pollution

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'aviation estate' for malmesbury – the battle continues

Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2009-03-19 09:27

In September last year we blogged about a proposed aviation estate just outside Malmesbury for leisure flying fanatics.

“The intention is to have 371 erven and further hangars for hire. Translated that means at least 371 aeroplanes, helicopters, gyrocopters etc. continuously landing and taking off alongside the R302 south of Malmesbury en route to Klipheuwel. This delightful prospect will include a 1.2 kilometre runway, helicopter pads and landing sites, fuel storage facilities, filling stations, control towers and other buildings, as well as large swathes of grassed areas.”

We've just had the latest update from those challenging the development, who let us know that the proposal has gone ahead to the scoping stage.

From the scoping document it's clear that the proposal is even worse than previously thought...

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recycled flip flops

Submitted by turbosprout on Thu, 2009-02-05 14:08

I didn’t know this, but apparently thousands of flip flops, discarded by their former owners, wash up on the African shoreline – an environmental disaster for the marine ecosystem, as well as an eyesore on the beaches, many of which are sites of natural beauty. Hatching turtles find their already precarious journey into the sea littered with flip flops that prevent their reaching their destination.

An organisation called UniqEco chose to see the flotsam as a resource for the coastal communities of Kenya, and is working with the locals to collect and recycle discarded waste on the beaches. From this, they make an incredible range of unique accessories and jewellery. The jewellery alone is worth taking a look at – some beautiful stuff (but available online for dollars, I’m afraid). Take a closer look via [greatgreengoods]


eu to abandon its energy rating system?

Submitted by turbosprout on Tue, 2009-02-03 14:43

I've always envied the EU for their systematic approach to things like energy rating systems(bless them, they’re really good at colour coding and grading).

Unlike here where it’s just about anyone’s guess which appliance you’re thinking of buying is a more earth-friendly choice (we rarely compare apples with apples – correct me if I’m wrong) and the rather loose energy-rating system we have is voluntary. [busrep] All we appear to have to go on is the Energy Star label and a promise that the government is introducing a

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putting a cork in it

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2009-01-27 11:14

The humble spekboom shrub (we blogged about it here)or elephant's food has made a re-appearance. This time as part of Columbit Corks SA initiative to reduce their clients’ carbon footprint by giving the plant to wineries and producers who buy cork closures from them.

I admit that when I first read about this bundling of cork closures and the environment, I was a little sceptical. Weren’t we trying to phase out cork closures? Just how environmentally friendly are they, really?


green tips for trevor

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2009-01-20 09:23

Flood Trevor Manuel with green tips. Use the national budget as a way to reduce carbon emissions and climate change.

urban sprout has teamed up with Project 90 by 2030 , Activist! , forgood and 350.org in a campaign called ‘Cut Carbon Tips for Trevor’.

The aim of the campaign is to urge the government to show vision and leadership by presenting a budget on 11th February 2009 that reflects an urgent response to the evidence presented by climate change.

The ‘Cut Carbon Tips for Trevor’ campaign invites you to get involved by sending your green tips to Trevor, using the Tips for Trevor page on the treasury website Trevor is said to read every one of these personally. He takes them seriously, and has been known to get individuals to present their tip to Cabinet personally, when he thinks it appropriate!


monbiot grills shell’s ce

Submitted by sproutingforth on Fri, 2009-01-09 08:20

“I don’t blame Shell or van der Veer for this: they are discharging their duty to their shareholders. I do blame them for creating the impression that the company has a different agenda, and I blame governments for allowing them to drift into whatever fields they find profitable, regardless of the consequences for people or the environment.”

Leave it to George Monbiot, author of Heat, How We can Stop the Planet Burning and the Age of Consent, to tackle Shell’s chief executive, Jeroen van der Veer, about their greenwash and apparent omission of investment in alternative energy:

For a while it seemed that Shell had stopped pretending. The advertisements which filled the newspapers in 2006, featuring technicians with perfect teeth and open-necked shirts explaining how they were saving the world, vanished. After being slated by environmentalists for greenwash, after two adverse rulings by the Advertising Standards Authority, Shell appeared to have accepted the inescapable truth that


coming barack from the burning bush experience

Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2008-11-06 13:09

pic:ecosalonpic:ecosalonIt goes against the grain to write about America’s new president as if he sets the tone for the rest of the world – how often do we ask ourselves what difference the leaders of New Zealand, Denmark, Germany or Iceland, for instance, will make to us all? But you have to give credit where credit is due and kudos to the American public for electing Barack Obama!

But what can we expect from Obama’s environmental direction, and can he be held accountable to his campaign promises?

[Alternet] After eight years of near-paralysis on the climate front, and in the midst of our biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression, the election of Barack Obama and a host of new Members of Congress -- many of whom support clean, renewable energy, green-collar jobs and caps on carbon emissions -- gives us hope that we'll finally get the bold climate leadership we've been looking for in Washington...

What’s on the green agenda for Obama?


carbon capture too good to be true; focus should be on renewables

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2008-10-21 09:06

Carbon Capture and Sequestration, known as CCS, has given the power industry a great ‘out’ when it comes to curbing greenhouse gas emissions – just collect carbon at big sources and force it back into the earth!

Vattenfall, Sweden's state-owned power utility has embraced CSS and has opened a pilot plant in Germany, where it runs a number of coal-fired plants - 64 percent of its generation is from brown coal in Germany, just one percent from renewables (and it has zero coal-fired plants in Sweden).

But now a Swedish Air Pollution & Climate secretariat has released two reports that suggest that the premise of CCS not only sounds too good to be true, it probably is, for a number of reasons:

"Capture ready" an excuse for new coal plants
The authors of the report are not necessarily against carbon capture technology per se; what they do have a problem with is the industry using the concept as a way to continue with business as usual. To that end, the idea of "capture ready" coal plants is nonsense - instead all new coal plants should be required to have "real, working" CCS from the start, the report says. Of course, that poses some problems. Read on for CCS' downsides…


president gets on his bike

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2008-09-22 09:32

Whilst our country’s president has been sent packing, President Lee Myung-Bak exhibited the type of humility seldom seen by leaders anywhere and rode his bicycle to work this morning, whilst commuters took public transport for free, in South Korea’s bid to help the environment.

Today is World Car Free Day – an annual global movement to encourage us to try and live without cars. It’s become a tradition in a number of cities to celebrate with street parties, mass bicycle rides and free public transport. The idea behind it is to show “… how liveable modern cities can be when free from the noise, stress and pollution caused by cars”. Around the planet, there are an estimated 600 million personal vehicles driving around. Each litre of petrol used by a car produces 2.3 kg of carbon dioxide; the average 4x4 or bakkie emits around 8.2 tons over a year…


an ‘aviation estate’ for malmesbury

Submitted by sproutingforth on Wed, 2008-09-17 11:45

You’ve scraped together your life savings to buy a farm just an hour’s drive outside of Cape Town, nestled in the foothills of the Paardeberg mountains. You’ve joined a community of farmers who revel in the peace and quiet, the sedate, unhurried lifestyle that brings one close to nature and to what matters in life. You’ve an enviable lifestyle, and friends and family head off to join you over weekends, only too glad of a space in which to rejuvenate.

And then someone comes up with a marvellous idea that puts paid to your gentle way of life. They propose an aviation estate just outside the nearest town for leisure flying enthusiasts.

Sound like a bit of a mare? An aviation estate (let’s call it what it is – an airport for light aircraft) has been proposed for just outside Malmesbury...

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