Your weekly green news round-up.
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Dear *|NAME|*

Year end. Thank you for caring and reading our news this year. Thank you for sharing and changing how you live. Well done for being brave and stepping out of the sheeple flock into courageously questioning your impact every step of the way – the greater consequences of your behaviour.

Many of us are tired at the end of the year, we suffer from compassion fatigue for pushing ourselves beyond our limits. Holidays are indeed holy days. We need them more than food sometimes. For the soul to chill into the moment and embrace healing emanating from nature. Against the stream, we look for quiet places when the rest rush to the malls. Fight the traffic jams.

My garden is my respite, for which I am deeply grateful. (Note the solar oven. No worries when Escom cuts the power.)

It called me back to sanity when we were about to sell this house. Going back to the womb of natural water, letting go, becoming water … this is my way of surviving our hot summers.

Not to ever miss the message of the heat – do not fall asleep because you have a coping mechanism, a way out.

Remember those who have no escape – the old and the vulnerable, who die from climate change. Use the discomfort to craft a more effective response to the dilemmas of our time.

COP20 seems to have been another sell-out. We must sharpen our pens, investigate wider, be bolder in our resistance. Support and strengthen each other. This is my plea for the new year – that we will drop the ego of separation and learn the meaning of humble collaboration. Together we are huge, but in separate pockets we are grains of sand, through which the future of humanity is falling.

Thank you to all our supporters this year – our Club 1000 members, who diligently make a monthly contribution. You are still a mere handful, which makes you all the more precious to us. Every token encourages us to go on and find creative ways to survive.

Thank you to our business partners and advertisers. A special thanks to Petco and PlasticsSA, who have been with us for so many years, grasping from the start the crucially important role of public education. And of course Nedbank, without whom there would have been no Green Times for the past 5 years. They indeed put their money where their mouth is. Together we are making the shift.

“You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself.” Nelson Mandela.

Also thank you to my beloved son Ruben, our publisher. You might not know this, but he and I forge forward amidst dire challenges. Any mere staff member would have walked away long ago. Many have, over the years. And understandably so. The hope is that he will continue this work long after my time, as this is for all the children who inherited this dilemma.

So it is gift time. Please don’t miss the book give-away in a story. To find it you will have to read our bumper issue of 25 stories! Here is another one, though:

We have a couple of copies to give away of the newest little green book – “A Greener Tomorrow – Simple Ways to Go Green.” It consists of 150 bite-sized chunks of greening advice from various people, with cool recipes from Nicole Sherwin, eco diva.

Here are some gems I found there:
  • Use the sediment left over from your juicing, mix with fish to make fish cakes. (Casey Dolan)
  • Change your telephone bill (and all bills, for that matter) to be sent via email instead. (Gary Kirsten)
  • Cut back radically on sugar: it’s toxic, it’s addictive, and growing it is using the limited soil, water and atmospheric space which we need in order to feed tomorrow’s children. (Leonie Joubert)
  • Plant Pennyroyal mint outside your windows to keep mozzies away, no more Doom. (Michael Jordaan)
For your own copy of this book, write to me at

We also bring you loads of tips on having a Green Christmas and holiday season. Please remember to follow us also on Facebook, as we share more news there.

Happy holidays!
With love
Elma and the team

Check out some awesome green events on our calendar.

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COP20 closes with even weaker climate pact


After two weeks of negotiations, the world community has yet again failed to take any meaningful actions to prevent landmark global warming and instead has produced a “roadmap to global burning,” leading climate campaigners lamented on Sunday.

Remember your bag this holiday


Summer holidays seem to be taken up with shopping madness at every turn.

Buy local this festive season


This festive season is likely to be another ‘big spender’ for South African consumers – how you spend that money can make a positive impact on the country and its people.

How ‘eco-reindeer’ handle their waste


The Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) shares a few guidelines on how to be an ‘eco-reindeer’ by setting up waste separation facilities over the holidays.

