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the intrepid bee-keeper

Submitted by sproutscout on Wed, 2011-10-05 11:36.

Peter Clarke demonstrating different types of honeyPeter Clarke demonstrating different types of honey

“It’s been my experience that beekeepers grow old”, says 90 year old Peter Clarke to the crazy folk who have decided to attend his bee-keeping course. He can’t explain why it happens, all the stings , all the goodness of propolis and raw honey, but most of the beekeepers Clarke knows live well into their 90s. And thus he introduced to us one of the many things we could look forward to by the end of the class in May next year.

For now I’ll tell a story to illustrate a few safety tips. I think this should be the beginning of every beekeeping course – though my class learned these lessons the hard experiential way. This is the story of our first ever ‘suit-up’, after weeks of talking and learning about it – our first ever interaction with the bees:


shyann - my service dog, my life

Submitted by turbosprout on Tue, 2011-10-04 09:02.

I received this moving email from a friend, Dawn Pilatowicz, who administers the Cape Town Community Exchange and relies on her "service dog", Shyann, to help her through her day. Read on to find out about Dawn's braveness and willingness to overcome, the amazing difference these animals make and how you can support the SA Guide Dogs Association.

Dawn and ShyannDawn and ShyannDear friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances,

Last year we raised a record R53,000 for S A Guide Dogs! Thank you thank you thank you.

What can we achieve this year? Why should you help Guide Dogs? Who are Dawn and Shyann?

Shyann is a service dog, from the ‘S’ litter of 2008. S A Guide Dogs breed their own puppies and each litter is given a letter of the alphabet. They then get ‘puppy raisers’ to name them, by submitting three name choices using the letter of the litter. Each name is unique and never repeated. The puppy raisers raise the dogs for a year and a half. The dogs then go to the training centre to be matched with a recipient and trained for that recipient’s requirements, be it Guide dog for the blind, or Service dog for the disabled. At around 2 years old, the dogs are shipped off, to be trained with their new owners. These new owners then have to commit to their dogs for the rest of the dog’s life. Guide Dogs keep a watchful eye on their dogs: via monthly reports from the owners, regular vet visits, and frequent visits from the trainers. If there are any issues with a dog, Guide Dogs are there to help.

My life changed completely in January 2010 when Shyann came into my life. I applied for her a year before I got her, never knowing quite what I was getting myself into. Because of Shyann, I am out and about in my neighbourhood every day. I have met

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clothes swaps – more than a fashionable trend

Submitted by ConsciousBabe on Mon, 2011-10-03 13:21.

Conscious Babe talks about the clothes swap she hosted last weekend…

Emma tries on as Mira foragesEmma tries on as Mira forages
The idea of a clothes swap – an event where unwanted clothes are swapped for new ones – has been spreading amongst women of the western world during the last few years.
Who knew what sparked off this trend: be it the recession, the spreading of environmentalism, or a silent revolution against the infectious ‘consumerism’ monster, but the implications are countless, from the conscientious shopper aspect to the lightbulb notion of no-money events.

Not only is a clothes swap a great way to interact with other fashionistas in your community, but it also provides women with a very practical opportunity to purge unwanted clothes items, as well as gain new additions to their wardrobe.

It is a generally known cliché that

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eco kids environmental film festival a must next week

Submitted by turbosprout on Fri, 2011-09-30 12:12.

eco kids film initiativeeco kids film initiativeA great idea whose time has come: environmental films for kids!

The Eco Kids Film Initiative Environmental Film Festival for Kids will be taking place from 3 to 7 October from 10am to 12pm at the Labia on Orange cinema in Cape Town.

Through films that are entertaining, educational, and above all inspirational it is EKFI’s goal to inspire real change through the children of today and generations to come by promoting a proactive strategy to environmental awareness through film as medium.

Each of the films has been selected for their strong environmental theme by a panel consisting of parents, childhood experts, environmental educators and conservationists. We have taken great care to ensure that the films that have made the final selection speak positively to children of diverse ages, backgrounds and cultures and are made for children rather than about children.

Format: Two parallel screening sessions of a selection of short films, taking place daily from

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request a climate presentation

Submitted by incoming on Fri, 2011-09-30 09:53.

Incoming from Uncle Al:

"24 Hours of Reality taught many important lessons. One of them is this: If you care about the climate crisis, you're not alone.

The live broadcast had over 8.6 million views - and that doesn't count people who watched in large groups, who watched on broadcast television or who tuned in to our video library after the event. But it's still not enough. The 23 people who gave presentations with me in September are more than just activists. They are Climate Presenters I personally trained to talk about the climate crisis in their communities. And there are more than just 23. There are over 3,000.

