Category: smarter living

  • 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…

  • What’s a Yurt?

    Two posts from my sister on Whatsapp from Ulaanbataar in Mongolia really got me thinking. She had shown me a photo of the yurt belonging to the building manager for her apartment block before.  He and his family live in their ger or yurt alongside the apartment building.  But he had been away for his…

  • A very bright idea… save 98% of your water consumption!

    It’s almost too outrageous to be true.  But you can save 98% of your water consumption simply by adding a nozzle onto your existing taps.  Or you will be able to from the end of this year when production of the Altered:Nozzle starts. The new company turned to Kickstarter to help fund the project online……

  • Not a Bright Idea!

    A LED lightbulb is supposed to last for 6 — 12 years and, being rather pricey, they probably do. But this one will need to be replaced after about a year when a single candle will achieve more light than it does. It’s taken less than two months for this bulb to attract the miggies…

  • The Smarter WiFi option

    One of the early things needed for the house was WiFi — for electricity monitoring equipment and other “smart” elements that might be included.  Asking around, most people in the area use PaarlOnline — not always with great satisfaction.  This seemed to be echoed in some online forums, where BreedeNet was mentioned as an alternative. …