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Tracking How Funding is Spent: The Broccoli Project

26 December 2011

Have you ever donated to an organisation, but never had any real idea of where your money went, or how you really contributed?

The Broccoli Project is an initiative that aims to solve this, by offering donors the ability to track their donations using cloud computing, which offers a transparent platform to see how their money is spent.

This in turn encourages best practice in beneficiaries, and offers them incentives to improve their situation by rewarding positive efforts, including environmental projects.

To find out more about how the Broccoli Project works visit their website.

The Broccoli Project

Image: The Broccoli Project

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Celebrating a “Green” Christmas with Recycled Plastic Bottles

25 December 2011

It’s Christmas today, so here’s wishing everyone a wonderful day of celebration, for all those who are celebrating.

And what better way to celebrate than showcase a “green” Christmas tree, which was put up in a town in Lithuania, and made from 40 000 plastic bottles.

Lithuania Green Xmas Tree

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The Thrill of Skydiving: Endless Summer Skies

24 December 2011

The weightlessness of skydiving is supposed to be an incredible feeling, and something that seems to be addictive- especially considering the unparalleled view of the world below from above.

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Festive Season Outdoor Etiquette: Dealing With Baboons

23 December 2011

In South Africa, we’re lucky enough to celebrate the festive season during the summer months, which means many people will be spending more time outdoors appreciating nature.

With this privilege however, does come a degree of responsibility, especially when it comes to animals like baboons in areas like the Western Cape.

The City of Cape Town in particular urges people not to feed baboons, and to take the necessary precautions when dealing with them, as they are wild animals and need to be respected.

For more information visit this post on The City of Cape Town website.

Baboons Cape Town

Image: Southern Crossroads

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The Road Uphill: The Schleck Brothers’ Story

22 December 2011

Taking time out to cycle outdoors is one thing, but dedicating your life to being an extreme long distance cyclist is a completely different way of life.

The trailer below shows the challenging journey that the two Schleck brothers went through while training for the Tour de France- no doubt an inspiration for avid or amateur cyclists alike.

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Latest Film: Isikhwama Reuseable Bags

21 December 2011

We’ve just released our latest film, about Magrieta Leeuwschut, the factory manager at Isikhwama, one of two reusable bag suppliers to Woolworths.

Located in Cape Town, Isikhwama is a BEE company which is 25% owned by two women and employs semi-skilled and unskilled people who were previously out of work.

The bags that they make aim not only to reduce the need for plastic, but the limited edition bags also raise funds for worthwhile causes, including the rhino bag which has raised over R700 000 for WWF rhino conservation.

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Mobile Technology and Dealing with Climate Change

20 December 2011

The fact that African farmers are going to be affected by climate change is something that was discussed repeatedly at COP17- a pressing challenge for agriculture on our continent.

Thankfully technology is able to assist to an extent, with projects like Sauti ya Wakulima (“The voice of the farmers”) in Tanzania.

Sauti ya Wakulima provides cellphones and internet access to farmers who can upload multimedia to a website, thereby creating a platform where they can share information on how best to deal with climate change and other challenges.

For more information visit the Sauti ya Wakulima website.

Bagamoyo farm

Image: Tripadvisor

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Living Himalayas Initiative: Cross-Border Conservation

20 December 2011

One of the disappointments at COP17 was that a global agreement to address climate change was not secured.

However, cross-border conservation agreements like the WWF Living Himalayas Initiative do give us hope that this kind of co-operation is possible.

This agreement will help conserve areas like the Annapurna Mountains in Nepal, a popular trekking destination.

For more information visit the WWF UK website.

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Birdwatching in Sierra Leone: Conservation and Emerging Ecotourism

19 December 2011

As conservation filmmakers, it’s always encouraging to read about other conservation initiatives on the continent.

In countries like Sierra Leone, the Gola Rainforest has been declared an important biodiversity hotspot by Conservation International, and the country is investing in ecotourism to protect endemic bird species like the rare White-necked Picathartes.

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Winter Holiday Fun: Pandas Play in the Snow

19 December 2011

It’s less than a week until Christmas, and in some parts of the world, it’s going to be a white one. Here in South Africa there won’t be much snow, but we can appreciate how fun it must be to able to play in it.

