green news and opinion, and an organic eco directory that focuses on organic and eco-friendly products.
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Submitted by sproutingforth on Fri, 2008-10-24 13:08
Footprints Environmental Centre is closing at the end of November! They have to leave their premises, as the property owners need their land for another use. Footprints plays an enormous role in recycling in Cape Town and friends and supporters are more than a little distraught to see it close. Some supporters are already mounting a campaign to try and find new premises for it, and we will keep you posted.
First community Market - an organic community market is set for tomorrow, 25 Oct, at the Owl Shelter, 9 Polaris Road (off Blomvlei Road) in Lansdowne. The market is part of the MENNGOS food garden programme, which has several projects in the Eastern & Western Cape. They fall under the ambit of individual food gardens for food security and surplus to sell, organic nutrition gardens to feed people affected by AIDS and HIV and high school children. All preparation of the land is conducted by the community project participants themselves and individuals who operate their own vegetable and herb gardens.
Woolworths offers fellowships to help the environment. If you are about to register for a full-time Master’s or Doctoral study at UCT, and want to do research in the areas of – pesticides, seafood sustainability, water usage, waste water, energy/climate change or biodiversity – Woolies is offering fellowships that cover tuition and subsistence, research costs or conference travel. Want to know more? Email email@example.com
Green retail space up for grabs. If you’ve a green business and you’re looking to share space with green conscious retailers, then a newly renovated mall at the top end of Long Street might be for you. They’re looking for clothing retailers, jewellery, shoes, décor etc. A minimum of 10% of your product needs to be sustainable, recycled or the like. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2008-10-23 13:51
Whilst many have scoffed at organic farming as little more than a Western lifestyle fad, a major UN study, released yesterday, shows that these traditional practices can break the hunger cycle.
An analysis of 114 projects in 24 African countries found that yields had more than doubled where organic, or near-organic practices had been used. That increase in yield jumped to 128 per cent in east Africa.
The research conducted by the UN Environment Programme, suggests that organic, small-scale farming can deliver the increased yields which were thought to be the preserve of industrial farming, without the environmental and social damage which that form of agriculture brings with it.
The study found that organic practices outperformed traditional methods and chemical-intensive conventional farming. It also found...
Submitted by turbosprout on Fri, 2008-10-10 13:03
The Natural & Organic Products Exhibition really is the best opportunity to suss out all the new green products hitting our shelves. It's now in it's fifth year and this time around will feature a new Sustainable Home Solutions pavilion, featuring environmental goods and services for homeowners, architects and developers. We've been used to seeing organic and "natural" food, body care, cleaning and gardening products but this year there will be an even wider range of products. I'm sure we'll see the likes of solar water heating systems, solar photovoltaic panels, greywater systems, alternative cooking devices, energy efficient appliances, green gadgets, books, green magazines, alternative transport and more.
The first Natural & Organic Expo we attended in 2005 was a pretty
Submitted by turbosprout on Mon, 2008-09-15 11:01
Myth One: Industrial Agriculture Will Feed the World
Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2008-08-21 08:38
Eating for the sake of your body and the planet doesn’t mean giving up on the foods you love. It does mean becoming more actively aware of where your food comes from, how it’s produced and how its production affects the Earth.
Fundamental to greening your diet is eating ‘real’ food. Processed and refined foods are, let’s face it, not good for you. Most of them are produced as part of the push by marketers to ‘make your life easier’ but they’re usually laden with chemicals, additives, pesticides, and barely disguised GM derivatives.
Submitted by turbosprout on Mon, 2008-08-11 11:15
I spoke about growing your own food on Jozi FM (105.8 in Jhb) this morning and the Breakfast Express hosts, Yoze and Carol, were interested in what community-based organisations could be contacted should a community group need assistance in setting up a garden.
There are many community garden initiatives going on throughout South Africa, here are just a few:
Food and Trees for Africa. FTFA is an national NGO with extensive grassroots, corporate, media and government support. They respond to disadvantaged community requests for assistance with greening projects which include not only tree planting but urban space development, township community nurseries, educational material, competitions, workshop programmes and more. FTFA also provides a greening directory and as part of the Carbon Standard, a carbon emission calculator and offset service on their website.
