Tag Archives: South Africa

My Honest Ecoegg Review

As a nerd of all things green, I was super excited to see the launch of Ecoegg South Africa. Chocolate, wine, natural toothpaste, menstrual cups & laundry eggs – these kinds of things make me giddy.

If the above quote is true, we need to rethink how we wash our clothes. Laundry detergent has always been a tricky one for me. I’ve bought numerous kinds of eco-natural detergents, and have even made my own. So as soon as I got my hands on the Ecoegg, I threw it in the wash to see it work its magic. “How can this gorgeous-smelling, super-cute-looking, baby pink egg wash all my clothes clean?”, I wondered with innocent, eager and sparkling eyes. And the result… well it’s been a tricky one.

Firstly, WHAT IS IT:

Coined as the ‘natural detergent breakthrough’, the Ecoegg is an award winning laundry egg that acts as a complete replacement for washing detergent. Just pop it in the drum of your washing machine – no powder, liquid, tablets or gels required.

The two types of mineral pellets inside the egg get to work, producing powerful – but natural – cleaning foam which powers through the fibers lifting off the dirt and grime.

The EcoEgg has been independently proven (in a lab) to perform just as well as regular detergent, and is a real alternative to harsh chemicals – giving great results, naturally. Supported by Allergy UK and the National Eczema Society, the Laundry Egg is dermatologically tested and perfect for even the most sensitive skin.

So, that’s all good and well, but did it work? 

It seems like a completely bizarre concept to bypass the usual laundry detergent and throw this ‘plastic looking ball’ into the drum with my clothes. It is a bit of a mind bender.

After alllll of my washing and testing and thinking, here is my honest opinion: I REALLY like this egg – I love the concept, the fact that it is in partnership with the National Eczema Society (my little one has eczema), a natural alternative, it is kind to the environment, saves you money, is easy-to-use and in general, is a very forward thinking product.

I did, however, initially struggle with it. Not the product itself – just the how and what and why and so on. As with most things, when you move from ‘conventional’ towards ‘green’, you need a MINDSET change. Come on Debbie, you should know this by now.

Listen, my circumstances were not ideal. Since our new (God-sent) nanny does 99% of our washing, I wasn’t really there to keep a close eye on things. Between house renovations, and school holidays, meetings and general life with 3 kids (which is HARD-CORE let me tell you), my ability to completely obsess and scrutinise over how clean my clothes were, was well, a non-event.

So when my clothes came out the wash, looking…well… clean… like they usually do (and not brand-spanking-new looking – a tall order from the get-go) I was left wondering what this egg was doing, if anything. I mean, I knew it was doing something, but was it what I imagined? So back and forth and back and forth I chatted with Marcelle, the lovely South African distributor of the Ecoegg.

Some things looked impressively clean, some things were still a little grubby (mainly our 11 month old’s clothes – which should surprise no one). My nanny commented on how nice the clothes smelled – it’s a very subtle fragrance, one I really need a good sniff at to smell. Because maybe I was pinning all my hopes on the egg changing my life, I was a tad confused. The white sleeves which were covered in mud and avo – would ANY detergent have been able to get that out? My suspicion is no. Our washing machine is also not particularly new, nor fancy, so the 30min eco-cycle that I always use, was that enough? Or maybe I was just expecting miracles no detergent would’ve been able to perform…

I’ve come to the conclusion, that this egg WORKS, and it works as well as (if not better than) my current eco-laundry powder does (you can also ask the 800+ people who reviewed the egg on Amazon.uk). Also, there is also no detergent residue left on your clothes. WIN! And so, considering all the benefits above (good for the enviro/no harsh chemicals/ease/price), in my mind it wins the trophy spot on my laundry room shelf. Also, because I think it’s beautiful.

Take a look for yourself: (there are no edits or filters on any of these pics – promise!)

Also, there is no risk in giving it a try – Ecoegg (UK) and SA have a “Love it or return it” guarantee: If you don’t love your purchase, for whatever reason, just return it within 30 days for a full refund – no questions asked.

My recommendations:

    • Detox your machine first with an Ecoegg detox tablet.
    • Clean out your washing machine filter regularly
    • Use a cold 30min cycle (let’s be water and enviro conscious here folks)
    • Use stain remover where necessary (this should’ve been a no brainer for me). Ecoegg have a stain remover. I need to get me some.

How much does it cost (and other related products)?

The Laundry Eggs come in either:

  • 210 washes (1 year for an average family of 4) for R275.00, or
  • 720 washes (3 years for an average family of 4) for R425.00. (Cheap huh!)

They also come in three ‘fragrances’ – Spring Blossom (pink), Fresh Linen (blue) and Fragrance Free (yellow). These are lightly fragranced with essential oils.

They also stock a stain remover at R80 a tube and detox tablets for your machine (for 3 years) for R95.00 – these clear out the junk and build up of detergents.

