A beach clean-up campaign this Saturday, paying tribute to World Environment and World Oceans Day, and in support of the Uzwelo Bags “Say NO to plastic” campaign, aims to remind Durbanites that 160 000 plastic bags are used globally every second, and that the five trillion plastic bags produced yearly could, side by side, encircle the world seven times. To help save our planet, join organisers Expand a Sign and Uzwelo Bags at The Green Hub (on the Coconut Grove side of Blue Lagoon) from 8am until 10am. Durban’s InterCement team has already committed to adding 15 people to help in the clean-up operation. Staff and volunteers will be given gloves and recycled Uzwelo Bags to carry the litter. Pictured are Tyron Govender and Donovan Pelser of Expand a Sign, with Sai Surajbali and Zamo Sithole. For more information, visit www.uzwelo.co.za CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
Global warming, climate change or extreme weather, call it what you want, the effects are being felt around the world. Cape Town is in the midst of a four-year-long drought, which has seen households limited to 50 litres of water per person per day. To put that in perspective; it equates to a third of the per person consumption in the UK. With the news that the South-East of the UK is heading for a drought after two years of poor rainfall, we thought we would share a few tips on how to save water to ensure that our taps don’t run dry. Here they are: 1. Only use the dishwasher and washing machine when they are full These appliances are becoming more and more water-friendly, however, on average a dishwasher uses between 12 and 20 litres per load. If you wash a full load of dishes in a dishwasher, you will save more water than washing by hand. The same goes for washing clothes. 2. Limit your time in the shower A 4-minute long shower uses 45 litres of water, limiting your time in the shower is one of the best ways to save water 3. Hire a good Plumber A good plumber will be able to fix any leaking pipes or toilets, which can use up to 400 litres per day if left unfixed. In the long run; it will save you money as well as saving water. 4. Make small cuts Cutting back on water usage around the house by turning off the tap while you brush your teeth, using grey water to water gardens and only flushing the toilet when necessary will help reduce your water usage drastically We encourage you to become water-wise this summer. If you want to ensure hydration while making sure you don’t waste water, contact us on 0845 500 4455 or alternatively email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
South Africa’s success with the collection and recycling of post-consumer polystyrene continues to grow thanks to the combined effort of collectors and recyclers around the country. Despite its label of being “difficult to recycle plastic”, polystyrene recycling figures have continued to grow over the past eight years. “The applications and uses for recycled polystyrene continue to grow in South Africa thanks to the unique combination of little bit of innovation, a lot of hard work and the can-do attitude of entrepreneurs who see possibility and opportunity in the unlikeliest of places,” confirms Adri Spangenberg, Chief Executive Officer of the Polystyrene Association of South Africa. Last year alone, more than 5 000 tons of polystyrene were diverted from landfill and recycled into other products such as seedling trays, retail coat hangers, cutlery, furniture components and picture frames. South Africa currently has 27 recyclers on record who convert recyclable high impact and expanded polystyrene into raw materials or cement blends. According to Adri, the biggest and fastest growing end-market for recycled polystyrene in South Africa continues to be the lightweight concrete bricks, owing to the fact that this application can use white, black and coloured food trays or take-away containers. Given the fact that polystyrene is 96 % air and only 4 % product, 5 000 tons of product is an impressive amount of material that was collected and recycled from households and businesses around the country. However, the light weight of the material that makes it the packaging material with the smallest carbon footprint, also causes logistical headaches for collectors who have to transport the material. “We are currently working with role-players of the entire polystyrene value chain on finding sustainable solutions to the problem of effectively moving air. By installing mobile balers and the ingot machine at some of our bigger collectors and recyclers, the volume of . . .
PORT ELIZABETH – THE South African International Maritime Institute (SAIMI) marked the International Day of the Seafarer by officially opening its new national headquarters in Nelson Mandela Bay today (June 25). The institute, which is based on the Ocean Sciences Campus of Nelson Mandela University in Summerstrand, operates under a government mandate to assist in growing the “blue economy” by facilitating maritime skills development through relationships between industry stakeholders and education and training institutions countrywide. Dignitaries at the opening were guided through SAIMI’s role in the city and the global maritime sector, which includes everything from aquaculture and fisheries to coastal and marine tourism, shipping and off-shore oil and gas exploration. “We are thrilled to be operating from our first permanent ‘home port’,” said SAIMI chief executive officer Professor Malek Pourzanjani. “But this is just the beginning for us, with our eventual aim being to have a presence in all South Africa’s coastal cities. “In fact, there is already a satellite office at the Royal Cape Yacht Club in Cape Town, with a Durban branch in the pipeline. “This planned expansion will position us well to ensure that we continue to play a vital role in South Africa’s oceans economy.” The Institute also aims to strengthen maritime education and research through facilitating co-ordination and co-operation among education providers, a role which is enhanced by now being based at the Ocean Sciences Campus. Delivering an address on behalf of NMU vice-chancellor Professor Sibongile Muthwa, SAIMI advisory board member Dr Oswald Franks – who is also dean of the faculty of engineering, built environment and information technology – said the opening of the national head office represented significant a milestone in the development of SAIMI, which launched in 2014. “It also represents a significant commitment to the national agenda of growing the oceans . . .
