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book review: invaded - the biological invasion of south africa

Submitted by MichaelE on Mon, 2010-03-08 10:25

Invaded: Leonie JoubertInvaded: Leonie JoubertDid you know that there is a secret war going on right here in South Africa? That we are being invaded? No, illegal Zimbabweans are not to blame. Instead Leonie Joubert's book refers to the biological invasion of South Africa. No, not biological warfare either, but rather the movement of new species into habitats in South Africa and the ecological impact they have on the environment.

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a sea change documentary review

Submitted by Dax on Mon, 2010-02-08 10:39

A Sea ChangeA Sea ChangeA Sea Change is a gentle documentary, in contrast to some of the documentaries which give you nightmares for months afterwards like Earthlings. This documentary looks at the topic of ocean acidification which is something most people are not aware of. We are aware that the oceans absorb carbon dioxide, in fact scientists have been looking for ways to make the oceans absorb more carbon dioxide in an attempt to reduce climate change. However, as the level of carbon dioxide in the ocean increases, so does the acidity of the ocean. The change so far has been very slight and mostly in colder areas but the implications are huge.

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the eco shrine in hogsback

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2010-02-01 11:23

There is something of the sacred in Hogsback. Perhaps it is the ethereal proximity of dense, indigenous forests that hint at faery folk, or its remoteness that make it so. But few people leave here without some element of reparation, even if it is simply their faith in the beauty of nature that is restored.

The approach to the eco shrine, which the artist Diana Graham calls the 'Voice of the Earth Eco shrine', does much to reinforce this impression. It is a tunnel formed by lean, leafy Hazelnut trees that create a vortex through which one moves from one time into another. Or so it seems.

nothings beats wild oats for breakfast

Submitted by sproutingforth on Wed, 2010-01-27 12:52

As far as food markets go, the Wild Oats Market in Sedgefield on the Garden Route probably comes up tops. Residents of Sedgefield and visitors to the town head out in their droves on a Saturday morning to the edge of town right next to the Swartvlei lake-lagoon, where the market has a permanent home under the trees.

The market's full name is the Wild Oats Community Farmers' Market and it has won numerous awards during its ten year life span. Whilst I'd heard only good things about the farmers' market, I hadn't yet had the opportunity to visit it, but our road trip up to Hogsback had been conveniently carved into a number of stopovers that included Sedgefield, and the market was one of the first to make its way onto the itinerary.

usb battery review

Submitted by turbosprout on Wed, 2010-01-20 16:04

When I first saw this little AA battery with a USB connection for recharging I thought it looked like a nifty gimmick, but what would I use it for? It's turned out to be quite handy as we've got a couple of battery operated kids toys and old torches lying around the house.

The usb battery is a rechargeable battery but instead of using a separate charging device to recharge it, the battery comes with a built-in male usb connection which can plug in to your laptop or pc's powered usb port. Like most other AA size rechargeable batteries it is a Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) cell, but it includes a cap which pops off to reveal the usb connection.

The usb connector is found on the negetive terminal side of the battery, covered by a cap which slides off easily but is attached with a little elastic band so can't get lost - clever idea.

As roughly a fifth of the battery's size

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when corporations rule the world

Submitted by Dax on Sat, 2009-11-28 09:25

I do honestly believe that corporations are one of the fundamental reasons that the world is in the trouble it is in. So when I'm browsing and I see a book titled When Corporations Rule The World, I have to buy it and read it.

I know that there are many books on this topic and I'm not sure what made me choose this one. The foreword is written by Danny Glover and Desmond Tutu calls it a 'must read book', but I don't think that is why I chose it. The author, David Korten is highly qualified in the fields of economics and business management, which is good but I didn't know that when I bought it. Whatever it is that made me choose this book, I'm glad it did because it's a very interesting and eye opening read.

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it's a map, it's green, and now it's in print

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2009-11-24 14:10 now has a print map. You can either get hold of it free of charge from Cape Town Tourism Visitor Information Centres, or you can be one of the first to download a pdf version (read further).

This morning we were one of a small party of people (most of them the steering committee) who met on a hill at Tygerberg Hills Nature Reserve to launch the print map...

spring CSA review

Submitted by turbosprout on Thu, 2009-11-05 10:20

I've met a few organic farmers before and always enjoy finding out the fascinating stories behind where my food comes from. But for the last eight weeks I've been mostly dependent on one particular farmer for my vegetable sustenance. That farmer is Erick Zenzele and this is the story of how Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has made a difference to both of us.

The short version of the story is that I got to eat organic, fresh produce that was grown about 45 minutes drive from where I live, was good value for money and the supply chain was really short: farmer -> delivery man -> me. Good for freshness and a lower carbon footprint.

Erick benefitted by knowing that he has

clean breaks – 500 new ways to see the world

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2009-10-12 08:58

Richard Hammond and Jeremy Smith have just co-authored a tome for all Rough Guide enthusiasts. It's a book brimming over with unusual, ethical green things to do, all over the world, and worth getting hold of, if you're even remotely interested in climate-friendly travel.

The authors describe a Clean Break as – about minimising your environmental impact – on your journey and at your destination – by choosing carefully how you travel and the nature of the place you choose to stay at. It's also about having a positive impact in other ways – by contributing where you can to the conservation of wildlife and local heritage, and suporting local economies.

And before you translate that to mean that you have to give up certain luxuries or adventure extremes to which you are accustomed, the authors say absolutely not...

kevin factor: painting the town green

Submitted by girlsprout on Fri, 2009-09-25 13:06

the exhibitionthe exhibitionToday is the last opportunity you have to check out the superb Kevin Factor: Painting the Town Green exhibition at Studio Bela in Morningside. Factor is a self-taught artist and photographer with a passion for all things green, and his art showcases the beauty to be found not only in natural settings, but also in the sprawling cityscapes of South Africa. The exhibition boasts vast canvases flaunting the skylines of Johannesburg and Cape Town set against vibrant, ethereal skies; bizarrely beautiful organic close-ups; and rambling snapshots capturing exquisite natural scenes.

The opening night of the exhibition was hosted by local celeb Dali Tambo, who is on the board of directors of the eco-friendly social enterprise, Food and Trees for Africa. A silent auction of one of Factor’s lovely framed canvases was held on the evening, with proceeds going to this fantastic organisation. The event was centred on embracing a more sustainable lifestyle, with Factor himself sharing a little about his everyday life in an off-the-grid community just outside of Knysna. I found it truly inspiring to learn that his expansive canvases are printed using solar power!

The exhibition itself spills informally...

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