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Category Archives: #GoGreen

Illegal Dumping on the corner of Greatmore and York Street.

Illegal Dumping on the corner of Greatmore and York Street.

 

Every Friday, as it’s bin day, I clean up all the rubbish in our neighbourhood.

The more frustrating it is to find someone dumped their waste on the otherwise relatively clean abandoned plot.

It seems empty property in Cape Town attracts crime.

In the meantime the kids have nowhere to play soccer and are forced to kick their ball around next to used pampers and condoms.

Why not kill two birds with one stone and turn neglected areas into much needed green space?

Where children have nowhere but the streets to play, it should be a crime to leave public space to rot.

 

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Juice bottles: Cut the head off, drill some holes in the base - for some practical flower pots.

Juice bottles: Cut the head off, drill some holes in the base – for some practical flower pots.

 

The shape of these juice bottles is actually ideal for flower pots:

– The diameter of the bottle is about 10cm, a standard size for flower pots.

– The base is raised into a punt and gives the ideal points to drill drainage holes: As they are raised, it ensures there will always be a bit of water in the very bottom.

– The top bit can be used as a greenhouse roof to protect seedlings from weather and mice.

 

How to make flower pots from soft drink bottles:

With a pair of nail scissors, cut the top bit off.

You’ll have to cut round, that’s why it’s easier with nail scissors. Follow a line on the bottle, it’s hard not to cut skew.

Depending on the length of roots the plants will grow you can keep the bottom bit quite tall or cut it down to a standard size.
Because the plastic is see-through, you can leave a wide rim above the ground level which keeps in all the mess.

Drill drain holes in the base of the bottle.

Hold the drill steady, it’s easy to slip on the plastic. Drill about 5 holes around the centre point of the base.

Depending on the water consumption of the plant you can drill large holes so the earth will drain well or small holes to capture water.
If the plant likes wet feet, you can drill the holes higher up.

Drill ventilation holes in the top bit of the bottle.

Hold the drill even steadier, this is a slanted surface. Drill about 5 evenly spread holes in the shoulder of the bottle.

You can use the remaining  bottle tops as mini greenhouse roofs. They fit very tight into the flower pot and won’t easily come off.
Depending on the humidity preferences of the plant, you can drill large holes for good ventilation or small holes for capturing moisture and heat.

 

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Wasser ist kostbar. Wir müssen jeden Tropfen sparen! - Water is precious. We need to save every single drop!

Wasser ist kostbar. Wir müssen jeden Tropfen sparen!

 

Seit Beginn 2016 haben wir nun schon Wasserrestriktionen in Kapstadt, und seitdem wird es schlimmer und schlimmer.

 

Kapstadt ist auf Regenfall angewiesen, um die Dämme aufzufüllen. Der Regen kommt aber schon seit letztem Jahr nicht mehr, zumindest nicht genug.

 

So sind wir nun seit dem 1. Februar 2017 bei Wasserrestriktion 3B angelangt, und Level 4 droht uns ab dem 1. Juni bevorzustehen.

 

Wir haben ja alle die Warnungen gehört: Noch gehen die Kriege um Öl, der nächste Weltkrieg geht um Wasser.

 

Aber in Europa ist das doch immer alles noch sehr weit weg vom tatsächlichen Leben.

 

Hier in Kapstadt ist es bereits Realität:

 

Die Wasserrestriktionen bedeuten, dass Wasserverbrauch über den Mindestwert teuer ist.

 

Reiche können also weiterhin Wasser vergeuden, aber das ist ok in dem Sinne, dass sie die sehr nötige Überholung der Wasserinfrastruktur in Kapstadt finanzieren.

 

Der von Kapstadt empfohlene Mindestwert liegt derzeit bei 100 Litern pro Person pro Tag.

Zum Vergleich: Deutschland ist bei einem Allzeit-Niedrigwert von 122 Litern pro Person pro Tag.

 

Es wäre also auch für den effizienten Deutschen ein wenig unkomfortabel, den täglichen Wasserbrauch auf 100 Liter pro Tag zu reduzieren.

 

Hier in Kapstadt haben uns bereits daran gewöhnt:

 

Wir gießen nur noch mit unserem dreckigen Abwaschwasser.

Frisches Wasser zum Blumengießen? – Luxus!

 

Wir ziehen nicht mehr ab, wenn es sich nur um ein kleines Bedürfnis handelt. Und wenn wir spülen, dann wird der Toilettenkanister mit Grauwasser gefüllt.

