Thursday, December 1, 2011


Another of the Cob houses at KD

Green is very often grey; by that I mean that you might assume that something is green or eco friendly, but is it really?

I will take our toothpaste as an example. We use Miswak, love the taste and no fluoride, much better than the Colgates etc. but that does not necessary make it green. The fact of the matter is that this toothpaste is manufactured in India and flown to South Africa, a big footprint, not green at all. Here is another example - you buy Organic Veggies from Woollies because it is better for you, but again how green is it? Look at all the packaging! Plastic pollution at its best and very often their products are also imported, not green at all.

I now make my own toothpaste, actually I am still experimenting. At this point I am trying Bicarbonate of soda with salt (equal parts) with a few drops of tee tree and a few drops mint essence. Miswak has a liquorices taste, I like that, so maybe next time I should put in liquorices essence, do you get such a thing? Better yet, Miswak is the root of a plant, plant the plants. Next problem here, now we are “importing” potential future invasive species, not well at all. Not so easy to be green and you might not always be as green as you think you are.

Then there is Tea Tree, I am in love with the stuff, but again the Tea Tree plant is an Australian plant and all the oil is imported from Australia. Local is better, imported stuff just does not make any green sense.  Tea Tree is a better mouthwash than any of the commercial stuff and it does not burn your mouth to pieces. There are a lot of uses for Tea Tree, I am going to miss it, but I will have to find something local that is similar, but if you would like to know more about Tea Tree, go to .

Solar power and even Wind power both gets stored in truck (like) batteries full of lead, (if you do not know what the problem with lead is, go to ), how green is that?  They are called deep cell batteries and the plastic itself is very thick and will be around for the next trillion years. So you might not get an electricity bill every month, but it is not that green. I am by no means knocking solar and wind technology, I am just hoping they will come up with some other more friendly “storage system” very soon. The batteries also only last about five years and they are very expensive.You also need at least 4 batteries to store at least a decent amount of energy, at about Zar 2 000.00 per battery. 

Solar and wind, all good accept for the big plastic batteries, also do not be fooled into thinking these system are cheap, they are not!

I am going to say this again, I am not knocking the solar and wind business, we have to use and support these technologies, I am just saying that they are not flawless, there is still a lot that can improve, but I love the solar cooker, that obviously also has limitations in the sense that it only works when there is son. Want to see the solar cooker?

Well, just keep on trying and thinking and you will get better and better at really living green and in harmony with earth and it takes a bit of getting use to, but it is all one big adventure.

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