Categories
sustainability

Durban International Film Festival

The Durban Film Festival starts on Thursday and this year they have a few environmental films worth checking out.

The global climate crisis informs five documentaries in this year’s festival. The Foster Brothers’ epistemologically revolutionary The Nature Of Life addresses climate change from a unique African perspective and showcases innovative local solutions. H20IL examines the massive oil sands extraction project in Canada and the destructive effect it has on water resources. Water,or the lack of it, also informs The Lake That Was, which traces Iran’s Lake Urmia from its heyday as a tourist destination to it’s present demise. Poison Fire is an indictment of almost fifty years of oil exploitation and environmental destruction in the Niger Delta. The other Foster Brothers’ film in the festival, Ice Man,  documents the extraordinary physiological and psychological journey of Lewis Pugh’s record-breaking long distance swims in the freezing waters of both the south and  north poles, the epicentres of the destructive effects of climate change. Its Up 2 U is a critical look at the profiteering Western agrarian industry. A must see is the multiple-award winning Saving Luna, about a baby killer whale who, separated from his family, seeks human social interaction  – much to the Canadian government’s disapproval. An insightful and moving look at the ethical dilemmas of bridging the gap between species.

Programme at www.cca.ukzn.ac.za.

Durban International Film Festival
Durban International Film Festival
Categories
garden succulent

Vertical Gardens

vertical-gardenI’m a big fan of home made things and crafty re-use, so I had to share this garden related note from Craft Magazine (via Facebook) – something for people with a small balcony and aspirations for a herb garden.

Categories
aliens garden sustainability

Using less water in the garden

Some advice from the latest Enviropaedia newsletter:

  • Always water your plants during the early morning hours or in the evening. Between 10:00 and 15:00 you can lose up to 90% of water to evaporation.
  • Focus on indigenous and non–invasive alien plants with low water demands.
  • Roof water can also be profitably stored in tanks for watering gardens.
  • Use “grey water” from baths, washing mashines and other safe sources to water your garden.
Or better yet, let the rain do your watering (pic from www.sxc.hu).
Or better yet, let the rain do your watering (pic from www.sxc.hu).
Categories
recycling sustainability

Earth Green Recycling

This post is not specifically about gardening but more about the environment and specifically recycling.  There is a great company that has recently started operating in Durban called Earth Green Recycling.  They offer a service where, for only R50.00 per month, they will come and collect all your recyclables, i.e. paper, plastic, cans and bottles.

They then distribute it to recycling centres saving you the time and effort. They also collect old cooking oil which is converted to biodiesel by Ecologic.

Website: www.earthgreen.co.za

Categories
indigenous succulent

How cool is spekboom?

A recent study in the Eastern Cape has highlighted the fact that the humble spekboom (or ‘elephant’s food’ as it is also known) has an amazing ability to soak up CO2, equivalent to that of  sub-tropical forests. Findings suggest that up to four tons of carbon a year would be captured by each hectare. This is apparently making a lot of people excited about how much it could be worth on the carbon-trading market but I’m excited about how an indigenous South African plant could potentially be so valuable in turning back the tide of global warming.  Also, it raises the issue of what uses our other indigenous plants could have, that we have yet to discover.

And I’ve got it in my garden.  I currently have five plants, all grown from one cutting I took from my friend Em’s house in Salt Rock.  So, if anyone wants some (and lives in Durban), let me know and you can come and break off a branch.

Read up about it at the Mail & Guardian and Urban Sprout.

Update: Sasol may turn to Spekboom to capture carbon

Spekboom soaks up the CO2.
Spekboom soaks up the CO2.