ethical consumer

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green your christmas - part 2

Submitted by sprout group hug on Fri, 2010-12-17 15:59

Green your gifts
Not done your Christmas shopping yet? Or want to direct some merry gift-givers to your wishlist of green Christmas goodies. In part 2 of our Green your Christmas guide we take a look at some green gift ideas for greenies with a special interest.

DIY / GIY Enthusiast
Know that someone special who likes a project? Your Green-it-yourself enthusiast will leap at the opportunity to lower their eco-footprint themselves.
Geyser blankets and pipe insulation, CFL's, LED downlighters, low-flow showerheads & tap aerators would fill the stocking of the greenie comfortable with a shifting spanner. See the eco building and homes section of our directory for more details.

Low cost option? Gift a used tyre with instructions to turn it into a mini garden pond.
High end? Solar Photovoltaic (PV) panel and batteries. Or a home-sized wind turbine.

Eco Fashionista
Hemp is still eco-chic and a more sustainable natural fibre than cotton as it requires no pesticides, herbicides and little fertiliser. Organic cotton is becoming

green your christmas

Submitted by sprout group hug on Wed, 2010-12-01 17:15

In 2008, scientists at the Stockholm Environment Institute reported that the carbon footprint of Christmas - including food, travel, lighting, and gifts - was 650 kg per person in England.

In 2008 consumers in the UK consumed approximately 10 million turkeys, 25 million Christmas puddings, 250 million pints of beer and 35 million bottles of wine. The UK spends £20bn on Christmas, with £1.6bn going on food and drink, of which approximately 230,000 tons of food worth about £275 million is thrown away. Let's face it, Christmas is a nightmare holiday when it comes to the environment.

Another large contributing factor to the carbon footprint of Christmas is the

book review: going green - 365 ways to change our world

Submitted by MichaelE on Tue, 2010-11-30 13:16

going green by simon geargoing green by simon gearIts nearly Christmas and many of us are thinking about gifts to buy. Well one book that I can wholeheartedly recommend is Going Green - 365 Ways to Change our World. This book is filled with great ideas on how to make our planet a better place. The book is written by Simon Gear, known as one of South Africa's favorite weathermen.

shop local: bumper list of christmas markets 2010

Submitted by MichaelE on Fri, 2010-11-12 11:37

hazel food christmas markethazel food christmas marketIf you're anything like me, you'll be racing around trying to get the Christmas shopping done two days before the big event - fighting crowds and cursing, as you slog through the mall, before wrestling a big oke for the last blue t-shirt in Mr Price, followed by the interminable queuing to pay for your hard won gift for your cousin. That was last year, and I swore never again! This year I would be organised. I would shop at markets and fetes, enjoying the experience and finding wonderful presents from local crafters, as well as indulge in fantastic home-made treats.

I am somewhat horrified to see the retail sector going Christmas mad already! Like a cat pouncing on a mouse, Christmas has already snuck up on me – and some Christmas markets have already happened!

So I made it my mission to share with you as many Christmas markets as I could. Below is a list of Christmas markets happening around the country. I know I'll

national marine week: time to reconsider that suntan

Submitted by MichaelE on Thu, 2010-10-14 14:23

coral reef in the southern red seacoral reef in the southern red seaIt's that time of year when we all want to be spending more time out of doors and soaking up some of SA's great weather and head to the beach. This week is National Marine week and I learned something new: sunscreen swimmers wear is harming coral reefs. This was the finding of a study done back in 2008 by Roberto Danovaro of the Polytechnic University of Marche in Italy. They discovered that ingredients in sunscreen were responsible for killing off coral reefs. They estimated that 4,000 to 6,000 tons of sunscreen were released annually in reef areas.

4 great eco-documentaries at the labia this week

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2010-09-21 12:12

It's UCT's Green Week this week. I'm supposed to be visiting (eek) but I'm also on a deadline...

As part of the Green Week, While You Were Sleeping and the UCT Green Campus Initiative invite you to watch four fantastic documentaries with important environmental themes at the Labia on Orange cinema in Cape Town from Monday 20 September to Thursday 23 September at 6.15pm.

Vanishing of the Bees
The Nuclear Comeback
The End of the Line

For a synopsis on each of these, visit the Facebook page.

Don't miss these thought-provoking and inspiring documentary films covering themes from nuclear energy and over-fishing to oil pollution.

A facilitated audience discussion will follow each screening. Tickets are R20 and can be reserved by calling The Labia.

save our trees - stop buying fashion magazines

Submitted by turbosprout on Fri, 2010-09-03 12:00

pic: mhnunsapic: mhnunsaThis was the slogan I spotted on a placard this morning while driving past Cavendish (of all places). The placard was held by a senior primary school girl, probably aged 11 or 12. And she was not alone - there must have been around seventy kids (perhaps more) and their teachers on an outing related to Arbour Week. It made me smile and gave me encouragement for our future. Way to go.

This was in contrast to the banter I heard on Heart fm this morning. Some hapless caller phoned in wanting advice on

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tapped documentary review

Submitted by Dax on Wed, 2010-09-01 12:27

I can't remember exactly when I became aware of the problem of bottled water. I do have a post on Relax with Dax (The Scourge of Bottled Water) which was written in April 2006, so probably sometime before then. I personally try not to drink bottled water unless there is no alternative, but many people are still unaware of the damage bottled water does. In fact, when I attended the Eat In Awards lunch, they had imported bottled water on the table even though they are promoting local, organic and fair produce!

the yes men fix the world review

Submitted by Dax on Wed, 2010-08-18 17:10

I loved this documentary. I had heard about the Yes Men, but it was great to actually see them in action and learn about the various stunts they pulled. Imagine this, the Yes Men pose as a Dow Chemical spokesperson and inform 300m people on BBC news that Dow has decided to clean up the Bhopal site and compensate the victims. Dow's stock dropped $2 billion in 20 mins!
Why did they do this? To attract people's attention to the fact that the site has not been cleaned up and still leaks harmful chemicals into the groundwater. And that the people are still suffering the after effects of the explosion more than 20 years later but have received no compensation for their suffering.
This is just one of the many hoaxes the Yes Men have pulled off in their unique style. They do it to try and create

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arum lilies - pick them at your peril!

Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2010-08-12 09:53

Arum lily season is here! You'll know this because at any number of lights around the city, some well-meaning chap will thrust a bunch at your window. And the temptation to buy these gorgeous flowers is enormous.

I've been aware that one shouldn't buy as they're being picked in the wild, destroying the natural balance of what remains of the natural wetlands, wild places and roadsides along which they grow (they're regarded as one of the wild flowers of the flower route and indicated in reports on the flowers).

But what I didn't know is that the endangered arum lily micro frog breeds in the water and dew held in the cup of these lilies.


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