Don’t let load shedding spoil your holiday


Load shedding is a fact of life for the foreseeable future in South Africa and a little planning and creativity can alleviate a lot of the unpleasantness during the holidays.

Real food for health is green and sustainable


Far be it from me to climb onto a bandwagon – as greenies we set rather than follow trends. I do believe in always keeping an open mind, though, and not judging anything until I have first-hand experience.

Blooming renewables in South Africa


Due to the increasing threat of climate change, the key role that energy plays in the interactions between societies and resources towards a sustainable development has gained broad attention.


Lake Malawi’s dwindling fish stocks threaten livelihoods


A combination of overfishing and the use of illegal fishing gear has seen fish stocks in Lake Malawi dwindle to the point that local people’s livelihoods and food security are now under threat.

Selling your property and the Invasive Species Regulations


Invasive Alien Plants (IAPs) are widely considered as a major threat to biodiversity, human livehoods and economic development. IAPs cost South Africa tens of billions of rand annually in lost agricultural productivity and resources spent on management.


Retirement and independent living


So many people wonder how they can get out of the ratrace and start doing the things they love. As a believer in doing the work that you love for a living, I find this sad in itself.

Turning rubbish collectors into micro-entrepreneurs


In South Africa, 98 million tonnes of waste is still sent to landfill each year. Recycling initiatives remain limited and progress is slow.

Parasite in fish's mouth becomes his tongue


A parasite that lives in a fish’s mouth and becomes its tongue? Sixty million viruses in a teaspoon of sea water? A shimmering sunset glistening through the curl of a golden barrel? Just a few snippets from the Wavescape Slide Night night in Cape Town.

First ever climate summit in heart of the planet


This year’s U.N. Climate Change Conference in Peru marks the first time the talks have been held in an Amazon country.

Diving for Hope on the stormy seas


Cape Town is not called the Cape of Storms for no reason - and December is a notoriously windy month!  Dr Sylvia Earle arrived to a windswept False Bay, white caps chasing each other across glass-green water.

Save your rands, build with sand


Sand has been the most widely used construction material for the last 10 000 years and even today at least a third of the world’s population live in houses built of sand.

How green is our city?


The Cape Town City Council is claiming to be green – and they are doing some good things, like supporting solar water heaters and large solar farms.

Energy efficiency industry created to the detriment of entrepreneurship


It is becoming more evident daily that we are experiencing an energy efficiency entitlement epidemic, where hand-outs are expected.


Winners in plastic recycling competition announced on Facebook


Do you know your plastic recycling? Did you play along with the recent Facebook competition? If not, you lost out…


Campaign demands banks stop financing fossil fuel projects


Climate change movement recently launched its Fossil Free Africa campaign, with a call on ‘dirty banks’ to fully disclose their fossil fuel investments and stop financing future coal power projects across Africa.

Worries over food shortages, price hikes amid power cuts


Experts warn that Eskom’s power cuts could have a disastrous affect on agriculture which could result in food shortages and a spike in food prices.

Adaptation is the only fair way to tackle climate change


As COP20 concludes, climate consultant Mike Edwards argues that delegates need to consider the need for ‘adaptation’ as well as ‘mitigation’.

Leveling the playing field in SA’s electricity industry


Leveling the playing field in South Africa’s electricity industry is important because big business has access to perks that homeowners don’t have access to.

11-year-old pledges vow of silence for climate action


Actor Mark Ruffalo writes about a brave 11-year-old boy named Itzcuauhtli, who became overwhelmed by the grave scientific predictions about climate change and the lack of action from world leaders.

New waste roadmap for Green Economy


“Leaders, visionaries, activists and people are led by intuition and fed by imagination as they redraw the maps and rewrite the rules.”

Save food – follow consumption best practice this season


More than 9 million tonnes of food is wasted in our country every year, whilst 12 million South Africans are food insecure, says the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
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