Mit Trinkwasser die Toilette spülen? – Absoluter Luxus!

 

Unsere Waschbecken, Duschen und Badewannen stehen voll mit Eimern und Kanistern, um jeden Tropfen zu sammeln.

Das Wasser nur einmal gebraucht einfach so in den Abfluss laufen zu lassen? – Luxus!

 

Vielleicht regnet‘s ja bald mal wieder in Kapstadt und wir können unser Wasser wieder wie üblich ver(sch)wenden.

 

Vielleicht werden wir aber alle doch schneller als gedacht lernen müssen, wie kostbar Wasser wirklich ist.

 

#GoGreen: Reuse, Reduce, Recycle

#GoGreen: Reuse, Reduce or Recycle

 

I grew up in Germany and the environmental movement of green activists during the early nineties hit me in my teenage years.

Not only did I learn how to recycle, consume consciously, be vegetarian / vegan, tolerant and inclusive, I internalised this as my duty.

Because, you know, the planet is dying…

 

When I moved to London, the UK was quite behind with ecological awareness. People were eating fries with chips on the side and fast foods were packaged in plastic.

So I underwent the environmental movement again. For me it felt about time and thanks to the EU opening up, it seemed the UK was aware they needed to catch up and improvements were implemented quickly.

Soon the days where recycling was not possible and 100% orange juice was not available were forgotten. For me, things were back to normal.

 

Then I moved to South Africa. Of course, I hit the environmental movement again.

I can’t believe that there’s no recycling, plastic abuse everywhere, littering, and hardly any awareness about going green. There’re simply more severe problems.

So the environmentalists here have to work double hard, against all the odds. Fighting for something that to me is the status quo.

 

I truly can say: Been there, done that. And still, I learn something new every day, as I try to promote to Go Green.

If you have any questions about going green or need help with implementing green campaigns, drop me an email: TrulyJuly@web.de 🙂

 

As most weeks, my MOOP Swoop finds are startling. This time of a bit of a worrying kind:

Picking up the usual rubbish clutter, I uncovered this makeshift knife stashed away.

This is what can happen to the broken knife you thought you had thrown away: It’s been turned into a weapon.

This is what can happen to the broken knife you thought you had thrown away.

I got quite a fright ending up with this potential weapon in my hands.

 

So next time you throw half-broken things into the bin, think again:

Make sure the items you want to throw away are indeed unusable, and that you dispose of them in the correct way.

Or better still: Repair, reuserecycle or freecycle. 🙂

 

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I see you’re collecting rubbish from the streets around here, yes yes? You shouldn’t do that. Let me do the work, yes yes.

 

You do the work?

 

Yes yes. I do the work. You pay me.

 

You do the work, and I pay you?

 

Yes yes.

 

But I’m already doing the work, so you pay me.

 

Yes ye…, wait, what?

 

 

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Illegal Dumping: Despite steep fines, people keep on dumping...

Illegal Dumping: Despite steep fines, people keep on dumping…

 

Cape Town is dirty. The amount of rubbish that lands on the streets and flies around everywhere; the plastic bags caught in fencing, antennas, gates and on top of roofs; pavements are littered with glass shards and stompies.

 

People in Cape Town dump their waste straight on the street, even though littering is illegal and there’s a high fine looming.

 

On top of it, the wind distributes everything that was not securely disposed off everywhere. And not evenly, because it all gets caught in our entrance corners.

 

Because the wind also transports dust, sand, seeds and other more or less biodegradable material, this rubbish compacts into layers of hard soil, raising the ground level bit by bit.

 

So what can be done about this?

 

Make your Bin Day your weekly MOOP Swoop Day

 

MOOP defines perfectly what should be swooped up: Matter Out Of Place.

 

Everything that wasn’t here before us humans spoilt it all must go Leaving No Trace. This burning principle can easily be applied to everyday life, and Bin Day is just the perfect occasion: We never fill up our bin, so before it gets collected we fill it with whatever rubbish is flying around.

 

It is slow going and it can get frustrating especially after the South Easter has buried us in a heap of rubbish, but it feels good to contribute to our community and make it nice for everyone.

 

This was a sh*t load of work, but the result is worth it.

This was a sh*t load of work, but the result is worth it.

 

And doing good is one step closer to receiving good. You never know what positive impact your actions can have.

 

Finally getting to the ground of all that rubbish reveals some interesting heritage: A stoep in front of our back door.

Clearing the ground from all that rubbish reveals some interesting heritage: A stoep in front of our back door and some old service lane path maybe?

 

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