectangles. Each of these combined with the square form a larger golden rectangle, 1 x 1.618. These larger rectangles and the smaller ones are each other's recriprocal in the sense that the larger side of the small ones, and the smaller side of the large ones are the same. The total length of these reciprocal golden rectangles is 2.236 units, this numbers being identical with the square root of 5.

What you do?   Make a paper helicopter by

Sharon Levy is a science and mathematics teacher with a keen interest in the inter-relationships between science, education and society. She co-founded The Institute for Leadership and Education and currently runs Maths-is-Easy, offering individual and group tuition in mathematics to primary and secondary school learners. 71 S G

Last year, the MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet fundraising program raised more than R36m for charities, schools and enviro-organisations across SA. This is a 29% increase from 2011 and is due to the continued support of the program’s 670 000 active supporters. We take a look.

MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet


donate a percentage of your purchase to your chosen

sign up as beneficiaries, the program has been

Over R3 million was raised for 'Planets' in 2012, with

extended to include charitable organisations and worthy

the help of loyal supporters and outstanding partners.

causes. MyVillage organisations are charities that care for

Together, the initiative Did One Thing (to quote Braam

people; MyPlanet organisations care for animals and the

Malherbe, the well-known conservationist and adventurer)


for our planet, and they are not slowing down in 2013.

About MySchool

part, and who you can support with your MyPlanet card

MySchool acts as a channel that raises and delivers essential

(there are over 95 planet beneficiaries): EWT (Endangered

funding to schools, charities and enviro-organisations in

Wildlife Trust) MyPlanet Rhino Fund, Biowatch (MyPlanet),

order to improve education and social development in SA.

Back to Africa, Food & Trees For Africa, Free Me Wildlife

This enables members of the community to participate in

Rehabilitation Centre, Soil for Life, The African Raptor

the future development of our nation in a sustainable way.

Trust, Vulture Program, WESSA, WWF South Africa, BirdLife

The program gives parents, community and enviro-minded

South Africa, SANCCOB.

hile originally the MySchool program was exclusive to schools and only schools could

'Planet' to aid their valuable work.

individuals a vehicle through which to make a meaningful

What follows is a list of 12 'Planets' that are doing their

contribution to participating organisations, in a convenient

Helping our rhinos

and transparent manner. It is not a donation service, but a

MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet, the national fundraising

true partnership between charities and business partners.

initiative which supports over 9  000 schools, charities,

What is MyPlanet? MyPlanet was launched as an extension of the MySchool

animal and enviro-organisations across the country, has partnered with the EWT to create the EWT MyPlanet Rhino Fund.

MyVillage fundraising program, to provide individuals with

The EWT MyPlanet Rhino Fund aims to provide the public

the opportunity to support an environmental or animal

with a tangible way to actively support rhino conservation

welfare charity ('Planets') that are close to their heart,

and anti-poaching efforts in SA through a consolidated

without it costing the supporter/cardholder a cent. It's

fundraising effort. This fund is the result of the combined

the easiest way imaginable to make a difference in the

efforts of the MyPlanet fundraising program and EWT.


It's supported by Braam and administered by the EWT to

Get a free MyPlanet card online at

address the most pressing needs across the country.

or at a nearest Woolworths store. Swipe your MyPlanet card every time you shop at any of the initiative's partners (listed at and they will S G 72

See advert opposite for more info.







Simply get a free MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet card and select the EWT MyPlanet Rhino Fund as your beneficiary. Then, every time you swipe your card at our retail partners (such as Woolworths, Waltons,, Reggie’s, Toys R Us, Engen Foodstops and many more) they will donate a percentage of what you have spent to the charity of your choice, on your behalf. Every swipe counts!

GET YOUR CARD NOW at any Woolworths store, at or call 0860 100 445.

ver g ri n i v -mo ket slow , mar e d d er i n w la e . Aft a h t t m u a o Map stre ck t s. own our d ba d l a l reed e d a h h a e t e l i e nd dh dw en , bu , an wde n s i o e r e be a o c v n s a ag a e h c or the who ecom gh f b s o u t o r o n p Dragonfly e i n p e riv y hi de e dies i k h d o l t w n o , u i g le just beh he b whi or t nels sely f ort o n s l h s a c s ze e h a ing odn s ma ng c w i o i o h g r l t l a nk . Fo ugh , cle Tha rds ugh hro e us t o r r r bi y o l f h e s t e v u b s a s o we pa uti ng here f the ecti es to le ca l o o l d r o n d e c t ca e pa out nfly hat the r, w ago he c y ab e r l T f h d . t y s o s. A the age each nest r as pass i r ts i a w e o th off i rr the e a g s k l n n l a fi of owi ling om ops e, sh hist ch t i o w bish h n e d w a an rbed r th ith ur c istu hea of o al w d e i t , r f W f e n ith fro dy. no mat the og w e bo y ru s r e f n i h o o t a u ds y. hes k as turq lan ickl buc catc u ing d q r n e e t o e m her of r ws i shim rby allo ing a h w e s s n a spl .A and . ach ak, and o e r web b p ap nd ike l a r l u t r e e by o is w agg e, d h th g g r u a thro its l dle d a p Let’s



we Tl an d weB s

Wetlands are covere

d with shallow wat


whaT is a weTland? A wetland is an area that is covered with shallow water, either throughout the year or only during the rainy season. It has unique soils and special plants adapted to living in water. Wetlands are also known as marshes, flood plains, or pans.

African Pygmy-geese in a wetland Extract taken from On Safari by Nadine Clarke, published by Struik Nature, an imprint of Random House Struik

S G 74

H 102-123 River.indd 106

3/8/12 2:14:51 PM

African Swamphen

(left) and crocodil

e (right)

a naTural sponge and filTer Wetlands are a valuable natural resource. Let’s look at how they help us. A wetland acts as a ‘flood buster’. When a river is in flood, the surrounding wide, shallow wetland forces the floodwater to spread out and slow down. The wetland then acts like a huge natural sponge, releasing the fresh water slowly, even long after rain has fallen. Water leaving a wetland is often cleaner than when it entered the area, because the wetland serves as a natural filter. The roots of wetland plants trap and filter pollutants and sediments carried by the water. Wetland plants have special roots, which enable them to grow in the waterlogged soil. In times of flood, the roots hold the soil together, preventing soil erosion.

living weTlands Not only do wetlands protect the water quality and help to regulate the water flow, they also provide food, habitats and nesting sites for a huge variety of wildlife species adapted for life in a watery environment. In fact, a healthy wetland offers food and shelter for more creatures than any other similar-sized habitat on earth! In their search for food, these animals and plants form a web of interdependence – and we must be careful not to break this cycle. food Chains In nature, each organism relies on another for food. A food chain shows these feeding relationships, in other words, it shows how this food energy passes from one organism to another. For example, green plants use the energy of sunlight and nutrients in the soil to manufacture food and, in turn, many wetland animals depend on these plants for food. Animals that eat only plants are called herbivores. Herbivores range from big animals, such as hippos and reedbuck, to small ones, such as tadpoles and water fleas. Tadpoles feed on algae, minute plants trapped in the roots of wetland plants. Slightly larger creatures, such as the fishing spider, feed on these tadpoles and, in turn, are eaten by even larger animals such as birds, frogs and water mongooses. Creatures that eat others are called carnivores, some of which are very large, such as crocodiles. Other animals, such as the African Swamphen and Black Crake, eat both plant and animal matter. They are known as omnivores. We have this in common with them, since human beings are omnivores too. All animals and plants eventually decompose when they die to provide nutrients for new plant life, so that nothing is wasted – the circle of life is thus completed.

