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).
‘Wool farmers need to go green to recoup lost sales‘
South Africa’s wool farmers attending the 79th congress of the National Wool Growers‘ Association have been urged to “go green and caring” to recover revenues lost to bigger (but less ethical) producers such as China. The International Wool Textile Organisation has cautioned international farmers had to “employ new tactics, including marketing wool as being organic, eco-friendly, safe, healthy, and being grown ethically.”
Well now, whilst the reasoning behind it may not be entirely heart-warming, at least the outcome is likely to be better for the sheep!
‘Power goes on at SA’s first wind farm‘
Last week, South Africa’s first electricity-generating wind farm was officially switched on. The Darling Wind Farm Project, located near Darling in the Western Cape is “the first grid connected, independent energy power-generating facility developed in South Africa.” (More about that here.)
And, according to Engineering News, this is just part of the “provincial government’s target of increasing the generation of renewable energy to 15% by 2014” – which hopefully means there’s more to come.
‘New Facet to Recycling‘
Ever heard of ‘slag’? Nope, I’m not being rude, I promise. Defined by Wikipedia as the “by-product of smelting ore to purify metals,” ‘slag’ is something that would normally just get dumped.
But, the National Scrap Metals facility in Kuilsrivier, Cape Town, has a better plan. It turns out that there’s a growing demand for crushed slag in the construction industry (it’s used as filler and in road manufacture, as well as being a component of “specialised bricks”), and they’ve already started recycling the stuff.
What’s more, the facility is “seen to be a ‘pilot’ operation that is expected to develop nationwide as investigations into possible uses of crushed slag continue.” (Oh, I wish that word wasn’t so darned distracting, don’t you?)
And in other good green news:
- ‘How to save 50 000 trees‘ – A move by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to abandon paper airline tickets from 1 June, 2008 will save 50 000 trees (and lots of dosh). (travel.iafrica.com)
- ‘Institute helps turn artistic skills into business success‘ – the Cape Craft and Design Institute (CCDI) supporting local crafters encourages them to take risks in developing “a range of products unique to the area using local materials.” (theherald.co.za)
- ‘SA, Norway join forces for ‘green’ 2010‘ – The Norwegian government has pledged R1.2-million to help Johannesburg implement carbon-offsetting that will enable the city to host a “green” 2010 Fifa World Cup. (southafrica.info)
- ‘Sweden Offers Glimpse of Sustainable Future‘ – Sweden’s resourcefulness in finding new sources of energy and creating energy-saving systems (amongst them a “train powered by cattle-derived gas” and “household cooking heaters fueled by waste water”) could teach the rest of the world a thing or two (japancorp.net)
- ‘Green highways: Research targets environmentally friendly asphalts‘ – In the US a new national research program called the Asphalt Research Consortium (ARC) has been given funding to study ways of making asphalt more environmentally sustainable. (news.wisc.edu)
- ‘Free plans for eco homes‘ – Believing that green design should be available to all, FreeGreen is a new site that offers free, downloadable green house plans. (springwise.com)
- ‘Backsberg’s ‘green’ wine‘ – Backsberg has become one of only five wine producers in the world making carbon-neutral wines (and the first in South Africa). (mediaclubsouthafrica.com)