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Occupy Cape Town Tomorrow: Company Gardens

14 October 2011

The Occupy Wall Street movement has gained momentum all over the world, with a worldwide event set to take place tomorrow morning.

According to the Occupy South Africa website, people will be occupying areas in cities all over the country, including the Company Gardens in Cape Town. For more information visit the Occupy South Africa website.

To find out more about the Occupy Wall Street movement in general, read this recent article published on the Mail and Guardian website, and watch the video below, which gives an indication of the community involvement on the ground in New York City.

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Sea Change: Two Oceans Aquarium Switches to Clean Energy

14 October 2011

The Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town is a popular attraction for both local and international visitors, but it’s more than just a place to admire underwater creatures in tanks.

The aquarium is also setting the standard for environmentally-consciousness construction, and was recently selected by Project 90×2030 as a green energy demonstration site.

In an effort to reduce their carbon emissions, and contribute towards a less polluted environment, the aquarium has just installed the first grid tied wind and solar PV system on their roof, the first in the City of Cape Town.

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New Seven Wonders of Nature: Vote for Table Mountain

13 October 2011

In a new bid to recognize the New Seven Wonders of Nature, Table Mountain is one of the nominees- an initiative supported by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Cast your vote to have this South African heritage icon recognized worldwide, by watching the video below and either casting your vote online or via SMS.

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Help Hold De Beers Accountable

13 October 2011

De Beers is planning to sell an unrehabilitated diamond mine near Hondeklipbaai in Namaqualand, before full disclosure and proper consultation with affected parties has taken place.

To hold De Beers accountable, and make sure that they honour their obligations to rehabilitate the area before they sell to Trans Hex, Green Renaissance has released our latest film, which follows the character of Dawid Markus- a community leader who is taking a stand against the corporations that have not consulted with the interested and affected parties.

Markus is adamant that this sale cannot take place until the community has been assured that the companies will honour their obligations, as the area is also an important area biodiversity hotspot, and one that needs to be returned to its former state to guarantee sustainable livelihoods in the future.

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Appeal to Coldplay to Help Save the Karoo

12 October 2011

Coldplay recently finished up their South African tour, and filmed a music video in Cape Town and the Klein Karoo.

Their choice of the Karoo as a filmic shot is testament to the beauty and value of the area, which is why Jonathan Deal, Chairman of the Treasure Karoo Action Group (TKAG) has appealed to the UK band to bring attention to the threat of fracking in the area.

To read more about Deal’s appeal read this press release.

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When Nature Gets Too Close

12 October 2011

Just in case you missed it- a video about a mountain biker’s collision with a red hartebeest went viral yesterday, and to date has over 4 million views.

It’s incredible how this video has gone viral, and how moments like like can be captured and shared with people all over the world- very much a case of wrong place at the wrong time!

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Harnessing the Power of Nature: Building a Leaf

11 October 2011

Nature is unbelievably efficient, and leaves are no exception. They’re completely sustainable elements of a tree, and even produce their own energy through photosynthesis.

So it seems inevitable that humans would try to harness this efficiency, and it’s no surprise that a well respected institute like MIT has aimed to invent a fully functional leaf from artificial materials.

In this case though, they seem to have got it right, read more about it here.

Source: Wired

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Surfing and Sustainability: Manufacturing Stoke

11 October 2011

Surfing seems to be one of the most natural sports, one that connects people directly with the ocean.

But surfboards are not made from the most environmentally friendly materials, a topic that the documentary “Manufacturing Stoke” addresses by examining the sustainability of the surf industry, and the move towards environmentally-friendly manufacture.

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Outdoor Advertising with Vertical Gardens

10 October 2011

With a lack of space for gardens in urban areas, vertical gardens have become a way to grow some greenery without the need for soil.

This idea has also been used for advertising, like in the photo below, which shows a billboard by Tractor Outdoor for Emirates in Kloof Street, Cape Town, that was made using two varieties of succulents.

Source: Inhabitat

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Saving Two Birds with One Tree

10 October 2011

In support of a campaign for the Coalition of Rainforest Nations at COP15, this video puts into perspective the rate of global deforestation.

It’s scary to think how quickly a forest can be destroyed, which emphasizes the importance of “unchopping” trees, and investing in carbon-offsetting and greening projects.

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Conservation Victory: A Sanctuary for Sharks

9 October 2011

Earlier this week, it was announced that the Marshall Islands in Micronesia had established the world’s largest shark sanctuary.

