Author Archives: Richard Cumming

Why Bother with Energy Efficiency ?

Energy efficiency means to do more with less energy.
Why is it important to use less energy? The answer is simple; it’s not good for the environment. Many sources of energy are not renewable; once it is used it’s gone forever. Many forms of energy we use can also cause pollution, which is again not good for the environment.
The above does explain in short why we need to be more energy efficient, but below you can find a few more reasons why it is so important.
Energy Efficiency can save you money
Buying energy efficient appliances and having your home properly insulated will lead to using less electricity and water and therefore cut monthly costs. Cape Town has it’s cold winters now so investing in a pool heating Cape Town is a good place to start your energy saving efforts.  Using energy saving lighting and installing items like heat pumps or solar panels can reduce the amount of electricity you use each month and your monthly costs.
Simply by washing your clothes in cold water can save you a hefty amount each year. There are plenty of ideas that you can implement to save energy and all these energy efficient ideas will save you money.
•    Using solar or heat pumps for your home and if you have a pool.
•    Installing energy efficient LED lighting or other energy saving bulbs.
•    Making sure you have a pool cover to help prevent evaporation, to save water and to keep the water warmer.
Being energy efficient can help the economy
Everybody can benefit from reduced costs and being energy efficient, but for business it can have a huge impact on their overall budget. When a business or homeowner can lower their monthly costs the money that is saved can then be used elsewhere in the economy. This can then result in the formation of additional jobs. Increasing energy efficiency can also create local jobs by offering related services and thereby improving local economic development. A country being more self and energy efficient also relies less on foreign nations to supply the need.

A better way of life
Insulating your home for the colder months and reducing costs by implementing energy saving ideas all have benefits and contribute to a better quality of life. Installing solar panels or heating pumps can provide hot water every day at a much less cost than using an electrical geyser heating system. Saving money you can use on other important things.

Energy efficiency is good for the environment
By using less energy you can help fight global climate change. By using less power in your home, you are actually helping to reduce the amount of toxic fumes released by power plants and this helps to conserve the earth’s natural resources. Some power plants burn coal or other fossil fuels, but release toxic substances like carbon dioxide. Too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere can have a detrimental effect on the environment. The ‘greenhouse effect’ is the natural result of these gases, causing things like a rise in temperatures, abnormal weather patterns, heatwaves and droughts.
Saving energy also saves our natural resources; because fossil fuels are becoming scarcer this makes it more expensive. Everybody doing their part will help to save the environment and conserve our natural resources. We will be able to continue to breathe healthy, fresh and clean air.

LED Lights

Increase your building resale value
Energy efficient homes or businesses usually have a longer lifespan; they will have lower maintenance issues and will cost less to manage. Pool covers Cape Town are another means of saving energy and water consumption. A more energy efficient home will have the benefit of lower energy bills and therefore be more attractive to buyers. The increased energy efficiency in commercial buildings can also add to increased productivity.
Helps keep you Healthy
The pollution that comes from energy sources can cause major health issues. Severe illnesses like lung cancer and asthma. Conserving energy makes it possible for a lower carbon footprint and in the long run will help to reduce cases of respiratory disease and other health issues.
Maintaining stable energy prices
Implementing energy efficient methods will help to conserve energy thereby lowering or eliminating possible energy shortages. A good energy supply will mean steady prices throughout the year or even lower the costs.
Having a positive impact
As an individual you can be energy efficient, but extend that to your family. Then get your neighbours and the rest of the community involved in energy conservation and the future of your community can be saved and improved.

Well done to these Cape Town Volunteers that are making a difference !

At Bamboo-Online we like to mention people, organizations and companies that are proactive in giving back to our local South African communities in need. It seems wherever you go these days the topic of conversation is generally negative about the future of this glorious country with live in. Corruption, crime, politics and the economy are the favorites of the day and nobody seems to have anything good to say. It’s hard sometimes not to buy into it either because it is a reality and it affects all of us. I think for those of us with children, the uncertainty of our country’s future is even more worrying. But the truth of it, worrying never really helped anybody. Worrying causes stress and anxiety and serves no constructive purpose in the larger scheme of things. Sure, our country is faced with several dilemmas, including corruption at the highest levels, crime and unemployment levels that are very concerning as well as a recession that his affecting the entire country. How does a person steer clear of all the negativity that pervades our daily newspapers and conversation ?

Like most things in life, it boils down to choice. You either choose to buy in to the doom and gloom or you choose to look for the more positive optimistic stories in life. I’m not saying you have to stick your head in the sand like an ostrich and ignore certain realities, but just to keep an open mind and look out for the more positive things that do occur on a daily basis. Our minds are like magnets and once they start to focus on negative things they just attract more and more of it to support these beliefs. I recently read a very interesting article about a Cape Town based agency that assists foreign students to become a volunteer in South Africa. The concept of “volunteering” is not that popular or familiar with our local youth and is far more popular in established first world countries in Europe and America. I suppose this is not entirely correct. There are plenty of warm hearted, charitable folks in our country that do volunteer locally. Offering to work in soup feeding kitchens, animal shelters and so forth. I was referring more to the international system of volunteering, where you leave you home country and travel to a foreign country, giving  up your own time and effort to make a real difference in the lives of those less fortunate than yourself. Most likely the reason so many international and European students are able to do this, is because of the relatively low financial costs to them due to their stronger currency than ours. Regardless, it still costs money to become a volunteer in Africa or India or any country other than your own.

