What does Biodiversity mean? Why is it important?

This was posted in one of our stories in 2014, and it is worth keeping in a new home. We’ve been searching for the best explanations for Biodiversity & Sustainability and one source was the Convention on Biological Diversity, excerpts of which are published below.  Exploring “Sustainability” opened a treasure trove of topics — which […]

When the yurt’s loo takes pride of place…

While Architectural Digest describes yurts as “an architectural wonder of the world” — and it is without doubt — inside my yurt it’s the loo that’s the showpiece. It’s Saniflo‘s Sanicompact 43— a very superior toilet in every way.  It’s high quality ceramic; it’s almost silent; it’s about the most waterwise-efficient toilet you can get… and […]

The yurt’s biogas unit/biodigestor… for R300!

All the blackwater from the yurt’s toilet goes into the biodigestor.  And so does all the organic waste from the kitchen.  Methane gas output is increased by fats, oils, greases and sugars, and you can use the gas for cooking and heating.  Another byproduct is liquid fertilizer, which you can use in the garden.  You […]

The Yurt’s Catastrophe! … and Making it all Work

I had just gone to sleep one night… I knew it was going to be windy but the winds were well within what the yurt had been through before. And then I became aware of the sound of the wind just rising and rising. I waited for the gust to end but this was no […]

Adventures with a Yurt (or Ger)

Imagine a small house, granny flat or weekend getaway where the structure only costs you R12,000.  (That’s US$850 or €750!)  You can’t buy a small Wendy house for that… and it’s about the same cost as the emergency materials given to shack dwellers after fires destroy dwellings in informal settlements. And it’s a structure that one […]

Saying Goodbye to Eskom is cheaper than you think

CapeInfo’s Smarter Living Project started off to determine what one really needs to go off the electrical grid — is it  as expensive as  people say or, if one adapts one’s lifestyle, is it affordable or… even cheaper.  Off-the-grid in this case meant no external electric sources at all — no Eskom, no municipal connection. Cooking was done using gas and […]

Old Mutual Park — goes off the water grid with recycling

In its quest to find effective solutions to the current water crisis in the Western Cape, Old Mutual has become the first corporate in South Africa to launch a ‘from-waste-to-drinking-water’ filtration project at its Mutualpark offices in Pinelands, Cape Town.

Solar panel window blinds

This is for my wish list but you can pre-order them now at https://solargaps.com/.  SolarGaps smart blinds automatically track the sun throughout the day, adjusting position to the optimal angles to generate solar electricity to power devices in your home, apartment or office. At about $1,000 a m², they’re not cheap… but discount the cost […]