Leading paper and plastic recycler, Mpact Recycling has announced that it will partner with the Mrs South Africa empowerment programme for the fourth consecutive year, this time as one of the main sponsors of the event. The decision is aimed at enlisting the help of contestants to raise awaresess around the importance of recycling in local communities. More than a traditional beauty pageant, Mrs South Africa is a female empowerment programme focused on raising the profile of women who strive to be the best versions of themselves. They can be mothers, entrepreneurs, businesswomen or homemakers between the ages of 25 and 49. Many are change-makers in their communities, but all are brave, real-life superwomen. The competition’s 100 semi-finalists are expected to immerse themselves in networking and self-development activities as well as raising funds for Women4Women South Africa. This is before 25 finalists are selected in June and the winner announced in November. Mpact Recycling communications manager, Donna-Mari Noble, says the campaign’s objectives fit neatly with Mpact Recycling’s drive to create awareness in communities such as assisted living facilities, old age homes, buy-back centres, garden sites and churches about the benefits of recycling. “By partnering with Mrs South Africa, Mpact Recycling gains 100 brand ambassadors this year.” She explains that Mpact Recycling has supported Mrs South Africa since 2014. “This year is different because we are now one of the main sponsors of the event, which means we have access to many more contestants than in previous years. This will help to increase our geographical reach and empower more communities to get actively involved in sustainable recycling initiatives.” Since partnering with Mrs South Africa four years ago, Mpact Recycling has identified several new communities for its recycling programme. “Not only do the people in these communities learn about the advantages of conserving the environment and . . .
The concept of ‘planting indigenous’ has been around for quite some time but many homeowners find making the move to a completely indigenous garden somewhat daunting. And while there might be some effort required initially, the results are incredibly worthwhile. South African landscaper and botanist, Elsa Pooley, forms part of the dynamic, green-fingered team at Renishaw Hills. They have been tasked with transforming the previously cultivated land at Renishaw Hills on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast into an indigenous haven. The mature lifestyle estate is situated within the ecologically-diverse Mpambanyoni Conservation Development which, for the past 150 years, has been cultivated for sugar cane. Pooley and a team of conservationists are working tirelessly to return the area to its original coastal forest and wetlands state while establishing unique, indigenous gardens for each home on the estate. “There are many misconceptions surrounding indigenous gardens, and sourcing indigenous plants is often quite difficult,” explained Elsa Pooley. “With a little bit of guidance, creating your own indigenous garden is easily done.” Here are Elsa Pooley’s top five reasons to plant indigenous: 1. Water-wise Often people only consider planting indigenous during droughts but then this falls away when rains return. Indigenous plants are much hardier and require less water than their exotic counterparts. They do require some water but are much better adapted to local conditions. 2. Attracts birds and wildlife Indigenous plants will attract butterflies, birds and a variety of wildlife to the garden. Even in winter, we’re seeing so many butterflies around. Using a variety of plants ensures a range of wildlife will be attracted to your garden. 3. Aesthetics There is a misperception that indigenous plants aren’t colourful or pretty, and look too wild. This really isn’t true. With careful planning, one can find indigenous plants that bloom or fruit in every . . .
Plastics|SA used its participation in Sustainability Week (5-7 June 2018), World Environment Day (5 June 2018) and World Oceans Day (9 June) to raise awareness about the importance of keeping plastics pollution out of the environment. Plastics|SA is the umbrella organisation representing the South African Plastics Industry and was one of the first signatories of the Declaration of the Global Plastics Associations for Solutions on Marine Litter, whereby 74 plastics associations from around the world have committed themselves to fight marine litter. “Being actively involved in this past week’s numerous environmental activities gave Plastics|SA the ideal opportunity to physically demonstrate our commitment to finding sustainable solutions that will reduce the amount of plastics litter that ends up in the environment. To achieve this, we have launched numerous projects in six key areas, namely education, research, public policy, sharing best practices, plastics recycling/recovery, and plastic pellet containment,” explains Douw Steyn, Sustainability Director at Plastics|SA. SUSTAINABILITY WEEK (CSIR) Africa’s premier green economy forum, Sustainability Week, took place last week (5-7 June 2018) at the CSIR International Convention Centre in Tshwane. One of the major themes at this year’s event was the sustainable development in Africa. Plastics|SA hosted a “Beat Plastic Pollution” Workshop on the opening day of the Week, which attracted much local and international attention. “The issue of tackling plastics polluting the environment is at the top of the global agenda of the packaging industry, governments and environmentalists around the world. There is a surging momentum in global efforts to address this issue, and Plastics|SA is adding its voice to the calls for the implementation of proper waste management systems and responsible human behaviour in order to see less plastics ending up in the environment and our oceans,” Steyn said. This sentiment was . . .