You want one don’t you? Imagine never buying laundry detergent ever again. Go on, contact Ecoegg:

Facebook, Instagram and email: hello@ecoegg.co.za
Physical Address: 1 Rodgers Ave, Constantia Hills, Constantia.
Web: www.ecoegg.co.za

With Sincere Gratitude…

I can’t believe it has been a year since this… together with Pure Beginnings, we launched Debbie’s Pure Beginnings Pregnancy Journey.

And, as we’ve wrapped up this journey, I’ve become so nostalgic looking back over the past year. Pregnancy and parenting is such a mish-mash of excitement, stress, fear, trepidation, anticipation, joy, tears and leaking boobs.

Together with the incredible Team at Pure Beginnings, we created these videos, spoke at national Childbirth Educators Forums, and opened up many, many everyday pregnancy and birth related topics for discussion.

If you missed any posts – you can find them here:

I love this world; this crazy, frantic, joyful, intense, scary, emotional ride. This busy, tear-filled, beautiful, messy role of Motherhood. And I’ve felt so privileged to walk this road with you all, and the Pure Beginnings Team. What an absolute privilege.

And finally, in wrapping up, I can’t help but give you some inside scoop on who exactly it is, behind the brand. They are a family. But really, they are a real family. A husband and wife team (and some awesome extras), convicted to start Pure Beginnings when their own kids were born. Even with them living in Durbs, I’ve met them on numerous occasions, and been hosted in their home and have been incredibly inspired by their hard working ethic, their gentle and beautiful natures, their humility, care for people and their product and determination to do and be better and provide better alternatives for US.

You want to support that family sending their kids to soccer and/or piano lessons? Those are the people behind Pure Beginnings.

Thank you Kate and Bruce (and Amanda) for allowing me to start this journey with Brea in the best way possible, with a Pure Beginning. xxx

Teething woes? Here’s my suggestion…

Teething. Gives you the shivers right? Is it not just a big, fat guessing game? I mean who really knows when their little one is teething? Sure, when your little one has BRIGHT RED cheeks, bad nappy rash, is drooling up a flood and desperately chewing on anything they can grab with their overly chubbed up hand, it’s one thing, but the very next day they can be happy-as, with no ‘typical’ signs of teething. So what do you?

I distinctly remember (when I presumed my infant was teething) not wanting to use an amber necklace – for no founded or credible reason other than I freaked out at the thought of something around my little ones neck (entirely a personal opinion). And so I got those water filled gummy chewy things which you keep in the fridge, and then I froze wet facecloths for him to chew on and then I would go the shop to find a homeopathic or medicinal answer. And then I wouldn’t be able to bring myself to buy it. Because, I mean, is he really teething? And should I spend THAT amount of money on something I don’t even know really works? I don’t want to give him anything if he’s not actually teething.

And so then at the next ‘sign of teething’ I’d freeze carrots and give that to him to chew on, or rub his gums really hard and and and, and it.was.exhausting.

Yes, maybe I was overthinking it (who doesn’t as a new mom) but having recently had this new and profound entry into the world of all-things-natural, I reeeeeeally didn’t want to give my kid anything if a) he wasn’t actually teething (just growing and wriggling and fussing and being a preeeeetty normal 6 month old) and b) it was not going to work, and c) it was full of medicinal *stuff*. I’m a bit like that. If I have a niggling headache I prefer to leave it until it goes away, before I pop the pills.

You know where I’m headed right? An answer to all of your teething problems? Really? Surely it’s not that easy? Well, I do have an answer and yes, I used this product on my second child after we returned to SA (lucky thing – who says middle children get the raw deal?) and I already have a tube stocked up for my (currently unpacked) baby bag.

Ta daaaaa: Pure Beginnings’ Soothing Teething Gel with Organic Liquorice and Marshmallow.

PB Teething Gel

“The product is a result of in-depth research into the natural ingredients available, which are highly effective in relieving the symptoms associated with teething pain. The non-medicated formula’s key active ingredients include Organic Liquorice root extract and Organic Marshmallow extract. Both of these ingredients demonstrate strong natural anti-inflammatory properties, thereby reducing swelling, inflammation and the corresponding pain associated with inflamed gums. Organic Liquorice also acts as a mucoprotective agent i.e. it creates a soothing film over the gum, relieving pain and inflammation of the effected area. The product also contains Chamomile, a natural anti-inflammatory which has been used for centuries, to naturally reduce swelling and to soothe and calm the inflamed gums. Xylitol is included for its ability to inhibit the growth of bacteria that leads to tooth decay. This cocktail of potent offerings from nature, effectively relieve pain and other symptoms associated with teething, while ensuring your baby is not exposed to any harsh chemicals or other ingredients that have shown to be harmful to both short term, and long term health”. 

