Posted by admin on Mar 11, 2013 in Blog, Favourite Net Destinations | Comments Off
I love Johanneburg Water – the stuff, as well as the organisation. For your tap water, non-Jozi residents the length and breadth of the land are jealous of you who live there – did you know that? And when we see you order bottled water in restaurants, we roll our eyes.
But for now, I'm talking about the governing body, Johannesburg Water; and specifically, their website. They have a host of tips for reducing your water footprint; and they always announce when outages are scheduled. You'll also find the hotlines there to report leaks etc.
I was cruising through it looking for ideas (in the eternal search to reduce my water footprint) and found a pretty useful Q&A there. I've taken some of the best to save you having to look for it:
How safe is our drinking water?
Tap water supplied in Johannesburg is 100% safe to drink and has received blue drop accreditation from the Department of Water Affairs.
How is the residential bill calculated? Are water bills estimated or actually read?
Bills are based on actual readings and estimates only apply where readings information could not be obtained due to meter being obscured or covered by paving.
How often are the water meters read and billed?
Meter readings are obtained on monthly basis and readings dates differ from area to area.
What happens if I miss a water utility payment?
A reminder will be send out & interest will be levied after 30 days
Is there a senior citizen or low-income disability discount?
Yes. Qualifying customers can apply and register for social packages at the City of Joburg’s Social Department or their nearest Regional offices to receive monthly benefits.
Can I get an adjustment to my bill if I have a substantial leak?
Yes, only if the leak is on the outlet side and not if leak is internal
Who do I call about a burst pipe / water main leak?
Call Joburg Connect at 011 375 5555
Posted by admin on Mar 6, 2013 in Blog, Favourite Net Destinations | Comments Off
There are 7bn people to feed on the planet today and another 2bn are expected to join us by 2050.
The pressure on water (and I know I keep banging on about it) is intense. So it shouldn’t be negotiable to install a greywater system, and a have a JoJo for rainwater harvesting, and a low-flow shower-head and dual-flush systems and a bucket by the kitchen sink to catch for the garden all your vegetable-washing water….
Statistics say that of the 2 to 4 litres of water each of us “drinks” every day, most is embedded in the food we eat: producing 1kg of beef for example consumes 15 000 litres of water while 1kg of wheat ‘drinks up‘ 1 500 litres. So if we're serious about being careful about water resources, we need to think about what we eat.
What are the most water-friendly foods? Well, it turns out that tea is MUCH more water-friendly than coffee. Beer is more water-friendly than wine. Here’s a great video that shows up some startling statistics. It only takes a minute….
Thanks to Blue Living Ideas for the tip-off.
The annual Design Indaba is in full swing in Cape Town, and the city seems to be infected with creativity.
Inspired by a visit over the Christmas holidays (so long ago!) to the Eco Village at Sedgefield, I've been very awake to recycled art: making fabulous, fun and useful things out of throwaways. Recycling – if you're serious about it – becomes an obsession. What to do with the tabs off the bread packet? What do with bottle tops, plastic and metal? There are easy answers to those. But what do you do with, I don't know, your old piano?
So I'm delighted to share some ideas for what to do with those hard-to-dispose of items you might be faced with.
When you can't even GIVE your car away, turn it into a shelf unit.
When confronted with an old piano that isn't good enough to donate: turn it into a bookshelf. Obviously.
Or perhaps a water feature.
And if you find you're missing it – well get your paint out, and turn your bench into a piano.
When confronted with a dreary-looking wooden fence, turn it magical.
Wooden pallets are pretty, and they've had a good run as coffee tables. But why not go the whole way, and turn them into sofas as well?
And here's just the thing for extra guests… now you know what to do with your spare supersized concrete pipes.recycle
Have a great weekend.
With thanks to the Recycled Art Foundation.
We've been having a torrid time here in SA. The Oscar Pistorius / Reeva Steenkamp tragedy has rocked our world, ongoing labour disputes that turn ugly… I don't need to list them. We're all a bit fractured, and it's only February.