South African’s consume over 300 million kilograms of seafood per year. In a bid to get them interested in where this seafood comes from, and why it matters, Nissan SA, the WWF SA, South African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI) and explore4Knowledge sent two young South African chefs, Terror Lekopa and Freedom Khanyile, on a sustainability adventure of a lifetime. The Soweto2Sodwana expedition, envisioned by explore4knowledge founder and SASSI ambassador John Lucas, saw the millennial chefs travel from the streets of Soweto, to Sodwana Bay from the 3rd until the 8th of March. The expedition forms part of the WWF-SASSI’s broader strategy to have young chefs become ambassadors of the ocean, championing sustainable seafood and ocean conservation in Gauteng. John Lucas says, “We wanted the chefs to gain a greater understanding that what they serve directly influences what people want to eat – what better way to do this then by taking them on a journey, showing the process from bait-to-plate. By creating demand for sustainable seafood, they will be able to generate a ripple effect of change which ultimately reaches the fishing industry and pushes for a shift towards more sustainable fishing practices.” The expedition saw the chefs explore our oceans - from snorkelling along the coral reefs of Kosi Bay and chatting to local fishermen and ocean conservation researchers, to taking part in SASSI training at uShaka marine world, the chefs did it all. Moving to conversations they were a little more familiar with, the chefs also spent time with SASSI trailblazer chef winners: Jackie Cameron, Constantine Hahndiek and Graham Neilson. “With a newfound connection to our seas, and an understanding of the impact of unsustainable fishing, both Terror and Freedom noted they would begin implementing sustainable seafood practices in their own restaurants.” “This is a major step towards making a real difference in the perceptions and actions of our communities and . . .
Living in a healthy manner is a subjective subject. Health can be defined as various expressions by different individuals. As such, we explore something less subjective – the impact of water temperature on the body. Cold Water More often consumed on when one is hot or thirsty – cold water is a great way to thermoregulate the body when there is excess heat generated. The most common time this occurs is when during warmer days or when there is exercise involved. The cold water also serves to replenish fluids lost to perspiration. On the note of cold water, it is more effective to consume chilled water rather than ice cold water as your body would need to normalise the temperature for use. Chilled water still goes through normalisation processes but at the same time serves to cool the body down. In the case of ice cold water, it serve to shock the system and cause cramping. This normalisation process actually burns calories and as such can help boost your metabolism. The taste of cold water is also more palatable to those beginning their path to the recommended daily intake of water – being roughly 8 cups. Room Temperature Water Room Temperature (or ambient) Water is beneficial for digestion. Warm water assists in flushing our hardened minerals and fats that do not serve the body positively. In this flushing process it also serves to ensure regular bowel movements. As room temperature water is more easier for the body to process through its lack of need for thermoregulation for the body – it can help with relaxation of body parts and function processes in the body. An example of this is that of relaxation of blood vessels affording better blood circulation. Room temperature water is also the temperature of choice for singers and voice actors as it serves to relax and warm the vocal chords. Hot and Warm Water Conversely to cold water, ambient water can help negate and even subdue cramping by regulating body temperature. Studies show that the . . .
As the second most polluted continent, Africa must take both the responsibility and opportunity to pioneer world-leading waste management methods to avoid an environmental and socio-economic disaster, experts warn. This was the message from environmental scientist Dr Tony Ribbink, who was speaking at the annual general meeting of the PET Recycling Company (PETCO) at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange on Thursday (June 7). Ribbink, chief executive officer of the Sustainable Seas Trust, believes that while there is a certain amount of gloom and doom surrounding the pollution problem, a lot of good is also being done*. “As the second most polluted continent, Africa is in clear danger of taking top spot unless responsibility for the crisis is shouldered at all levels,” said Ribbink, a former director of the World Bank GEF project on Lake Malawi/Nyasa for Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania. But, he said, Africa was also pioneering new methods and activities to counter plastic pollution. “Industry is also becoming more committed to sustainability and finding solutions where previously there appeared to be none.” South African bottlers, who are voluntary members of PETCO, are increasingly assisting with the drive to improve recycling rates. Annual PET plastic bottle recycling increased to 65% of all bottles produced in the country in 2017 – up from 55% in 2016, according to recently released figures. This equates to 2.15 billion bottles recycled in 2017, which created 64 000 income-generating opportunities for recyclers and waste collectors participating in what is termed the “circular economy”, while also freeing up 578 000m3 of dwindling landfill space, PETCO announced in May. PETCO CEO Cheri Scholtz said these figures put South African PET recycling on par with global standards and that the organisation had set an ambitious recycling target of 70% by 2020. Even more significant, said Scholtz, was that approximately 96% of all PET bottles recovered in . . .