You can find the comprehensive list of ingredients here. It retails for R47.50 (which I genuinely think is a really good price, considering that the flat white and croissant at Vida just cost you R51).

Organic Liquorice Root Extract – temporarily soothes and relieves pain and discomfort.

bowl of maca powder

Organic Marshmallow Extract – naturally reduces the pain and discomfort associated with teething.

Xylitol on birch background

Xylitol: Endorsed by many dental associations worldwide for its ability to inhibit the growth of bacteria that cause tooth decay.

So here’s how you can be guilt and anxious-free around teething, be it genuine teething or not. Grab yourself a tube of Pure Beginnings’ Teething Gel and use it confidently – knowing it works, it’s safe, and it’s one less thing to think about.

A quick thought on Generosity and Privilege

I don’t mean to be another voice calling names and issuing titles and opening up a very real and raw race wound, but here’s a thought for this Friday.

The other afternoon I went running (my usual 5 km route). I usually run with a girlfriend but she was away and I needed to get my Vitality points in, so off I went. Not jabbering my mouth off like I usually do, I had time to think, reflect and pray.

One thing I love about South Africa is that most people seem really friendly on the roads. I try and greet everyone I run past and acknowledge what is going on around me. And as I was nearing home, I ran past this 35+ yr old black gentleman. He smiled at me and I smiled back and squeezed out a breathless ‘hi’ – we had a quick and friendly exchange.

As I ran past this fellow countryman (I presume he was South African) I had a moment of crisp and clear comparison, which has really made me think. I ran past him with my preggy belly, carrying a-born-into-privilege little lady (who will probably be blond if she follows her brothers’ hair colour in any way – somehow being blond made the picture in my head all that clearer). Just there and then my brain did a quick calculation. Not taking into account the house, the car and and and I was running towards, on my person was:

    • R1000+ running shoes (they’re serious shoes my hub bought for my first marathon which was put on hold after the two pink lines came up on the pregnancy test),
    • R250 New Balance crops,
    • (I can’t remember which top but probably one from a race I did in Vancouver which would have cost about $100 to enter – yup, races there are crazy money),
    • My R2000 Garmin running watch with GPS and heart rate monitor,
    • My Apple Watch which I have not yet paid for (and am still exercising ‘it off’ on the Vitality deal – but is worth around R6000)…

I was wearing on my person, (all new let’s not forget) more than R10 000 worth of stuff. On a single run. And as this young gentleman walked past me, he smiled at me, his fellow South African sister, who has had a completely different life to him. I’d probably give a growl and a hairy eye ball to the injustice of it all if I was him, but he smiled. Legend.


I’m not here to point fingers, say we need to give all our stuff away, move to a township or make anyone feel guilty or proud, good or bad. I’m just writing to share my small experience. That moment of clarity was real. It is also unfair to underestimate who this gentleman is. I don’t know him, so who am I to judge him? While I presumed he was walking to catch a lift on a taxi home (to a place I’ve never been), I can’t presume he is less or more than what I saw in my 2 second smile at him. But all this to say…

We have a LOT. WAY more than we need. I wasn’t at the UCT or Freedom Day marches. I am not waving a flag on the side of the street or shouting my opinions from the rooftop. I’m trying to come to grips with what it means to live in South Africa, identify as a South African, and be aware of what my fellow South African experiences day to day. And I’m far from it, but I’m on the road…

There is no difference between my domestic worker and I. Nancy and I are the same, we’ve just been given different lots in life (or however you chose to see/say it). She is not my slave. She is my sister. She works hard, arrives on time, is taking what she has and trying to do her best with it. Are we not all doing that? There are a million ways we can make this practical and better the lives of those in need and so many people I know are doing that, and it is BEAUTIFUL. So let’s do it more. More and more and more until the divide becomes blurry (yes, I know, its idealistic) but why not do it anyway.

Generosity is quite possibly one of the most beautiful things I see today. Just this morning, my colleague bought me a gorgeous set of new wine glasses because I had told her how, when unpacking our wine glasses (from boxes we packed up 6 years ago), we only found we had 2. Generosity and kindness – it can knock you off your feet a little if you step down from your privileged and entitled podium.

Lets just be kind, and aware, and generous.

(Preach over (wink emotion).)

The Benefits of Grounding (no, I don’t mean your kids)

We’ve just come back from Wilderness. Let’s not get into it, sob sob, it was so absolutely amazing, I’m still sad it’s over. We joined old friends from a pre-Vancouver season and it was as if nothing had ever changed (barring the 4 kids we had produced between us in the time gone by)…

In the back of my mind, I was secretly stoked with all the grounding that was going on. No, not the ‘naughty child type’, but the the ‘touching the ground for the sake of your health’ type. Otherwise known as earthing.

kids sitting on beach

I first learnt about grounding from my guru Wellness Mama. She explains it like this:

‘The theory is that our bodies are meant to come into contact with the Earth (a “grounding” force) on a regular basis. Positive electrons in the form of free radicals (ever heard of those guys?) can build up in our bodies and direct contact with the ground balances this out as it is a negative grounding charge.

