Greener lifestyle

JoJo rainwater harvesting tanks
Next on my list of things to do is to add a Jojo rainwater harvesting tank. If the rain that we had last year is anything to go by, it will fill up the tank quickly. You can use rainwater in the home and garden as  a total water solution for your home, but you need to install a system that has all the built in filters. At this stage I just want to be able to have rainwater on hand for the garden and pool, as well as for my soon-to-start veggie and herb garden.
How to build your own green roof
Always thought the flat roof above your kitchen was ugly? Not a fan of your dingy garage roof, or, fancy it’s time to spruce up your shed? Well there’s no better time than now to get out those tools, pop your DIY cap and make a change to a boring space by building your own green roof!
Living off-the-grid in a DIY home
Are you yearning to live a life that is bond / rent-free, where you are totally self-sufficient and off-the-grid ? That is just what Andrew and Gabriella Morisson did when they built a DIY mobile home. It might be small, but this home offers everything that this couple yearned for. It might have been a big risk to build their small home, but this couple were prepared to make sacrifices to achieve their life goals.
How to install a rain barrel
Prepare your garden for dry spells and reduce water consumption by fitting your own rain barrel. A small rain barrel won't take up a lot of space and is easily fitted to a downspout to collect rain water for use in the garden. Your local Builders Warehouse stocks a selection of small and medium rain barrels, but you could also use a plastic dustbin, large plastic container or drum, or sealed barrel, to serve the same purpose.
Make your own eco-friendly home cleaning products
With so many people putting eco-friendly or homemade cleaners and polishes to the test, the recipes for homemade household products have evolved to be more efficient and less affordable, which means you not only save money on your monthly grocery bill, but you also have a healthier home.
Sustainable Christmas trees from the garden
The next time you prune your overgrown trees, think about putting a few select branches to the side to let them dry out. Cut tree branches can be used to make magical Christmas trees for a home, with just a few added fairy lights.
Best tips using natural cleaning products
If you haven't yet the discovered the power and money-saving benefits of using natural cleaning products, in this article we'll show you how to do even more dirty cleaning in and around the home.
Be water wise in the home
The world is experiencing drastic climate change and it's a fact that we can't reverse the damage already done. But we can prevent even more damage if we all work together to change our habits. Water conservation is particularly important in regions where rainfall has been reduced as a result of climate change. Here's how you can do your bit towards saving water.
Natural alternatives for smelly homes
Sometimes, no matter how clean your home, smelly odours pop up. We take a look at various natural alternatives to rid a home of smelly odours. Some of these natural air freshners you may already know, but there will be a few that will surprise you!
There are vampires in your home!

Did you know that there are appliances in your home that continue to suck power even when they're switched off? Certain appliances - even when switched off - aren't actually switched off.. they are in stand-by mode. In the past stand-by power wasn't too much of an issue, but growing awareness has increased and many manufacturers are restricting stand-by power.

Electricity going to waste

Our beachfront apartment was lovely to behold - in the daytime and at night, so much in fact that it was almost impossible to sleep without closing the curtains to block out the night time illumination. While homeowners across the country are taking steps to cut down on energy usage, holiday apartments - whether full or almost empty - are not.

Green from the foundations and up
More and more South Africans are becoming aware of how much electricity they use in their home, especially taking into consideration how expensive this commodity has become. But over and above the cost, the country itself is experiencing shortfalls with the supply and electricity to many homes and power outages are becoming the norm.

back to top

Countertops made from 100% recycled materials
PaperStone countertops have finally arrived in South Africa, and this is one countertop material that is manufactured using 100% recyclable materials. In fact, PaperStone is made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper and PaperStone’s phenolic resins - rendering it the greenest architectural surface on the planet.
Eco-friendly home insulation
Cellulose fibre home insulation is an eco-friendly home insulation option that is manufactured from recycled paper and is probably one of the oldest materials used for insulating buildings.
Garden pond or water feature from an old tyre
While you may not have an old tyre lying around, when you do get a tyre change or pop new tyres onto your card, here's a unique way to use an old tyre to make a tranquil water feature or pond for the garden or a balcony.
Safe disposal of household products
There are more than a few homes that have cans of leftover paint, unwanted bottles of pesticide and even old batteries lying around simply because no one knows how to dispose of them safely. Here are a few tips on how to safely dispose of household items in the most eco-friendly way possible.
World's greenest country to aid South Africa
Take a visit to Denmark's State of Green website and you will soon know why Denmark is one of the world's leading 'green' countries. And Denmark continues to explore and invest in new ways to be energy efficient and offer sustainable and lasting options for its residents with a commitment to be fossil-free by the year 2050.
Bright ideas to save you money on lighting
Have a lightbulb moment with these tips that will not only save you money on your monthly electricity bill, but they will also reduce your carbon footprint.