This video, although amusing, also draws attention to the still critically endangered status of the Giant Panda- the face of the WWF and symbol of continuing worldwide conservation efforts.

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Penguin Conservation: City of Cape Town Reopens Burgher’s Walk

18 December 2011

Last week, the City of Cape Town announced that Burgher’s Walk boardwalk in Simonstown will be re-opened to the public.

This section of the Simonstown coastline is one of only two land-based penguin colonies in South Africa, and provides nesting grounds for a significant number of these endangered birds. This area was previously closed for rehabilitation.

To see another example of penguin conservation in the Western Cape, watch our award-winning film, The Guardian, which was shot on Dyer Island.

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Global Wheeling: Cycling for Climate Change Awareness

18 December 2011

South African Solo adventurer Kayden Kleinhans is cycling around the world, raising awareness about low carbon transport and climate change through his NGO, the Global Wheeling initiative.

This trailer gives some idea of the epic scale of his African journey, one that is continuing to take place in other parts of the world.

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Some Perspective: A History of Fossil Fuels

17 December 2011

As we face the seemingly insurmountable challenges posed by climate change, it’s enlightening to look back, and see an illustrated interpretation of where our reliance on fossil fuels began.

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New Urban Thinking: Cities as Symbiotic

17 December 2011

According to Cormac Cullinan, climate change is a symptom of the dysfunctional relationship between humans and nature, and this is apparent in the way cities are built- designed to serve a model of industrial production.

However, if we look at our relationship with nature in a different way, cities can be built to serve a more organic model, one that sees humans as just a part of a greater organic and self-regulating system.

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Green Gift Idea: Plant a Tree this Festive Season

16 December 2011

It’s just over a week until Christmas, and many of us are probably thinking about what to put under the Christmas tree.

However, instead of all the waste that comes buying gifts, why not pay it forward by planting a tree?

Greenpop offers individuals and businesses the opportunity to “gift” trees, or you can get involved by volunteering for one of their upcoming planting days.

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Supermarket Consciousness: Shifting to Zero Waste

16 December 2011

In a wrap-up of their best stories of the year, GOOD featured an interesting concept- the idea of a zero-waste, package-free supermarket called in.gredients.

With local supermarket chains becoming more environmentally aware, we’re beginning to see a shift towards using re-useable bags for example, but could we take it a step further by implementing the same kind of store in South Africa?

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Finding Oregon: The Night Sky in Timelapse

15 December 2011

With only about 15 days a year to shoot a night sky timelapse, the Uncage the Soul production team had to work hard to capture this video of the stars in Oregon, USA.

This video was created as part of a travel campaign for the state, and aims to showcase the area’s natural beauty- something we hope you’ll enjoy wherever you are this long weekend.

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Animals and Humans: Interaction, Invasion and Accuracy

15 December 2011

Two amusing videos are doing the rounds this morning- one about a fur seal in New Zealand that invaded a home and snuggled up on the couch, and another about a bearded lizard showing surprising accuracy at an iPhone game.

Maybe these videos are a bit silly, but they bring up important questions about our interactions with wildlife, and it’s interesting to be reminded that in some ways we’re not that different after all.

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Upcoming Conservation Event: Help Catch Lizards

14 December 2011

It’s always great to read about conservation projects, and even better to actually get involved in them.

Helene Basson, a Masters student at Stellenbosch University, will be conducting field research at Landroskop in the Hottentot Holland Mountains from 12-15 January 2012, and needs volunteers to help catch 60 lizards.

If you’re interested in helping out, contact Helene by emailing her directly: heleneb@sun.ac.za

Image: Stellenbosch University

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Latest Film Release: Elgin Free Range Chickens

14 December 2011

Earlier in the year, we went to film Jeanne Groenewald’s independent free range chicken operation- Elgin Free Range Chickens.

Jeanne’s philosophy centres around providing the healthiest food for her family, and ensuring that the chickens from her farm are cared for in the best way possible, and given ample space to roam.

This philosophy is matched by her dedication to upholding strict quality standards, which is why she has also been included in Woolworth’s “Meet the Heroes” series, which forms part of their Good Business Journey.

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