Our bodies and cells have electrical energy, and especially with the high prevalence of electromagnetic waves, Wi-Fi and mobile phone waves, many of us have a high amount of positive electrons built up in our bodies’.

And the truth is, we’ve never needed grounding as much as we do right now. I used to be all proud of my attempts at getting my kids ‘grounded’ by sending them to school barefoot, and watching them run on the grass, but that had a lot to do with not finding shoes in time for school and the school being pretty blasé about it. Win-win.

wilderness view from top of stairs

According to emerging research, grounding/earthing can be beneficial in:

  • Reducing inflammation by defusing excess positive electrons
  • Reducing chronic pain
  • Improving sleep
  • Increasing energy
  • Lowering stress and promoting calmness by reducing stress hormones.
  • Normalizing biological rhythms including circadian rhythm
  • Improving blood pressure and blood flow
  • Relieving muscle tension and headache
  • Lessens menstrual and female hormone symptoms
  • Speeds healing – used in some places to prevent bed sores
  • Can eliminate jet lag
  • Protecting the body from EMFs
  • Shortens recovery time from injury or athletic activity
  • Reducing or eliminating snoring
  • Helping support adrenal health

You see, it used to happen naturally:

‘Throughout history, humans have spent time outdoors much more than we do in modern time and have been in direct contact with the soil. From walking on the ground barefoot, to gardening or tilling the soil, humans have always touched the earth… until recently.

Now, we live in houses, wear rubber shoes, are exposed to EMFs daily and don’t often come into direct contact with the ground.

Have you ever noticed that you sleep better on a beach vacation after walking in the sand or being in the ocean? The sand and ocean water and both naturally conductive materials and both help ground the body and remove excess positive electrons. For the same basic reason that we ground electrical outlets to avoid the build up of excess positive charge, our bodies need the same ground effect‘.

the effect of grounding

(These two slept like a dream on holiday…)

Think about it…

And so here’s how you go about being intentional about grounding.

‘To work, you must be barefoot and in contact with rock, dirt or water. The beach/ocean is possibly the best place as not only are sand and salt water extremely conductive, but salt water is also very high in magnesium. Perhaps this is why many people seem to sleep better on vacation at the beach!’

There are fancy pants things such as grounding/earthing mats (some that you can sleep on), but I’m yet to see these available here in South Africa. And with the prevalence of beautiful beaches to stroll, mountains to climb, trails to walk, fresh grass to run on – nature all around us – we have no excuse to not be more proactive about getting our feet.on.the.earth.

kids standing on beach

Have you tried grounding and ever noticed the benefits?

A little love for Oh-lief


My journey to a green(er) lifestyle came in 2012 when my oldest responded incredibly well to a natural skin product (after trying many medical alternatives). So I could completely relate to sisters Christine Buchanan and Louiza Rademan who had the same conviction when it came to Christine’s pregnancy and her little boys birth. We felt like kindred spirits.

After arriving back in SA in 2014, this brand was one of the few I noticed popping up all over the place. And one I was excited to see was locally and hand made in South Africa (Cape Town!), with love.

Their Story

Growing up in a household where green and organic were valued principles, Christine found herself in a predicament while pregnant with Liam, her first baby boy. In her quest to find a skin care range to use during her pregnancy, Christine was dissatisfied with the conventional body products on the market. Not satisfied with using, harmful products, Christine and Louiza set out to develop a new range of natural baby and body products, based on old family recipes.

The result was Oh-lief’s complete range of Natural Body products, made from 100% natural and organic, raw ingredients, sourced locally.

Their Philosophy

“We believe in safe products for babies, toddlers and families, which is why none of our products are harmful to sensitive skin or the environment.”

100 % Natural. 100% Good.

Founded in 2010 by sisters Christine and Louiza, Oh-lief was born out of their love for nature and the desire to use products that would not harm their skin or the environment. (The perfect green combination – rethinking what is truly healthy as well as being environmentally aware).

Oh-lief = REAL Organic Products, Made with Love.

Their name references olive oil, which is the main ingredient found in all their products, as well as their love for all things natural. Their products do not contain any harsh chemicals, artificial fragrances, petroleum, parabens, artificial colours or nut oils. They use a base of organic olive oil and beeswax, which is combined with the natural properties of a number of other organic ingredients to form a complete range of products that is ideal for all skin types. Voila. Fantastic.Oh lief

Overseas I started making a number of my own baby and skin products, based on Wellness Mama’s Baby Care recipes, and so for me the colours, smells and textures of the oh-lief range felt incredibly familiar. Based with olive oil and beeswax (as are mine and many of Wellness Mama’s), the products last a long time. Really, you need such a small amount – it goes far!