back to top

Applying solar window film
Having already installed ceiling insulation, I decided to apply solar window film to north-facing rooms to cool down rooms even more. There aren't any air conditioners in my home and I rely on greener options to keep us cool during the summer months and warm during the winter months.
Window tinting & glass glazing
There is definitely some confusion between the terms 'window tinting' and 'window film' and we asked an expert window tinting company to explain the difference between these two window treatments.
Make a portable solar oven
You can make a small solar oven using nothing more than a pizza box, tin foil and a few other easily available supplies. This handy solar oven is perfect for when you are out having a picnic or braai and need to warm something up. In fact, you can even use this solar oven to bake cookies and cakes.
Using natural cleaning products
Here are some home cleaning tips that show how natural cleaning products really do work and they won't harm your health or your family in the process. Use natural cleaning products to clean a grease-stained stove top or remove hard water stains in the bathroom, these are just a few of the cleaning tasks you can do with natural cleaning products.
Plascon Nuroof Cool
Roof surfaces capture enormous amounts of the sun's energy because of their large surface area and angle of exposture. Nuroof Cool's Enviroshield™ formulation reflects at least 30% of the invisible infra-red light off the surface, resulting in cooler roof surfaces, which translates into cooler interior spaces.
Green roof design
Reduced energy costs, improved sound insulation, reduced heat island effect in urban developments, and the greening factor as just some of the benefits of a green roof. The primary objective of a green roof design is to redefine the language of architecture by the acceptance of ecological imperatives of the 21st century.

back to top

Should you paint your roof white?
We know that white reflects light and black absorbs it, yet we continue to add a roof onto our home that is black or brown and absorbs the most heat. Why aren't we painting our roof white. Perhaps this is another lesson we can learn from the Ancient Greeks!
Which plastics can be recycled?
I am very concerned when it comes to plastic waste and the overall effect that this type of waste has on our environment - and our planet. But some plastics can be recycled. To know which plastic products can be recycled, look for an identification code or stamp on the product you are buying.  
Buy or build a green home
As caretakers of this planet, we owe a duty of care to future generations to preserve and protect our environment to the best of our ability. We understand that it’s tough to make time to save the environment when we hold full time jobs, raise families, and attempt to maintain some sort of a social life. However, it is possible to live a green life without major sacrifice.   
High style and sustainable design
The Hillside House is a statement of what is possible combining design with high sustainability. This modern home has received PlatinumLEED certification. The Hillside house is a four story building features living and private zones situated on multiple separate floors. Numerous outdoor and covered terraces and balconies capitalize on stunning views.
Are pet food manufacturers being responsible?
What on earth is going on when manufacturers are moving from RECYCLABLE aluminium cans to NON-BIODEGRADABLE plastic sachets.
Recycle plastic paint pots or containers
These days I am loathe to throw anything away, especially plastic containers. In the June 2012 issue of Home-Dzine Online we show various craft projects using plastic bottles, but here is one that uses plastic paint pots or paint containers.

back to top

Does your home feel like an icebox?
Does your home feel like a freezer in winter? Not everyone can afford to rush out and buy a heater or install a fireplace, and there are those that want to reduce their carbon footprint. Whatever your reasons, there are ways to keep a home warm without a heater.
Living off the Eskom grid
Living sustainably, I have to admit, was a concept more or less forced on my wife and me, since we decided to try to live in a fairly remote spot in the Karoo.
Collect autumn foliage for composting
If you haven't yet set up a compost bin - or pile in my case - now is the perfect time. As the autumn leaves start to fall, these are ideal for starting off compost in the garden.
A green garden with grey water
Watering, along with composting, feeding and mulching, is a vital component in successful gardening. During prolonged dry periods gardeners may want to make use of grey water to keep their gardens alive.
Eco-friendly ways to warm up a home
Before you rush out and buy an electric heater and hike up your electricity bill, consider some of these eco-friendly options for keeping your home snug and warm.
Health home = Healthy family
Our children are facing an historically unprecedented rise in chronic disease and illness such as cancer, autism, asthma, birth defects, ADD / ADHD, and learning and developmental disabilities.