Black Crakes

For info or to purchase visit Also visit, or visit the 'Get Bushwise' facebook page 75 S G

H 102-123 River.indd 107

3/8/12 2:14:54 PM


looking after our wetlands

Wetlands provide food and shelter for many creatures and plants, and they are also beautiful places to relax and enjoy nature. Unfortunately, humans are draining, filling, and polluting them. We use the reclaimed wetlands for agriculture, and to build factories and homes. When litter and pesticides get into the water, this can seriously harm creatures in the food chain and damage the entire wetland food web. If fish live in polluted water, the birds that feed on those fish will eventually be poisoned, and so will the larger carnivores that feed on those birds. In time, species of plants and animals may even become extinct. Humans often introduce alien plant and animal species that do not naturally occur in the wetland, which can also damage ju s t f o r f u nct our fragile wetlands? the web. One example is to prote What can you do , and arrange the water hyacinth, which tland in your area we a ’s re the if t Find ou animals use comes from South America. a study to see which visit it. Why not do to wetland changes This plant has no natural o observe how the als d an nd tla we the sidents will enemies in our wetlands and ? The wetland re m season to season fro your friends grows so quickly that it chokes g attitude! Organize preciate your carin ap g an important up the rivers, smothers other . You will be makin er litt up an cle lp to he plants and prevents sunlight web of life. contribution to this and oxygen from reaching the water. whaT Can we do? By getting to know our wetlands and taking time to enjoy them, we can learn how important they are and start to do more to protect them. We must encourage our communities to avoid filling and development, and to protect these areas from chemical threats, such as pollution, and biological threats, such as invasive alien plants and animals.

did you know? The fever tree, which often occurs near water, has a distinctive yellowgreen stem and does not have many leaves. It is thought that the stem is greenish to compensate for the lack of leaves by helping with photosynthesis, plants’ way of converting sunlight into food.

Hippo covered in water hyacinth 108

Extract taken from On Safari by Nadine Clarke, published by Struik Nature, an imprint of Random House Struik

S G 76

H 102-123 River.indd 108

3/8/12 2:14:55 PM

test your skills who eats whom?

Carefully study the behaviour of the creatures in the wetland. Decide whether each animal is a herbivore, an omnivore, or a carnivore. * Answers on p. 185

1. African Fish Eagle 2. Reedbuck 3. African Swamphen 4. Dragonfly adult 5. Black Crake 6. Fishing spider 7. Water mongoose 8. Frog 9. Dragonfly nymph 10. Water flea 11. Tadpole 12. Tilapia

109 For info or to purchase visit Also visit, or visit the 'Get Bushwise' facebook page 77 S G

Seeds Glorious Seeds

G arden

'Seeds are magical and addictive. Do you realise that if you hold a handful of seeds, you are holding an entire garden in your hand? Growing vegetables from seed is easier than you think. In my vegetable garden, depending on the weather, time of year and how busy I am, I sow seeds in seed trays, seed others directly into the garden and plant purchased seedlings. Buying seedlings is a quicker option, however, the choice of seedlings out there doesn't come close to the variety of seeds available.' Jane Griffiths tells us how it is also much cheaper growing vegetables from seed.

S G 78


any vegetable seeds, such as lettuce,

Once your seeds are sown, spray the seeded area with a fine

carrots, radish, beans, tomatoes,

spray until well moistened. Don't spray too hard otherwise you will

eggplants and more can be sown

dislodge the seeds and don't waterlog the ground as this can inhibit

directly into our gardens. For best germination,

germination. Keep the area damp until the seedlings emerge and

seeds need a smooth surface with a fine tilth,

then thin them out according to the space they will require when

so prepare the soil well first. Clear the area

fully grown.

and rake the soil smooth. Cover evenly with a 1cm deep layer of sieved compost mixed with seedbed mix (see box on next page).

Protecting seeds

Birds love nothing more than scratching around in a newly seeded

To sow a block of seeds, scatter the seeds

area, gobbling up all your carefully sown seeds. Even insectivores,

evenly across the surface. Don't rake the seeds

like thrushes, sit on the wall above me waiting until I've finished

after sowing; this will make them congregate

sowing seed because they know that after I've been busy it is easier

in one spot; rather poke the tines of the rake

for them to find a worm or two. To fool them I scatter plenty of

gently into the ground, evenly over the entire

shredded fronds of artemisia, tansy, lavender or sage over the area.

area. Cover the seeds with a light covering of

This makes it less obvious that it has been recently planted. Using

finely sieved compost. Press down firmly using

strong smelling plants also helps keep slugs and snails away from

a flat piece of wood.

freshly sprouted seedlings. As further protection I create a 'cage'

To sow in rows, prepare the soil and make furrows of the depth according to the packet. Evenly place or sprinkle the seeds into the furrow, push the earth back over to completely cover them and gently press down. When

above a seedbed using sticks or some plastic chicken wire, making access difficult for birds.