African Sunrise Volunteers in Cape Town is a local volunteer placement agency that is actively involved in a number of schemes and initiatives that are committed to helping the less fortunate. The company has been in existence for several years, founded by a South African, Carina Roper with the help of her Swedish friend. Over the past few years, African Sunrise has helped hundreds of students from all over the world come to South Africa and participate in rebuilding communities, feeding the homeless and providing counseling and support for victims of abuse. African Sunrise offers volunteers as well as students wanting to complete an internship in South Africa with everything they need to have the most rewarding experience they could imagine. Their website and blog is filled with testimonials from past volunteers that have nothing but praise for their experiences in Cape Town and the immense gratification they have reaped from participating in the projects that they were placed in.

I say, “Hat’s off” to Carina and her partner for being so committed to making positive changes in our country instead of joining in the conversation about how bad things are, or have become. Well done guys !!

Relationship Problems ?

Interpersonal relationships between human beings are extremely complex because there is a meeting of different personalities with different value systems, and at some point there is bound to be disagreement or conflict. When we think of the word “relationship” most of us think of our love relationships, with our spouse or partner. But  there are also many other kinds of relationships, your relationship with your employer or coworkers even your relationship with the local storekeeper. No matter what kind of relationship we are talking about, they are always far more complex and subtle than what they appear to be on the surface. At Bamboo online, we deal with clients and customers on a daily basis, all of whom we have relationships with. Likewise, there are relationships between the various staff members that work here at Bamboo. Like most things in life, relationships are subject to ups and downs and the interpersonal skills of the people involved in the relationship will often determine the ability of the relationship to survive.

Relationship difficulties can wreak havoc in ones life if not processed and worked through adequately. Couple seeking relationship therapy can approach marriage counsellors, couples counsellors or a psychologist. One of my Bamboo colleagues who lives in the Cape Town recently approached psychologist Anita Prag based in the southern suburbs of Bergvliet with her concerns about her marital relationship.

Hayley, my colleague and her husband Dieter have been married for over seven years and are blessed with two young children aged three and four years old. Hayley has become increasingly concerned about the lack of communication between her and her husband over the past year. It seems as if their lives are just too full to have any quality to time to share doing the things that they used to love doing together. This is a common problem that married couples face after the initial bliss is over and the responsibilities of parenting take up much of the previous free time. Anita is a skilled Clinical Psychologist in the southern suburbs with a degree in clinical psychology from the University of Stellenbosch. Anita deals with many couples, married and unmarried as well as same sex couples. Relationship difficulties are normal, in fact healthy, it’s they way in which we deal with them that counts. Often couples are just too tired at the end of a working day to engage in the most important thing which is maintaining the quality of their relationship. It is essential that couples make the effort to spend quality time alone with each other regularly. If they don’t, what happens is, small unresolved gripes grow into smouldering unspoken resentments which can be toxic to any relationship. Hayley managed to convince her husband to meet together with her and Dr Prag at her psychologist practice in Bergvliet. It’s not uncommon for men to be reluctant to go for any kind of counselling or therapy, but nonetheless, Dieter agreed to give it a try after reading up Anita’s credentials on her website

According to Hayley the session with Anita was extremely valuable and she was actually quite surprised at how Anita was able to engage her husband into the discussion and how he opened up, speaking about his feelings which is something she says he rarely ever does. “Although there are many southern suburbs psychologists listed, I’m really glad we went with her. Anita’s ability to connect with myself and Dieter was astounding and she developed a great rapport with both of is in the first few minutes of our consultation”

Hearing of Hayley’s success with the psychologist she met with really gives me hope. There are so many failed marriages and couples out there that just give up too quickly. I hope our readers are inspired to take a look at their own relationships and consider therapy before letting the relationship fail because of neglect.

Get more customers via your website

Building a website for your business or brand is only the first step in developing an online presence and getting exposure for your products or services on the world wide web. While essential in this digital age that we live in, it’s not enough to just do that and sit back, expecting customers to suddenly find you. Reliable marketing agencies like Seorank, specialize in helping small businesses grow their online presence and increase their customer base. Let’s face it, these days if people want to find a product or service, most likely, they will turn to the internet and search for it, probably using their mobile phone.

seorank cape town

Search Engine Optimization is an essential part of growing your brand’s online presence so that potential customers can easily find you when searching for products or services that you offer. There are millions and millions of websites on the internet now that without putting in some effort to make sure that yours is optimized to achieve the best results, there is a strong chance that it may go unnoticed in the crowd. This is where Seorank provide really great service in helping the small business owner come to grip with the basics of optimization and understanding exactly what SEO is. The agency is small, skilled and dedicated to their clients. The business of optimizing websites for the best possible results in the search engine’s results pages is complicated and uses a lot of technical jargon that can be very confusing and difficult to understand at first. I mean, do you really want to know the difference between onpage and off page optimization if you’re an electrician in Cape Town and all you really want is to get more exposure for your business ? I think not. Seorank are incredibly skilled at explaining things in an easy to follow manner. They will analyze your particular business niche and research the market to uncover which particular keywords or terms your customers are using to search for your products or services. After completing the initial research, Seorank will present you with a proposal and comprehensive plan for how to achieve your goals going forward. Based in Cape Town, South Africa, this boutique online marketing agency packs a hefty punch.