SEED. Schools Environmental Education & Development (SEED) is facilitating
Submitted by turbosprout on Fri, 2008-08-01 11:32
If you've tried to track down organic seed in this country you'll know that it's quite a challenge. Most organic home gardeners have to make do with conventional garden centre seed, some of which is treated with fungicide to extend the seed's viability. There are also more and more hybridised (F1) seed varieties available which means that when these plants reproduce the seed that is produced does not have the same traits as its parents. It is not true to type. So if you save the seed from your prize-winning pumpkin expecting to repeat the feat the following year, you may be in for a surprise and find frankenfruit instead!
Also some of the varieties available are simply those kinds that are farmed commercially, so they are bred for uniformity, appearance, longer storage life or to mature at the same time to facilitate harvesting at once, whilst a home grower prefers an extended cropping season and absolutely delicious bounty. Breeding commercial vegetables or crops to be exceptionally tasty seems less of a priority.
Fortunately organic seed is appearing locally on a small scale - take a look here - and we've just heard of an exciting project that will deliver more seed power to the people.
Slow Food Cape Town, a local convivium (chapter) of the international Slow Food movement, is about "promoting food which is good, clean and fair (i.e. culturally important and qualitatively delicious, produced sustainably and promotes social justice in agricultural communities)".
Kate Shrier, whilst in pursuit of a local asparagus farm for a Slow Food outing, contacted us and let us know about the project:
"Slow Food Cape Town is currently working on a new, very
Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2008-07-31 10:52
There’s really nothing nicer than getting a nummy weekly box filled with seasonal, fresh, locally grown organic fruit and vegetables, minus the ornate supermarket packaging, to feel good about you and the environment!
Organic box schemes are now extremely popular in the major cities of Jo’burg and Cape Town, particularly, with various options that range from online ordering and delivery to your doorstep
Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2008-07-17 10:06
With the price of food literally taking a hike (prices are on the up and food shortages are forecast) it makes both green and money sense to grow your own in your back garden – not only will your salad and vegetables be organic, but you can pick them moments before you eat them!
Suburban vegetable gardens are becoming immensely popular. It’s rewarding, healthy and you don’t need a large garden to grow your favourite fruit and vegetables; containers will do.
For many of us, however, this sounds like a great deal of effort, particularly if you’ve never grown anything before. But there are ways to have your own vegetable garden with minimum effort...
Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2008-05-08 09:47
There’s a lot that’s happening on the green local scene that is incredibly positive and emphasises just how South Africans are quick to ‘catch on’ when it comes to greening their businesses and their lifestyles.
Craig Jacobs’ Fundudzi Free range clothing label – the range with a “clear moral conscience, committed to sustainability and social activism” is a range of clothing made from organic fabrics like bamboo, soy and corn. Whilst many of you may have heard of the Fundudzi range – we’ve blogged about it before – you can now buy Fundudzi online at adam and eve! All of Craig’s clothes are created and produced locally.
Woolies wins international responsible retailer of the year. Go on then, shoot me, but I am super impressed with Woolworths - corporate retailer though they might be - for setting international standards. Woolworths received recognition in Barcelona last month for its commitment to responsible business practices in their good business journey, beating the likes of Sainsbury’s and Tesco. Last year’s winner was Marks and Spencer. Their good business journey is aimed at sustainable growth that includes accelerating transformation, driving social development, enhancing the environmental focus and addressing climate change. [nextcustomer] [woollies good business journey]
Eat smart organics – first certified organic kitchen in the country. Eat smart organics - an all women, majority black shareholding company prepares and packages home-cooked organic meals – available at a selected Checkers stores, Wellness Warehouse, and certain health stores in the western cape. Not only has the team come up with a totally unique concept, but their kitchen and their meals are certified organic. The team source all of their produce locally and use seasonal vegetables. They’ve literally ‘made a meal of it’ and their signature ‘smart stack’ meals not only set organic standards, but the business also has a very big heart – they provide their nutritious meals to autistic children at two or three facilities in the Cape. [cape times]
Vital going green. Vital health foods is doing its bit at going green, focussing on using resources more economically and allowing minimal wastage. Their focus has already saved them 20 000 litres of water a month by recycling water in the manufacturing process. They use heat generated from their air compressors to heat their water systems – the first company in the Western Cape to buy the machine that enables this - and they have installed another system that reduces the amount of electricity their factory uses. They’re also seriously investigating getting all of their products into recyclable packaging. [vital is going green]