Sowing in seed trays

With some seeds it is worth taking the time and effort to sow them

sowing tiny seeds, such as carrot or celery,

in seed trays first and transplant the seedlings. There are several

mix them with sand before sowing. This helps

advantages to doing this: Firstly, transplanted seedlings make

distribute them evenly.

better use of limited space. This is especially true for seedlings

Larger seeds such as beans or squash need

such as cauliflower that take a long time to germinate and reach

to be individually planted. Poke a series of

transplanting size. During this time, something else can be growing

holes in the ground, evenly spaced according

in the beds. Secondly, even careful direct seeding can result in

to the final size of the plant. Pop a seed into

uneven plant spacing. Broadcasted seed falls in a random pattern

each hole, fill the holes and gently press the

and not all seeds germinate. This results in a concentration of plants

soil down

in one area and bare gaps in others. Seedlings however, can be 79 S G

transplanted into a perfect spacing pattern for optimum growth. I sow seedtrays using two different methods: Firstly, sowing in flat seedling trays and secondly sowing into individual modules. Seedlings from flats are transplanted a little earlier and need a bit more TLC for a few weeks after transplanting. Seedling modules work better for fussier seedlings such as cauliflower and for any seeds sown in early spring. Flats are fine for summer seedlings. You can buy ready-made seedling mix or make your own (see box). When using home-made seedling mix, soak the vermiculite in water for 10-15 minutes before mixing. This will create the perfect moisture level and you don't need to wet it again. Moisten bought seedling mix

Seed bed mix

4 parts sieved compost • 1 part vermicompost • Per bucket of mix add quarter cup of rock dust • Can add 1 part well rotted leaf mould (Comfrey leaf mould is very nutrient-rich)

Seedling mix

2 parts sieved compost • 2 parts sphagnum moss • 1 part pre-wet vermiculite • Can add 1 part well-rotted leaf mould

by placing the filled seed trays or modules in a basin of water and leaving them until soaked through. They will

protected spot. Mist them every day or twice a day in

absorb water through the drainage holes.

hot weather. Turn the trays regularly so the seedlings

When sowing seeds, you want to emulate the conditions a seed would find in nature: a rich, fine top layer created from decomposed matter in which the seed

re-orient themselves.

Where to buy

can germinate, and a firmer lower level for anchoring the

For many years I would salivate over online seed

plant's roots. To do this, create two levels, a deeper lower

catalogues, wishing we had seeds for purple carrots or

one firmly pushed down and a shallower one, loosely

orange cauliflower. If we wanted these seeds we would

sprinkled on top of the seeds.

have to bend the rules and smuggle them in. The great

Make little dents in the middle of each module or in

news is that in the last couple of years a number of

the seedling tray, according to the depth on the packet's

local seed companies have sprouted that offer us a wide

instructions. Drop the seeds in, sprinkle the looser

choice of interesting vegetables. From black and yellow

covering layer over and gently firm down. For optimum

tomatoes, purple peas and carrots to candy-striped

spacing in a flat seed tray, place seeds in a hexagonal

beetroot, we can now enjoy a wider variety in our home

pattern. This results in each seedling having six seedlings


equidistant from it. Chicken wire on a frame makes a

Shannon Draper of The Gravel Garden, Somerset West.

perfect hexagonal template. Drop one seed in the middle

of each hexagon.

Sean Freeman, Living Seeds, Johannesburg

Many books recommend sowing two to three seeds per module, to ensure germination of one seedling per Mark and Kathy Roach, The Goode Garden Shoppe.

module. This is fine if you have plenty of seeds. However,

with seeds such as red cabbage, where you only get

Linda Galvad, Sought after Seedlings,

about ten seeds per packet, only sow one per module.

Use a spray bottle to mist the surface with water until

Mahlathini Organic Seeds, Richmond, KZN

it is moist. Label them and place in a warm, light and


Visit Jane's Delicious Garden at or email Jane on

Photographs: Jane Griffiths & Keith Knowlton. SOURCES: Jane's Delicious Garden, Sunbird Publishers, a division of Jonathan Ball Publishers. S G 80

plant breeding in Africa Food-crop improvement by conventional plant breeding, without resorting to GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) technology, is the goal of the African Centre for Crop Improvement (ACCI), a plant breeding initiative based at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) in Pietermaritzburg, spear-headed by Professor Mark Laing, who tells us more.


he idea is to ask the farmers what they want,

So successful has this program been that Professor

in a scientifically structured survey process.

Laing recently received an award of recognition from

After analysing the farmers' responses, we can

Kofi Annan, Chairperson of AGRA (A Green Revolution

identify the key traits they want in their crops. We even

for Africa) at a prestigious conference held in Arusha,

take it further, and the PhD students may ask the farmers

Tanzania, the AGRA Forum. The stature of this conference

to help them choose the best plants, with the best taste,

was supported by heavyweights of the development

colour, shape, and so on. These new crop varieties are

community, including Melinda Gates of the Bill and

readily adopted by the farmers. After all, they chose

Melinda Gates Foundation, Dr Gary Toennissen, MD of

them,' says Professor Laing.

the Rockefeller Foundation, Mr M J M Kikwete, President of

This concept of seed development based on traditional

Tanzania, and Dr I A Mayake, CEO of NEPAD.

plant-breeding methods has come about since the

Forty-two ACCI students from 14 countries have

inception of the ACCI in 2002. Currently, students are

graduated with doctorates, with 38 more in training;

working with 17 crops including millet, sorghum, African

a sister organisation in West Africa, WACCI, is training

rice, cassava, sweet potatoes and teff, each staples in

another 58 plant breeders in a parallel program.

their respective countries.

A stroke of genius by Dr de Vries, of AGRA, was to

'When we started out, we were told that the ACCI

continue funding the students after graduation. This has

program would definitely fail, that such an ambitious

allowed them to continue their PhD breeding programs

project could never work. But with the right team of

to the point of releasing many new crop varieties, lines

experienced plant breeders to teach and supervise the

and hybrids.

students, it has worked even better than we had hoped.

'Our students do not lose momentum in the breeding

100% of the ACCI graduates have stayed in Africa, mostly

of their crop – after graduation they just blossom,' said

to work on food crops in their home country, usually in

Professor Laing.


their country's national agricultural research institute. 81 S G


Overview of the urban greening project

greenurbanwasteland Helsinki was in the news last year as the 2012 World Design Capital – just as all eyes will be on Cape Town in 2014 – and one of the highlights of its action-packed, year-long program was the establishment of an urban gardening project, set in the unlikely surroundings of an old railway depot. Judy Bryant reports.


he heart of the project is a turntable that was used

in discarded shopping trollies, inspired by the three

to turn train engines around – rather like the table

main agricultural crops of Native American first peoples:

used in Knysna for the traditional steam train.

squash, maize and climbing beans.

This cast-off machinery acts as a framework for a modern

The three crops benefit from each other, explained

oasis that includes a greenhouse, cultivation cribs, a

Kirmo Kivela, one of the project leaders. The maize

summer café, workshops and even bee-keeping.

provides a structure for the beans to climb, making

The project was established and run by Dodo ry, a

supports unnecessary. The beans provide the soil with

Finnish environmental organisation that examines how

nitrogen, which the other plants use, and the squash

problems can be solved in cities, with public support

spreads along the ground, blocking the sunlight. This

and minimal confrontation. My first impression was just

helps prevent weeds and acts as living mulch to retain

how busy this area was, with heavy trucks and machinery

moisture in the soil. The prickly hairs of the vine deter

moving just metres from the project. And then, as you

pests. Maize lacks the amino acids lysine and tryptophan,

walked further in, the abundance and creativity. Huge,

which the human body needs to make proteins and

luscious vegetables were growing vigorously in every kind

niacin, but beans contain both and so maize and beans

of container – in bags, hanging baskets, plastic crates

together provide a balanced diet.

and wooden boxes. There was even companion planting S G 82

The project has other touches that inspire visitors

Tucking into a meal, surrounded by tomato plants laden with fruit.