back to top

Welcome to space
SPACE (Solar Powered Adaptive Container for Everyone) was founded in 2008. After success with the inaugural grid-tied sales office, the team developed a mobile off-grid prototype aimed at applications that require secure, portable, robust, power generation.
Weave with old clothes and fabric scraps
This week we look at weaving with recycled materials in our craft section, show the kids how to make a weaving loom, so I'm carrying the theme through to the Green section and using old t-shirts as weaving materials.
Still have some old CD's lying around?
Imagine being able to recycle or upcycle old CD's into imaginative sculptures that could be sold. That's exactly what Sean Avery has done and what so many others could be doing!
Are we heading for nuclear catastrophe
South Africa is set to construct a massive nuclear power plant in Jeffreys Bay, widely known as one of the best surfing spots in the world. Kyle Thiermann, pro surfer and head ofSurfing for Change visited Jeffreys Bay firsthand to learn the impact that the plant will have.
We must say "NO" to fracking
There has been a lot of talk recently about fracking and it's introduction to South Africa. I was originally confused as to what fracking was all about, but have watched a recent episode of Carte Blanche and undertaken some of my own research, there is no doubt in my mind that South Africa should say no to fracking!
Five steps to an eco-friendly kitchen
If you are planning to renovate or install a new kitchen, take a step in the right direction and become more eco-friendly with your kitchen design. Here are a few tips to consider when choosing materials for a kitchen:

back to top

Change your habits
In our everyday lives so much that we use is disposable. Even appliances and electronic gadgets have become disposable to a certain degree. In recent years we have adopted the attitude of dispose and replace rather than repair.
Build a home for free!
For thousands and thousands of years, housing was built from found materials such as rock, earth, reeds and logs. Today, there are mountains of by-products of our civilization that are already made and delivered to all areas. These are the natural resources of the modern humanity.
Ceiling fans save energy
Ceiling fans do such an efficient job of circulating air you can use them in any room in the home. Put them on when you are in the room - during the day and when sleeping - and turn them off when you leave.
Eco Christmas trees
This festive season decorate your home with a Christmas tree designed exclusively for the Design Museum by award winning interior and surface designer Giles Miller.
Save water
It's not just about saving you money on monthly water bills, it's about reducing your water consumption and becoming more eco-friendly. Here are a few practical ways that you can become water wise in the home and garden:
Green home design
Every year we see designers take on the challenge to create a home that incorporates element of green design. This year's winner shows that you can have a truly modern home without compromising on luxury and style.

back to top

Building a greener home
It's a brave family that demolishes an old house to build a greener home.
Paint your home green
Home-Dzine have always used and promoted the Prominent Paints range of products. Since as far back as the early eighties, I have used Prominent Paints for hundreds of projects.
Where have all the bees gone?
As someone who is allergic to bee stings (among others) and constantly on the watch for bees, this year I have noticed that my garden has been almost bee-free for the past few months.
Naturally fresh home
Spray your home with natural freshness with our selection of misting sprays made from essential oils. Essential oils not only freshen your home - they also lift you up emotionally.
Are you flushing money away?
From low-flow showerheads and toilets to aerated faucets, you can find many products that conserve energy and water in your bathroom.
Be an eco parent
Being a eco parent not only set's a good example for your children, it's good for your family's health and wellbeing. If you lead by example, your children will learn from you and realise that change can be good. Here are some easy ways to be an eco parent.

back to top

LED is looking good
To a homeowner shopping for a home, the look of energy saving bulbs is just as important, and up until recently, the look was, by most discerning accounts, not good.
South African architecture goes green
From Camps Bay to the centre of Sandton, South African architecture is placing its foundations firmly as a leader in contemporary design and cutting edge interiors. Not only that, South African architects are embracing green building using various sustainable and eco-friendly construction alternatives.
Some facts about wind turbines
At this stage in time, it's a large investment to set up a wind powered system, especially in view of the pros and cons.
Clean air conditioner
If you have an air conditioner in your home or office, it makes sense to ensure that it operates as efficiently as possible.
All-natural cleaning
Clean your home and yourself with products that are good to the environment and to you.
Keep pests at bay naturally
Instead of reaching for toxic chemical products to control garden pests, go for the sensible option and spray your plants with natural remedies for bugs.

back to top

Green home building solutions
Cutting-edge energy efficiency and stunning contemporary design are the keywords for a home that is elegant, functional, and efficient, and green - the home scored at the gold level under the US National Green Building Program. Is this the home design that we, in South Africa, can look forward to in the near future?
Natural alternatives to soap and shampoo?
In our Green section we ask for your green tips, and one that required more research is the hand soap and shampoo that we use in our home. Dove and Sunlight Soap were specifically mentioned.
What to do with old batteries
Battery recycling is not a matter of possibility. It comes down to the efforts you’re willing to take. Your ability to recycle will also depend on where you live and your closest designated drop-off point.
Learn how to recycle plastic
Simply by knowing which plastics are valuable for recycling you can make a big difference to the environment, by reducing the amount of waste on our landfills and dumps and recycling plastics into useful commodoties.
Tips for eco living
Small changes can make a big impact on our environment. Here are some tips to making changes that count.
Building a green home
Cutting-edge energy efficiency and stunning contemporary design are the keywords for a home that is elegant, functional, and efficient, and green - the home scored at the gold level under the US National Green Building Program. Is this the home design that we, in South Africa, can look forward to in the near future?

