Tag Archives: Waste Management


Local artist wants your old paint

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I came across a very interesting and inspiring painting project the other day, by local artist Carolyn Parton. After becoming aware of the impact of paint on the environment, Carolyn collects leftover paint from her projects, other artists, home improvers and ordinary people like us and turns it into art. If you have any old, used or leftover paint lying around please donate it to Carolyn and she will turn it into a masterpiece! Continue reading


Quick green tip

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I received this clever green tip from a friend in Poland, thanks Agata! This is a fantastic idea which will help to eliminate plastic water bottle lids from sitting in landfills for thousands of years. Continue reading


New green office toolkit launched

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Today we launch our new toolkit for cutting carbon in offices. Available to download for free on our website, this toolkit will help you to transform your office into an environmentally friendy and sustainable work environment. Please send us any comments or suggestions, we would be happy to hear from you. Continue reading


Project 90’s No Junk Mail campaign

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Here is your chance to ensure that you never receive another piece of junk mail in your letter box again! The Consumer Protection Act is proposing a new law to allow consumers to say no to junk mail. All you need to do is send an email today stating that you support the law. Read on to see how. Continue reading

Green Goal or Green Wash?

Brenda and I were invited to attend the FIFA World Cup Green Goal exhibition centre in the fan park at the Grande Parade in Cape Town last week. I went along feeling quite skeptical, as one tends to be when large multinationals start boasting about their eco-credentials.  

What I wanted to know was: was FIFA really implementing valuable sustainability programmes that would result in a reduction in carbon emissions and, would they continue after the World Cup had ended, or was this no more than a great big PR exercise?

I was particularly concerned after reading an article in the Engineering News which explained how three initiatives under the ‘Reducing the carbon footprint of major sporting events, FIFA 2010 and the Green Goal’ Project had been launched. The three initiatives were Greener Lighting to World Cup Host Cities, Green Passport and offsetting teams’ emissions. 

I became quite excited when I read that these initiatives received $10million between the Global Environment Facility (GEF), Unep and the Department for Environmental Affairs.

Although the three initiatives sounded great, on closer inspection I discovered that it only included twelve billboards being switched to solar power; 60 solar traffic lights and 78 streetlights upgraded to use solar power. It also included offsetting team player’s flights and the handing out of a “green passport” eco information leaflet to football fans. Pretty meagre when you look at the budget they received!

What is also interesting to note was that this year the FIFA family itself and the Local Organising Committee has not made any contributions or committed to offset their emissions. They did however do so at the previous World Cup.

The 2010 World Cup is expected to generate 2,7 million tons of GHG – around eight times the footprint of the 2006 Germany World Cup.  Only 11 of the 32 participating teams have agreed to offset their emissions this year.

The carbon footprint of hosting the World Cup in Cape Town is around 180 000 tonnes of CO2. The determination of the carbon footprint of the event is an essential starting point and it seems that the City of Cape Town, with the Green Goal programme, has implemented some great programmes to reduce this footprint.

 A total of 41 projects have been identified across nine target areas:

  • Energy and climate change
  • Water
  • Integrated Waste Management
  • Transport, mobility and access
  • Landscaping and biodiversity
  • Green building and sustainable lifestyles
  • Responsible tourism
  • Green Goal communications
  • Monitoring, measurement and reporting

One excellent initiative which must be mentioned is the Cape Town Green Map. This interactive map, available on-line and in print, gives a comprehensive list of all things green in the city; green spaces, nature reserves, organic eateries, farmers’ markets, recycling drop-offs, sustainable living projects, eco products and other green choices useful to tourists and locals alike. Visit their website for more information: http://www.capetowngreenmap.co.za/ There are however concerns that once the World Cup is over there will no longer be funding for this excellent project.

Cape Town has also instituted a host of public transport options in and around the city – intercity busses, the first ever public transport from CT International airport, trains and park & ride facilities. However, whilst this is a great initiative it is discouraging that the majority of the transport in the city is only there for the World Cup and will not automatically continue. (The airport shuttle will continue but the inner city distribution services won’t.)

Recycling bins can be seen across the city centre allowing people to separate their wet and dry waste. The dry waste is sent to Athlone where it is sorted for reuse and recycling. Cape Town set a target for 20% of all waste from the World Cup to be recycled or reused. Project 90 has confirmed that this excellent recycling initiative will continue after the World Cup – and let’s hope that 20% will increase.