Kirmo Kavelo of Dodo ry explains the project

Pizza oven with Italian herbs growing on top

Brunch served fresh from the garden

to make changes in their own surroundings: rainwater is collected at the base of the old turntable, stored, and pumped up using solar energy. There's even a pizza oven, topped with growing herbs ready for sprinkling fresh on the dough, and home-grown honey for sale. After showing us round the project, we were treated to a delicious meal made from crops grown on the premises. Sitting in the greenhouse on benches alongside a long wooden table, we tucked into delicious vegetable soup followed by salad, beetroot and hemp humus. What made it extraordinary was that we were surrounded by a living wall of tomato plants, laden with ripe red fruit. Thousands of people have visited the project, to buy soil, growing bags and nursery plants or to sample the organic brunches and treats sold at the café. It has certainly succeeded in its goals of inspiring people to bring life to their gardens in a useful – and tasty – way, as well as promoting discussion on the ecological and social aspects of food.


Maize, climbing beans and squash flourish in discarded shopping trolleys.

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B usiness There is a common fallacy in organisations which consider the green route that most 'green/eco-friendly' products cost more than the products they replace. This is increasingly not the case. Clem Angus reports.


t is to any organisation's commercial



show in some way that they

are aware of the environment. But some actions are not easily apparent to customers and other stakeholders, like solar geysers



lights. So even though such steps are 'green' and eco-friendly, the question to be asked is whether the customers are aware of these steps and the difference the company involved is making in terms of saving energy or engaging in best-practice on other fronts. The implications of the PR and brand-value of 'going green' are simple: your customers and potential customers have to know what good and appropriate steps your business is taking – it'll make them feel good about doing business with you. This issue may be all the more the case in an office environment, where much of the equipment is 'standard', with no outward appearance of being anything other than 'the usual'. In the stationery field, for example,

green business sense

most products are still made from oil/plastic material or virgin wood. However, there are several options which are either cheaper or more eco-friendly or both. Buying such items as a conscious move towards being greener in your day-to-day business is one benefit – and it's a big one, going straight towards the bottom line as some of the 'greener' options are also cheaper and/or more cost-efficient in the long run. Again, however, at least some of the benefit is lost without a little bit of appropriate 'trumpet blowing'. The major benefit to any company which wishes to change to green stationery products in

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In the stationery field, for example, most products are still made from oil/plastic material or virgin wood. However, there are several options which are either cheaper or more eco-friendly or both.

particular is that they are highly visible to customers and staff and easy to distribute. And if they cost less, the decision should be easy. Still, a pen is a pen until someone explains that it is a 'green' pen, so information and customer awareness are key elements in the equation. As hinted above, even pens these days don't have to come out of the oil industry by-products stream. Pens made from PLA (polylactic acid), which is made from corn, are readily available, renewable and represent a completely bio-degradable resource. Made from a low-grade corn, which is not suitable for human consumption, the finished product is similar in appearance, feels like plastic, and is very strong. Under normal temperature and humidity levels for our part of the world, this product is 76% bio-degradable within 60-90 days. The refill should be taken out of the pen before disposing of it in this way – refills are still not quite so easily dealt with. A pedantic person may find fault with this – in that this product is not 100% bio-degradable. In conversations with individuals in large companies, however, they believe in the principle of 'reasonableness' – a partially biodegradable pen is a lot better than making no effort to change and continuing in the same old way because it is a step in the right direction. A number of hospitality/ conferencing companies are starting to move this way as a 10-15% saving against an equivalent plastic pen is realised. Another





resources is a pen with a bamboo barrel and a clip made from recycled plastic. Other pens are made from recycled paper. One version is a stick pen with cap, which is ideal for conference delegates. Available in seven different barrel colours, and easy to print onto, this is a cost-effective and clearly eco-friendly adjunct to any conference. Eco-notebooks, covers made from recycled cartons, pages from recycled paper, with a free eco-pen, are

popular as corporate gifts as they are useful, so get kept and used, and give the company a long-lasting impression in the customer's mind. There is a reasonable variety of these, from A6/A5/A4 with a choice of different trim colours. Pencils made from recycled newspaper are also now available. These are made from compressed recycled newspaper which is rolled around the lead – this process ensures that the lead is always exactly in the centre of the pencil, so it sharpens perfectly, every time. The print from the newspaper is clearly visible around the point, which is quite cool and chic at present. Other








readily-renewable resources/waste include toilet paper and table napkins made from 70% bagasse (a sugar cane waste product which is usually burned or left in the fields). These products are fully recyclable, made by an elemental chlorine-free process, acid-free and competitively priced. They comply with the requirements of European Enviro-directive 94/62/EC and the German Health Dept BfR recommendation XXXVI for food packaging in terms of metal content and additives used in manufacture. So even when it comes down to the 'little things' which offices are all about, there's no shortage of renewable, biodegrable and otherwise eco-friendly options – all of which could help place your company one step up from the competition because you're 'doing the right thing'. S G For more info see advert below.

GREEN DOES MATTER We at Green Stationery can help you show your staff & customers that you are doing your share for the planet, not just talking about it. You will save money – our products are the same price or cheaper than the often enviro-unfriendly plastic/ virgin wood products they replace. Our stationery is bio-degradable or made from recycled materials.


Phone Clem on 082 449 1781 or visit 85 S G

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C orporate

initiative A d v e r t o r i a l

BEING EARTH-KIND As Africa’s leading forest products company, Sappi’s main business is the manufacture of high quality pulp and paper from pine and eucalyptus. Trees grown to be harvested are converted into value-adding products such as the Typek A4 range of office paper.


n the course of growing these trees, the company also

Another effort that reflects Sappi’s commitment to

focuses on helping to conserve South Africa’s rich

sustainability is the Typek Makro promotion launched

natural heritage of indigenous tree species.

on 01 January 2013 in all Makro stores nationwide.

In addition to conserving almost 30% of its landholdings

With the purchase of a box of Typek from any Makro

in their natural state to promote biodiversity, Sappi also

store, a portion of the sales contribution will be used in

promotes planting indigenous trees in SA through its

support of a community greening/tree planting and/or

Sandisa Imvelo (Growing Nature) initiative. A number

environmental/biodiversity project. Any Makro customer

of areas suitable for the planting of indigenous trees,

that buys a box of Typek can nominate the cause they

such as the seam between their commercial forests and

want to support. Alternatively, green causes in need of

public roads, and other pockets of land in the plantations

funding can nominate themselves.

have been identified on Sappi land in KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga.

