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blogger bakeoff: bake bread, give dough

Submitted by turbosprout on Tue, 2008-10-21 13:44

If you're a blogger or a reader of blogs here's your chance to "feed Africa from the comfort of your own home kitchen."

Breadline Africa is an African based charity with European backing that turns old shipping containers into community structures such as nursery schools, classrooms and kitchens in needy areas. Since 1996 they've provided grants to over 130 charity projects aimed at alleviating poverty in South Africa.

The Worldwide Blogger Bake Off was launched by them on Blog Action Day last week and aims to raise $1-million to help end poverty mainly through bloggers and their readers spreading the word, taking to their ovens and giving generously.

"380 million people in Africa live in abject poverty,… the average African is living on less than $1 a day. While the world is facing an economic and food crisis, the numbers in sub-Saharan Africa are among the worst, with half of the population living below the poverty line.

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blog action day: poverty and what you can do

Submitted by turbosprout on Wed, 2008-10-15 14:29

Today is blog action day 2008, a day where bloggers of the world unite in posting on a common topic to raise awareness of a prescribed theme. Last years theme was the Environment and this year bloggers are creating a discussion around Poverty.

Poverty is usually framed in the context of money, or the lack thereof, to access the basic necessities for a dignified life. The impoverished are those who are unable to fulfil their most basic human needs, the so-called lower levels on Maslow's hierarchy of needs. But although money might be the means of acquiring these needs, lack of money is not poverty in itself:

"Poverty is hunger. Poverty is lack of shelter. Poverty is being sick and not being able to see a doctor. Poverty is not having access to school and not knowing how to read. Poverty is not having a job, is fear for the future, living one day at a time. Poverty is losing a child to illness brought about by unclean water." [ironically, the world bank]

Poverty is a wide-ranging and complex issue, a good starting point for exploring poverty further

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4 ways sa can survive the end of our world as we know it

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2008-10-13 13:04

I recently read an article on IOL entitled "End of the world as we know it" that tackles the world’s collective denial of where we are at the moment (it’s not bad, it’s worse). Despite the use of negative adjectives like ‘bad’ and ‘worse’ (most people roll their eyes when anyone attempts to list just what is wrong with the world; they want solutions not a list of woes), it deals with some very obvious and positive solutions for South Africa, many of which we’ve been spouting here on urban sprout.

The article calls for a ‘Copernican’ shift in our thinking (Copernicus was the first astronomer to prove scientifically that the sun rather than the Earth was at the centre of our cosmic system).

"Our current pursuit of growth and the elevation of human material wants above all else are the raison d'être of the problem. We promote consumption and ignore efficiency. We live as though there is no tomorrow, and the way we are going there probably won't be."

4 solutions for SA:

  • The message for SA, well endowed with resources, is this: be bold and aim to reduce population growth, using education and incentives at all times.

earthlings - make the connection

Submitted by turbosprout on Wed, 2008-10-08 09:52

Earthlings is apparently the most shocking movie to be seen about society's abuse of animals. It's also compulsory viewing for those concerned with animal rights and also those that suspect there is something wrong with our use of animals as "factors of production". I've not yet seen Earthlings, but those whom I've spoken to about it were very disturbed by what they saw and urge everyone to do the same. We have an inkling of the atrocities that are committed so we can enjoy our consumptive lifestyles, but most of us push these uneasy thoughts to the furtherest reaches of our consciousness and just pretend it doesn't happen.

Earthlings was screened last Friday at the Labia on Kloof and because of demand will be screened again from this Friday the 10th. See here for more details.

"This is the single most powerful and informative movie about society's treatment of animals. A must see for anyone who cares enough to know"
- Woody Harrelson

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transition towns movement hits cape town

Submitted by turbosprout on Tue, 2008-10-07 11:43

12 steps to Transition Culture12 steps to Transition CultureThe Transition Town movement has been mushrooming around the globe with, as of Sept 2008, over 100 communities recognised as official Transition Towns in the UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. Now the first transition town communities have started up in Cape Town, largely thanks to the efforts of some members of SANE's Community Exchange System.

We first blogged about the transition towns movement back in April and noted that it had grown from permaculture roots. It was basically the fruit borne of a permaculture designer, Rob Hopkins, and students in Kinsale, Ireland in writing an "Energy Descent Action Plan". One of the students, Louise Rooney, presented the Transition Towns concept to the Kinsale town council and the forward thinking councillors adopted the plan.

