Green Living Adventure

green scooterIf you’ve ever felt bad about the carbon footprint that seems inevitable when you travel, this is for you. A carbon neutral scooter safari all round South Africa is the brain child of environmentalists, Melissa Andrews and Christopher List, a husband and wife team dedicated to green living.

They are using energy efficient vespas, “packing light and going slow” on a mission to raise funds for Food and Trees for Africa. As experienced permaculture experts they will be volunteering at environmental projects on their way, as well as planting trees to balance out their carbon footprint, so that the whole trip will be carbon neutral.

A huge amount of planning has gone into this trip, including sourcing of sponsors for their technical needs, green travel planning, maps, eco-friendly printing and more. We’re looking forward to following their blog, seeing what they get up to and how the carbon neutral journey works out. They’re leaving on 1st June from Cape Town. Happy green travelling!

Photo © Vladimir Ivanov | Dreamstime.com

Eskom Offers Businesses Rebate for LED Lighting

replace incandescent light bulbs with LEDGreat news for South African businesses that want to go green: Eskom is offering rebates on the initial costs of changing over to a more energy efficient system, including purchases of LED bulbs and downlights. This great offer applies to businesses, retail outlets, guest houses, industrial and commercial properties and would be a great way to fund a total change over from conventional lighting to LED lighting. The rebate is of up 85% of the total cost.

There are many businesses that would like to become more environmentally friendly but haven’t yet been able to afford the total investment of changing over – this is the perfect opportunity for them.

There are various conditions to qualify for the scheme, one of them being that the changes must save a minimum of 2Mw per annum. This can be a tricky thing to work out for yourself so it is strongly recommended to get the advice of a specialist supplier of LED lighting. They can assess your energy usage and work out the savings that would accrue from a changeover to LED, as well as guiding you through the process of applying for the rebate.

While you are looking at LED lighting don’t forget about your display signs too. Switching over from fluorescent light boxes to LED lightboxes, from neon signs to LED signs can also add to your energy efficiency, cutting costs in the long run.

Photo copyright © Joshua Huber | Dreamstime.com

Green Alternatives To Air Freshener Sprays

A friend recently was being driven to distraction – her teenage daughter was determined to go green and kept hiding the bathroom air freshener spray!

So if putting up with a stinky bathroom isn’t an option, what can you use instead of conventional air fresheners, both sprays and solid, which are definitely on the bad list as far as toxic chemicals and VOCs (volatile organic compounds) are concerned?

hemp and soy massage candleMy suggestion was to keep a natural soy and hemp scented candle in the bathroom, with a box of matches next to it. It can be lit at any time for long enough to give a sweeter fragrance to the air; much better than filling the air with an unhealthy burst of chemicals from a spray can. Another bonus of these candles is that the melted oil from them can be used as a luxuriously massage oil or skin moisturizer. What could be more appealing than a bath by candlelight, with lightly fragranced air scented with natural essential oils, followed by a massage with the warm natural oil from the candle?

Another option for a naturally sweet smelling bathroom is an essential oil burner. A few drops of essential oil in a little water in the top basin, is gradually evaporated into the air by a candle burning underneath.

Or just open the window. Most smells will disperse quickly enough with proper ventilation!

If you’re not convinced that air fresheners are  a health risk, check out this simple explanation of the most common chemicals used in them.