Customers and organisations are encouraged to make the nominations by no later than 28 February 2013.

During each growth season Sappi has undertaken to

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plant at least 10 000 indigenous trees. Sappi has also

Further information of Sappi Typek – the relaunched Sappi Typek,

forged partnerships with other corporate companies,

with the distinctive red and white packaging, is a trusted brand

including Volvo and Liberty Medical Scheme, and planted

of A4 multi-purpose paper used in offices, schools and homes

trees on their behalf so that they may reap the benefits

readily available through most retailers and stationers. Typek is

of carbon sequestration. In the case of the Volvo Green

produced locally at Enstra Mill in Springs and is ISO-accredited

for Blue partnership, Sappi planted and maintains trees,

and FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified, meaning that the

purchased from the Wildlands Trust who in turn funded

woodfibre used in its manufacture is sourced from well-managed

learners from schools in local communities to grow the

and responsible sources. By buying a locally-manufactured paper,

trees in return for school fees or goods such as food,

consumers can reduce their carbon footprint and help to sustain

clothes, garden tools and bicycles.

local job opportunities. See ad, right.

For every box of Typek bought at Makro, R1 will go towards a green cause. In support of comunnity greening or tree planting projects, or projects involved in protecting biodiversity or rehabilitation of the environment, Sappi has been helping. During January and February this year, for every box of Typek bought from any Makro store, R1 went to a green cause. If you would like to nominate a charity, visit You never know, your project might be the one that gets the cash help.

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Why sustainability?

Sustainable development was defined in the 1987 Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development as: 'Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.' Peter Oldacre tells us why sustainability, as a response to current eco and resource challenges, is both necessary and inevitable. S G 90


ustainability interfaces with economics through the social and ecological consequences of economic activity. Moving towards sustainability

point in time. Businesses and










is also a social challenge that entails international and

governments enact consider compliance preferable to

local law, spatial planning, urban design and transport,

non-compliance, but it remains a defensive strategy

local lifestyles and consumer behaviour. But the level

of minimal benefit to the business in the long-term.

of sustainability possible depends largely on continuing

By contrast, businesses that grasp the opportunities

innovation in the field of green technology, which itself

presented by the sustainability challenge and move into

depends upon the provision of economic incentives

new ways of seeing the world around them are likely

to companies (to invest in new technologies) and

to prosper.

consumers (to adopt these technologies). Whether compelled to change our behaviour or

Integrated responses

doing so voluntarily, we must accept that a response

Sustainability is not an issue that can be treated in

to current challenges on a wide range of fronts

isolation; it involves all businesses, industries and

is necessary and inevitable. This is equally true

countries and is a truly global concern. Sustainability

for individuals as businesses; in the latter realm

thus transcends the needs of individual organisations,

sustainability lies at the heart of the theory and practice

industries and nations because it is to do with the

of corporate governance. This wide defining of the topic

careful use and management of the world's (finite)

If we do not ensure that the system around us survives into the future, our success as individuals is placed in jeopardy. If the greater system of which we are part is not maintained correctly, then we lower our own chances of survival. contributes to the now broadly accepted understanding

resources for the benefit of all. Sustainability requires

that sustainability encompasses a number of areas

us to think in terms of 'the other' and not 'the self',

and highlights the idea of environmental, economic

to act selflessly and not selfishly, to prioritise the

and social progress, all within the limits of the world's

preservation of resources and not their consumption,

natural resources. This is the keystone to how we deal

and so on. So, although the idea of sustainability is

with the concept of sustainability and the identification

something an individual may readily support – he or

of sustainability initiatives.

she intuitively sensing that it is 'a good thing' – there

But the need to 'act sustainably', while clearly undeniable, will not necessarily provoke the same

may still be reservations regarding its applicability to his or her personal circumstances.

reaction in those being called upon to make the change.

Put simply: if we do not ensure that the system

Many executives seeing only the cost implications

around us survives into the future, our success as

of adopting sustainability measures do their best to

individuals is placed in jeopardy. If the greater system

minimise these costs and do so in the belief that they are

of which we are part is not maintained correctly, then

acting in the best interests of their shareholders. While

we lower our own chances of survival. With this in mind,

this perspective is not entirely 'wrong' (shareholders'

sustainability presupposes that we identify aspects

interests do, after all, need to be taken care of) it

which are intrinsically reducing our chances of survival

cannot accommodate the legitimate needs of other

as a species and bring them into line with what is good

stakeholders, society at large and, importantly, the

for our species.

natural environment. Executives of this type rate poorly

In the environmental sphere, there are major

when judged according to sustainability criteria, even if

initiatives to reduce and, ultimately, negate the impact of

they themselves may be convinced that they are adding

harmful substances and chemicals on the environment.

value to their company.

There are, for example, reams of research material on

The key to understanding sustainability is that it

the impact of substances, such as heavy metals, and

inevitably goes beyond the limited reference points of

what they do to the water that we so desperately need.

what may be minimally expedient for a householder

Much attention has also been focused on the waste

or executive in terms of the home or business at any

generated by industrial manufacturing processes. 91 S G

In the environmental sphere, there are major initiatives to reduce and, ultimately, negate the impact of harmful substances and chemicals on the environment. There are, for example, reams of research material on the impact of substances, such as heavy metals, and what they do to the water that we so desperately need.

Other initiatives include: increased spend on climate change initiatives; electronic document storage systems;

to be undertaken to reduce that footprint – in line with standards. The most obvious standard to be established is the

responsible electricity usage;

adoption of the ISO 14000 standards, which came as

consumer-led demands for improved sustainability in

a result of the Rio Summit on the Environment held in

business operations;

1992. ISO 14001 is the cornerstone standard of the ISO

government legislation and regulation on the matter

14000 series. It specifies a framework of control for an

of sustainability;

Environmental Management System against which an

assessment of the supply chain in terms of its

organisation can be certified by a third party.

contribution to, or threat to, sustainability;

New ways of thinking about the challenges of the

integrated reporting;

journey are important, as is the design of processes to

renewable energy and energy-efficient initiatives;

make use of the incentives provided by governments.

green buildings and green architecture;

Companies large and small are sharpening their focus

sustainable transportation, water management, waste

on risk management, in part because risk management

management and land use systems;

is so closely linked with reputation. The trick to risk

lifecycle costing;

management, as events in the financial sector have

'greener' manufacturing and production processes;

shown us over the past four years, is to manage both

recycling and upcycling;

the risks you know and the risks you don't yet know.

the use of aluminium (and, increasingly, carbon fibre)

Sustainability involves the process of managing existing

in motor vehicle manufacturing, which brings fuel

risks in a new way and simultaneously managing new

cost savings; and

and as yet unknown risks in terms of their possible

reducing excess packaging materials and reliance


upon virgin materials.

