reviews

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awakening the dreamer

Submitted by girlsprout on Thu, 2009-08-20 11:04

I went into Awakening the Dreamer completely blind. Which, I suppose, is a good thing, considering the point of the half-day symposium is to ‘unblind’ and create awareness. I’d received an email recommending the workshop, which is an initiative of The Pachamama Alliance (a non-profit organisation based in the States), but I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from a course aiming to “change the dream of the modern world”.

Upon arrival I realised that I wasn’t the only newbie attending, as the symposium was one of the first of its kind to be held in South Africa. After milling around the coffee table for a while, we were ushered into a cosy conference venue, where we were greeted by our facilitator, Tracy-Kim.

She explained that the aim of the Awakening the Dreamer initiative is to “bring forth an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, socially just human presence on this planet”. I found this approach to the many problems facing us today to be particularly refreshing, as it acknowledges that environmental, social and spiritual issues are all intrinsically linked and should be treated as such.

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rawlicious - our top 5 recipes

Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2009-08-06 10:08

Radically radish, the 2-tone sunrise smoothie, wild mushroom soup, brazil nut milk, Thai coleslaw and lemon tart with a twist (it's raw!) are what you can expect from Peter and Beryn Daniel's raw food recipe book entitled Rawlicious.

We fell on this book when it arrived. It really re-inspired us to eat more raw foods (we've always juiced and had smoothies and salads, but other dishes in Rawlicious are pretty enticing), particularly when I realised how easy some of the foods are to prepare.

It's brimming over with easy, delicious food that is healthy for you and goes a long way to...


heat by george monbiot review

Submitted by Dax on Tue, 2009-08-04 09:22

I've just finished reading Heat by George Monbiot and I love this book. I loved this book before I even read it. Why? Not because I had heard it was good (which I had), nor because I knew what it was about (I didn't). I loved this book because they way that I acquired it was the perfect way to acquire a book.

This book was given to me second hand as a birthday present by a friend. What makes that such a great way to acquire a book? Let me explain: 1) My friend knew I would enjoy it, so it was a thoughtful gift. 2) It was second hand, which means reusing, which beats recycling and certainly beats buying another copy unnecessarily. 3) He didn't have to spend money to give me a gift. Gifting is a massive contributer to over consumption which is a major contributer to the problems the world faces. Why buy people things they don't need? You can read more about my thoughts on gifting here.

Back to the topic at hand. Heat is an excellent book, a book which looks at practical solutions to the problem of Climate Change, or Climate Disaster as George Monbiot prefers to call it. Climate Change sounds like it's no big deal, when it is in fact a disaster.


the nature of life review

Submitted by Dax on Wed, 2009-07-29 22:37

I've seen many documentaries about climate change in my life and most of them have been quite depressing and leave one feeling a bit hopeless. Nature of Life is the first one I've seen which tackles this topic from a positive perspective. Not only that but it looks at the topic from an African perspective which is also interesting as a lot of other documentaries are Euro centric or US centric.

The first part of the documentary gives a brief overview of the problem of Climate Change, pointing out that people who have the smallest carbon footprints are the ones who, ironically, are going to be affected the most. They illustrate this point by interviewing an African tribe who are struggling to survive because of a lack of rain.

The balance of the documentary looks at solutions that have been developed around Africa to combat climate change.


a revolution in straw - staying in elands bay

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2009-07-27 13:58

We recently spent the most beautiful weekend in winter in Elands Bay on the west coast. And whilst I share this with some reticence (Elands Bay can do without a stampede) I do think that sharing our hideaway (join the strawrevolution at one boom straat elands bay) is something anyone who appreciates anything built sustainably will appreciate!

So, what is there to do in Elands Bay? was the first question flung my way when I mentioned to two of my closest friends jetsetting in from Johannesburg that we were heading out to the small town on the West Coast for our long-planned weekend away.

A little research brought to light an apt description that went something like this: there is a very long beach; and you can head down to the local pub and drink coke and klippies with the local potato farmers!...


the unhealthy truth: how our food is making us sick

Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2009-07-16 10:36


- and what we can do about it.

Robyn O'Brien is an American mother. She is also a mother of children with allergies, something American (and South African) children appear to be suffering from at an alarmingly increasing rate. And Robyn wrote a book about why.

Her delvings have led to her being called the 'Erin Brokovich of the food industry' because she exposes the hidden dangers in the apparently 'safe' ingredients we feed our children and families.

1 out of every 3 American children today has allergies, asthma, ADHD or autism. There has been a 400% increase in allergies, a 300% increase in asthma, and a 400% increase in ADHD in the last 20 years.


are we stupid?

Submitted by Ahmed on Mon, 2009-07-13 17:21


"I think we are blind. Blind people who can see, but do not see.” ~Jose Saramago

65 Million years ago, the dominant lifeform on this planet was wiped out.

We currently have no way of understanding how or why millions of dinosaurs simply ceased to exist. But, what we do know is that we might be joining them soon, and it's all our fault.

On Wednesday I managed to see documentary filmmaker Franny Armstrong's take on climate change and global warming, The Age of Stupid at the Encounters documentary festival at the V&A Waterfront here in Cape Town, and it's pretty scary and incredibly hard hitting stuff.


noah of cape town ready to flood our minds (& hearts)

Submitted by Ahmed on Mon, 2009-06-22 11:51

Opening on the 9th of July at the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town is South Africa’s first full-length, original a cappella musical - Noah of Cape Town.

The musical is an intuitive look into a future where Cape Town, like every other city in the world, is suffering from the effects of global warming, environmental disasters, fuel shortages, war and corruption. There is also an oppressive government struggling to maintain control, that tolerates little or no opposition, as desperate people do whatever it takes to obtain food and water...


stuffed and starved review

Submitted by Dax on Tue, 2009-04-28 22:34

What makes Stuffed and Starved more than just an excellent read is that the author, Raj Patel, is South African. This means that some of the examples he uses to illustrate some of his points are from a South African context rather than the the list of countries generally cited. That's not to say he doesn't talk about other countries, just that he includes examples from SA as well. While he is currently a researcher at the University of Kwazulu Natal, he has degrees from Oxford, London School of Economics and Cornell University.

The tag line for the book is: Markets, power and the hidden battle for the world's food system. When I saw that, I knew it was a book I had to read and immediately ordered a copy from Kalahari.net. I was going to say it's not a long read, but I realise that I read it quickly purely because I struggled to put it down. While Stuffed and Starved does cover a lot of concepts and examples I am already familiar with. It combines them, with some things which I did not know, into a holistic view of the food system.

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bit of a green celebration!

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2009-04-06 13:12

We won best green blog of the year at SA blog awards 2009 (woo hoo!).

According to Dave Duarte , who won best business blog, over 4 000 blogs were nominated this year and some 25 000 people voted. The blog awards have been running now since 2005, and this is the second year that green blogs have been nominated for an award.

I didn't attend the awards (one of us had to stay home and look after the progeny) but Glen attended and had a good time. It's never an easy thing to organise an event, and whilst this year's was glitzy and well organised, we weren't the only ones left feeling that the prizes could have been more meaningful...although our son will certainly enjoy the 'kicky sacks'(!) Maybe next year's could be a 'greener' event?

A BIG thank you to our contributors (there have been a couple of them and we enjoy adding their blogs to ours) and to our readers for voting for us!

Thank you too to the team at 2009 SA Blog Awards. And thanks Rory of carbonsmart, who has been blogging away on things green for 5 years this month, for the thumbs up!


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