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The Joy of Collaboration: R&D-I-Y Window Farming

30 November 2011

Imagine the difference it would make if everyone grew even just a small portion of their own food.

This idea inspired Britta Riley, who has helped create a window farming collaboration called R&D-I-Y that also highlights the practicality and feel-good factor of knowledge sharing via social media.

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Conundrum: Is Somali Piracy Contributing to Conservation?

29 November 2011

In a recent article in the Mail and Guardian, the issue of Somali piracy is discussed with reference to a documentary film made by a Canadian student named Mohamed Ashareh, called “Pirate Tapes”.

According to the documentary, many of the Somali pirates are “Robin Hood” type ex-fisherman, and see their actions as a means of protecting their marine resources by preventing toxic waste dumping and illegal fishing by international trawlers.

The article expresses doubt about the quality of the documentary, but it nevertheless raises an interesting conundrum- could piracy, in some respects, actually contribute to conservation?

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Local Urban Agriculture Projects Get International Press

29 November 2011

Over the last while, there seemed to have been a marked increase in media awareness about the importance of micro-farming and urban agriculture for long term sustainability.

Local organisations, like Greenpop for example, have popularised “greening” and have emphasized that growing certain plants not only provides a sustainable food source, but contribute to uplifting impoverished communities.

As various debates around food security are raised this week during COP17, it’s encouraging to see these projects receiving international press in publications like the New York Times, which featured initiatives like Abalimi Bezekhaya, which Green Renaissance filmed last year.

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Latest Film: Conserving Biodiversity at Bergsig

28 November 2011

Green Renaissance has just released our latest film, “Wine that Doesn’t Cost the Earth”, about Bergsig, which is the first wine farm to be a part of Woolworths’ sustainable agricultural initiative: Farming for the Future.

Winemaker De Wet Lategan’s commitment to caring for the environment is evident in his profound connection the land, and in his passion for producing fine wines, which is why Bersig wine also forms part of WWF’s Biodiversity and Wine Initiative.

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WWF South Africa Ad: We Only Need Enough

28 November 2011

As COP17 kicks off in Durban today, here’s a short animated clip from WWF South Africa that emphasizes the importance of addressing climate change.

Made using only one piece of paper, this advertisement also reminds us that we only need to have “enough”.

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City Cycling: Challenging Perceptions of Street Sharing

27 November 2011

Cycling instead of driving to work is regularly punted as a low-carbon and more sustainable transport option, and rightly so. However, what are the challenges that come with cycling and issues of urban infrastructure?

In this video, a cyclist in London speaks about the challenges of sharing the streets, something that is definitely becoming more of a concern in South Africa where there is a definite need for low carbon transport.

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Bizarre Natural Phenomena: Octopus “Walks” on Land

27 November 2011

The video below of an octopus crawling out of the water at a marine reserve, presumably to forage for food, excited onlookers and has led scientists to question why a water dependent creature would do this.

According to Scientific American, this is fairly common behaviour for certain octopi, but this doesn’t make it any less bizarre, or interesting, to watch.

Source: Treehugger

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Documentary Trailer: Climate of Change

26 November 2011

With the COP17 conference beginning on Monday, we thought it would be appropriate to give a sneak peek at a documentary that gives a global and personal insight into the effects of climate change.

Although just a very brief summary of the film, it gives us an encouraging indication that this issue is something we are all in together, and therefore hopefully an issue we can all do something about.

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Underwater Icicles: Antarctic Ice in Slow Motion

26 November 2011

Typical representations of Antarctica seem to include footage of emperor penguins, tundra and generally above-surface activity- but what about what happens underneath the ice?

In this video, filmed for the BBC series Frozen Planet, the formation of a “brinicle” is tracked with timelapse, and is an incredible slow motion look at what happens when an icicle grows underwater.

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Afternoon Escapism: A Stop Frame Animation Trip

25 November 2011

It’s Friday afternoon, and it’s probably been a long week, so here’s a video that will provide you with a stop-frame animation escape, and a vicarious travel experience- on a smaller scale.

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Thought for the Holidays Ahead: Share Your Light

25 November 2011

It’s a month before Christmas today, and no doubt many people are thinking about what presents and decorations to buy for the occasion.

In the spirit of the current concern with climate change and human consumption though, Woolworths has created a campaign that also considers the value of immaterial giving, with their Share Your Light campaign.

To find out more, and add your light to the virtual tree in the true spirit of goodwill, visit the website.

Woolworths Share Your Light

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Consider Us: Youth Climate Change Campaign

24 November 2011

It’s often difficult to keep up with the overwhelming amount of information available about everything, especially with regards to climate change.

