Deck the halls with… plastic?!

Buying hoards of cheap, kitsch plastic Christmas decorations to spruce up your tree is not the greenest, or creative, option to bringing the festive feeling into your home. In today’s post in our series on a greener Christmas, Tracy gives you some food for thought and offers some alternative ideas.

Making greener choices about buying anything – Christmas decorations included – involves asking a few questions: Who made it? Where does it come from? What is it made out of? Can it be recycled when I’m done with it?

Soweto gets a new park

Zola Eco Park, Soweto

On Wednesday 5 December 2012, Johannesburg City Parks unveiled its newest masterpiece in Soweto - the music themed Zola Eco-Park and pedestrian walkway - just in time for the summer school holidays.

The new R11.4m music-themed park situated on the corner of Maphumulo and Bendile Streets features playgrounds in the shape of saxophones, drums and guitars and fencing depicting music notes, celebrating the rich origins of ‘kwaito music’ in Zola.

Greening the Christmas Tree

Following on from our first blog post in our series about planning a greener Christmas, today Tracy turns her attention to the Christmas tree.

Christmas isn’t really Christmas without a fully decorated and twinkling tree in the corner of the living room, right? Without a tree, where are we going to put all those great Christmas gifts that we talked about in our last post?

Joburg City Parks scoops 1st Place Gold Award in Abu Dhabi

On the heels of being presented with the 2012 National Arbor City Award, Johannesburg City Parks scooped the prestigious 1st Place Gold Award and two additional Gold Awards at the UNEP-endorsed Liveable Communities Awards in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, UAE on Monday, 26 November 2012.

Johannesburg City Parks received special mention from lead judge Gus Stahlmann (USA) for its ‘Community of Parks’ projects, stating: “Johannesburg Parks represents a strong city-wide commitment to improving quality of life via parks which address wide-ranging needs.”

Cheaper (and greener) Christmas gifts

As the first of a series of posts about having a greener Christmas, Tracy looks at cheaper (and greener) options for gifts.

A recent press release issued by our government said that the National Credit Regulator (NCR) urges the public to be money wise over the festive season. The release warns against overspending in December so that you can make it easily through January to your next pay check.

Midrand-based Vodafone centre wins top green award

Mobile communications company Vodacom was recently named Highest Scoring Green Star Project 2008-12 by the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) for its Vodafone Site Solution Innovation Centre in Midrand, Johannesburg.

The building was awarded six stars for its water, energy and emissions efficiency by the GBCSA in October 2011, making it the greenest building in the country.

The six star rating is also referred to as "world class" by the GBCSA.

Gauteng gets it's first green school

Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane has opened the province's first school built entirely from alternative construction technologies.

The state-of-the-art Orefile Primary School, which was officially opened on Tuesday, is set to dramatically improve learning conditions in Olievenhoutbosch, especially for learners enrolled at Philane Primary School, currently housed in a set of prefabricated structures.

Johannesburg City Parks wins Gold Award for the company doing most to protect the environment

Johannesburg City Parks was presented with yet another gold award at the PMR Africa Leaders and Achievers ceremony held on 5 November 2012.  City Parks scooped the gold award competing with the City’s top companies in the category of ‘the company doing the most to protect the environment’. 

The annual Professional Management Review (PMR) magazine hosts the awards in recognition of companies, institutions and individuals who have profiled Johannesburg as a growth point and potential investment hub for foreign and local developers and investors.

SA's first solar plant unveiled in Ekurhuleni

The City of Ekurhuleni showed its commitment to promote low carbon technologies when executive mayor, Mondli Gungubele officially unveiled the first and only solar plant in the country in Wattville, outside Benoni, on Friday.

The solar power plant, situated at the environmentally friendly OR Tambo Precinct, produces about 200 kW of electricity through 860 PV (photovoltaic) solar panels on 2,500 mý of land generating enough energy to power about 133 low cost houses.

Our streets are coming alive!

The City of Johannesburg has planned some great events for this October, which has been named Transport Month 2012. 

This Sunday sees the first “Streets Alive” event, in which certain roads in Orlando will be closed to vehicles but open to pedestrians and cyclists.

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