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"Dad, I am so tired of the city, the polluted air and the lack of stars..." My son, Harald said, tilting his head back in exaggerated exasperation. "Wouldn't it be nice to just get away? Can we go hide in the mountains somewhere for a night?"

Personally, I thought it was a splendid idea, a good place to go would be Simonskloof. Have you heard about it?

"Well, SIMONSKLOOF..." I explained to my son, "… is a mountain farm tucked away under the north slopes of the high peaks of the Famous Langeberg  range, trenching all the way from Worcester to Plettenberg Bay on the Western Cape's east coast".

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So, it was we, together with the extra clothing and food we needed for our short stay, which we wished would have been longer, made our way to the farm. Out the door, setting off North on the N1, past De Door, its wine valley and bounded towards Montague.

Along came the beer too.

Upon our arrival, our host welcomed us and began an interesting conversation with Juergen, alternating between German and English.

We spent our night away in one of the four cottages. We enjoyed a welcoming drink while our host cooked our supper on the wood-fired stove, how exciting? There is also an outside braai/barbecue facility for those warm nights.

My son, Harald brought out a little sunshine... the latest version of his solar light jars to light up our cottage. It was delightful, there was no noise or smell, just a wonderful soft light for us to cook, chat and read by.

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The owner and host now has these little bursts of sunshine that gently glow all over the farm, and in the homey cottages too.

Set in its ancient landscape, Simonskloof is a tranquil, scenic and a great hide-away from the city.

Michael Ridsdale and Harald Schulz.

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Clearwater Mall has gone green with this year's Christmas décor. This comes after the mall's recent installation of Africa's largest, 1.5-Megawatt solar photovoltaic rooftop. The final system will generate, on average, 4 750 000kWh of electricity per annum. This equates to approximately 15% of the mall’s total consumption.

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Thanks to Consol Solar Jar, the mall was able to go even greener. This was achieved by constructing a 4x8 meter Christmas tree that is made out of bottled sunshine. The tree is completely off grid because the jars are charged with direct sunlight and automatically turn on when the sun goes down. This eliminates the use of electricity as the jars use a natural resource. The tree will also last throughout the festive season as the jars are wind and weather proof, and the stainless steel itself is rustproof.

The Clearwater Consol Solar Jar tree is made up of over 400 jars that have little Christmas trinkets inside for decoration, and are programmed to shine for up to 5 hours, depending on the amount of sunshine they get. A very big thank you to Clearwater mall marketing manager, Cecile Braun for making this initiative possible by collaborating with Consol Solar Jar, and CPS Promotions for securing and decorating our jars and erecting the merry and bright tree.

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What better way to celebrate a true South African Christmas than to be surrounded by sunshine? So, the next time you and your family go to Clearwater Mall, get festive, visit this sunny tree based at the mall's main entrance, and bask in sunshine a little longer after sunset. You can also take a piece of this majestic tree home by getting your own bottled sunshine online at www.consol-solar-jar.co.za.

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Porlwi by Nature: the festival unveils its program
Port Louis is metamorphosed. Artistic islets inspired by nature gradually arise at the heart of the city, enabling people of all generations to revel in all the festival has to offer. The annual festival of contemporary culture is back for a third edition with countless new creations. Porlwi by Nature, a part of the Celebrations of the 50 years of Independence, will be held from the 29th of November to the 3rd of December, across several emblematic and historical sites of our country.
The festival of contemporary culture differs from previous editions. “We wanted to invest in different locales this year, such as The Citadel, and challenge ourselves in new ways, namely by transforming Bourbon Street into a 100% pedestrian space, open 24 hours a day for five days, with activities scheduled during the day for people of all ages. The festival will occupy a smaller area, and be more organic and in phase with nature. It will be held over five days, from 7:00pm to midnight (on Thursday and Friday, the festival begins at 8:30pm.)

Solar Jar Project
Under the patronage of the Indian Ocean Commission, the European Union, Harel Mallac, PwC & ENL

In the darkness, hundreds of small suns appear to be flickering, casting a soft light against the old stone walls. Stepping closer, the viewer realizes the glimmer is contained in a small glass jar. The light emitted is sunlight captured. The five hundred lanterns–solar jars–were assembled by five hundred children from a variety of associations, who, in the creative process, assimilated the function of solar energy, a renewable energy of the future, of their future.

