Why should you pay for lighting when you can make use of what Mother Nature provides for free. Frameless windows, skylights and solar tube lights offer the homeowner a simple, yet effective way to fill a home with natural light.
There is also growing pressure for us to adopt renewable energy as a means to lessen our impact on the environment and our reliance on fossil fuels. One of the key ways in which residential, commercial and industrial energy users are looking to ease their electricity costs as well as better secure their energy supply is through photovoltaic (PV) electricity generation.
In a bold move, New York City Mayor has banned the use of polystyrene food and drink containers. In the US, over 70 cities around the country have already put this ban in place and more cities are set to follow the example in the near future.
With all the mini home improvements taking place at my house the small veggie garden that I had outside the door is no more. To take its place, and keep the kitchen supplied with fresh herbs and salad veggies, I planted a gutter garden.
Around the world more people are looking at ways to re-purpose and re-use household items and waste to create recycled home decor and accessories that are beautiful and practical.
If you want an easy way to build a rondavel, using earthbags is one of the most affordable and eco-friendly ways to do it.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sometimes, no matter how clean your home, smelly odors pop up. We take a look at various natural alternatives to rid a home of smelly odors. Some of these natural air fresheners you may already know, but there will be a few that will surprise you!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Have a light bulb moment with these tips that will not only save you money on your monthly electricity bill, but they will also reduce your carbon footprint.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Roof surfaces capture enormous amounts of the sun's energy because of their large surface area and angle of exposure. 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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
The Hillside House is a statement of what is possible combining design with high sustainability. This modern home has received Platinum LEED certification. The Hillside house is a four story building features living and private zones situated on multiple separate floors.
What on earth is going on when manufacturers are moving from RECYCLABLE aluminium cans to NON-BIODEGRADABLE plastic sachets.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 of Surfing for Change visited Jeffrey's Bay firsthand to learn the impact that the plant will have.
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!
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:
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.
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 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.
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.
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:
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.
It's a brave family that demolishes an old house to build a greener home.
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.
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.
From low-flow showerheads and toilets to aerated faucets, you can find many products that conserve energy and water in your bathroom.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you have an air conditioner in your home or office, it makes sense to ensure that it operates as efficiently as possible.
Clean your home and yourself with products that are good to the environment and to you.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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 commodities.
Small changes can make a big impact on our environment. Here are some tips to making changes that count.
I finally managed to get into the garden and get my veggie and herb section started.
Being a green parent is good for your health as well as your family's health and future!
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.
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.
Donating used electronics for reuse extends the lives of valuable products and maximizes the energy and resources that went into making the products.
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.
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.
We're all trying to look for ways to become more energy efficient and SunFire offers the best solutions to date.
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.
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.
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.
My grandmother’s home always had a distinct smell; a combination of various foods and mothballs. Apart from having a pungent odor, are mothballs possibly dangerous as well?
Anything that uses electricity and becomes redundant changes into e-waste. This includes all computers, entertainment electronics, mobile phones, household appliances, office appliances etc.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 keep you home clean and fresh.
If your washing machine is over 10 years old, it's time to update your appliances to save energy, water and detergents.
Plascon RemovALL provides biodegradable, water based and non-carcinogenic coating removers.
By using all-natural substances to clean your home you can have a healthier 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.
We're all trying to do 'our bit' for the planet, and here's how you can make a difference in your own home.
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.
Long known for its odor reducing properties, baking soda can also remove smoke and sweat odors from your laundry.
With the emphasis firmly on protecting our environment, it makes sense to look at the way you can re-use products in your home.
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.