So recently I tried two of their Body Range products, The Natural Olive Hand Wax and the Grapefruit & Sweet Orange Natural Body Wash. I love a good body wash and I’m becoming more and more aware of my skin as an organ and what I put onto it, becoming what sinks into it. The body wash has a gentle citrus scent, but is not overpowering. I also love a pump bottle (portion control and all). The hand wax is perfect for dry skin and a very effective moisturizer. The beeswax is also great for strengthening your nails, and the tin is a super addition to your handbag.


Psssst: The family sunscreen goes with me everywhere, as does the insect balm. Mozzies drive me insane. 

Personally, as a mom (and as a doula), I feel like this is another one of those great (local) brands, doing great things while using minimal and quality ingredients. If you’re a label watcher – you’ll love these guys.

For more info you can contact them on their website, facebook, twitter or email them on info@ohlief.com.

Images: www.ohlief.com

No more tampons – EVER

Right, so ladies. This is about to get gory-ly honest.

Periods. We all have them. Often. Having said that over the past 4 years I’ve had about 3 of them. Between pregnant with #1, breastfeeding up a storm, body back into baby making mode, pregnant with #2, breastfeeding and then BHAM. Here we are.

So, thinking back I must have started turning a darker shade of (eco)green in Vancouver because I went out on a limb and bought myself a Diva Cup Menstrual Cup before I even got my period back after #2 and it sat, unopened, for more than a year. Then one fateful day, it happened. Aunt Flo came back.

Finally I got to try my new menstrual cup I’d heard so much about (both with positive and negative reviews). I must be honest, I was quite excited. I’m not sure how I personally got around the mental shift of moving from something you throw away to something you clean and reuse but I did. And I was keen to give it a go. (BTW, there are VERY funny blog posts about womens experiences with these things. Often crude, and with complete oversharing – but very funny nonetheless.)

The fact is, menstrual cups have been around for 80 years (and there are lots of them!!), but the truth about them has been lost in the frenzy of disposable tampons and pads. Like anything new, menstrual cups may take some getting used to as the experience of wearing them is a totally different mindset to the idea of using tampons. Even women who are used to wearing pads as their preferred method of period care (because they cannot wear tampons or are not comfortable with internal feminine hygiene products) are finding great success with menstrual cups (apparently – according to the Diva Cup people).

M power cup 1


What is it?

The menstrual cup is a cup (most often made from 100% medical grade silicone) and is inserted into the vagina during menses and collects, rather than absorbs, menstrual blood. At regular intervals, it is removed and the contents are disposed of. The cup is then washed or wiped clean and reinserted. The cup usually lasts for around 5 years. It is a cost-effective and environmentally friendly solution to pads and tampons.


Why not? There is an overwhelming amount of information as to why the move from pads/tampons is not only important, but should be seriously considered. Here are but a few:

  • The cup can hold up to three times more fluid than the average tampon or pad.
  • It poses no risk of toxic shock syndrome or vaginal dryness (problems associated with tampons).
  • It is reusable, significantly reducing waste and therefore eco friendly.
  • Convenient, cost effective, reliable and comfortable.
  • Needs to be changed less frequently than even the highest absorbency tampons and can be worn overnight.
  • Odourless and entirely invisible with no strings.
  • Ideal for an active lifestyle and for active sports such as running, gym, yoga and swimming.
  • Antibacterial, entirely non-absorbent and is not associated with TSS or with other infections like cystitis (inflammation of the bladder, associated with sanitary pads) or candida (thrush).
  • Bio-compatible i.e. not harmful to living tissue.

If you want to know the VERY detailed step-by-step as to how it works (the “fold it like this, and insert it this way” type stuff) – take a peek here.

But what is it like… REALLY?

I asked three friends who I know use the cup, to give me their honest opinions on it. Here is what they had to say:


  • You can leave it in for 12 hours, don’t risk TSS and it’s safer for your body
  • Just like a tampon you can’t feel the menstrual cup at all if correctly inserted
  • Leak-proof. Even when using for 12 hours, no one had experienced a leak
  • Saves you money
  • You never have the mishap of running out of tampons
  • You get to know your body


  • It’s not for those who are screamish about blood
  • The cup can stain a little (which can be quite gross), but you can give it a good clean by scrubbing it with a toothbrush
  • After the majority of her period has passed, one friend said she felt a little sensitive after using it, so switched to tampons/pads for the remainder of her period
  • It takes a few goes to get used to putting it in correctly but once you get the hang of it, it’s easy.

One friend added: “Make sure you put it away when it’s not being used as it can be mistaken for other things, and you can find yourself in an awkward conversation”.

