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greening it up – thurs 12 apr 07

Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2007-04-12 11:55

under threat - Cape floraunder threat - Cape flora SAfricans register the world’s highest score for concern about global warming. A global opinion survey on the effects of climate change established that 82% of SA respondents say that are ‘very concerned’ or ‘somewhat concerned’ about global warming. [M&G] More than two-thirds of the world’s people are worried by global warming, although Americans are among the least anxious even though their nation is the top source of greenhouse gases. [reuters]

CT’s business must reduce power use by 2010. The City of Cape Town’s energy and climate change strategy is undergoing changes to its energy and climate change strategy, which will see businesses and industry having to cut electricity consumption by 10% by 2010 and municipal buildings and operations by 12% by 2015. CT is the first SA city to develop an energy and climate change strategy. [IOL]

No more space for waste in CT. Do you recycle your paper, cardboard, tins and glass? Do you have a compost heap or worm bin? CT is facing a major crisis in managing the growing mountain of waste the city generates. At the current rate, all rubbish dumps will be full within the next 3 to 5 years. [IOL] Find out more about how you can recycle and where [urban sprout]

It’s in the air that we breathe. Six air quality monitoring stations have been launched in the Vaal triangle in a bid to monitor harmful substances in the air. Industries have been urged to co-operate, by providing information about their emissions and the government intends to clamp down and put an air quality management plan into place. [IOL]

CT looking at green building guidelines. The City of Cape Town has had a workshop with local building experts to begin work on green building guidelines – great news for those wanting to build with straw bale, cob, adobe, earth bags etc. The group is also looking at grey-water, pv panels, wind power and passive solar elements. Permacore, who has been asked to help with greening urban landscapes, is looking for examples of new or retro-fitted green building examples. Contact us if you know of any.

greening it up – mon 19 mar 07

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2007-03-19 15:13

Hottest winter since 1880. The world has experienced the warmest December to February period on record, according to the NOAA (US National oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) – 0.72 degrees above the 20th century mean. [newscientist]

”Non-GMO verified” set to become an industry standard in the US. A number of organic farmers, producing organic milk, have found that their feed is ‘contaminated’ by genetically modified organisms, and have begun the process of seeking a new “non-GMO verified” certification. Why? By telling consumers loud and clear which products are GM-free, organic-food producers will give them one more reason to choose organic. [Time]

Environment-friendly school funded by Oprah. The Seven Fountains Primary School in Shayamoya, a remote town in KwaZulu-Natal, was funded by Oprah Winfrey, designed using environmentally responsible principles oprah celebrating at seven fountainsoprah celebrating at seven fountainsand was built with community participation. The school features some innovative green design ideas. As water supply to the area is irregular there is a rain water harvesting system and a water pump powered by children playing on the see-saw and merry-go-round.

They also use solar power and have a garden supplying vegetables for school meals. The school cost R12m, which is in line with the KZN Education Dept's budget for a school of this size.

"The Seven Fountains School is an example of what schools in SA can become," said Oprah.[M&G]

greening it up - fri 16 mar 07

Submitted by turbosprout on Fri, 2007-03-16 22:54

Green Scorpions' nationwide sting. Inspectors from the environmental police force conducted "enforcement inspections" around the country yesterday and caught a number of offenders red-handed, including six "grossly non-compliant" abattoirs in the Northern Cape. Gross is definitely a choice word to use. You can read more about what they found here.

Opensource architecture now a reality. The Open Architecture Network was olifantsvlei project on OANolifantsvlei project on OANlaunched just over a week ago by Architects For Humanity and had over 1500 members sign up in four days. AFH co-founder Cameron Sinclair was recently in SA for this year's Design Indaba promoting Open Architecture and "Designing like you give a damn". The OAN is an open source community for designers of all persuasions to collaborate and share their designs and ideas by applying a Creative Commons license to their works. It's really cool to see there are already some South African projects listed! Via [cherryflava]

Tesla Motors will be opening five customer service centres around the US to coincide with the public launch of their electric roadster later this year. Service centres will be located in Chicago, Northern California, Southern California, New York and Florida. Can we expect to see a dealership in SA any time soon, I wonder? More about this industry changing car here, here and here. Via [treehugger]

greening it up – wed 28 feb 07

Submitted by sproutingforth on Wed, 2007-02-28 10:59

Why you should be buying organic or rBST-free milk. If you’re not already doing so, there are very good reasons to buy rBST-free milk (Woolies & Pick ‘n Pay produce rBST-free milk). Despite Monsanto’s “study” showing no difference between milk from rBST-free cows and those injected with the hormone, a scientific study by the Physicians for Social Responsibility has shown that the hormone poses risks to animal and human health. [organic consumers] Read a brochure released by the group [know your milk]

SA’s ‘revolution in transport’ announced by the Transport Minister, now standing in for the Health Minister as she recuperates in hospital, outlines the R-billions soon to be injected into the public transport and infrastructure system to prepare for 2010 – but not a word about green alternatives or an endeavour to cut carbon emissions.[M&G]

green home in Muizenberg not recognised as a 'house' by banks

Submitted by sproutingforth on Fri, 2007-02-09 11:23

MuizenbergMuizenbergGreen homes have now become the topic of conversation and last week’s Weekender featured an article on a cob house going up in Muizenberg, Cape Town.

Exciting news. Green is no longer just for hippies and people with a burning desire to save the planet – it’s now trendy too.

All the woodwork is treated with environmentally friendly products and thick poles sourced from alien gums support the roof. Most of the walls are cob (beach sand, clay, earth, water and straw mixed together), sourced locally, and these thick walls insulate the house making it cool in summer and warm in winter.

They’re implementing a grey water system and, although the house will start out using the electricity grid, they intend being self-sufficient.

But nobody said it was going to be easy. Simric and Carey Yarrow, whose building will be almost entirely self-sufficient and should survive the next wave of electricity blackouts, have had to battle with the City of Cape Town to get their house up in the first place, and forget a bank loan, as alternative building isn’t recognised as a ‘house’ (no brick and mortar there, I’m afraid!).

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