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sasol on solar

Submitted by sproutscout on Tue, 2011-06-14 12:56


Earlier this month the Sci-Bono Center in Johannesburg invited Dr Vosloo of Sasol Technology to present a view of the future of renewable energy from an industrial perspective.

Vosloo was clear to state that he was seeking a renewable energy source (or sources) that had the potential to provide energy at a national level, and that could be made economically viable. For these reasons he dismissed biomass energy, hydropower, wind energy and wave energy – as each of these, to him,

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eat for the earth this world environment day

Submitted by turbosprout on Mon, 2011-05-30 11:34

Host a lunch, save the world - this world environment day 5 june 2011.

World Environment Day falls on a Sunday this year, so why not couple it with the great Sunday lunch tradition to benefit the environment? Sheer genius really!

How does it work? You host a lunch in your home, inviting your friends to join and ask them to donate anything from R25 - R200 to food garden NGO, Soil for Life. You cook and your friends donate online and you all stand a chance to win great prizes.

All money raised at Eat for the Earth lunches throughout South Africa will go to

platbos reforest fest

Submitted by incoming on Fri, 2011-05-20 15:36

Platbos is here... whoop! We'll be camping out, planting 1000 trees, enjoying the magical Platbos forest, eating good food, listening to talks in the evenings and celebrating with some seriously great music.
If you're planning to join us for this adventure on the weekend of 10th ,11th and 12th June, book your place now as we only have 50 spots.

Price: R270

To book, email with:
1. Your full name and email address
2. The names of anyone else you want to book for and their email addresses
3. Would you be interested in taking The Green Bus ( there and back? (Write: Transport needed OR Don't need transport). The price for this will be sent out shortly.

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wake up and smell the coffee

Submitted by turbosprout on Thu, 2011-05-12 10:02

Find out more about Fairtrade, Fair Trade, Fairtrade Coffee Week, World Fair Trade Day and what you can do to help!

Nothing beats that first sip of coffee in the morning, and most of the Western world rely on caffeine's psychoactive effects to kickstart their day, but spare a thought for how the world's second largest commodity (after oil) got from where it was produced to your lips.

In Black Gold, being screened at the Labia as part of Fairtrade Coffee Week, Tadesse Meskela is a man on a mission to save 74 000 Ethiopian farmers from bankruptcy. Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee, but as Tadesse travels the world, will he find a buyer willing to purchase coffee beans of the highest quality at a fair price?

The movie exposes the enormous power of the multinational players that dominate the world's coffee trade. Unsurprisingly the world's largest sellers of coffee to consumers - Starbucks, Proctor & Gamble, Nestle, Kraft and Sara Lee declined to be interviewed for the film. New York commodity traders, the international coffee exchanges, and the double dealings of trade ministers at the World Trade Organisation also come under scrutiny.

With so many middle-men, the coffee farmers, left to the devices of a skewed "free market" system, will never receive a decent price for their efforts. So what is an ethically minded coffee addict to do?

Support the Fair Trade movement
This is where the Fair Trade movement steps in so that

responsible tourism (rt) conference encourages sa to think big

Submitted by turbosprout on Mon, 2011-05-09 14:17

Ron Mader: Responsible Tourism in Cities mini-conferenceRon Mader: Responsible Tourism in Cities mini-conferenceKudos to Responsible Tourism Cape Town for recording and streaming their Responsible Tourism in Cities Mini-Conference on Fri 6 May ahead of the Tourism Indaba hosted in Durban.

I tuned in for a few of the sessions and found Ron Mader's presentation, Why We Suck @ Collaboration, especially worthwhile.

Ron is based in Oaxaca, Mexico and started a responsible tourism website - - back in 1994. Ron Mader visited SA to be part of Friday's Responsible Tourism in Cities mini conference.

In his talk Ron provided some examples of FAILed collaboration - with accompanying images of

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happy earth day!

Submitted by turbosprout on Fri, 2011-04-22 09:57

Earth Day (22 Apr) is not widely celebrated in South Africa, our major national environmental day being World Environment Day (5 Jun). But then who needs an excuse to celebrate the Earth. Every day should be Earth Day! Earth Day was originally started in the US of A, back before a lot of us were born (:-)), in 1970 by a US Senator Gaylord Nelson. Over the years since then it has grown into a global celebration, not tied to any one government or country.

Last year we noted the Earth Day Network's Billion Acts of Green initiative and this year the call is the same: make a personal commitment to sustainability.

We've already celebrated Earth Hour and we have World Environment Day and Arbor Day to look forward to. If we make one new lifestyle change or commitment to an environmental practice on each celebrated occasion we'll quickly be living much greener lives.

