It’s when I give doom and gloom the beady eye by sharing a selection of the latest feel-good stories that have helped warm the cockles of my increasingly green heart (and which are inspiring me to live a better, greener life).
W Cape signs deal on second 80-MW wind farm
“The Western Cape Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, together with the Saldanha Municipality, Seeland Development Trust, Oxfam UK and Genesis Eco-Energy, embarked on a process to develop an 80 MW wind farm on Thursday, with signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) governing the development of the project.”
And, not only will the wind farm provide more alternative energy for the country as a whole, it will also benefit the community upon whose land it will be built:
“Western Cape Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning Minister Tasneem Essop described it as a flagship project for the provincial government as it was the first commercial energy project to include partial community ownership of the wind farm.”
It’ll take time, though, with several financial obstacles to overcome (development capital needs to be secured) before the foundations of the St Helena Bay Wind Farm can be laid around this time next year.
‘Putting the brake on climate change‘
This week municipalities from around South Africa met in Johannesburg for the country’s first ever ‘Local Government Climate Change Summit’. The aim: to “(thrash) out policy and practical measures to curb the growing threat of climate change”.
Over the course of the two-day event delegates “deliberated on the effects of climate change on natural resources and the role it plays in energy consumption, transport, forced migration and waste, among other things.”
They put their green noggins together and came up with some ideas on how to reduce South Africa’s environmental impact – such as:
- Using the current restructuring of the ageing water, waste and electricity infrastructure to introduce environmentally friendly technologies and sustainable changes.
- Providing safe and reliable transport systems that would allow commuters to reduce their individual carbon footprint.
- Tapping into the alternative energy potential of waste.
- Reducing overall energy demand.
The result: a commitment by all municipalities to “bring about a greener South Africa.” Hoohah! I’m all for it, naturally – and I hope they can put all those good ideas into action.
And in other (good) green news:
- ‘It’s Official: Green is Sexy‘ – Who knew green would become the new ‘sexy’… A national survey conducted in the US by Kelton Research for GM says being green is ‘sexy’ (not the best reason to become environmentally aware, but hey, we need all the greenies we can get). (treehugger.com)
- ‘Eskom enviro programme wins global award‘ – At this year’s World Energy Globe Awards Eskom’s Energy and Sustainability Programme (which supports more than 100 environmental projects around the country) received the Youth category award for their ‘Young People Against Climate Change’ projects. (sagoodnews.co.za)
- ‘Environment Dept going greener‘ – The Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism is taking steps to reduce the amount of energy they use and to reduce their ‘carbon footprint’. These include ‘drastically reducing’ the number of flights taken by officials, using ‘electronic filing and routing systems’ to cut down on paper use, amongst others. (news24.com)
- ‘KLM Proposes to Power Planes With Algae‘ – Dutch airline KLM has teamed up with a company called AlgaeLink to produce an aviation fuel derived from Algae. If it works, this is great news because: “Biofuels of the type being developed are theoretically carbon neutral, don’t compete with foodstocks, and should be relatively cheap” (triplepundit.com)
- ‘WCI student isolates microbe that lunches on plastic bags‘ – plastic bags can take up to 1,000 years to decompose (and do a lot of environmental damage whilst they’re doing so), but a clever young student has found a way to make them degrade a whole lot faster (3 months!) (therecord.com).
Right, that’s it for now… I hope you all had a great World Environment Day and thought plenty of good green thoughts!