Download the full press release here.

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True to our commitment to spread our footprint as a company with a social conscience and our genuine concern for the disastrous effects of climate change on the planet, Suntoy hosted a fun event to celebrate ‘Earth hour’ at our ‘bottled sunshine’ pop up shop, 27 Boxes, in Melville, Johannesburg.

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This annual event is a World-wide initiative that seeks to unite all who have a deep concern for the future of the planet and we were happy to make our contribution using only candle light and the captured sunshine in our now already famous Consul solar jars, which we believe to be symbols of inspiration and motivation to the millions who share our hopes and dreams of a better, ‘greener’ environment.

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Gentle acoustic ambience was created by guitarist Pierre Coetzee and the highlight (excuse the pun) of the night was the ‘Earth hour 2017’ logo beautifully illuminated by using only Consul solar jars, reminding us that without electricity we still have light and a brighter future!

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So popular has Suntoy’s little jar of sunshine, the Consol Solar Jar™ become, that a pop up shop in Johannesburg’s trendy Melville area has been opened just to showcase and sell these incredibly versatile products. The shop called “Bottled Sunshine” is at the well known ’27 Boxes’ centre and is testament to the growing interest and enjoyment of these brilliant little jars that harness the sun’s rays to create a useful and attractive night light.

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When one visits the shop, one can see how amazing the jars can be made to look. It’s fun to personalise your own jar with whatever you choose, but here there are ideas of how to decorate your jar and some real ‘works of art’ to buy as they are. The shop also highlights jar accessories that work with the jar, like for example the practical hook stand to hang the jar for camping, braais and beach parties etc.

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Take a turn there if you’re in the area and see why this famous ‘jar of bottle sunshine’ is growing in stature every day!

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It was an evening of love, light and laughter at the KFC Valentine's Night Run on the 10 February. This year the usual 10 km Night Race was a “Love” themed, summer's evening running event, with a bagpipe player and candlelit mile en route.

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Over 5,000 runners left the starting line and each got to experience the effectiveness of our Consol Solar Jar™, as the jars lit the last mile with their beautiful earth friendly lighting. The effect was spectacular and when the racers returned to Randburg Harriers we received lots of smiles and positive feedback.

In keeping with the Valentine’s spirit we set up a Consol Solar Jar™ display tent, showcasing our jars and their unique versatility. Our customers will be pleased to know our Solar Jars are available online at http://solar-jar.co.za/order and more recently also at our new pop-up shop at 27 Boxes in Melville, Johannesburg.

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Thank you Randburg Harriers, we look forward to see you again next year!

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Australia, a popular destination of South Africans, both just visiting and emigrating, due to its parallel attributes of sunshine and vast expansive outdoor living, has welcomed a popular South African product to its shores, the Consol Solar Jar™. Suntoy have set up operations in the land down under and has introduced its Consol Solar Jar™ for the first time as a lifestyle product due to the nature of the great outdoor lifestyle of Australians. Beach parties, surfing, camping, cycling, ‘barbies’, boating, fishing and long ‘walk-abouts’ are all pastimes of Aussie sun-lovers who will welcome the little jar that draws its energy in the day and will powerlessly light their way at night.

For our friends down under this is why the Consol Solar Jar™ is a winner:

  • The Consol Solar Jar™, a 100% recyclable preserve jar, is a multiple design award winning product originating from South Africa. It is handmade and therefore has created jobs for many local town ship dwellers.
  • It is a green product and with its uniquely designed lid it harnesses its energy entirely from the sun.
  • Due to its complete portability, it is multi functional and provides night light in the garden, at the table and at all the aforementioned outdoor activity areas for reading cooking and just creating a beautiful ambiance.
  • It is pretty and fun, as it can be filled with decor of your choice. Anything from sea shells, to fruit, plants or any kind of bric-a-brac. It becomes your own creation!


Our man in Australia

The Consol Solar Jar™ will for the first time be available direct to the public through select retailers and the online store at https://suntoy.mybigcommerce.com, but if you prefer the personal touch and great service, our man down under is Theo van Wyk who can be contacted on 0450 123 606 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. It’s time South Africans returned some of that great Aussie hospitality and there is no better way to do it than with our little jar of sunshine!