22 Apr 2011 happens to also fall on Good Friday, so for a change we're not in the office, and could use the occasion to enjoy some quality time with our families and reflect on how we can improve things for ourselves and the earth.

Ideas for this Earth Day
If you are not already doing so, why not make a commitment to starting your own composting system, recycling your waste, reducing

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green office week: top tips for greening your office

Submitted by turbosprout on Tue, 2011-04-19 12:03

flat screen monitors, office plants, smiling workers... it's green office week: pic - green path guideflat screen monitors, office plants, smiling workers... it's green office week: pic - green path guideGreen Office Week (GOW) [18 - 21 April 2011] is an initiative started by Dictum, a South African specialist publishing company, in 2010 (incidentally they also initiated National Bosses Day back in 1990).

Focus days
This year Green Office Week has four focus days, which I think is a good idea:

Mon 18 - Make it happen Monday
Monday is all about printing and paper use.

Tue 19 - Choosy Tuesday
Focus on getting and using greener office supplies and equipment.

Wed 20 - Wattage Wednesday
How to reduce your energy consumption

Thurs 21 - Thoughtful Thursday
Think about how to use technology to reduce your environmental impact. You can of course think about other non-technocentric ideas on Thursday too!

Great office greening resources
There are some excellent resources for greening your office. One of the best we've come across is the Project 90x2030 Green Your Office Toolkit, a 48 page (3.8 Mb PDF) download, with case studies and local examples. It provides action sections covering Energy, Water, Waste and Travel and P90230 have also developed an online office audit tool which you can use to record your impacts and view actionable suggestions.

The Green Office Week website has a really good, concise 8-page Green Office Action Plan (GOAP) download (355 Kb PDF) which has many tips and ideas spanning seven areas: Paper, Energy, Water, Green Purchasing, Waste, Carbon Footprint, Green Events. There is also a download by GOW outling the aims, simple tips for each day, getting buy-in from co-workers, and info for the boss.

In keeping with the focus days, here are urban sprouts top tips for Green Office Week for Printing, Office Supplies, Energy and Technology.

Printing (or not)
If you're going to download the resources above (they're worth keeping close at hand) you'll want to consider the best way to print.

The average UK office worker prints out an estimated 1500 sheets of paper each month, most of which is discarded within 2 days and some of which is reprinted. When it comes to printing, the first thing is to

party for the trees with greenpop this thurs

Submitted by incoming on Mon, 2011-04-18 11:06

Greenpop welcomes Earth Day with a party celebrating the earth and her beautiful trees - Cool as Folk, 21 April 2011, The Assembly, 8pm

Tree planting initiative, Greenpop, started planting indigenous and fruit trees on the Cape Flats in September last year. At Greenpop, the past 7 months have seen just over 3000 trees going into the ground, environmental education spreading, more than 500 volunteers signing up to come and plant and wonderful school children getting their hands dirty and learning to plant and care for trees.

Through the hot summer, the schools excitedly implemented Greenpop's grey water idea, where each child brings in a 2-litre bottle of their bath water to school 3 times a week and each class has designated days to water their trees. With more than 1000 learners at some schools, that's a lot of recycled water!

But now it's time for the rains to come, and some rain dancing is in order.

Greenpop's second 'Cool as Folk' party is Thursday 21 April - the day before

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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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the night the lights went out in orlando

Submitted by sproutscout on Fri, 2011-04-01 09:30

earth hour 2011 orlando stadiumearth hour 2011 orlando stadiumThe lights went out at Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Saturday, as they did in many iconic buildings worldwide, in honor of Earth Hour. The WWF concert was the first publicly celebrated occasion of Earth Hour in Johannesburg, since its inception in Australia 2004. As Dr Morne Du Plessis (WWF SA CEO), Amos Masondo (Johannesburg Mayor), and Matshidiso Mfikoe (member of the mayoral committee for environment), ceremonially pulled the plug at the stadium, the grammy-award winning Soweto gospel choir were ushered on stage to perform. The hoards were kept away from the free concert by the threat of rain, but those who did arrive were thoroughly entertained. The act was soon joined by the Bala brothers and Vicus Visser (dubbed South Africa’s very own Justin Bieber) and his brother, who gave the audience much to wave their candles to.

But what of the electricity used to entertain the crowd while the stadiums lights were off? And the electricity used to set-up the big screen, and the lighting and TV screens in the VIP marquee? As Maseda Ratshikuni, head of cause marketing at Nedbank argues, it is not the amount of electricity one uses during the hour per se, but rather the amount of awareness raised, that will ultimately decrease the amount of electricity used in the city. Most hard-core may environmentalists criticize this statement, but he may make an important point.

Earth Hour after-all was started

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