Have your say on the future of the Wild Coast!

There has been heated debate about the future of the Wild Coast recently. The proposed mining of the Xolobeni area and now the extension of the N2, which will supposedly result in socio-economic development in the area but will also have long-lasting, detrimental effects on the environment. Here are various arguments and comments; from Sustaining the Wild Coast, the ‘Wildcoast’ website and a broader overview.

I write this now as the deadline to submit an appeal against the proposed highway is this Wednesday 19th May. All too often,

environment flowers garden indigenous medicinal sustainability

Essential Amathole

“Located in the scenic Amathole region of the Eastern Cape in South Africa, Essential Amathole has been established to produce a range of organic essential oils and medicinal plant extracts for the global market”.

Still and nursery in Hogsback

As many of you know, I keep returning to Hogsback, and Essential Amathole is one of the reasons. This initiative follows an incredible approach to sustainable rural economic development in 4 ways. Firstly, it is based on a public-private-community partnership.


Protect the environment: make your garden greener

Sustainable gardening is largely about choosing to grow indigenous water-wise species and using natural fertilizers. But it is also important to consider how you water your garden as some methods are more efficient than others.

This has never been more essential than it is now as parts of our country are still struggling to recover from drought and water shortage. You can reduce your water usage by 75 percent or more, depending on the type of irrigation you use.

Sprinkler systems are used most commonly in South African gardens. While these are easy to install and operate they result in substantial loss of water as they irrigate onto the surface of a garden, resulting in evaporation.


Michael Pollan at Bioneers: How Much Oil Are We Eating?

The 20th Bioneers, a three day conference celebrating breakthrough sustainability solutions, was held last week. The agenda was chock full of speakers on a wide range of topics, from the arts, indigenous knowledge and restoring our ecosystems to youth and women’s leadership, including Michael Pollan on the food system.


Launch of Lawn Reform Coalition

We need something like this in South Africa, such a great initiative:

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 14, 2009 — United by their common goal of reducing the impact of lawns on the environment and human and animal health, nine of the leading horticultural communicators in the United States announced the formation of the Lawn Reform Coalition, a media campaign that will provide up-to-date information for home and business owners across the country.

“With lawns covering as much as 50 million acres of our nation, requiring copious amounts of water, fertilizer, pesticides and fossil fuels to maintain, they have become a drain on precious resources that we can no longer afford to waste,” said filmmaker and author Paul Tukey from Maine. “At their worst, lawns are toxic blankets that aren’t even safe for our children and pets.”

Using the website, social networking groups and downloadable materials, the members will focus their message on regionally appropriate lawn species, eco-friendly care for all lawns, and ways to reduce or replace lawns, including by growing food.