In typical permaculture fashion the transition town framework has sustainability as it's core and covers the realms of

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sa's first green blogger meetup

Submitted by turbosprout on Mon, 2008-10-06 09:55

Green bloggers in Cape Town are getting it together to meet up, thanks to Juliana Rotich of Global Voices Online (she's paying a special visit to SA), so if you're based in the Mother City, have a blog and have something green, environmental or organic to say then come along this Saturday and meet your fellow green bloggers in the flesh!

When: Saturday, October 11th, 2pm
Where: Obz Cafe, 115 Lower Main Road, Observatory

There's also an African green mapping initiative launched by Rory, and of course there will be lots to talk about.

Juliana thought we might like to plant some trees too, so if you have suggestions of a school or community project, perhaps in / near Obs then put your suggestions up on the wiki.

RSVP by putting your name on the wiki to know how many to expect.

Spread the word...

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xdr-tb: the x-rated disease

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2008-10-06 09:33

XDR-TB is an extremely drug-resistant strain of TB. It has been identified in 49 countries as of June 2008.

Legendary photographer and 2007 TED prize winner James Nachtwey spent a year shooting the worldwide health crisis. He’s put together the following video and from 3 October is exhibiting his photographs in major cities throughout the world – Times Square, Union Square and Columbus Circle in New York City, the National Theatre and Barbican Centre in London, film festivals in Los Angeles etc - to create awareness of the killer mutation of tuberculosis.

Many people think of TB as a disease of the past, but in 2007 alone, TB killed 1.7 million people. That’s 4,660 deaths a day, or one death from TB every 20 seconds...

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students turn trash into art

Submitted by turbosprout on Fri, 2008-10-03 21:08

Guests take a look at 'Science Fiction' by Lucio LupacchiniGuests take a look at 'Science Fiction' by Lucio LupacchiniFirst year Multimedia Design Students at the CityVarsity School of Media and Creative Arts have created artworks from waste to promote recycling. Ten sculptures have been created out of the recycling materials collected from Wellness Warehouse's recycling bins at their store at Kloof Streets Lifestyle Centre and are on display until 11 October.

The sculptures include a replica of Table Mountain, made out of glass bottles, a lamp shaped like a life-sized male torso which was made out of scrap plastic and a metal bird created by one of the female students who taught herself how to weld.

According to Karl Fedderke, Head of the Multimedia Design Department at CityVarsity, "students were tasked to create anything that they wished out of scrap materials with the main goal being to see what the Wellness Warehouse and its initiatives were about. The main outcome of the project was to open student's eyes about the importance of the 'green theme' as well as learning more about the recycling initiatives along with social responsibility. Students have also learnt that creativity isn't limited to resources."

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care2 make a difference: send an e-card for peace

Submitted by turbosprout on Fri, 2008-09-19 10:13

pic: care2 peace day cardpic: care2 peace day cardCare2 have recently spruced up their website to give it a more 2.0 webby look and I must say that it is really cool. If you ever need to send someone some smiles over the miles with an online greeting card (you get to save trees, postal services energy and money at the same time) take a look at care2's e-cards. They're funny, serious, poignant and some have brilliant animations and audio. You'll also be subscribed to their up to date campaign alerts so will increase your awareness of environmental and social issues in other parts of the world (mainly the US).

Sunday 21st September 2008 is International Day of Peace so is a good time to reflect on the relative peace we have in this country, the progress we have made since 1994, and to think of those in conflict areas around the world who aren't as fortunate: Zimbabwe, Palestine, Sudan, Tibet, Burma, Iraq, Afganistan, Georgia...

It's a given that there is still much healing to be done in our own land, and racial and ethnic (zenophobic) tensions are still a worry, but perhaps we can also stop for a minute and count our blessings and celebrate and be grateful for the abundance we have.

Why not try out your e-card savvy by sending a peace day card to someone you're thinking of?

Peace be with you as you imagine, then create a new world where we can really make a difference.

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the amazing green race

Submitted by turbosprout on Tue, 2008-09-16 11:59

Wits students are on Day 4 of a three week long drive to go greener. Organised by student organisation Roots and Shoots and in conjunction with the Biological Society (Biosoc) of the University of the Witwatersand, they are running a project that aims to get students to participate in a race to decrease their ecological footprints. Enrollment took place last week and The Amazing Green Race is now firmly in swing! Participants receive daily SMS's and emails showing how to live in a more sustainable manner through easy-to-follow tips. They are also planning to award prizes for the greatest ecological footprint reduction and lowest carbon footprint at a celebratory after-race party.

Events are planned for the 23rd Sept, where there will be talks by academics and professionals in the climate change and environmental fields, and the 3rd October when the three week race will culminate in a picnic party prize fest.

They've also got a nifty go green quiz you can take to assess your footprint and a cool promo video to check out over here.

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