Another friend said: “I LOVE my menstrual cup!! I found out about them around a year ago! As someone who has always tried my best to care for this planet I cannot avoid the massive waste produced by sanitary products as a women goes through something like 9000 tampons (and R12 500) in a life time, as opposed to maybe 4 menstrual cups. So for me it’s really a no brainier”.

For myself, the shift from tampons to the menstrual cup was super easy. I know that’s not always the case with other women. I know some women would be grossed out by it, but I haven’t found it gross or weird at all. It’s my body and my blood, no more icky than a cut in my arm”.

My opinion? I love it. No really. I do. Having had babies naturally and having trained as a birth doula, I’m very comfortable with ‘bodily fluids’. And so this doesn’t gross me out at all. Yes, it takes some time to get used to, and yes, I can fully appreciate that the collection and disposal of blood can seem gory and is not for everyone but it has revolutionized the way I see my body, my cycle and how to manage it the best way I can see possible. (That sounds heavy – ‘revolutionized’ – but, it kinda has).

Are you willing to give it a GO? Well, LUCKY YOU!

We’ve got one up for grabs, to the value of R325.

Mpower Cup 2

The Mpower Cup was established by Glenda Tutt in 2008 in Cape Town, South Africa. Not only did she start this business with a vision for a better life for herself and her son, but with the success of Mpower Cup, she has changed the lives of many around her. As her business grows, so do her dreams, and her biggest dream yet is to supply sustainable sanitary ware to impoverished women who do not have access to it or cannot afford it. This is a huge need in our country and Mpower Cup has identified this as a cause they cannot ignore, with the goal of supplying a sustainable solution to menstrual management each and every month to women all across South Africa. Read more about this inspiring Karabo Initiative on her website.

To win one of these Mpower Menstrual Cups for yourself – here is what you need to do:

Enter here:

EXTRA Entries:

  • Share this competition on Facebook for an extra entry.
  • Tag a friend for another entry
  • Use the line on social media platforms: Enter to win a Mpower Cup Menstrual Cup with @OurGreenishLife here http://wp.me/p6hdsr-nY 

Thanks for entering. Good Luck!

Contact Glenda Tutt at Mpower Cup
(t) 079 898 5188
(e) glenda@mpowercup.co.za
Web: www.mpowercup.co.za

Terms and Conditions

The competition runs from 21 December – Thursday, 31 December 2015.
This competition is open to Cape Town residents only.
The winner will be chosen randomly and contacted via email.
Winner will be announced on the Our Greenish Life website and social media channels on or around Thursday, 31 December 2015.

Featured picture credit: http://www.aliexpress.com/popular/menstrual-cup.html

This competition is closed, and was won by Kimberley O’Sullivan.

Celebrating Soil Day with Soil for Life 

Did you know that the 5th of December was World Soil Day? Well the team at Soil for Life did, and there was some serious celebrating!


If you’ve never been there – you must! Soil for Life is situated on Brounger Road, off Spaanschemaat River Road, in Constantia, Cape Town.




We recently meandered Soil for Life’s beautiful organic gardens. This working garden is an ideal environment to experience the abundance of a healthy soil. We watched a compost making demonstration, toured the gardens and bought some vegetables to plant as well as rich, living compost. Yes please. Be inspired by how this pioneering non-profit uses waste and everyday items to build a beautiful, productive garden. Really – it’s quite incredible.



I was also thrilled to see the GROWbags available for sale – (profit, but also) proceeds of which go to Soil for Life, and help educate people on how to live sustainably when it comes to growing their own food. I love GROWbags. Read my blog post about them here.


My littlie, keen on getting these green goodies…

Riding the tractor. Very cool wooden sculptures…

This is Soil for Life’s mission. To teach people how to grow nutritious food at their homes, using low-cost, earth-friendly methods. They believe that everyone has the potential to grow healthy food, whether they live in a leafy suburb or an impoverished township. They run regular courses at their training centre in Constantia as well as teaching individual home food gardeners in resource-poor communities. To date Soil for Life has helped more than 1,600 people create home food gardens at their homes in Delft, Khayelitsha, Philippi and other areas on the Cape Flats.

soil for life township

All the profits from Soil for Life’s Open Garden is ploughed back into their development work, to help provide the training and tools that enable families to grow their own food. Green living and sustainable food sources is how we can aleviate poverty – one small step at a time.

Soil for Life’s gardens and training center is situated just off Brounger Road, (off Spaanschemaat River Road), Constantia, Cape Town (behind the Constantia Waldorf School and Peddlars).

So, pop in, get your green-finger goodies, support a good cause and then hop over the Peddlars for a drink after. Win win.

Keep updated with their goings on, on their WebsiteTwitter, Facebook and Instagram. For further information contact 021 794 4982 or email them at info@soilforlife.co.za.