Although sharks are often portrayed as dangerous and aggressive predators, they are essential part of our ecosystem, and for the Marshall Islands community, an integral part of their culture.

The infamous Great White sharks that breach in the waters of False Bay are still under threat though, but hopefully this kind of initiative can set an international precedent, and help to protect all threatened shark species worldwide.

To read more visit this post on the National Geographic website.

photo by luiz rocha

Image Source: Our Amazing Planet

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The Increasing Importance of Urban Farming

9 October 2011

In a recent column by Andreas Spath on News24, he discussed the increasing importance of urban farming, and how growing our food closer to home is going to prove an essential element of urban sustainability.

In his article, Spath also mentions the Abalimi Bezekhaya project on the Cape Flats, which Green Renaissance filmed last year for WWF and Nedbank- an example of an urban farming project close to home that provides for the needs of the surrounding community.

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Reverse Recycling: Plastic to Crude Oil

8 October 2011

It sounds like a far out idea, but what if we could turn plastic back into oil? After all, that’s what it’s essentially made of.

An America-based company, Vadxx, is currently processing plastic bottles into crude oil, which is a massive saving for landfills.

It might be a while before this kind of recycling is commonplace, but it’s definitely an exciting prospect, especially considering the importance of a move away from fossil fuel energy sources.

For more information about this initiative, read this post on GOOD.

Image Source: GOOD/Flickr

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One Day. One Community. One Thousand Trees.

8 October 2011

Two weeks ago on Heritage Day, Greenpop planted 1000 trees in Manenberg in Cape Town, in a collaborative effort with the community, volunteers and several sponsors.

In an effort to green the community, this initiative brought together people from various backgrounds on a significant national day, and showed what a difference trees can make to people’s lives.

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This Weekend: Rocking the Daisies

7 October 2011

This weekend it’s time again for Rocking the Daisies, the Cape Town music festival that places emphasis on sustainability and environmentally-friendly consumption.

Rocking the Daisies has won awards for their environmentally sustainable practices, with this year’s festival seeing even more improvements in prominent concerns such as waste management.

Below is the current advertisement for the festival, as well as video made for last year’s festival by Green Renaissance interns for 350.org.

To find out more about the festival’s greening policies, read these posts on their website.

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Here’s to the Crazy Ones: A Tribute to Steve Jobs

7 October 2011

This version of a “Think different” Apple commercial, narrated by Steve Jobs in 1997, was never aired.

But after Job’s recent passing on Wednesday from a long battle with pancreatic cancer, it seems fitting to post this as a tribute, especially considering his celebrated attitude to innovation.

And of course, his ability to make a change.

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CCID Campaigns for Responsible Giving

6 October 2011

The Central City Improvement District (CCID) handed out badges and pamphlets at traffic lights this morning in the Cape Town CBD, encouraging city residents not to give money to people on the street, but to support relevant organisations and NGO’s instead.

The CCID has a marked presence in the city centre, and it’s encouraging to see what a difference this organisation has made- especially when you take a look at the development projects that they are involved in on their website.

This encouragment to assist social causes instead of contributing to a vicious cycle of poverty is inspiring- could this kind of campaign also be used to contribute responsibly to our natural environment?

Image Source: Cape Town Partnership

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Signs of Success: Black Rhino Range Expansion Project

6 October 2011

Last year, Green Renaissance filmed a short clip on the Black Rhino Range Expansion Project in KwaZulu- Natal for WWF, with project leader Dr. Jacques Flamand.

Almost a year later, the project has shown its first signs of success, according to an article on IOL published yesterday.

It’s inspiring to know that the project is making a difference, and even more encouraging to know that it is now going to expanded further into other provinces in the country.

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Patagonia: More Than Just a Clothing Brand

5 October 2011

Patagonia, an outdoor clothing company, has been at the forefront of environmentally-friendly business practices since it was first started by Yvon Chouinard.

The company has received more popular attention lately due to the growing concern with environmentalism, but Patagonia is more than just a trendy green brand, it’s a company that has set the ethical standard for other global brands and one that has sustained a strong association with “silent, human powered sports”.

To read more visit this article, which was published on The Ecologist.

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How Small Ideas Make a Big Difference

5 October 2011

What started out as a little girl’s idea for collecting bug shells became a small quest to make a difference.

It’s amazing how the simplest ideas can be so powerful, and how just a little effort can help to change someone else’s life for the better.

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