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Bicycle Portraits: South Africa and Sustainability

14 January 2012

We all know that bicycles are a sustainable transport option, but how many people around South Africa use bikes as their main form of transport?

Bicycle entrepreneurs and enthusiasts Stan Engelbrecht and Nic Grobler took a journey to find out, and took some beautiful portraits of the people they met along the way.

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Something for the Weekend: First Day of 2012

13 January 2012

We’re already almost two weeks into 2012, but since we’re still getting into it, here’s a video in celebration of the weekend, and outdoor adventures to come.

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Thinking Differently: The Story of Bottled Water

13 January 2012

In South Africa, we’re fortunate enough to have potable tap water, in our cities at least.

However, in the US, people mainly drink bottled water, which has negative environmental and financial implications.

This video, narrated by Annie Leonard, is an interesting account of the bottled water industry, and one that will make you think differently about spending money on bottled water again.

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How Beehive Fences Contribute to Solving Human-Animal Conflict

12 January 2012

We all know how important bees are to pollination, and that they are an integral element of the success of many types of agriculture.

But could bees be nature’s unintentional mediators too? According to Dr. Lucy King, bees are now being used to create “beehive-fences” that contribute to alleviating conflict between elephants and humans in countries like Kenya, where the fear of being stung keeps ellies away from crops.

To read more about this interesting research visit this link.

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Fishing Under Ice: A Bizarre Underwater Experience

12 January 2012

Scuba diving allows you to see places that most people will never get to experience, but diving under a thick layer of ice seems to be an even more unusual experience.

The effects in the video make watching it almost confusing, but either way, this video gives a rare and beautiful glimpse into the underwater world below Lake Saarijärvi in Vaala, Finland.

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Documentary Preview: A Fierce Green Fire

11 January 2012

As the environmental movement continues to grow, it’s interesting to look back, and see how the movement has developed worldwide.

Directed by Mark Kitchell, A Fierce Green Fire is still in the rough cut stage, but promises to be a thorough account of the last 50 years of environmentalism- something that will no doubt inspire all environmental enthusiasts.

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Love Not Loss: Environmentalism From a Different Angle

11 January 2012

It’s tough to stay positive about the future of the environment when so much sad news is distributed daily- news about things like industrial pollution, climate change and the decline in biodiversity, to name a few.

For some though, staying positive just means looking at environmentalism a different way, choosing to focus on celebrating what we do have, instead of what we are losing, something explored in the video by Futerra for IUCN below.

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The Green Marine: Environmental Awareness in Animation

10 January 2012

As environmental filmmakers, we’re concerned with preserving nature, and helping to create a shift in consciousness that prioritizes the natural environment.

When it comes to children especially, growing up with this kind of awareness could have a truly positive effect in the future, a concern evident in animation shows like The Green Marine, a series with a pro-environmental stance.

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Rare Russian Snow Leopards Caught On Camera

10 January 2012

According to a recent announcement on the WWF website, snow lepoards have been caught on camera for the first time in the Russian Altai Mountains.

This marks a significant step in the conservation of these animals, as these animals are so rarely seen their existence could previously only be tracked by clues such as paw prints and scratch marks.

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Dencity: What 7 Billion People Looks Like

9 January 2012

We’re no doubt all aware of the fact that according to estimates, the world population has reached over 7 billion people.

That’s a lot, but it’s difficult to put such a huge number into perspective, which is why Fathom created this map, to give a better idea of where we all fit in.

Dencity

Image: Fathom

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Reality Check: 10 Places to Visit Before They Vanish

9 January 2012

It’s a sobering thought, but many places that we know to exist now but not be there in the near future, as described in an article on the Mother Nature Network.

Due to various implications of climate change, many places, like the Maldives, will be irrevocably changed in the future unless we take drastic action to prevent catastrophe.

Maldives

Image: Mother Nature Network

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Changes in Light: A History of the Sky

8 January 2012

We look at the sky every day, but how many people can say they’ve watched the sky the entire day, and seen all the changes in light and weather?

Well after watching the movie below, you can technically say you have, from the perspective of the Exploratorium in San Francisco at least.

A camera on the roof of the museum took a photo of the sky every ten seconds for a year, and these images were then composed into a mosaic- a truly fascinating summary of the sky.

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My Home, Our Home: Conserving Mexico’s Coastline

7 January 2012

What started out as a short film made on a surf trip to Barra de la Cruz in southern Mexico became the start of something greater.

The Water’s Edge Project aims to conserve coastlines by educating youth and offering surf classes that not only teach a recreational sport, but also contribute to an understanding of the importance of a healthy coastal ecology.

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WWF Interactive Website: Explore Our World

6 January 2012

The world is an incredible place, even though we often get caught up in our own lives, and forget what an amazing planet we live on.

If you’re in need of a reminder though, WWF has curated an online platform that has links to galleries, videos and information about everything from conservation projects to statistics, as well as the very thing that keeps us together- life.

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Sustainability and Apiaries: Urban Beekeeping

5 January 2012

The plight of the world’s bees has become a great concern, as bees are essential for pollination, a critical element in the cultivation of certain crops for human food supply.

An interview with urban beekeeper Meg Paska in GOOD emphasizes the ability to live a sustainable lifestyle in a big city with the assistance of bees and honey- something that could become even more common in South Africa.

For more information on South African beekeeping, visit the Southerns Beekeeping Association website.

Southerns Beekeeping Association

Image: Southerns Beekeeping Association

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Do The Green Thing: Plug Out

4 January 2012

Do The Green Thing is public service based in the UK, that aims to raise awareness about environmental issues and encourage people to live a greener life.

This video in particular emphasizes the importance of “plugging out” and not wasting electricity, for both a greener world and a more sane mind.

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A Life Underwater: Memories of a Diver

3 January 2012

Ray Ives is a diver, and an avid collector of marine artifacts which tell the story of his extensive career.

With an appreciation for the underwater world, Ray’s story also highlights our sometimes destructive relationship with the oceans- one of our most precious resources but one we often treat as a rubbish dump.

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Post-COP Durban: Art on the Streets

2 January 2012

It’s been almost a month since COP17 ended in Durban, but the buzz around the conference is no doubt still being felt within the city.

This artwork was done during COP, but is still a reminder of the sentiment of many of the people who protested outside the venue, and is representative of the kind of engagement with environmental issues that perhaps we should carry with us into 2012.

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Upcoming Cross-Country Initiative: The Expedition Project

1 January 2012

It’s no secret that South Africa is a diverse nation, with over ten official languages and a population that lives in varying degrees of wealth and poverty.

This diversity may be a positive aspect in many ways, but when it comes to addressing issues of sustainability, it’s important to know how we are dealing with various challenges.

This is why today, at the start of 2012, The Expedition Project begins, a year-long trip around the country that will uncover the environmental and social challenges that need to be addressed.

For more information, and to keep track of the journey, visit The Expedition Project website.

Road to Pofadder

Image: Cars

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A New Year’s Message: Say Something Nice

31 December 2011

It’s the last day of 2011 today, and we can all look back on an interesting year, to say the least.

To inspire some positivity for the year ahead, here’s a video that show’s a simple concept, but a philosophy that could have an exponentially positive effect in 2012.

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