This is difficult. There is a need to place a premium on certainty because companies can't afford risks that

In order for a business to be sustainable over a term

may not pay off. Uncertainty will likely be the 'next

longer than that of the current CEO, it must sustain not

big thing' in risk management processes as it feeds

only the necessary environmental resources, but also

off and into everything. In spite of this, organisations

its social resource base, which includes employees,

may stand a good chance of not engaging in the

customers and the community and also its reputation.

innovation needed because of the level of uncertainty.

In the social sphere, there are those organisations that

The solution is connectivity – developing new ways of

give back to the community and who are considered

looking at and through relationships between things

socially responsible. There is little doubt that where

within the organisation, while being able to identify and

ecological foot-printing left off, carbon foot-printing has

move forward with those opportunities that present

taken over and soon water foot-printing will follow. All

themselves through innovation.


these exercises are ultimately the analysis of a baseline for behaviour which then leads to those changes needed S G 92

Visit or see ad on following page.

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What to do with


E-waste is defined as anything that is either electric or electronic and covers items such as fridges, stoves, washing machines, microwaves, computers, printers, cellphones, electronic games and toys. In 2008, the e-Waste Association of South Africa (EWASA), was established as a Not-for-Profit Association to develop, educate, train, set standards and audit the e-waste recycling industry. We take a look.


o what can you do with your e-waste, and why

extended life and used by various charity organisations.

should you bother in the first place? Answering the

Option 3: Waste to Art. Pieces of electronics with low

second question first, the problem with e-waste is

resale value but high rework potential can be turned into

both the extensive plastics used in their construction,

useful items or works of art such as jewellery, key rings,

plus there are some heavy metals involved and some

clocks and other corporate gifts. This also creates new

precious metals. So there are many good reasons to keep

green jobs and community members can be trained in

these retired products out of the waste management

waste-to-art skills and in so doing earn their livelihood.


Option 4: Recycle. This should always be the last resort.

What then can you do with your e-waste?

What we cannot refurbish, must then be dismantled for downstream recycling or rework purposes. Recycling also provides employment opportunities and creates a market

Option 1: Reduce the amount of e-waste you generate

for 'secondary raw materials' which can be re-used in the

by not rushing out and purchasing the latest device just

manufacture of new items.

because it's cool. The average person generates 17kg of

Collection and Drop-Off points: There are a large number

e-waste, so we can see why it is the fastest growing waste

of recyclers and drop-off sites situated throughout South


Africa and operated by EWASA members. To find one

Option 2: Refurbish and repair as much of your e-waste

closest to you please visit and click on

as possible. This equipment can then be given an

the Recycling tab to find the contact details.

Keith Anderson | Chairman Mobile Office Fax2Email Skype S G 94

27 82 553 0373 27 31 575 8100 27 86 625 9913 keitha1909

Suite 304, Granada Square, 16 Chatwell Drive, Umhlanga Roacks, 4320, SA Postnet Suite 160, Private Bag X01, Umhlanga Rocks, 4320, SA



We put our money where our mouths are Used lubricating oil is hazardous. It contains harmful compounds. Irresponsible disposal of used oil pollutes our rivers, wetlands and the environment. Use ROSE approved collectors and recyclers to dispose of your used oil. For more information call the ROSE Foundation on 021 448 7492, e-mail or visit


Funded by:












reaching new frontiers

Specialists in Industrial & Automative Oil

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Reduce, Reuse, Recover and Recycle Where can I find more information? | |

These pages were made possible with the kind assistance of

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It should come as no surprise that mobile device applications (apps) are now to be found growing number of smartphones/tablets belonging to those in the increasingly popular green lifestyle movement. We take a look at a few apps designed to make it easy to be green on the go.



This application helps you to replace almost the full range of commercial cleaners with gentle, enviro-friendly, healthier and safer homemade alternatives. Green Shine contains enviro-friendly solutions for 128 everyday housekeeping tasks from simple window cleaning to stain removal. Solutions are organised by place of appearance (living room, kitchen, bathroom), but there's a complete listing too. Some solutions contain more than one variant, so be sure to explore them. Read the 'Watch for' section at the end for advices and warnings specific to a given solution and the materials used there. And, of course, you can save your frequently-used solutions to the Favorites list.

GREEN POWER battery saver for Android brings many extra hours to your battery life. Unlike other battery savers that require regular user manual actions, Green Power is fully automatic: Once configured, it runs and saves your battery by itself. It does so by smartly managing wifi, mobile data and bluetooth, turning them off when you don't need them, but ensuring minimal disturbance. Automatically turned on when needed by you or by other apps. For the iOS system there is GREEN CHARGING which makes your phone vibrate and sound an alarm when it's fully charged to save energy. It also displays how much talk time you have at your current battery level. This app is handy because phones and other devices can use up a significant amount of energy even when they're no longer charging. Unplugging electronics when you're not using them is a good green habit to develop, and this app can help you get into it.

A REAL TREE One enormous environmental issue is deforestation. We're losing thousands of miles of forests each year. The Apple iPhone application called A Real Tree helps users fight back. The developers of A Real Tree have partnered with organisations like Sustainable Harvest International and Trees For the Future. These organisations plant trees in several nations, including Nicaragua, Haiti, India and Honduras. Every time someone purchases A Real Tree, one of these organizations will literally plant a tree.

iViro Save money and reduce your homes environmental impact quickly and cheaply by completing a full home energy analysis and getting results on the best places to make changes. Perform your own quick, or detailed, energy analysis with no prior technical experience. Get heating, cooling, lighting, hot water and appliance energy consumption breakdowns with yearly cost estimates and CO2 emission estimates.

SKEPTICAL SCIENCE For a bit of fun, this app, based on information from the Australian blog of the same name that puts climate sceptics under the microscope, is the ideal tool to counter pub bores when they tell you solar radiation, a spot of snow or the hacked climate science emails are proof that climate change isn't happening. It lays out the most common arguments by sceptics and then offers you both a succinct and in-depth counter-argument, the latter often complete with graphs and links to science papers. Well-designed, it offers dozens of responses to statements you'll have heard many times, from the 'ice age was predicted in the 70s' and 'the models are unreliable', to 'Greenland was green'. The genius touch is a reporting feature that enables you to feed back arguments when confronted with them, helping the team behind the app to build up a picture of the most common arguments.