So thank God for nature for being so spectacularly, excitingly, calmingly beautiful.
This Friday, I'm sharing some love-to-see-that-myself images in the hope that this weekend will show us a kinder face.
Below: the Northern Lights, as seen from Alaska. I believe that this year is a very good year for them, and I don't care where I see them from – I just want to see them at least once before I die.
Below: A Japanese maple grove. This one is in Texas. I think going to the leafy parts of the US during what the Americans call "fall" must open your eyes to why seasons are such a good thing (we don't go in for seasons much, here in CT: there's just a bit more rain or a bit more wind or a bit more air pollution, but the temperature range is probably an average 10 deg C.)
Below: Krabi, Thailand. Love the food, love the fabrics, love the idea, I believe I'd love the price – never been. Yet.
On an ordinary day, for no particular reason, the Aegean has a timeless, almost spiritual quality. Or maybe that's just me. But this take on it – in the Melissani Cave, Kefalonia – feels like a cathedral.
Flathead Lake in Montana, USA. Apparently it is almost 100m deep; just looks like this because the water's so clear. This I have to see (and swim in) to believe. (But maybe if people were allowed to swim in in it wouldn't look like this.)
And finally, how silly is this? Park Keukenhof near Amsterdam.
Have an awesome weekend.
With thanks to Beautiful World.
I recently discovered the Facebook page for Growing Organic, Eating Organic – you can follow it here – and though it's packed with interesting ideas, what's blowing my hair back right now is how they play with thier food. For instance:
Why not make a sunflower out of your devilled eggs?
And if you're going to carve a watermelon, why not turn it into a picture? Mind you, I'd hesitate to take my teeth to something this gorgeous.
And for your next snack tray, how about a plate of ladybirds?
Although I'm not quite sure about this snoozy teddybear. Love the omelett blanket, not sure about the bear – what's he made of?
Anyway, you get the idea…
Have a creative weekend!
Posted by admin on Oct 1, 2012 in Blog, Favourite Net Destinations | Comments Off
Last night Carte Blanche showed me: they’re for saving the oceans, and reducing stress on landfill, and for cutting the pollution stress on our underground aquifers.
The charismatic people at AgriProtein say so, and I’ve been trawling around their website ever since.
Here’s the principle: we rely on soya and fishmeal for the feeding of industrially farmed chickens, pigs and fish. Both are inefficient: soya is water-hungry; and since pigs and chickens are not naturally fish eaters, not only is that a bit weird for them, but it’s part of the reason the oceans are being savaged by commercial fishing.
The AgriProtein lot have set up a facility near Stellenbosch where they generate tons of an alternative. Be warned, this is all a bit squeamish. Basically, it’s based on maggots.
AgriProtein have developed what – to spare our delicate sensibilities – they call a “bioconversion technology” using nutrient recycling. Really, what they’re doing is breeding maggots, those horrifying little squiggly creatures of a thousand nightmares. It takes the principle of composting or worm-farming to a whole new level.
AgriProtein's facility has created what is to flies the equivalent of the sexiest environment ever. In other words, it's smelly and full of opportunity. So the flies go at it like rabbits, and produce millions and millions of babies, a.k.a maggots. It’s those maggots that are the miracle when it comes to replacing fishmeal – cheaper to produce, dense in protein, all-round winners. They can, I have learned, increase their body weight by x10 in an hour.
Here’s the other win: flies like disgusting things, as we know. That’s what gets their little feedin’ and matin’ hormones going. So AgriProtein provides a useful home for a whole lot of rotting fruit and veg and, more importantly, buckets of abattoir waste that would otherwise have gone to landfills, and worked its way through the soil to the underground water table.
In other words, when flies are properly directed, they champions. Eco-warriors of note.
I’m so excited about this I was barely able to sleep last night.
(But I do feel for the people who work at the fly-mating facility. I’m sure you have to harden your sensibilities a lot to cope with all that).