Bring this presentation to your hometown: Invite a Climate Presenter to deliver a free presentation in your community.

Between October 1 and November 28, the kickoff date for COP 17 - a United Nations conference on climate change - we want to give as many Climate Reality presentations in as many locations around the world as possible. We will create a

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hey, hey its green day

Submitted by incoming on Thu, 2011-09-29 16:38.

Green Day launched to take environmental awareness more mainstream

Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA) and Global Carbon Exchange (GCX) have proclaimed tomorrow, 30 September 2011 'Green Day' - a day to make environmental awareness issues more mainstream.

According to FTFA founder, Jeunesse Park, ‘From an environmental point of view, we find that we are often preaching to the converted. Environmental issues need to enter the public domain so more people become aware of the role they can play in ensuring a sustainable future.’ Green Day aims to raise consciousness of green issues such as climate change, water, waste and energy management, natural resource depletion and sustainability in general.

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a day to move beyond fossil fuels! moving planet gauteng

Submitted by Guest on Thu, 2011-09-29 16:01.

It was a cold and cloudy Sunday on which environmental activists got their groove on in Hatfield, Pretoria to shake up the people and move for the planet. What follows is an account by Kyla v de Westhuizen, who is part of the Project 90x2030 youth forum, Generation Earth member and Grade 12 learner at Holy Rosary School.

We started our rally outside the Hatfield Spur, where some bystanders and passers-by were unimpressed by our presence. We were called “hippies", and asked if we really thought we could make a difference. Many bystanders were curious, however, as to what was going on and we attracted many people off the side of the street.

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raw food: hippie fad or a valid dietary option?

Submitted by ConsciousBabe on Tue, 2011-09-27 12:42.

Shining the light on chinese raw food
Filled Fungus and Tempeh SaladFilled Fungus and Tempeh SaladWhen we received the phone call tip-off to attend the EarthShine Chinese-theme raw food evening, Grant (my boyfriend / photographer) and I shared puzzled looks.

"Doesn’t Chinese food use a lot of rice?" asked the only vegan coloured boy in Cape Town.
"… and noodles?" I added. We were curious as to what the evening might bring.

After negotiating a car, we made our way to the Afrikaans Development centre in Pinelands and upon entering, we were greeted by piano music and handed a taster. I take a small bite on my chrysanthemum leaf (tasting somewhat like garlicky cabbage) and marvel at the professionalism of the set-up - I was half expecting some smelly hippies in a cob house.

Tables display health foods in the lobby and clients that are interested mark paper bags to purchase after that evening’s event. Well-dressed attendees mill around nibbling leaves and murmuring pleasantries, while the grand piano plays on. At last we are called inside the auditorium, where chairs have been set up around a table displaying electronic paraphernalia: blenders, mixers, juicers and something called a "dehydrator".

"I used to think it was just a typical hippy fad," says Natalie, one half of EarthShine, as the evening gets underway. "But when I actually ate some raw food I was like ‘wow!’ and had to swallow my words.

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moving planet cape town by wheelbarrow

Submitted by turbosprout on Mon, 2011-09-26 13:13.

The Masses Gather...The Masses Gather...The 350.org Moving Planet Parade in Cape Town on Saturday was fantastic. Noah and I helped out at the Project 90x2030 offices the weekend prior to the march so knew we weren't going to be the only ones showing up. But you're still nervous. What if only twenty of you pitch and you look a right banana? So it was cool to arrive at the Cape Town station forecourt and see a massive bunch of people there. Actually it was more like a throng than a bunch! Getting there was an interesting affair as we were travelling by wheelbarrow...

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moving the planet in cape town, durban and joburg tomorrow

Submitted by turbosprout on Fri, 2011-09-23 09:47.

Join us for Moving Planet this Heritage Day 24 SeptJoin us for Moving Planet this Heritage Day 24 SeptOn Heritage Day Saturday 24 Sept 2011 join the movement and move the planet! Embrace your inner activst and stand up for the planet! Join hundreds of thousands of us around the world as part of 350.org's moving planet where ordinary citizens band together and DO SOMETHING about climate change. Let's send a clear signal to our leaders and the general public that climate change needs to be tackled urgently.

We've made a list of the main events happening around South Africa tomorrow (incl. Grahamstown and Howick!). See you there!

Cape Town Moving Planet Events

Tread lightly parade through the central city

WHERE: Cape Town station forecourt
WHEN: 10:30 am
WHAT: Join the low carbon Moving Planet Parade on heritage day! Take the train, bus, car-pool or cycle (Metrorail will permit bikes onboard for the day) and join the 'Tread lightly' parade through the central city.

Bring your bike, pram, wheelchair, skateboard or any other form of low carbon transport. Think about

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