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Find partnerships in unlikely places. Since 1993, we have collected no less than 950 000 tons of cans from our surrounding environments. By partnering with Collect-a-Can, we can increase this recovery rate and further conserve and sustain the environment. To find out how we can keep our country beautiful contact us on (011) 466 2939 or visit Recycle cans today. Sustain tomorrow.

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P ublisher ' s C hoice

Shelf Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence Christian Parenti Nation Book • 978 1 5685 8729 5 Amid rave reviews, such as ‘if you read one book on climate change this year, this should be it’ and ‘an unusual and compelling analysis of violence through the lens of the environment’, it is hard to ignore this book, scary as it may be. While we may prefer to tackle the challenges of climate change from a positive perspective (we can really make a big difference if we all – governments, corporations and individuals – work together), this author holds no punches back as he expounds the inevitable and intractable linkages between climate change, increasing water and food insecurity and increased social dislocation and conflict, both regional and global. It’s sober reading, especially for those who may have thought that climate change was a relatively ‘minor’ issue, especially in the light of the global economic meltdown which still persists after more than four years, or who were kidding themselves that any significant issues arising from climate change were both far off into the future and/or were limited to ‘greenies’ with an overblown sense of the size of the problem. The issue is, in fact, huge – enormous even – and far more dangerous with regard to national, regional and global security issues than many even well-informed people realise. In short, Darfur, the displacement of many thousands of people and the conflict that that gave birth to are but the beginning. Indeed, we are already beyond the beginning as the creeping rate of climate change over the past couple of decades has masked the rising incidences of local and, more so of late, regional tensions and conflicts generated by the increased competition for diminishing resources, mostly water, in marginal rainfall areas. But that is only one dimension of a global problem that has many tentacles. Like the linkage between drought, drugs and jihad, or the wrong-headed philosophy being promoted out of the halls of power in the US and other Western countries that the careful use of military and political power can somehow insulate these nations from what is coming. But, as the author, with powerful logic and careful research shows, there is no avoiding the climate change tsunami that is already arriving on the shores of our collective awareness. Despite one reviewer declaring that this book represents ‘a brilliant weather report from the near future’, it is in fact a report from the frontlines of climate change conflict that are already apparent – and it's not from tomorrow, but today. What is required, says the author, with our full agreement, are the guts and determination to face up to the problems we have collectively created, and for the developed world in particular to grasp the nettle and find the political will to imagine a better future for mankind. The alternative is literally too awful to contemplate; and we will all do much more than merely contemplate what is coming unless we do something meaningful, and soon (see next review for some more on this).

A Better World Is Possible Bruce Nixon O Books • 978 1 8469 4514 4 Though primarily aimed at a Western, Northern Hemisphere readership, this book, subtitled ‘What needs to be done and how we can make it happen’, is a perfect accompaniment to Parenti’s Tropic of Chaos, reviewed above. The reason is that while Parenti sets out the geo-political issues raised by accelerating climate change, Nixon sets out to describe what we can all do about the impending threat, literally to the survival of our civilisation – and perhaps even to our species as a whole. To get the full picture, buy and read this book – and then lend it to everyone with the slightest interest in making some vital changes. The good news is that we really can change things – but it means we have to change nearly everything, from the way the global banking system works, the growing indebtedness of governments and individuals, the greed-driven methodology of Wall Street and London’s City financiers, our methods of production of everything from food to high-tech gadgets and, individually, the way we think about work, money and resources. And it is really very simple: we will change (or, at least, enough of us will change) and there will be a S G 100

corresponding improvement in outlook and a reduction in the impact of the coming and alreadypresent changes in not merely the weather (as in global warming/climate change) but also in our blatantly skewed monetary, social and political systems. Or the necessary changes will be made for us. The latter option is clearly going to be grievously uncomfortable at the least; likely, such changes as are wrought upon us by nature – driving a forced rebalancing of the books, as it were – are going to be far more than merely ‘uncomfortable’ for a great many of us; and probably lethal for many millions. But, again, this book is more about what we can do and less about why we need to do it. We all know there’s a problem – this book sets out to help guide us to a collective focus on doing what must be done. Get it now.

Endless Forms Most Beautiful Sean B Carroll Quercus • 978 1 8491 6048 3 Ever heard of Evo Devo? If not, this is the book to introduce this notion to you. Evo Devo is shorthand for evolutionary developmental biology and is supposed to give us an insight into everything from the creation of life through to the reason for the many and splendidly varied forms of life that still abound on our planet (sometimes despite our ‘best efforts’ to poison and destroy key habitats almost everywhere). In fact, the book does give us some of those promised insights, and is salted with a profound sense of wonder and respect in the writer for what we see in the natural world’s rich panoply of life-forms and their environments. It’s a good read, especially if you are scientifically-oriented, as it brings together two of the great leaps of recent times in biology – evolution and genetics – to create a nearly whole picture. The problem is that it is all left-brained, rationalist stuff. That’s fine, as far as it goes, but lacking in an overt, deeper appreciation for the growing evidence that mere ‘technical drivers’ cannot fully explain why life even exists – let alone why it is so evidently driven to develop ever-more complex, inter-related and inter-dependent forms, with an emergent and expanding self-consciousness as a critical feature of that process. Science without spirit is just a bunch of beakers and chemicals, and no worthwhile or complete explanation for the experience that we call life. As good as it is, this book suffers from a lack of a deeper perspective.

Roots, Shoots & Leaves

Bernadette le Roux

Sunbird • 978 1 9202 8959 1

Subtitled ‘Cooking with Vegetables’, this is a coffee table book with beautiful images, great recipes and an emphasis on the natural way of doing things, using heirloom veggies, most of which you can grow yourself. Perfect for the greenie who wants to broaden their range of cooking options.

Roots, Shoots & Muddy Boots Samantha van Riet Tafelberg • 978 0 6240 5319 4 A great coffee table book, with lovely rich images, easy reading and all designed to get you into the garden and growing your own edibles for the table. It seems to be aimed at inspiring the little ones to become active home gardeners, which is surely a good thing. If you’ve ever wanted to turn your hand to home-grown veggies but needed a bit of inspiration, this is it.

