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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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Landscape Painting Without a Paintbrush

29 September 2011

Amy Shackleton paints, but not with paintbrushes.

Using squeeze bottles, and by rotating her canvases, Shackleton creates various artistic effects, with the ultimate result being a contrast between urban and natural landscapes.

With the use of timelapse, it’s interesting to see the process, and gives a different perspective on her attempt to create art that “recognizes the need for collaboration between urban and rural environments”.

For more information visit the Elaine Fleck Gallery website.

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Upcoming Screenings: EcoKids Film Festival

28 September 2011

The EcoKids Film Initiative Environmental Film Festival takes place at the Labia Theatre in Cape Town next week from 3- 7 October, and Green Renaissance will be showing some of our films before the main event screenings.

In collaboration with While You Were Sleeping and a variety of environmental and conservation organisations, the festival aims to provide not only a constructive activity for scholars during the school holidays, but also an opportunity to learn and engage with important environmental issues.

For more information about the event, and the screenings that will be held, click here.

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Karoo Fracking Task Team: What is There to Hide?

28 September 2011

The Centre for Environmental Rights (CER) is an organisation that believes in the necessity of transparency in legal process, and the importance of access to information.

So it was with disappointment that the CER announced yesterday that they had been refused access to documents about the Karoo fracking Task Team by the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR).

This raises questions about secrecy and access to information, and more importantly, what is there to hide when it comes to fracking in the Karoo?

For further information read this post on the CER website.

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The Green Belt Movement: Mobilizing Community Consciousness

27 September 2011

Professor Wangari Maathai, a celebrated environmental leader who sadly passed away on the weekend, leaves behind a legacy of positive change.

She founded the Green Belt Movement in 1977, and since then the Green Belt Movement has become an international organization, helping to “mobilize community consciousness”.

To read more about the work that Maathai has done, and to learn more about the Green Belt Movement- visit their website.

Photo by Alan Dater and Lisa Merton/Marlboro Productions

Image Source: IMOW

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A Tribute to Wangari Maathai: Be a Hummingbird

27 September 2011

According to a UNEP tribute, Wangari Maathai was the first environmentalist, and African woman, to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

So it is with sadness that we have to say goodbye to such an important environmental leader, after she passed away on Sunday from a long illness.

The short video below, from a documentary called Dirt, gives just a small indication of her attitude towards environmental conservation- an attitude that will ensure that her legacy of commitment continues.

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GCI Green Week: UCT Campaigns for Sustainability

26 September 2011

As part of their campaign for a more sustainable campus, the Green Campus Initiative (GCI) at the University of Cape Town (UCT) is hosting their annual Green Week next week, from Monday 3 October to Friday 7 October.

Green Week is an important week on the UCT calendar, where various campaigns will take place to educate students about sustainability practices, and an opportunity for both students and members of the public to contribute to a variety of environmental projects.

The video below gives an indication of what went on at a previous Green Week in 2009, but for more information about this year’s screenings, talks and events, contact the GCI or visit their website.

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Documentary Teaser: The Low Carbon Parade

26 September 2011

On Saturday 24 September, Moving Planet environmental campaigners and activists took to the streets of Cape Town to take a stand against fossil fuel consumption and climate change.

The teaser below shows just less than a minute of the march, but forms part of an upcoming documentary called The Low Carbon Parade, which aimed to “celebrat[e] environmental successes while simultaneously demanding change from our leaders.”

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Public Engagement: Outdoor Campaigns

25 September 2011

When the Green Renaissance went to put up 282 crosses along the Sea Point promenade last week, we had no idea how much positive public response we would receive.

Judging by the comments on Facebook and Twitter though, it is clear that these kind of outdoor campaigns resonate with people, and is an effective way of drawing attention to a cause.

With an eye on other successful outdoor campaigns like flashmobs, here is an Italian flashmob video that shows just one example of how an environmental message can be expressed in the public sphere.

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Life in a Miniature Forest

25 September 2011

It’s amazing how many beautiful and precious aspects of nature are overlooked, especially when we’re more concerned with seeing the bigger picture.

It’s often through the eyes of a child though that we sometimes see what we have been missing, and that life, in all its forms, can be preserved on even the smallest scale.

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Adding Some Colour to our Heritage

24 September 2011

In an outdoor campaign for Heritage Day, Virgin Active decorated one of Cape Town’s most iconic statues with some appropriately themed leg warmers.

It’s interesting to see the juxtaposition of contemporary South African culture with aspects of the past- something that reminds us of the very diverse nature of our heritage.

Source: Cherry Flava

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Moving Planet: One Goal

24 September 2011

Today, on Heritage Day, people all over the world will be joining together to act in solidarity against climate change and the continuous use of fossil fuels.

This short video below highlights the message of the global campaign, which happens to fall on a significant day on our local calendar.

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