Tracy's blog

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Let’s talk water…

It is National Water Week this week, with World Water Day happening today, so now is the perfect time to stop to think about just how much water you really use.

Living in a water-stressed country as we do, water is a resource that we should be protecting like gold.

A threat to local biodiversity: the pompom weed

An important part of any sustainable habitat is its biodiversity. We need to preserve it in natural areas and are encouraged to increase it in managed or landscaped areas such as our gardens. This is why you’ll often hear advice to plant a variety of plants to encourage birds and bugs into your garden. 

So it might come as a surprise that we're now going to tell you to do something quite contrary - to look out for and remove specific plants: alien invader plants.

Exotic and invasive plants

Cycling, sustainable cities and the use of our roads

Worldwide, cycling - particularly as a form of non-motorised transport - is seen and encouraged as a ‘good green thing’. Besides the physical exercise involved, which is undoubtedly good for your health, cycling also reduces carbon emissions and decreases traffic congestion and consequently there are many initiatives across the globe to encourage cycling. 

These initiatives often fall into a larger idea often referred to as sustainable cities or people-friendly cities, which essentially is a concept to rethink our cities to make them more sustainable, more green, more inclusive and more accessible.

Greener gift wrap options

So you’ve found some local hand-made gifts to give to loved ones this Christmas, now to wrap them. As part of our series about greening Christmas, Tracy gives you a few hints and tips for greener wrapping!

Not all wrapping is created equal – especially not from a recycling perspective. Wrapping paper that has non-paper additives such as foiled or glitter accents and gloss or metallic coatings cannot be recycled in conventional recycling programs.

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?

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?

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.

Celebrating our Natural Heritage this Heritage Day

Magaliesberg landscape

Heritage Day was created as a day to celebrate our diverse cultural heritage across South Africa – a day to proudly don traditional garb and reflect on who we are and where we came from, or to simply enjoy a day in the sun around the braai. I’d like to suggest a new angle for the day: that of our natural heritage.

The word ‘heritage’ refers to ‘what we inherit from the past and what we value’.

City of Joburg wins 2012 National Arbor City Award

Most of us already know that Joburg is the largest man-made forest, but it's now official as the City of Joburg recently won the 2012 National Arbor City Award.

The National Arbor City award is given to a city/town that has greened its areas more than other cities/towns in a province and has demonstrated excellence in landscape and environmental management.

Celebrating Arbor Week

This week is Arbor Week, which means that it’s completely socially acceptable to be out hugging trees in public!

On a more serious note though, Arbor Week, which runs from the 1st to the 7th September, is about raising awareness for the need to plant and maintain indigenous trees throughout South Africa.

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