Six Soil Facts for World Soil Day:

• Healthy soils are the basis for healthy food production.

• Soils are the foundation for vegetation which is cultivated or managed for feed, fiber, fuel and medicinal products.

• Soils support our planet’s biodiversity and they host a quarter of the total.

• Soils help to combat and adapt to climate change by playing a key role in the carbon cycle.

• Soils store and filter water, improving our resilience to floods and droughts.

• Soil is a non-renewable resource; its preservation is essential for food security and our sustainable future.

WIN with Green GoodsAgricare:

To CELEBRATE World Soil Day and to help you get the most out of your soil, Green Goods has one of the brand new Agricare Organic Booster Boxes (worth R175) to give away to one lucky reader. To enter follow this link.


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One year on…

And so here we are. Today, we are 1 year back in South Africa. And we’re a bit more worn, a bit more tanned, a year older (and hopefully wiser), and reflecting on what a wildly immeasurably beautiful 4.5 year stint in Vancouver did to us, and who we are today.

Backdrop 1

cuuute pic of clay

family shoot
KF family

I’m an idealist. I grew up in one beautiful, warm, safe and happy house (which coincidentally, my husband I are about to buy from my parents and where we hope to raise our kids). Growing up, my friends, church and school were all around the corner. Life was happy, simple, neat and tidy.

And then I met my now husband and traveled with him, moved to Durban, traveled more and then took the big leap to Vancouver. Life got a bit messier.


Neat and tidy and messy were all good. But as I’ve grown, I’ve had to tone down on the idealism and accept more of the realism. I can’t commit myself to living in one house my whole life (which is only 1 of the things I naturally expected to happen).

I think that’s one of the deepest lessons I’ve learnt. Life is messy and not straight forward. It can be hard, raw, challenging, joyful, beautiful, mysterious, and unknown, and often (always?) out of our control. Admitting that is hard for me. I like control. And so, if I have learnt ONE lesson over the last year it’s this – while life is beautiful, it is not wrapped in its beautiful perfectly square box, with crisp neat corners, its Pinterest style (as much as I LOVE Pinterest) paper with its ribbons and raffia. We might move, we might stay, we might travel, we might change. We roll with the punches. And I’ve learnt that there is a very beautiful depth to the mess. And often, we NEED the mess to keep us real.

But even more pressing is my other HUGE life mantra: experience trumps stuff. EXPERIENCE TRUMPS STUFF. No question. Hands down.

So here they are… MY OBSERVATIONS… 1 year on.

In South Africa there are so many good people doing so many good things.

It is harder to stay green.

It is easy and important to be growing your own food. I can’t wait to get chickens.

Traffic is hectic.

Coffee is better than it was 5 years ago.


The mountain is extraordinary. Life here is in full colour.

There is no place like home.

Crime is real, and it makes me concerned.

People don’t change, are loving, caring and look out for each other.



Seattle friends

Conversations with strangers are easy.

It is been hard hard hard HARD to find a church after our experience at Regent and Artisan. 

I feel really, really privileged to have had my kids in Canada.

debs pregnant

Don’t underestimate education.

I love how car guards interact with the boys and help them out of the trolley and into the car.

Runners/cyclists greet each other and encourage each other on the roads which is awesome. It’s not safe to run alone at night, which sucks. But running with old friends (my Natalie) is life giving.

People are generous.


Our government is abominable. Parliament is hard to watch at times.

My kids play in mud, feed farm animals and get messy and barely ever ever ever wear shoes.

clays first day at school

Internet and free wifi is scarce (and slow).

HEROES are born and raised here.

EXPERIENCES trump things hands down.

I LOVED Christmas in the snow.

christmas in the snow

Betienne Snow

Time and space between true brotherly and sisterly friends really doesn’t change all that much.

Watching your children play with their cousins is a gift.

We have amazing sports teams.

I have more of a hunger to see and do more (when my allergy towards all airports calms down – travelling for 6 weeks with two small children halfway across the world is still exhausting to think about).


Seemingly small things, can make BIG change.

Despite loving news and sport, I have no real interest in having a TV.

Community (be it local or international) is invaluable.

Community in NZ


And now since my husband Theran and I are so different (really, sometimes I wonder how we actually got married…), I thought I’d include his:

Education gives you new eyes and ears for the world. You cannot quantify its value.

White people in Cape Town need to catch a wake up. White privilege is not an attack on white people, its a reality needing attention.


The mountain is different every day.

You can’t over emphasize the value of friendship – whether like minded friends around the world or lifelong friends who share your story.

Jo, donald kids
Original OM

Don’t let 5 years of tax returns build up while you are away.

Seeing your children with their grandparents, cousins, and aunts and uncles is worth so much more than the alluring pull of the ‘first world’.


Work can take more than it’s ‘pound of flesh’ from you – you can quickly find yourself consumed by obligations to an employer, whether valid or unrealistic demands, and end up sacrificing important things you shouldn’t.

