sproutingforth's blog

greening it up - mon 16

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2006-10-16 11:14

News from around the world today:

I had every good intention of bringing you daily news, but I see that Thurs and Fri last week ran away with me. Will it suffice to quickly insert here that Barry Ronge pulled a tongue at ethical consumerism in the Times this weekend, and who can blame him when, cited as his main example, is the Body Shop's sell out to L'Oreal! Read an official example of the press release [Forbes] and then read what some former Body Shop enthusiasts have to say. [Naturewatch]

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greening it up - wed 11

Submitted by sproutingforth on Wed, 2006-10-11 09:53

News from around the world today:

I don’t know what it is about the news today, perhaps it is due to my foggy, flu-filtered brain, but there definitely appears to be a prevalence of ‘bad news’, when I usually try to stay upbeat and positive about what’s green out there! But it does deserve mention that North Korea has announced that it detonated a nuclear bomb in defiance of world opinion. The Mail & Guardian chose to view how this has affected the stock market, but I’m more alarmed by the total disregard for the environment! [MGonline]

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greening it up - fri 6 oct 06

Submitted by sproutingforth on Fri, 2006-10-06 09:31

News around the world today:

Starbucks is tripling it’s already large reach to 40,000 outlets world-wide – intending to expand into China, India Egypt, Brazil and Russia [and for those of you who think they’ve given SA a skip, simply refer to Seattle Coffee and you’re looking at Starbucks!]. Already the world’s biggest coffee shop chain, Starbucks has become synonymous with the ‘trendy, greenie’ because they support Free Trade coffee and run PR campaigns that include issues such as ‘going green in Africa’ [Fin24] - a promotion of environmentally sensitive coffee cultivation in Kenya and Tanzania.

They’ve even teamed up with the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) in a programme called ‘coffee for conservation’ because they’ve been criticised for ‘hurting’ farmers. Clever, no? It becomes difficult then to criticise, when they’re so cleverly disguised. But the fact remains that this is yet one more example of ‘big business’ - one which is witnessing an aggressive move to oust the small, local coffee shop in favour of the chain. So, again the debate about the ethics of such an aggressive expansion on the part of Starbucks, pursuing profit at any price and eventually wielding significant economic and thus political power – a green proposition? I think not. [Fin24]

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greening it up - thurs 05

Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2006-10-05 09:57

news around the world today:

many councils 'bug' rubbish bins I like this story, it really appeals to my sense of order, and the Europeans are so good at finding the time to come up with ingenious ideas like 'pay as you throw'. It's an attempt at increasing people's awareness about recycling with a really intricate system of microchips (I kid you not!)fitted to rubbish bins. The bins are weighed and these chips can identify who threw how much and residents are charged accordingly. Britain is the EU's 3rd-worst recycling country and the government has excelled itself in a bid to push its recycling/composting figure up from only 18%. [BBC]

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greening it up - wed 04

Submitted by sproutingforth on Wed, 2006-10-04 09:24

News around the world today:

A BBC headline this morning calls for action on climate change by a UK government scientist, also a former World Bank chief economist (?), who has been quoted as saying that pursuing alternative energy makes "economic and environmental sense.” – the cynic in me can’t help asking whether this has anything to do with the UK’s need to take centre stage after the now prominent film by Al Gore – “An inconvenient truth” has made climate change a mainstream concern? Unfortunately, with the USA’s continued stance of rejecting the Kyoto targets, emerging economies, such as China are siting the Kyoto limits as ‘unfair’.[BBC]

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burgeoning eco-friendly wine industry

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2006-10-02 10:27

An article released this morning states that about 95% of South Africa's wine farmers have voluntarily subscribed to domestic integrated wine production guidelines to green the sector, according to WOSA (Wines of South Africa). It seems that SA has finally felt the demand on their export wines to produce 'environmental and ethically chic' labels.

Interestingly, when we began putting together our directory, over a year ago now, the wine farms we contacted about the possibility of converting to organic were rather negative about the process (bar those who had already converted). Some emphatically told us that the process was just too expensive to consider.

greening it up - mon 02

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2006-10-02 09:56

News around the world today includes:
Local organic wine maker, Johnathan Grieve, has begun using ducks, wasps and beetles in a bid to farm organically on his Avondale farm in the Paarl area. Nothing new to the permaculture community, but for South Africans, using natural predators instead of chemical insecticides is.[Mail & Guardian online]

The first UK solar energy charity, aimed at the developing world, was launched last Tuesday at the Climate Clinic Night Labour Party Conference in Manchester. Their aim - using solar energy to relieve poverty and educating in matters relating to solar energy, climate change and protecting the environment. They intend doing this by training local communities in DIY solar skills and have already started in Malawi with a project that is installing solar panels for a youth centre, which helps children orphaned by HIV/AIDS. Read more about it

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greening it up - thu 28

Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2006-09-28 12:18

News around the world today includes:

Arnie's signing a law which has set targets to reduce California's greenhouse gas emissions - way to go California! [BBC] Someone called Babs is busy blogging about trying to get to Brisbane from the UK, without travelling by plane as it's so environmentally damaging - now that's quite a feat if you can pull it off. I just hope she can convince her employer to change the number of days' vacation she's entitled to? [ecostreet]

Someone's started recycling plastic bags into funky, very aesthetically-pleasing bags, now that companies and even cities have begun banning them - a nifty idea and possibly a business plan for an entrepreneur in SA? [Treehugger]

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an inconvenient truth

Submitted by sproutingforth on Fri, 2006-09-15 12:24

Yahoo Uk's front page today has finally got wind of Al Gore's documentary - An inconvenient truth - which looks at the myths & misconceptions around global warming.

Treehugger.com was airing stories about Al Gore's attempt to get across his environmental message as early as February! (possibly before) The film sold out at the Sundance film festival and the Q&As before the screening were packed. Amazing how the minute you get celebs to draw focus to an issue, people sit up and notice! Now they've coined the phrase 'green celebrities' - I mean, hello! I suppose we should be grateful that these sorts of issues are becoming mainstream, but look at the lengths someone as famous as Al Gore has had to go, just to get people to listen? It certainly didn't seem to do the trick when he presented to governments - he is supposed to have presented his talk, before the film, to various government officials from around the globe.

It seems to take the mainstream a lot longer to catch on to anything remotely 'green'? Largely due, I think, to the misconception that 'green' and being environmentally responsible is someone else's problem?

What are we doing in South Africa about global warming? Today's green clipping's headline that SA is to 'green' the 2010 world cup and the Global Environment Facility, the world's largest funder of projects to protect the environment, is planning to help our country with the greening of its public transport system.

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