October 2013


Appliances21 Oct 2013 12:11 pm

Russell Hobbs Kettle

Just one cup for me, thanks

As I have proven in a previous post,  the key to saving time and electricity at teatime is to heat only enough water in the kettle to fill the mug. But this is easier said than done. I’ve tried cajoling my family. I would occasionally remember to put a full jug of water near the kettle to make it easy to measure out a mugful. Still, I would regularly find half-full kettles of hot water, gradually cooling down for no purpose whatsoever. I never felt like we were making progress.

Then my wife unintentionally solved the problem by insisting that I buy the beautiful, speedy kettle that she had used at work. I was initially resistant but came to realise that an all-glass kettle  makes the water level instantly visible to anyone filling it. I have polled the family, and they all agree that it has virtually eliminated overfilling. Our kettle is a Russell Hobbs Illuminating Glass Kettle (model no. 15082), and it is incredible speedy and has dazzling,  blue LED lights, which serve no functional purpose but use a miniscule amount of electricity. We like this model, but the key conclusion is that any glass kettle makes it a lot easier to heat only the quantity of water you need. Clearly.

Uncategorized09 Oct 2013 03:10 pm

I have just learned that Greener House has been invited to the gala awards evening of the Eskom eta Energy Efficiency Awards. Well, the house won’t be going, but my wife and I will stand in for it. This means that our home will be announced as either the winner or runner-up in the category of Energy Savings in Households on 4 December. A photographer is coming to the house to document what we have accomplished for a video presentation at the black-tie event. Other categories include Industrial, Commercial, Innovation and Young Designers.

I had my doubts whether the judges would think Greener House had enough “wow” factor. Last year’s winner was a new construction in the bush, entirely off the grid. But I consider this home’s ordinariness to be its strength. It would be nice to have a straw-bale house with a roof made out of solar photovoltaic panels and a windmill turbine in the garden, but most of us don’t have that luxury. We have to make do with with we have, which in our case meant less glamorous changes that nonetheless reduced our electricity consumption by 75 percent.

Hold thumbs for us on December 4!