back to top

Growing my own
I finally managed to get into the garden and get my veggie and herb section started.
Educating the next generation
Being a green parent is good for your health as well as your family's health and future!
Move the planet
On 24 September, Moving Planet will be a day for all of us across the world to put our demands for climate action into motion.
Keep your home cool
Summer is on it's way, and that means heat! While a large majority of homes use air conditioners, we can all save money by using them less.
Don't throw away
Donating used electronics for reuse extends the lives of valuable products and maximizes the energy and resources that went into making the products.

back to top

Family games night
Here's a way to save energy and have fun at the same time. Dedicate one night of the week to family games night and gather the entire family together for a home-cooked meal and an evening away from the television, PC, Playstation or cellphone.
Recycle old pallets
If you ever come across the opportunity to pick up a few pallets take a look at some of the ideas I have come across for recycling old pallets into furniture and other practical and decorative pieces.
Using solar power to cook
We're all trying to look for ways to become more energy efficient and SunFire offers the best solutions to date.
Do you feel guilty?
Green guilt is a new phenomenon. It doesn't affect devotees of SUVs, chlorine bleach, bottled water and paper napkins. It strikes consumers who are the most eco aware -- those who work hard to make smart environmental choices but sometimes slip.
CFL hazards
We know that CFL's contain mercury but what we didn't know was the amount of mercury that is found in these types of bulbs. When operated normally a CFL emits no mercury and hence presents no hazard.
Life of a plastic bag
We’ve all seen images of birds and fish, with plastic grocery bags in mouth. Plastic bags are entering our food chain through oceans, rivers and the stomachs of wildlife.
 

back to top

Green alternative
My grandmother’s home always had a distinct smell; a combination of various foods and mothballs. Apart from having a pungent odour, are mothballs possibly dangerous as well?
 
E-waste solutions
Anything that uses electricity and becomes redundant changes into e-waste. This includes all computers, entertainment electronics, mobile phones, household appliances, office appliances etc.
 
Water - use it twice
Harvesting grey water in your home is a good way to save this natural resource. Instead of letting bath and shower water pour down the drain, re-use it to water your garden.
 
Save water in the home
You may have already adopted some green practices around your home but here is a list of a few energy saving tasks - focused around saving water in particular - that are worth taking a look at.
Repair, reuse, recycle
For many of the trusty products we use every day, malfunctions are a worst-case scenario. You don’t want to spend the money on repairs, and replacement means you have to get rid of the old one.
Eco-pest repellants
Whilst it is impossible to completely rid your home of some of these nasties, there are eco-friendly pest remedies that will slow them down!

back to top

Uses for plastic bags
I know, we all hate them with a passion. But despite taking cotton bags when we go shopping (most of the time…) and using them as bin liners, we still have about seventy-nine billion plastic bags in the house.
Natural air freshners
In 1980 scientists found that plants can purify air measured the effects of various houseplants on the presence of volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) including formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene and xylene.
Get rid of mould
Over the years I have found three natural ingredients that kill mould: Tea tree oil (an essential oil found in most health food stores), grapefruit seed extract and vinegar. There are pros and cons of each, but all three work. Vinegar is by far the cheapest.
Green clean your home
Is your cleaning really as clean as you think it is? In the battle to keep your living space clean and healthy, are you using conventional cleaning products with caustic and toxic ingredients? They can be just as harmful as the grime and bacteria they’re meant to eliminate.
Cleaning solutions
Adopt a greener approach to your home cleaning. With a little ingenuity, consideration for the planet and a bit of elbow grease, it's possible to save a great deal of money and and keep you home clean and fresh.
Time to update your appliances?
If your washing machine is over 10 years old, it's time to update your appliances to save energy, water and detergents.

back to top

Eco-friendly paint removal
Plascon RemovALL can provide biodegradable, waterbased and non-carcinogenic coating removers.
Natural cleaners
By using all-natural substances to clean your home you can have a healther home and a healthier family and many of the natural home cleaning methods mentioned here are significantly cheaper than manufactured cleaners, saving you money as well.
A healthy home
We're all trying to do 'our bit' for the planet, and here's how you can make a difference in your own home.
The truth about cleaning products
Some conventional household cleaners sully the environment with ingredients that can contaminate the air, water, and soil when they are manufactured, used, and thrown away.
 
Uses for baking soda
Long known for its odour reducing properties, baking soda can also remove smoke and sweat odours from your laundry.
Cheap home tricks
With the emphasis firmly on protecting our environment, it makes sense to look at the way you can re-use products in your home.
How to dispose of old paint
Puzzled about how to dispose of leftover paint? Paint can be hazardous waste and as such, it is not the easiest stuff to get rid off. In many countries, it's even illegal to throw paint in the trash because of the damage it does to the environment.

 

back to top

 


 

Search Home-Dzine