What Has Nature Ever Done For Us? Tony Juniper Profile Books • 978 1 8466 8560 6 Money doesn’t grow on trees, you may have heard your parents or teachers say. But they were wrong. Indeed, not only money, but all forms of wealth spring automatically from nature at every turn. And we humans have become so used to this bounty that we don’t even value it enough to realise that if we mess with it enough, it will go away – and leave us vastly poorer, or even not alive. From honey bees to Indian vultures – aside from the obvious like rain, rivers and other primary resources – nature provides a plethora of ‘natural resources’ which we are in danger of not only overlooking, but actually destroying. Without these natural services we, as a species, are done. An excellent reminder to care for what nature has richly provided us with. 101 S G

your green tv show guide The must-see shows for all things green, organic & healthy on the home front. march - april 2013 SHARON'S SIMPLE STYLiSH MEALS Local Series: New Season

Mon 2pm • Wed 6pm • Thur 11pm • Fri 10am • Sat 8.30am & 4.30pm • Sun 12.30pm & 6.30pm

Sharon Glass is no stranger to the kitchen and she returns to our TV Screens with a brand new cooking show – Sharon’s Simple Stylish Meals. This extravaganza of food series will show you how easy and rewarding it is to cook satisfying and delicious food for every occasion. The menu ranges from a simple cocktail menu to a lavish dinner party, showing you how to make the best of your meals.


Local Series: New Season Mon 3.30pm, Wed 7.30pm, Thur 10pm, Fri 11.30am, Sat 2pm & 10pm, Sun 9am & 7pm

Your favourite local arts & craft show is back. Show Me How has a brand new look and heaps of wonderful projects that are sure to inspire you. Presenter Gloria Bastos will be at it again with her line up of fabulous guests who will be guiding you through a series of great arts & crafts. Whether it’s scrap-booking, oil painting, sugar art or getting creative with clay and mosaics, we’ll give you the know-how.

In this innovative series, James demonstrates how to make a variety of remedies and offers an informative guide to plants and gardening along the way. He tells us how to harness their natural beneficial properties to help with minor everyday ailments, from coughs and colds to eczema and insomnia, plus great ideas for luscious, free beauty fixes.

THE BIG FLIP Tue 6.30pm, Wed 11.30pm, Thur 10.30am, Fri 2.30pm

What does it take to really make money in the renovation game? Is it enough to have experience, a keen eye and great taste? Maybe. But add some serious hustle, cool negotiating skills and nerves of steel and your odds will improve. Because flipping houses is not a sport for the faint of heart, it’s an emotional, conflict-driven roller coaster of activity. This is a series where the stakes are high and the odds unknown. Renovators, Randy MacKay and John Stassen, are taking on the challenge of fixing and flipping as many houses as they can in just 12 months, or lose their minds and shirts trying. Do they have what it takes? Will their friendship survive a business partnership? Or will they kill each other trying.

The Gardener

Local Series: New Season


Tuesday 9pm, Wednesday 9am, Thursday 1pm, Friday 5pm,

Mon 10.30am, Tue 2.30pm, Thur 6.30pm, Fri 11.30am, Sat

Presented by Tanya Visser, editor of The Gardener magazine, this practical gardening show will inspire you to get creative in your garden with easy-to-do projects. From containers and hanging baskets to sowing seeds and dividing perennials to replant for spring, Tanya has the know-how to get it just right. She’ll also tackle

10am & 7pm, Sun 3pm & 10pm

From ice lollies made from Echinacea to acne gels made from marigold flowers, home-made natural remedies are about to get a makeover as ethnobotanist James Wong reveals how to Grow Your Own Drugs.

Saturday 10am & 7pm, Sunday 3pm & 10pm

some bigger DIY garden projects that you can really get your back into as well as save you money.

Annabel Langbein: The Free Range Cook New Season

Monday 10am, Tuesday 2pm, Thursday 6pm, Friday 11pm, Saturday 7:30am & 4pm, Sunday 6pm

It’s time for the grape harvest so Annabel sets off to one of her favourite New Zealand vineyards, Mt Maude, to cook lunch for the grape pickers. She takes with her a loaf of Turkish Bread, still warm from the oven, a lightning-fast orange cake and her home-made Vin d’Orange. At the vineyard she fires up the grill on the back of her trusty yellow truck to cook a nourishing lentil and mint soup and a generous platter of spicy beef salad – the ideal accompaniment to the vineyard’s pinot noir.

Tommy Walsh Eco House New Show

Monday 8am, Tuesday 12pm, Wednesday 4pm, Friday 8pm

sharon's simple stylish meals

For presenter Tommy Walsh this is a challenge of enormous proportions. To build a house for £60 000 in 60 days. In this Episode the joists to create the first floor are going in, along with the timber frame that'll form the roof. And, Tommy and the boys take the donut eating, non-lip-licking challenge.

Leave It To Bryan New Show

Monday 7pm, Tuesday 10:30pm, Wednesday 11am, Thursday 3pm, Saturday 1.30pm & 9.30pm, Sunday 8.30 & 5.30pm

Homeowners get a much needed reality check in the ultimate reno tug of war between wants and needs. Couples pitch veteran contractor Bryan Baeumler the spaces they want renovated most, but leave Bryan with the final verdict. Even Kirsi’s husband can’t get between Kirsi and her fantasy kitchen. With renovations at a standstill, Bryan is serving Kirsi something she didn’t order.

Escape To The Country

grow your own drugs show me how

New Season

Monday 4pm, Wednesday 8pm, Thursday 8am, Friday 12pm Denise Nurse looks back at some of the best Victorian properties featured in past programs. She tours Osbourne House, Queen Victoria’s own escape to the country on the Isle of Wight. Also, she visits a restorer of Victorian fireplaces.

Listings To advertise contact Rate: R11.25 per word, minimum 20 words, includes image.

ECO-PRODUCTS responsible design in mind Eco Lifestyle products for Eco Lifestyle products for home, office & leisure home, office & leisure

online shopping

SPUR CARES FOR OUR PEOPLE AND OUR PLANET For this reason we created a special section on our website to assist all our Eco Warriors to become more Eco Savvy!

Meet our Eco Warriors and read about all their work in the Messages From Mother Earth section.

Naturalwise online shop and blog. Great products to promote and support a healthier, eco-friendlier, chemical-free lifestyle. Fast delivery throughout South Africa. Tel: 086 110 6329 or 011 705 1607, Email:, Blog:, Shop:

SOLAR COOKING Olympus Flower Cookers

Our Eco guidelines and great tips will help you learn all about “greening” your school, home and office!

Ray Eshelby. The most environmentally-friendly energy source. Ray 072 235 1385 and email website

kids' product

You can also download your Eco Pledge, and enjoy other fun activities!

The Wigwam Woman

S G 104

Visit /EcoWarriors/

20416S - Dec 2012

Children’s Tipis provide a cool-in-summer and warm– in-winter conical shelter to play in - easily erected and packed away - used indoors or in nature. Made from canvas and up-cycled materials - poles are locally sourced and made from invader trees. Our design philosophy incorporates creativity, fun, attention to detail, durability and respect for the environment. Suitable for children ages 3-12 years. Contact cell 081 408 3912 or visit

If you love Spur’s food, check out our Nutri Site at

Simply Green - Digital