Another Cape Town initiative is promoting the drinking of tap water (Cape Town’s drinking water meets the highest international standards) and taps have been installed along the fan walk and at the fan fest. Although these will not remain in place after the World Cup they will be used when other events are planned in the city.  Videos promoting Cape Town’s safe tap water have been shown on the big screens at the Fan Fest throughout the tournament. 

Greenpoint stadium was fitted with water saving technologies and collects rain water on the roof . Spring water from table Mountain is being used to irrigate the green spaces around the stadium, which previously ran straight out to sea. This rain water and spring water will also be used to irrigate the nearby golf course instead of potable water.

GreenStaySA is a Green Goal legacy project that works with accommodation sites to become more environmentally friendly. Read more here:  http://www.greenstaysa.org.za/ag3nt/system/index.php

So, in conclusion I was most impressed with the City of Cape Town’s Green Goal programme, but a careful watch must be kept to ensure that these programmes continue now that the World Cup has ended. On the other hand, I am less than impressed with the Greener Lighting to World Cup Host Cities programme. The fact the FIFA is not making any contributions or committing to offset their emissions this year is a deplorable state of affairs.

Ideas from Howick High

Learners from Howick High have come up with a host of great ideas and easy-to-do suggestions of how to live differently to better protect and sustain our environment.

The learners came up with a total of 57 ideas which covered seven themes: saving paper, using less water, sustainable travel, reducing waste, sustainable agriculture, energy efficiency and renewable energy.  Their ideas ranged from things which we all can do in our day-to-day lives, to things that the Government could do to create more sustainable living. Here are some of their best ideas:

 Save paper:

  • Don’t waste paper – say ‘no’ to paper statements – opt for electronic ones
  • Pay bills ‘on line’ – which will also reduce transport

Use less water:

  • Save water – put washing machines on short cycles; use rinse water on garden; put bricks in toilet cisterns, install rain water tanks
  • Don’t let tap run while brushing teeth and attend to any dripping taps
  • Ditch “bottled water” – use a re-usable water bottle and “in-home” filtration systems that make tap water a good choice.

Sustainable travel:

  • Use public transport/share lifts/use bicycles/walk
  • Cars – Lift clubs, “drive smart” – use biodiesel/biogas/smaller cars
  • Have incentives for using bicycles

Reduce waste:

  • Use simple/no packaging/reuse grocery bags/shopping baskets
  • Recycle/reuse – glass, plastic, paper – take to depots
  • Government encourages recycling

Sustainable Agriculture:

  • Deforestation – cleared for cattle farming – consume less meat
  • Don’t over harvest (fishing, farming and mining)
  • Visit restaurants that serve locally produced foods (promote local economics)

Energy efficiency:

  • Use energy saving light bulbs and solar geyser and insulate geyser
  • Switch off non-essential appliances – even  on ‘standby’ mode they draw energy and switch off lights when not in the room (SOS = switch off something)
  • Have more family gatherings – good quality time with loved ones and cooking for bigger group is more efficient and less expensive
  • Use re-chargeable batteries (non-rechargeable batteries use 50x more energy than they provide)

Renewable energy:

  • Use solar power, wind power, hydro-electric power
  • Education of people and word of mouth example.  Join organisations that campaign for a cause. 

If you have any other ideas to add to this list, please leave a comment below.

Going to see a game…? Here are some green tips to remember.

FIFA has a green goal campaign as part of their initiatives relating to the 2010 world cup. This includes a comprehensive waste management element – so if you are going to a game, please remember to sort your waste – all plastics are being recycled in the specially marked recycle bins and wet waste is being separated from other waste to ensure efficient and effective waste management.

Of course how you get to the game can dramatically affect the carbon emissions of your trip – and public transport really is an effective solution (and this is not just clever marketing, we took the public transport options and they worked brilliantly!). Metro rail is a great option for city stadia (and means you miss the traffic) with Rea Vaya being an effective solution too (with dedicated bus lanes in most cases, you also miss the traffic this way!). Of course park and ride facilities are convenient and effective, and if you are going to drive directly to a stadium for one of the park and walk options, take some friends with you. This will all cut down on your carbon emissions, and is a whole lot more fun!

In Cape Town drinking water fountains have been placed along the fan mile so you won’t need to buy bottled water, with its very high carbon footprint.

 Enjoy the game!

 (Viva Bafana Bafana!)