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Posted by on in Consol Solar Jar

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Resolution Circle, UJ’s Business Incubator and Research and Development company held a Mad Hatter’s Party on Friday 13th  to kick of the year 2017 with a “hat”, who would have thought of that!

The various teams were encouraged to compete for the most original hat, which were all splendid I thought, but also compete for the best decorated Consol Solar Jar™ in a theme to represent their department.

During a heated judging session, I had the difficult task to find the best of the best. Almost impossible with so much creativity going around, from kitchen to catering, marketing to accounts and admin to engineering, they all put in a special effort with every jar being beautiful, unique and original!

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At the end however there can only be one winner and out of 19 entries it was RC’s accounts department who took the price with their “Treachery Chest” Jar (decorated by Stephanie Joubert) for the originality and effort that went into the design. The jar almost made me want to climb inside and start digging.

A close second was the mechanical engineering department “Small Scale Manufacturing” Jar done by Johnny Pretorius and Bianca Boshoff.

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The CEO Professor Willem Clarke with his daughter Tabitha had a beautiful quirky entry with their yellow Minion Jar, and the two of them even had matching hats to boot!

There is not enough space to mention all the participants individually but I take my “hat” of and salute you all!

What a rather marvellous event! 

If your company wants to host a Consol Solar Jar™ teambuilding, contact us today for more detail.

Harald

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It goes without saying that our many Consol Solar Jar™ fans out there who love the versatility of their jars are looking forward to the many opportunities their jars bring, especially the creative fun to be had over the festive season.

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The Consol Solar Jar™ can be dressed up for almost any occasion from holding special gifts, decorative Christmas to containing sweets and other treats all while simultaneously adding light and colour to a space within the jar.  We have put a festive season idea gallery together for fans to get started. See here.

If you would like to share pictures with us of what you did to decorate your Solar Jar over the festive season, you can email your snaps (5 max.) and we will consider including them in our gallery. Email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Suntoy Team wish to thank all our fans, customers and suppliers around the globe for their support and wish you and yours a very safe and relaxing fun-filled festive season.

The Suntoy Team

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Posted by on in Consol Solar Jar

The Consol Solar Jar™ showcased its international appeal when it took part in the event commemorating the 300th anniversary of renowned British Landscape Architect; Lancelot “Capability” Brown at the Compton Verney Art Gallery in the UK recently. 1000 Consol Solar Jars™ were used as one of the set pieces to showcase the process of photosynthesis using light.

Visual artist Laurent from Creatmosphere, was commissioned to create the instillation using our Consol Solar Jars™ as he was looking for a product that would be environmentally friendly as well as appeal to the aesthetic of life as light.

The “Dress Rehearsal” was held at the University of Johannesburg with close family and friends attending the show. The team from Resolution Circle were great, the Microchip wireless MiWi technology behaved as it should and the Splitbeam DMX crew had patience beyond the call of duty. Without a doubt though the stars of the show, the wireless MiWi/DMX Jars, highlighted what can be done with a humble Consol Solar Jar™. MiWi™ is a registered trade mark of Microchip Technology Incorporated.

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Harald Schulz; Managing Director at Suntoy, commented on the ingenuity and skill of our local engineers by saying; “I believe strongly that we need to give them the ability to do a project of this sort and I think that they just about proved that it can be done locally and it doesn’t have to go overseas to be designed elsewhere.”

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The event itself titled; IN-LIGHT: Illuminating Compton Verney, was well received and the Consol Solar Jar™ enchanted visitors especially the interactive element that gave them the opportunity to take over the light controls and light up various parts of the house and trees. Julie Carpenter certainly enjoyed herself and commented via the Compton Verney Facebook page; “Loved it - a photographers dream!”

This fantastic experience has been invaluable with Suntoy and the Consol Solar Jar™ receiving coverage in our local press namely Simply Green, City News, SA The Good News and internationally with the UK publication ISI Online and various others. With the technology learnt from the project, university boffins are working on other professional applications and here at Suntoy we are so proud of our Consol Solar Jar™ having showcased its quality and its proudly South African heritage on an international stage at in Warwickshire, UK.

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