Tag Archives: winter

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

Keeping bugs away, Pure Beginnings’ way

We were recently up in Durbs doing some work and visiting friends and our little gorgeous terrors were their usual gorgeous terror selves. One afternoon we went to see our friends’ beautiful new home and our eldest needed the bathroom. (Why is it, that they still need to tell us each time they go?) Anyways, so I pointed out the bathroom feeling quite chuffed he was old enough to go through the routine of ‘lift seat, pull down pants, aim well, flush toilet, wash hands… aaaaand you’re done’ all by himself. It’s the small things guys, the small things.

Next minute I hear some strange wailing from the bathroom. I pop my head in and my littlie is balancing his (fortunately dressed) bum on the basin edge, tears streaming down his cheeks and his facial expression matching that of a deer in the headlights. “Sohhh-ryyyy, sohhh- ryyy” coming from his mouth, I look to the floor and there lay a smashed ceramic liquid soap dispenser with liquid soap spilling all over the tiles. My poor child, so obedient on the post-pee hand washing, had struggled with the pump and it had caused the whole bottle to slide off the counter and smash on the floor. Oh man, it was a little heart-breaking. Shame, it turns out it was a tricky one to use and needed replacing – or so our wonderfully forgiving friends said.

I was quite proud though, that my almost-4-year-old had taken the hand-washing so seriously. Fighting what felt like a plague of bugs pre-Durbs, I was going overboard with juicing my fave health booster juice (orange, carrot and ginger) and dealing with snotty noses, coughs and general gross-ness, I had almost forgotten about the importance of hand washing

I stand with the whole ‘don’t over sanitise’ tribe, and love dirt and mud and getting messy. But I absolutely believe in washing ones hands as well. Kids need to be exposed to all sorts of things, and while I don’t believe in extreme hospital hygiene measures at home, I do recommend a healthy hand washing routine, especially after the toilet, and most certainly during winter.

Kids hygiene hand wash

And that’s why I love Pure Beginnings’ Hygiene Hand Wash. It:

  • is anti-bacterial*, and protects against the spread of germs (*laboratory tested to kill over 99.9% of bacteria in accordance with SABS standard SANS 5261),
  • is free of triclosan and other harmful chemical ingredients,
  • contains Organic Rooibos Leaf Extract – rich in anti-oxidants,
  • has powerful soothing and healing properties,
  • and then it’s just super cute and looks great in any bathroom (and with the EcoCert certified plastic packaging, it won’t smash).

All round this is a win win! My kids think it is adorable, it keeps them bug free, and it has no nonsense in it. No ‘nasties‘ as they like to call it – no parabens, phalates, sulfates, petrochemicals or formaldehyde, among others.

Next time you hit up your local grocery store for your new liquid soap, have a little rethink about what is in it, what it then on your hands, and what you do and touch every day. Ermmm… safe to say, I think you’ll want to wash hands the Pure Beginnings way.