Tag Archives: sustainable

How to be an awesome human this winter

One of my least favourite days of the month, is the day I (okay fine, hubby and I) get that bill from the City of Cape Town telling me how much we’ve spent on ‘living’. Oh rates and taxes, water, electricity and garbage disposal. You cost me a small fortune.

If you’re living in Cape Town (like I am), surely you’ve already whittled down your water useage. But now that we’re mid winter and it’s FREEZING, is it possible to save money on electricity as well? Well of course it is!

Obviously, it’s not all about saving money – it’s about considering our (often unknown and unintentional) abuse of our environment. Here are a couple ideas, to make your home more cost-efficient and eco-aware this winter.

Use existing insulation

As soon as the sun begins setting, close curtains and blinds to keep warmth inside your bedrooms and living spaces. It will mean your interior stays warmer for longer and you’ll only have to switch on heaters if it is essential. Or install a fireplace… (bucket list!)

Replace and switch off

Replace all light bulbs with LED. Turn off lights, plugs and especially electric blankets and heaters when not using them. Just these few things can reduce your home’s electricity consumption by 15%. Last night I woke up to my scale beeping (weird, I know) and saw hubby’s side of our electric blanket was still on. He got a scathing reprimand at midnight.

Fill it up

Run full loads in your washing machine or dishwasher. And use the eco/short cycles.

Off at the wall

What sits on standby? TV/Wifi/chargers etc. By turning off appliances or electronics which sit on standby for hours on end, you can save up to 6% of your electric bill.

Lose 1 degree

While going solar is the gold-star goal, turning your geyser down by 1 degree and switching it off during the middle of the day can really make a difference. This can provide estimated savings of around R100 a week. We recently bought a geyser blanket but are interested in installing a timer too.

Consider buying a Spindel

As a family of 5, we can’t live without our tumble dryer. I cringe every time we put it on, because I feel like it takes foreverrrrr to dry our clothes and the electricity it uses is nausea-worthy. My recommendation: only wash what is in desperate need of a wash, and investigate using a Spindel (esp if your washing machine is not a super fancy pants one – which ours is not).

If you’ve never heard of it before – a Spindel is an innovative dryer that uses spin power instead of heat to remove up to 80% of the leftover moisture from clothes. On average – one load in a spindel draws out around 1 cup of water from my washing (and it takes only 3 min to do so!). If I need to pop my clothes in the tumble drier, it takes a fraction of the time to dry completely, after being ‘spindeled’. A Spindel saves TONS of time and electricity.

Inspired? What else do you to save money, electricity and the environment? I’d love to know.

Happy end of winter all xxx

The Newest Essential for your Diaper Bag

Brace yourselves for a conversation about boobs, breastfeeding and breast milk – that precious, golden liquid. Forewarning: words like nipple, boob, suction and stimulate have been used in this post.

Here’s the irony.

I’m genuinely ANGRY I have only found this product now. After using and understanding Hey Kiwi‘s HaaKaa Silicone Breast Pump, you wonder why this kind of pump has never been thought of before. It is such a simple concept with such an effective outcome.

With babies #1 and #2, my breast milk supply was off.the.charts. I even donated breast milk to the Vancouver Milk Bank because I had such a huge supply. To my surprise, my milk supply was much lower with #3. It should have been more obvious that with the chaos of 3 kids, heading back to work at 4 months and just not stopping in general (in life) that my breast milk supply would be compromised.

So back to the pump – let me explain the concept: It is all about suction. Simply put, you suction the pump to your breast and let the pump do the work for you. It draws your milk out of your breast using suction. That’s it? Yip, really, that’s it.


To stimulate let down – you can ‘pump-the-pump’ by squeezing and releasing the breast pump a few times while on your boob. It’s funny, your boob kinda bounces in and out of the pump. But it works!

Here’s the HOW TO, from Hey Kiwi‘s website:

  1. After you have sterilized your pump, place top of pump over your nipple (make sure your nipple is in the neck of the pump and comfortable).
  2. Apply suction – you may need to adjust a couple of times. Once the pump is secure and comfortable you can squeeze the base of the pump (not interfering with the top/suction) to create some movement.
  3. A warm flannel on top of your breast is also a great tip and gently massage the top of your breast.
  4. Once milk begins to flow simply leave the pump alone to do its thing.
  5. Once the pump becomes full empty into a glass storage bottle and reposition.

From my experience: It took me a few tries to learn to apply the suction properly – but when it is on, it’s very comfortable and does not pinch. I did have to apply some massage (because my boobs were not full)! Had I used this when my milk came in, oh boy. I could have saved Cape Town’s drought with the amount this beautiful thing would have caught. Sigh.)

Once the milk begins to flow – HEY MAN – it’s INCREDIBLE. You can actually see streams of milk coming from your nipple. The plastic milky neck of other pumps I’d used never showed me that. I found it quite mesmerizing.

Here are my MAJOR (and unexpected) PROS:

  • It does not make a noise. So it doesn’t wake a sleeping baby. Hallelujah.
  • It is CORDLESS/does not need batteries. (When we were renovating, there was one spot in the house I could sit – in full view – and pump because I needed to plug it in. This is a game changer). This also makes it fully portable.
  • The base of the 100/150ml Pump creates a suction when you push it on a flat surface. My hard-earned milk is SAFE. If you’ve ever spilled breast milk – you’ll know that urge to break down and sob. Like a baby, without its milk.
  • I cannot personally vouch for this while breastfeeding a 9 month old but, I can confidently say that if one is struggling with engorged boobs, OR needs to express milk while nursing on the one side – this is the PERFECT gizmo to use. It allows you to quickly and easily pump for relief from engorgement, as well as collect milk from the side bubs is not latched on.
  • It’s SUPER easy to clean. Not like all the bits and pieces with ordinary machine pumps. This is a ONE piece item, (two if you have the stopper). Nothing fidgety about it. You can even pop it in the dishwasher.
  • 100% eco-friendly and safe for mom, baby and our environment.
  • It is less than 1/3rd of the price of any electric pump. (R450-R500 for pump and stopper)
  • You can pump hands-free. Once that thing is suctioned properly, sure, you can’t be doing the haka in your bedroom, but you can let it suction without needing to hold it. WHAT?!
  • It is just EASY TO USE. No fuss. Really.

Some of my most favorite people in the world are from New Zealand, so I’m a firm believer that things that come out of NZ are almost guaranteed to be RAD. I’m a total HaaKaa convert. I highly recommend giving this a go.

Want to know more? Contact Hey Kiwi onlineFacebook and Instagram. they also sell lots of other super cute goodies on their site here.

xxx