I travelled to Africa to see the ‘big four’

That doesn’t sound quite right does it? But the ‘big four’ may become a reality with the alarming rate at which our Rhinos are being poached. It’s only March and already 21 rhinos have been poached since the beginning of 2011. Sadly, over 330 were poached last year. There used to be hundreds of thousands of rhino throughout Africa. Today, Southern Africa is home to the majority of Africa’s surviving rhino. Approximately 4000 black rhino and 20 000 white rhino are all that prevent Africa’s rhinos from sliding over the brink, into extinction.

In response to a dramatic increase in rhino poaching, Woolworths  introduced a limited edition reusable bag which asked customers to ‘Imagine No Rhino”, in September 2010. In partnership with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Woolworths committed R10 from the sale of each bag to help protect remaining rhino populations from extinction. 32 000 of these ‘rhino’ bags have been sold to date, amounting to a donation of R320 000.

The funds raised are being used to ensure that much-needed anti-poaching equipment and support can be secured for rangers across the region. This includes binoculars, radios, night-vision gear and bullet-proof armour, as well as rhino-tracking and camping equipment. It also helps provide essential training for anti-poaching units and can be used for emergency veterinary treatments for injured rhino.

The bags are being made by local small scale reusable bag producers, Isikhwama in Cape Town and the Greater Uitenhage Sewing Co-operative in the Eastern Cape. Using reusable shopping bags helps to reduce the amount of plastic waste that goes to landfill.

We are giving away ten of these bags to our readers

We are offering 10 readers a free bag, worth around R30 each.  Send us an environmental question that you would like to have answered or an issue/idea that you would like us to cover in our blog and you could receive one of these bags for free! All you need to do is post a comment to this story before Friday 25th March and the best ten will receive a bag. (South African addresses only please).

For more information on the Rhino campaign visit:

30 March 2011

Thanks to all of you who commented on this blog post and sent us some great questions. You have all won a Save the Rhino reusable shopping bag sponsored by Woolworths. Watch this space for the answers to your questions!


9 responses to “I travelled to Africa to see the ‘big four’

  1. I am thinking about redoing my bathroom and I am considering connecting up a rainwater tank to the toilet cistern to save water. I have not heard of this being done anywhere before, is this easy or possible? How would I ensure the toilet continues to work even in summer when there is not much rain?

  2. What do I need to do to get the lights at my house off-grid, supplied by Solar PV? Shall I go for LEDs or CFLs? Thin-Film solar panels or c-Si panels? What batteries should I choose and how many? Do I need to get approval from the City or from ESKOM?

  3. How do we persuade our friends, family and communities to live more sustainably without us all feel like we’re being deprived of the things we love doing, like flying overseas and living a high consumption lifestyle?

  4. What are the real consequences of fracking in SA? I only as I have heard of plans of Shell and other companies to frack gas in the Karoo, our beautiful Karoo.

  5. Question: why are there not more recycling bins around Cape town and what can we do to get more? I get so frustrated when I collect boxes of recycling and can’t find spots to offload (prob 3 around my area but not always open and further than I want to drive). People will never bother if it is such a hassle. And what about restaurants? Are there any laws in place that force them to atleast recycle their bottles? There must be so many that go straight to the dump every night. And a comment to add to your Fracking post: please ask all fans to boycott Shell products to make them suffer for even thinking of setting up camp in our beautiful Karoo!

  6. David das Neves

    I went looking on Facebook for a “no nuclear in SA” group… is it really possible that so few people on facebook are against nuclear energy in SA? Maybe I’m missing something. I would really like to hear the rationale by which it’s supposed to be safe now.
    I see some countries are seriously rethinking it now. I’m really hoping we can be one of those countries.

    Really I think it is a good question for government as there is nothing safe or clean about what is happening in Japan.

    Perhaps it’s time for ordinary people to tackle the government on this one? Where do we start? !:)

  7. Last year many of us submitted comments to the DoE on the proposed electricity plan for 20+ years (IRP2010). Just read yesterday that the plan has been passed by cabinet, and that it contains some commitment to Nuclear! This seems crazy, especially in the context of what’s happening in Japan. What exactly is in this plan now, and how do we know they have taken our concerns and comments into consideration?

  8. Are there any places in Cape Town to recycle broken/unusable laptops?

  9. I’d like to know if there are any recycling services run by the city that will collect used packaging and cardboard boxes from shops and businesses in Cape Town. There must be hundreds of shops unpacking new stock every day and just throwing away masses of newspaper, old bubble wrap and plastic etc.

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