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a green youth

Submitted by sproutscout on Thu, 2011-06-16 15:12

Respect the EarthRespect the Earth

Youth Day, commemorating the Soweto Uprisings in 1976, reminds South Africans of the pivotal role played by the youth in overcoming Apartheid. The day reminds us that all voices, particularly those of youths, need to be heard in order to solve issues facing society. The day reminds us that the voice of the youth is indeed powerful. Perhaps, just as the youth were pivotal in overcoming the struggles of apartheid, they too will be pivotal in finding a solution to the issues facing society today. The youth can add a unique and valuable perspectives to environmental challenges and the manner in which we live on the earth.

For Alex Lanferna, a Masters student at Rhodes University, Chairman of the the South East African Climate Consortium Student Forum (SEACC SF) and founding member of the Bluebuck Network (see below) "the strange thing about these modern times is that the youth are being

waddle you do to help save the african penguin?

Submitted by incoming on Mon, 2011-05-23 12:34

Campaign walkers to Waddle for a Week to raise awareness about endangered birds

The African penguin, this continent’s only indigenous penguin species, is in danger of becoming extinct - and it needs YOUR help and support. Now.

Numbers of the African penguin, which is endemic to South Africa and Namibia, are rapidly declining, and this decline is accelerating exponentially. Causes include climate change, overfishing, oil pollution and, historically, penguin egg and guano collection.

There is now less than 5% of the original population remaining; numbers have declined by 80% in the past half-century, and by 60% in the past decade alone. Less than half of the minimum viable global population estimate of 50 000 breeding pairs is left.

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mad about makana mead

Submitted by sproutscout on Mon, 2011-05-16 09:09

The welcome sign at iQhilika MeaderyThe welcome sign at iQhilika Meadery

In an old abandoned power station on the outskirts of Grahamstown, a wacky scientist has something brewing in his lab. With a touch of technology used to modify an age-old recipe, the concoction is set to solve problems of sustainability, biodiversity, unemployment, and help us have a good time while we do so. It is something quite undeniably magical that comes in the form of a bottle of honey mead.

The iQhilika Meadery (named for the isiXhosa mead) in Grahamstown was started ten years ago as a part of Dr Garth Cambray’s PhD research project, and now produces about 15 000 bottles of mead a year. I spoke to Cambray about mead, constructive economics and the innovative systems at iQhilika…

Mead production in decline
Mead is an age-old recipe of fermenting honey to make wine. With the declining bee populations in Europe, mead production in

care about the forest - here's what you can do

Submitted by sproutingforth on Wed, 2011-05-04 09:15

We visited Platbos recently. For those who don't know what it is, Platbos is this fairly incredible ancient, indigenous forest that was discovered kind of by accident by Francois and Melissa Krige, just off the coast of Gansbaai, in the Overberg.

We'll save the story of our visit for later, but what this blog is about, is how YOU can contribute to Platbos, for only R75, and put your money where your mouth is, by sponsoring a tree (or two).

If you look closely, you'll see that companies, like Solartech, sponsor 20 odd trees a month to lower their carbon footprint.

Each tree you sponsor contributes a square metre of forest canopy and

sir david attenborough live in pe

Submitted by sproutscout on Sun, 2011-04-17 15:44

Sir David Attenborough addresses Port ElizabethSir David Attenborough addresses Port Elizabeth

Sir David Attenborough gave free public addresses at NMMU on the 11th of April, and UCT on the 13th of April whilst in the country to receive an Honorary Doctorate from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. I was lucky enough to hear him speak at the main lecture venue at NMMU.

A hush crept over the hall as a white haired gentleman was ushered on stage to check the sound equipment, and was then swiftly ushered off again. The packed audience, about an hour an a half early for the address, held their breath - could it be, the man with the familiar voice they had come to see. The person accompanying him nodded as if he had heard their silent question, and the hall erupted in applause for Sir David Attenborough, now off-stage.

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water woes

Submitted by sproutnewb on Fri, 2011-03-18 15:56

While the South African Water Act recognizes water as a human right this does not necessarily mean water is governed and appreciated as it should be. In a country that uses 93% of its available water supply, South Africans need to be made aware of the difficulties that face our most precious resource. With National Water Week coming up next week and with the United Nations in town for World Water Day, thought we'd highlight some of the water issues facing South Africa:

Acid mine drainage
Water pollution
Drinking water quality management
Acid rain
Invasive alien plants
Commercial forestry
Water privatisation
Climate change

Acid mine drainage (AMD)
Dr Anthony Turton has described this AMD problem as "South Africa’s own Chernobyl" due to its potential to cause a huge amount of harm (including spreading radioactivity). Although the government was warned

World Water Day spurs South Peninsula residents to tackle toxic water issue head-on

Submitted by sproutnewb on Fri, 2011-03-18 10:04

Spurred on by rapid urbanisation and climate change, water is set to be the world’s next major resource crisis – an issue World Water Day is drawing attention to on 22 March, 2011. With its theme of Water for cities: responding to the urban challenge it hopes to incite governments, businesses, communities and individuals to engage and address this growing issue and is something a group of passionate South Peninsula residents have taken significant heed of.

Motivated by a legacy of water issues that affect the Kommetjie, Ocean View, Capri and Noordhoek communities, the group aims to raise awareness about persistently high toxicity levels in Wildevoelvlei among the public at an event at Blue River Café, Imhoff’s Gift on 26 March.

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use your myschool card to support WESSA's eco education for kids

Submitted by incoming on Mon, 2011-02-21 10:49

Consumers can now help fund Wessa's grassroots environmental education initiativesConsumers can now help fund Wessa's grassroots environmental education initiativesWhat happens to fish if you throw empty plastic bags in a river? Why is it wrong to litter? How many different types of plants exist in my community, and which ones can I plant to provide me with food?

These are some of the questions WESSA (the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa), a nationwide NGO that pro-actively engages with the challenges and opportunities presented by South Africa’s unique natural heritage, is addressing with its Environmental Education (EE) programme for primary school learners across KwaZulu-Natal(KZN).

land art at soekershof

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2011-02-08 09:26

This beautiful and huge 'nest' is a work of art by Land Art artist Jody Joyner from Tucson, Arizona. You can see it at Soekershof, just outside Robertson.

Inspired by the weaver birds' nests that run along the Klaas Voogds River through the gardens, the nest is made of woven hibiscus twigs...

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the gink - green, childfree and proud

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2010-11-08 11:05

Here's a challenging 'new' accronym that is sure to get the hackles rising and the tongues a wagging – the GINK – green inclinations, no kids.

The article I stumbled upon on Grist got me thinking. I was delighted actually. You see, we've had 'only' one child. I say 'only' as whoever we interact with (usually parents and grandparents) rather tactlessly refer to our decision as 'just' the one, or 'only' one, as if we've suffered a loss and the 'other' is missing.

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