Sustainable Living

If you are thinking about adding a bit more sustainability to your home and lifestyle and not sure who to call, here are five options to start with, from supporting more sustainable farming practices, installing water reservoirs, or even converting to prepaid electricity or solar.


Sustainable living does not only happen within the infrastructure of your home but truly starts in your kitchen. Supporting local, sustainable farmers and their produce is an investment in your health and well-being. 


Bramleigh Farm is run by Andre and Kaitlynn Kauerauf and is a small-scale regenerative farm that aspires to raise all their animals as ethically as possible and produce nutrient-dense food while regenerating and building topsoil, mimicking natural processes. The couple took over management of the farm in 2015 and have been developing it with healthy nourishment at the heart of their mission, not only for their family but the community too. 

The couple shared a few facts and tips about their farming methods that make their products the sustainable options. “Our farm is alive with the sounds of hens clucking as they lay eggs, grunting pigs weeding through the bramble, gently bellowing cattle grazing along the mountainside, and a chorus of bleating goats looking for their kids”. Bramleigh raises its animals in a way that honours the animal’s innate instincts. Their chickens are raised outdoors on the grass and with mobile shelters, which are moved on a daily basis to ensure fresh forage and healthy living conditions. This gives them exposure to the natural and necessary elements like sunshine, fresh air, bugs, and spring water. Their eggs are non-GMO and soya free. 

Their pigs are in mobile paddocks with access to roots, shoots and fruits, and they are supplemented by excess milk from the neighbour’s dairy. Furthermore, the natural rooting action of the pigs digs up the bramble plants from the root, reclaiming grassland and grazing for the cattle. The cattle leave behind piles of fertility that the chickens spread while hunting for bugs, further fertilising the grass. 

“The life within the soil should reflect the bustle of the animals above through careful management and rotation. This activity builds organic matter in the soil, increases water holding capacity, and improves biodiversity above and below ground,” Andre explained. These careful practices all come together to create produce that will contribute to your sustainable lifestyle.

For the farming couple, finding relevant markets can be challenging, so they started the REKO market in Nottingham Road, which spread to Howick and Hilton. This created selling opportunities for the more ethically-minded, small-scale farmers. They have drop-off points for their eggs, pork, beef and chicken in Nottingham Road, Howick, Hilton, Hillcrest, Durban North and Ballito.


We take a leap from sustainable food practices to water harvesting, which in the Midlands offers significant potential. RainQueen is a small business in Howick that manufactures a range of hand-crafted, corrugated steel products. Ruth Berning and her team produce anything from water tanks and reservoirs to raised garden beds and pools. All of their products embody that old-school, farm-style dream that we all seem to be longing for at some level. 

Ruth shared that it can be a daunting task to create a more self-sufficient future, and her advice is to just take that first step. “Start small, and the rest will follow.” One of the first, and fairly easy, steps you can take is to ensure your gutters are all working and connected so that when the next rainfall comes, you can start harvesting all that rainwater. Ruth described, “There is nothing quite like hearing the rumble of thunder and knowing that not one drop will be wasted now that you have a tank at every downpipe.”

One of the most frequently asked questions with first-time rainwater harvesters is: “What is the correct sized tank for my house?” and the answer is easy: NEVER big enough! “When embarking on this rainwater harvesting adventure, you quickly realise just how much water you use but also how much water can be harvested from a fairly small roof space.” At RainQueen, they pride themselves on the fact that they can make anything from a small water tank that can store a couple of hundred litres of water to a massive reservoir with a capacity of 245 000 litres!


We move from water to another essential: electricity. With increased load shedding, many are deciding to get their power from more sustainable sources. M&N Electrical is owned by Wesley Nel and was established in 2019. He has completed a solar course and is green-card certified to install solar, whether you need it as a backup or are looking to go off-grid. 

They also offer change-over switches for generators and other alternative power suppliers. Other services include geyser thermostat replacement, general household electrical problems, the repair or replacement of old wiring, prepaid metre installations, and single-phase and three-phase power certificates of compliance. So if you are looking to get started with more sustainable and reliable power for your home, look no further than M&N Electrical. They guarantee that their installations will last.


We know that living a more sustainable life is more beneficial to everyone’s health, including the planet’s. You can start your sustainable journey in your own back garden! Christoph Erasmus from TWK Agri in Howick shared with us his “co-op” tips that can get you started, namely growing your own food. This is cost-effective and will give you peace of mind knowing what products will be on your plants and in your soil. 

Make sure you use 100% organic fertilisers, which are slow-releasing and include the full range of plant food elements which will stimulate your soil’s microbial life. There are liquid and pellet forms that are made of a variety of chicken litter, guano or seagull litter, kelp and more. Furthermore, when it comes to weeding your garden, utilise multipurpose organic landscape fabric that can be placed over your vegetable garden’s soil with holes in it for the vegetables to grow through. This also stabilises the soil and retains moisture. 

Another tip is using food waste to your advantage. Bokashi Bran, infused with effective microorganisms, can treat your food waste. Combine it all in one bucket to minimise the time it will take to decompose compared to conventional composting methods. It is also odour-free! The juices can be used as “concentrated fertilisers”, which can be tapped off from the bucket. Christoph explains, “It’s a win-win! It’s sustainable, hygienic and rids your garbage bags of food waste that attract flies and vermin.”

Lastly, if you don’t know where to start, TWK can help you with their eco-friendly products. They stock chemical-free, biodegradable products with botanical actives that are also water course and septic tank friendly, from toilet cleaners and dishwashing liquids to laundry gels, grout cleaners, shampoos and more!


You can take your at-home farming to the next level. Ben Scotcher from Tanglewood Nursery offered us more tips for sustainable gardening. You already know where to find your composting bin and its benefits, but for the less squeamish folks out there, you can also opt for worm farming. “Worms are the backbone of good soil. They are responsible for the rich humic material in soil and are amazing decomposers,” says Ben. 

You can set up a worm farm outside in a shaded area, adding raw food waste and around two litres of water every month. “The liquid produced makes great fertiliser and the worms will produce a rich soil that can be added to your potting mix,” advised Ben. Lastly, shower water does not have to go to waste! Add a 20-litre bucket in the shower to fill while you wait for the water to warm. As the bucket fills, you can use the water for other things like watering your plants or filling the toilet tank.



We will leave you with a Native American quote that truly says it all about why we should take better responsibility for how we choose to live and what we choose to leave behind:  “We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children”.  


Words: Alicia du Plessis