sproutingforth's blog

earthmass – the youth are rising

Submitted by sproutingforth on Wed, 2010-01-13 11:58

Siya sounds excited on the telephone. It takes me a moment to realise that I'm speaking to a 16-year old. He is confident, eager and brimming over with that 'something' we tend to lose as we get older – that assuredness that the world just needs a shove in the right direction for it to see the error of its ways.

Siyabongasamy Beyile intends rallying the youth in South Africa against global warming. He intends going one better than that. He wants the children of the World to stand together against global warming. It is time, that the youth, he says, take a stand and fight for our future...

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1 new year's resolution - recycle at work

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2010-01-11 15:55

Say the word ‘recycle’ and people immediately start thinking containers. We get roughly one email a week from someone who’s drawn the short straw and been assigned the title of ‘mr/ms recycle’ at work and the first thing they’re after is the receptacle for the recycling.

But first, a quick word on the ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ mantra: most of us give little attention to the first two adjectives and move straight to the third, which can arguably be seen as nothing short of a giant placebo that makes us feel good, but is only part of the solution.

get with the programme, eskom

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2010-01-04 10:28

Remember the California option – John Joslin's alternative to Eskom - a proposal delivered to NERSA arguing the tariff increase is not necessary if Eskom pursues renewable energy? The story was one of our top ten stories for 2009.

John Joslin has now submitted his fourth of four submissions to NERSA regarding ESKOM's revised revenue application.


The revised calculation (45% to 35%) was hastily done and did not examine all realistic alternatives - it was done in a few weeks based on an inadequate strategy...

top 10 news stories for 2009

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2009-12-29 13:46

2010 is virtually upon us, but before we allow the new year to sweep us back into the swing of things, it's a good moment to reflect on the past year and what news stories were most popular with our readers.

1. is Woolworths just another bad egg?
So there you are; surrounded by posters of poultry basking in their freedom, your conscience and shopping experience clean because you are promised that the eggs you are buying came from free-range chickens. If chickens could smile, I’m sure we would be confronted by an enormous picture of a splendid beaky grin.

2. you can recycle tetra pak!
I have to confess to sending various irate messages to Tetra Pak over the last year about their apparent lack of recycling facilities in Cape Town, or the country for that matter. The perception out there, despite their very obvious drive to recycle overseas, is that one can't recycle tetra pak, and there are a fair amount of them if you consider things like fruit juice, some olive oil, long-life milk and custard all come in these containers – they heap up over time!

copenhagen - leaders fail to make history, but people did

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2009-12-22 12:15

Members of an African enviromental group sing and dance at Climate Conference in Copenhagen.

Whilst US President Barack Obama is speaking of a "the beginning of a new era of international action" and China says the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen yielded "positive" results, NGO's and scientists are largely shell-shocked.

After two weeks of failed negotiations a bare-minimum "accord" was announced by the US along with China, India, South Africa and Brazil on Saturday. It was drafted by 28 nations ranging from Opec oil producers to small island nations and includes many European nations.

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it's a map, it's green, and now it's in print

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2009-11-24 14:10

www.capetowngreenmap.co.za now has a print map. You can either get hold of it free of charge from Cape Town Tourism Visitor Information Centres, or you can be one of the first to download a pdf version (read further).

This morning we were one of a small party of people (most of them the steering committee) who met on a hill at Tygerberg Hills Nature Reserve to launch the print map...

go kumi, go! - a south african takes the reigns of greenpeace

Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2009-11-19 09:59

Kumi Naidoo is the new Executive Director for Greenpeace. He grew up in SA, studied in Britain (he has a doctorate in political sociology from Oxford), was one of the founders of the Global Call to Action Against Poverty, and led the Global Campaign for Climate Action. After taking the reigns of the international environmental group, he intends to make his focus the impact of climate change on the world's poor (a shift in focus from whaling and nuclear testing, for which he has been criticised by those who don't see the bigger picture, obviously).

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climate deal delayed

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2009-11-16 11:49

Environmentalists and greenies the world over have been steadily campaigning for a binding climate deal for UN climate talks set to take place next month in Copenhagen.

But news now indicates that there will be no legally binding treaty at the end of December's talks, and that world leaders are delaying a global treaty.

The conference was supposed to produce an agreement on how best to combat climate change after 2012, when the Kyoto protocol expires.

Disappointing, yes. How long are world leaders going to use delay tactics?

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farming for the future – revolutionary or smudging the push for organic?

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2009-11-10 20:40

farming for the futureWoolworths has recently made public their pioneering of a new method of farming fresh produce. It's called 'farming for the future', and there's a lot of talk about improving the soil and plant health, preserving water, protecting biodiversity and being kinder to the environment.

The gist of the new farming for the future is that 'conventional farming methods are increasingly not sustainable' and that 'new methods improve soil and water quality and encourage biodiversity'. Woolworths mention that their 'agricultural experts' have spent three years developing the practices of this form of farming with their suppliers.

visit the earth fair market in tokai

Submitted by sproutingforth on Fri, 2009-10-30 13:26

For those of you in search of something new that is not only set to be equally as good as the Biscuit Mill's Neighbourgoods Market, but also emphasises the local, artisan and sustainability aspect of food, head off to the Earth Fair market in Tokai.

Earth Fair is also an indoor market. It lies in the South Palms (for those of you to whom this means nothing, it's actually in the same area as Builders Warehouse in Main Road, although behind Bathroom Bizarre). There is plenty of parking, for a start, and there are activities for kids, which for many living in Tokai is something of a godsend on a Saturday morning.

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