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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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Building Treehouses from Salvaged Goods

4 October 2011

Roderick Romero is an artist that is very aware of his environmental traces, which is why he only constructs his famous treehouses using salvaged materials.

Romero also builds other nature-inspired sculptures, but is best known for his Lantern House in Santa Monica, California, which is made from 99% recycled goods- including stained glass from an old movie set.

Source: Mother Nature Network

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A Reminder of the Sublime: The Himalayas

4 October 2011

With growing concern about climate change, rapid urbanisation and the problems that come from industrial pollution, it’s amazing to be reminded of the vast and sublime places that exist outside of that.

Although places like the Himalayas are no doubt going to be affected by climate change, it’s still reassuring to know that there are still parts of nature that remain relatively untouched.

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Avis Car Rental Aims for Carbon Neutrality

3 October 2011

It might seem like a paradox for a car rental company to be certified carbon neutral, as cars contribute to a substantial percentage of global carbon emissions.

Contrary to this though, Avis has become the first company in South Africa to be certified as a carbon-neutral, a process that included investing in carbon off-setting projects and reducing their carbon emissions.

As concern with the consumption of fossil fuels continues to be a global issue, it’s good to know that a precedent is being established in SA, which will hopefully encourage other companies to follow suite.

To find out more about Avis’ carbon neutral ceritification, read this article.

Source: The Green Times

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International Year of Forests: Of Forests and Men

3 October 2011

2011 is the United Nations (UN) International Year of Forests, and as this year begins to wind down, it’s important to see the effect of our actions on our environment, and that the solution lies in changing our attitude towards it.

In the video below, directed by Yann Arthus-Bertrand of “Home” fame, and narrated by actor Edward Norton, we get the kind of perspective necessary to see our global forest resources for what they are- massive, essential and critically under threat.

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Climate Smart Campaign Completes First Month

2 October 2011

The start of September saw the launch of the Cape Town Climate Smart Campaign, an initiative that aims to educate and empower city residents around issues of climate change.

With a series of upcoming events, Climate Smart is going to be holding various activations around the city, all leading up to the COP 17 event which takes place in December in Durban.

For more information about the campaign, and how you can get involved, visit the Climate Smart website.

And just for fun, here’s a different perspective on the city, which is no doubt going to feel the effects of change in the future.

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Greenpeace International Campaigns for 1 Million

2 October 2011

Greenpeace International’s Facebook page has over 950 000 fans, an extremely high number considering how many Facebook pages there are.

In a campaign to reach one million followers, Greenpeace recently posted this video on their profile, showcasing the environmental and conservation campaigning work that they do.

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This Time Last Week: Moving Planet

1 October 2011

A week ago, people all over the world took to the streets to demonstrate their defiance against fossil fuels.

Here is a short video that gives just a small indication of the massive scope of the Moving Planet campaign, and how even though there might be borders between us, we all have the same goal for our shared future.

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The Song of the Spindle Connects Us

1 October 2011

Today marks the start of National Marine Month, and because it’s the Hermanus Whale Festival this weekend too, here is a video that highlights our physical connection to whales, and all kinds of cetaceans.

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Upcoming Event: Hermanus Whale Festival

30 September 2011

The Two Oceans Hermanus Whale festival starts today in the Overberg town of Hermanus, which has held an annual whale festival for the last 20 years to celebrate to the seasonal return of the Southern Right whale.

The festival runs from 30 September to 4 October, and is an enviro-arts event that attracts hundreds of people every year, as it one of the best land-based whale viewing sites in the world.

It’s encouraging to know that this kind of conservation awareness is taking place, especially considering that this is the first year that the festival has received headline sponsorship.

For more information, visit the festival website.

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Great White Sharks and Respecting Nature

30 September 2011

The recent shark attack in False Bay has again sparked a controversial debate about whether Great White Sharks are creatures to be be feared or respected.

The fact that there are no shark nets in False Bay does imply an element of risk every time we enter the water- something that unfortunately was not taken into full consideration on Wednesday according to a recent News24 article.

It is inevitable that this kind of incident could make us fearful of these majestic mammals, but the response of Michael Cohen, who sadly lost his leg, reminds us that when it comes to nature we are just part of a greater system that we will not always understand.

Image Source: What’s On Sanya

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Brightening up the Dark with Solar Bottle Bulbs

29 September 2011

In some parts of the world, people live in darkness, without access to adequate electric light.

However, with the simple idea of using empty soda bottles as “bulbs”, people in the Philippines now have the light that they need indoors, all without the need for unnecessary fossil fuel consumption.

For more information visit the Isang Litrong Liwanag website.

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