So much is being argued, said and shared, but there are still voices and opinions that are not always being heard, including those of the youth.

To address this, Ogilvy Earth was approached by UNEP to create a campaign that allowed the youth to share their thoughts about climate change for COP15 called Consider Us, a campaign that is now being revived for COP17.

For more information visit the Consider Us Facebook page.

Ogilvy Earth Consider Us

Image Source: Ogilvy Earth

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CNN Ecosphere Project: Tracking COP17 on Twitter

24 November 2011

The buzz around COP17 continues to intensify as people around the world anticipate the decisions that will be made at the conference- decisions that will affect all of us.

To keep track of the exponential response to COP17 on social media channels, CNN has developed an interactive infographic to keep track of all tweets with the hashtag #COP17.

This infographic will “grow” like a plant or tree, in real-time, using software that will also be presented at the conference, and forms part of their live reporting and Road to Durban media campaign.

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WWF Report: The Importance of Conserving our Grasslands

23 November 2011

Today, WWF South Africa released a report entitled “Coal and Water Futures in South Africa: the case for conserving headwaters in the Enkangala grasslands.”

This report emphasizes the importance of the grasslands biome in South Africa, and how essential these “water engines” are to future water security- natural resources that are threatened by pollution caused by coal mining.

Green Renaissance made a film about the importance of grasslands for water distribution earlier this year- something that has been even more important to consider as we negotiate for a more sustainable future at COP17.

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From the Inside Out: Mountain Biking Film Premier

23 November 2011

Local film production company Sinamatella Productions works hard to bring the best in adrenaline-pumping outdoor sports films to South African screens.

The latest addition to this list of films is a Canadian mountain biking film called From the Inside Out, which will not only get your blood pumping, but also give you a glimpse of the incredible natural landscape in British Columbia, Canada.

The film premier takes place in Cape Town and Joburg on the 1st and 2nd of December respectively, so be sure to book your tickets now. For more information visit this link.

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Supporting Sustainable Futures: Living Beehive at COP17

22 November 2011

Several local organisations are attending COP17 next week, including the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI).

To showcase their sustainable thinking strategy, SANBI will be constructing a “Living Beehive” at the Durban Botanical Gardens, and a smaller version at the Climate Change Response Expo at COP 17 from 8 November to 9 December 2011.

This Living Beehive hut is based on the concept of traditional Zulu huts or iQukwane, and demonstrates the beauty and strength of people working with nature and technology to support sustainable futures.

To read more about the Living Beehive and “Beehive Thinking” visit this link.

Source: C.A.P.E

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Rare Natural Phenomenon: Diving with Sardines

22 November 2011

This past week, sardines have been trapped in areas along the Atlantic coast, including around Hout Bay and Chapman’s Peak in Cape Town.

According to a video shot by Animal Ocean on Sunday, the unexpected influx of these fish has created a feeding frenzy, and is an unusual natural phenomenon that has not occurred in recent memory.

The reason for this is not certain, but the theory is that sudden strong SE winds caused a cold snap in water temperature, and this thermal decline has put the sardines in a state of shock.

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Turtle Filming Update: Nesting and Climate Change

21 November 2011

The Green Renaissance team is currently out filming turtles in the Ponta do Ouro Partial Marine Reserve, and have been getting up close to some of the local species that frequent our shores.

The team is also going to be involved in the monitoring of sand temperature along the shore over the next few days, as the temperature of the sand determines the sex of the hatchlings, and a rise in global temperature might mean that too many hatchlings will be born female.

With the threat of development in the park, and the added complications caused by climate change, turtle conservation in this area are going to face some difficult challenges- notwithstanding their already low rate of survival.

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Do The Green Thing: Creativity Versus Climate Change

21 November 2011

It’s one week until the COP17 conference begins in Durban, and we for one are eagerly anticipating the outcome of the globally significant event.

Although the conference is not expected to achieve a global consensus, it will realistically be an important step in the negotiation process.

To reiterate the positive aspects of this global event, here is a TEDx and WWF talk by James Alexander from Do the Green Thing, which reminds us how important our individual contributions and creativity are to creating a more sustainable world.

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Upcoming Event this Weekend: The Green Expo

18 November 2011

In the build up to COP17, various events are taking place throughout the country, to raise awareness about the importance of addressing climate change and living a more sustainable lifestyle.

This weekend, Cape Town will be hosting one of these events, namely The Green Expo at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), which starts today.

The event runs parallel to Climate Smart Cape Town‘s event at the CTICC, and will showcase a variety of sustainable organisations and businesses, and will also host the Enviropaedia Eco-Logic Awards.

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