Young children grow and change every day.


Family stress and tension causes more anxiety than work tension.

A swimming pool is a waste of space and money (really Theran?).

Dentists don’t do unnecessary work on your teeth (well ours doesn’t).


I’m sure there are many, many more lessons we’ve learnt which we can’t articulate quite yet… but needless to say, it’s GOOD to be back. Familiarity is a GOOD and comforting thing. Moving to Vancouver for almost 5 years was by far the best thing we have ever done (besides the obvious God, kids, marriage decisions) and I hope we’re brave enough to make more big decisions when they come our way.

Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika

For the love of the earth – save water!

If you’re reading this, you probably have internet which means you are in the top whatever percent of the world and you have a good chance at getting your hands on clean drinking water. Consider this a privilege. How easy it is to forget.

Privilege like this demands responsibility. Whether or not there is a water crisis, we should all be trying to preserve water (for the sake of the environment and our pockets) but now, in South Africa, it’s crunch time.

Below are a list of ways in which you can very practically reduce your water consumption. Obviously we can’t do everything, but browse the lists and see what sticks out to you. Intentional changes become habits and often have huge results.


Reduce water consumption:

  1. Turn off the tap while brushing teeth, shaving or soaping hands.
  2. Take shorter showers and use less water if you bath.
  3. Avoid buying bottled water (as in, don’t create more of a demand).
  4. Sweep outside areas instead of hosing with water.
  5. Use eco-friendly soaps and cleaning products.
  6. Fix leaks at home & report public water leaks to the Municipality.
  7. Always use a plugged-sink or bowl instead of a running tap.
  8. Insulate hot water pipes to reduce time waiting for water to heat up.
  9. Install aerators and flow-reducing valves on your taps.
  10. Install water saving devices on taps, toilets, showers & sprinklers.
  11. Install a water meter and monitor your use.
  12. Install an instant water heater at your taps for immediate hot water.


  1. Wash your car with a bucket and sponge only.
  2. Use a hosepipe with a self-closing nozzle to wash your car.
  3. Use a commercial car wash that recycles water.


  1. Shower instead of bath.
  2. Use less water in the bath.
  3. Bathe young children together.
  4. Flush the toilet only when odours make it necessary.
  5. Put a brick in your cistern to reduce.
  6. Install a low-flow shower-head.
  7. Install aerators and flow-reducing valves on your taps.
  8. Install a dual flush mechanism on your toilet.
  9. Install a geyser blanket for insulation.
  10. Insulate the copper pipes around the geyser.save_water_4_by_serso


  1. Cut back on washing your towels and linen.
  2. Match the size of your laundry load with water volume.
  3. Buy an eco-friendly wash ball.
  4. Buy a water-efficient washing machine.


  1. Only turn the dishwasher on when it’s full.
  2. Use a plugged sink to wash dishes instead of a running tap.
  3. Use less dish-washing liquid to reduce the need for rinsing.
  4. Use a plugged sink to rinse vegetables instead of a running tap.
  5. Use the water you used to rinse fruit and veggies to water plants.
  6. Keep a bottle of tap water in the fridge to avoid running the tap until the water is cold.
  7. Don’t use running water to defrost food.
  8. Install aerators and flow-reducing valves on your taps.
  9. Purchase water-efficient appliances and water-saving devicesWater conservation

Plants & Garden:

  1. Learn about water-wise gardening.
  2. Water plants at the coolest part of the day.
  3. Group plants together that have the same water requirements.
  4. Water plants with the water you used in the kitchen to rinse fruit and veggies.
  5. Choose local indigenous water-wise plants for your home and garden.
  6. Adjust sprinklers to water plants and not the pavement.
  7. Cover your pool so the water doesn’t evaporate.
  8. Check your pool for leaks.
  9. Put self-closing spray-nozzles on hosepipes.
  10. Use natural and organic garden products.

FORWARD THINKING: Methods to check your home is leak free:

  1. Use your water meter to check for hidden water leaks. Read the water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water has been used. If the water meter doesn’t read exactly the same, then there is a leak.
  2. To check for toilet tank leaks, add food coloring to the tank. If the toilet leaks, the toilet bowl will have changed color within 30 minutes.
  3. Repair dripping taps by replacing the washer. If a tap is dripping at a rate of 1 drop per second, you could be wasting up to 10,220 Liters per year!
  4. If your toilet handle constantly stays in a downward position this means that water is constantly running. Replace or fix the handle to avoid wasted water.
  5. Insulate your water pipes. If you do, you’ll get hot water faster, avoid wasting water while it is heating, and also saving money on electricity!

Thanks to: for love of water for the tips and Designzzz (by Serso), www.occupyforanimals.net and Rainbow International LLC for the images.