Is it viable to live green in South Africa

Are you a couple who understands the benefits of living green? Perhaps you started out by separating and recycling your rubbish. Then you read about solar water heaters and installed one into your home. Perhaps you’ve even gone as far as installing rainwater catchments and photo-voltaic solar panels.

But the question is this: What will you do when the time comes to move out? How will you find a home that someone else has invested in as much as you have in your current home?

The sad truth is that converting your home into a green home is often over-capitalizing on your property (depending on the area in which you live). Not many buyers will appreciate your green features enough to give you a return on investment.…

Green Smart Home is Profitable, Really

In a green smart home, photo-voltaic solar panels may be used. When using photovoltaic solar panels, and a grid-tied system with back-up batteries, the electrical running costs are reduced by up to 95%.

And when generating more electricity than we need, we may be paid by the national supplier for feeding that excess back into the grid.

Additionally, when the green home is resold, the initial outlay for green features is fully recouped.

Other ways in which money is saved and profits are increased in a green home are by:

  • Using energy-efficient lighting, heating and air-conditioning systems.
  • Conserving and managing the use of water, using smart technology.
  • Using natural light and air by rethinking the placement of doors, windows, and other openings.

Green at Heart, Down to your Core Being

What are the benefits of green living?  Maybe we start with recycling, then think about installing a solar water heater.  Maybe we even put in a rainwater tank or photo-voltaic solar panels.

Living green means we are passionate about preserving the planet for future generations.  This is also a healthier way to live, with long-term cost savings.

Within the home, using sustainable materials helps us to conserve our surroundings.  When shopping, we’ll also play our part:

  •  Buy local: This means that less transportation of goods over long distances was required.
  • Honey: Be sure to check for a badger-friendly label.
  • Vegetables: Buy fresh, loose fruit and vegetables (which uses far less packaging)
  • Buy only what is needed, so there is no waste.

Combo Stove, Gas and Electricity

A stove which uses a combination of electricity and gas reduces reliance on the grid.  Even when using a photovoltaic solar energy system, the weather may be overcast for an extended period.

One is able to cook or boil water for tea or coffee even when electricity is unavailable – no hauling out the portable stove or having to wait it out until the lights come back.  This leads to comfort and convenience.

Cost-saving benefits are also enjoyed.  One remains unaffected by electricity price hikes and we do not have to use and pay for electricity.

It’s also easier to control temperatures with gas cooking.  With a simple twist of the dial, lowering or raising the temperature instantly, is entirely possible. …

Double-glazing, Windows and External Doors

Within the home, dealing with the change in seasons usually involves dusting, washing, storage and hauling items out of cupboards every 6 months or so.  Green homes are kept at an even temperature all year round, by means of insulation.

A window or glass door made of 2 separate plates of glass makes up a double-glazing system.  An air cavity traps air between the glass layers – and these air cavities actually insulate the home, keeping us comfortable.

Double-glazing helps retain warm air during winter and cold air during summer – this helps save money in the long run.

Through a combination of insulation materials and techniques, a well-insulated home means that utility costs are reduced by more than half. …

Green at Heart, Saving the Planet one Plastic Bottle at a Time

Reusing or repurposing products is cost effective, besides being a green idea.  When buying products, one needs to be choosy.  Those products that are made from recycled material and which are recyclable themselves are preferable.

Recycling benefits:

  • Conserves natural resources
  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the waste that goes to landfills and the amount of waste that is incinerated.
  • Saves energy
  • Creates jobs

Plastic doesn’t decompose, which makes it a problem for landfills.  It’s best to check which kinds of plastic are accepted by recycling centres.

Plastic products are given different numbers for recycling purposes:

  • #1 (PET) – bottles
  • #2 (HDPE) – used in opaque packaging containers
  • #3 (PVC) – used in toys and window blinds
  • #4 (LDPE) – used in grocery bags
  • #5 (PP) – used in yoghurt and butter tubs and baby bottles
  • #6 (PS) – used in Styrofoam and CD cases
  • #7 (O) – may be mixed plastics

(Source:  greenexaminingroom.com/which-plastic-numbers-are-safe-zero-maybe-2-4-5)

So when green at heart, consider recycling.…

The Ultimate #LiveGreenSmart Step Is Living in a Green Smart Home

Being green conscious, we may recycle, reuse, reduce and repurpose.

The next and ultimate step is to live in a green smart home.

A green smart home blends green features with smart home technology.  Smart technology is used to manage and further improve on the efficiency and costs of running a green home.  Energy-and-water-efficiency – and comfort are maximised.

From monitoring the water level in the rainwater harvesting tank to adjusting one of the zone temperatures within the hydronics radiant heating and cooling system, smart technology makes living green, easier.

Schedules are set up to run the green features automatically.  We balance comfort and efficiency while doing our part for Mother Earth.  And homeowners who move from traditional homes to green homes are aware that they’ll save on monthly running costs.…

Heat Pump, Efficiently Makes Hot and Cold Water

Heat pumps are designed to work off air temperature.  They use a minimal amount of electricity and work like air-conditioners in reverse.

The heat pump is usually mounted outside the house where it comes into contact with free-flowing air.  Hot air is drawn into the heat pump, where it then passes over a refrigerant.  The refrigerant boils and evaporates, heating up a condenser coil which heats water in the tank – and warm water then flows to the taps.

Dual function heat pumps heats water, cools water down, or heats and cools water at the same time.  This leads to twice as much efficiency.

And while it isn’t convenient to climb into the ceiling to turn down the thermostat, in a smart green home, the adjustment is easily made on a smartphone/computer.…

Using or Making Non-Toxic Household Products

Use the following household items:

  • Lemon:  is useful against most household bacteria and leaves a pleasant fragrance.
  • White Vinegar:  cuts through grease and gets rid of mildew and odours.
  • Cornstarch:  is used to clean windows and carpets.
  • Borax:  cleans, deodorises and disinfects.

Making Cleaning Solutions:

All-purpose cleaner:  Mix a ½ cup of vinegar and 2 teaspoons of borax into 2 litres of water.  Use to clean the shower, bathroom chrome fittings and windows.

Air Freshener:  Having pot plants inside the house reduces odours inside the home.

Bathroom mould:  Mix 1 part hydrogen peroxide (3%) with 2 parts water and spray onto the mould.  Wait at least an hour before using the bathroom after spraying.

Carpet stains:  Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water and spray onto the stains. …

Green Smart Homes & Offices & Cities & Cars originate from Recycling 1 plastic bottle

“A circular economy is one that builds economic, natural and social capital” (petco.co.za).

Plastic bottles are valuable and aren’t actually waste.  In modern times, packaging is necessary to get the product to the consumer, but once it has served its purpose, packaging is considered dirty and unwanted.

As an example of how recycled plastic is used, Isotherm is an insulating material that’s made entirely from recycled plastic bottles.

Traditional homes usually have ceiling insulation that’s made from fibre glass or asbestos, which isn’t environmentally friendly at all. Isotherm is an eco-friendly and effective alternative.

Isotherm is dust and water resistant, non-toxic, without associated health risks, non-flammable and lasts longer than most other insulating materials.

The humble plastic bottle is humble no more.…