A threat to local biodiversity: the pompom weed

An important part of any sustainable habitat is its biodiversity. We need to preserve it in natural areas and are encouraged to increase it in managed or landscaped areas such as our gardens. This is why you’ll often hear advice to plant a variety of plants to encourage birds and bugs into your garden. 

So it might come as a surprise that we're now going to tell you to do something quite contrary - to look out for and remove specific plants: alien invader plants.

Exotic and invasive plants

Positive Impact of Trash to Treasure Project

Since its inception in October 2012, Pikitup’s Trash to Treasure project has assisted residents to accumulate 1107 tons of recyclable refuse and created more than 100 new permanent jobs in Soweto and Diepsloot alone, through the Buy-Back Centres which are managed by independent Cooperatives.

The project not only encourages residents to recycle their household refuse, which is ordinarily tossed away, but this key Mayoral project also promotes job creation as recyclable waste is exchanged for money.

Nedbank extends green developments in Joburg

The recent announcement by Nedbank Corporate Property Finance that it has concluded finance agreements for two green building developments in Johannesburg brings to eight the number of green-star-rated buildings in which South Africa’s green bank has been actively involved in recent years. Nedbank either owns or occupies five of them as a sole or major tenant.

The two new green building projects are the A-Grade Lakeview development in Roodepoort and the Newtown Quarter Development in Newtown, Johannesburg. Both have been rated 4-star Green Star by the Green Building Council of SA.

SA signs global biodiversity protocol

South Africa has become the 12th country globally, and the first in 2013, to ratify the international Nagoya Protocol to protect the country's biological diversity and associated traditional knowledge.

The protocol is a legally binding agreement which sets out how countries can access each other's resources and how the benefits should be shared.

Green your Valentine’s Day

Ah Valentine’s Day! A time to show your love to that special person in your life. Roses, chocolates, teddy bears and champagne are the ‘standard’ fare to shower your loved one with, but these options seldom show much love for the environment.

We’ve put together a few more sustainable suggestions to help you show your love this Valentine’s – as always it focuses on natural, local, handmade and longer lasting options.

Celebrating World Wetlands Day

The 2nd of February is World Wetlands Day and this year is celebrated under the theme 'Wetlands and Water Management'.  The aim of the day is to draw attention to wetland habitats and the vital role they play in the environment and the human economy.

It’s a sad fact that about 50% of South Africa’s wetlands have already been destroyed or converted through draining, the building of dams, incorrect burning and overgrazing, invasive alien species, waste disposal, water abstraction, agricultural, urban development and inappropriate land management.

Let’s make "separation at source" the heart of recycling.

Did you know that South Africa now has a fixed set of rules that waste generators and disposers have to comply with? The National Environmental Management Waste Act was introduced in March 2009. Separating recyclables at household level is a requirement in terms of the Waste Act. The National Waste Management strategy requires all metropolitan municipalities, secondary cities and large towns to initiate programmes for waste separation at source by 2016. We can provide tips on how you can be ahead of the pack.

Seperation at Source

Green New Year resolutions

Welcome to 2013! Here’s to a year filled with greener choices and a more sustainable life! No doubt you have already made some new year’s resolutions, and we hope that some of them are green-related, but if not, here are 10 suggestions to get you onto a more sustainable path.

  1. Recycle more (or start!)
  2. Reduce your electricity, water and fuel use
  3. Eat less meat
  4. Only eat sustainably managed fish
  5. Buy more local, natural & organic products
  6. Stop buying plastic bottled water
  7. Remember to use your reusable grocery bag each time you go shopping
  8. Start a compos

Cycling, sustainable cities and the use of our roads

Worldwide, cycling - particularly as a form of non-motorised transport - is seen and encouraged as a ‘good green thing’. Besides the physical exercise involved, which is undoubtedly good for your health, cycling also reduces carbon emissions and decreases traffic congestion and consequently there are many initiatives across the globe to encourage cycling. 

These initiatives often fall into a larger idea often referred to as sustainable cities or people-friendly cities, which essentially is a concept to rethink our cities to make them more sustainable, more green, more inclusive and more accessible.

Greener gift wrap options

So you’ve found some local hand-made gifts to give to loved ones this Christmas, now to wrap them. As part of our series about greening Christmas, Tracy gives you a few hints and tips for greener wrapping!

Not all wrapping is created equal – especially not from a recycling perspective. Wrapping paper that has non-paper additives such as foiled or glitter accents and gloss or metallic coatings cannot be recycled in conventional recycling programs.

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