A shift in thinking

I’ve just read this great article on Harmonious Living by Rick Juliusson which I highly recommend you read also – his attitude and opinion is exactly how I feel (tho he expresses it way better than I do).

An excerpt:

The reality is that we need to do more than just change a little of what we do, or how we dispose of it afterwards. We need a fundamental shift in how we relate to the earth, to each other, to our families and communities…

When that shift happens – when we truly start understanding ourselves as responsible members of this small connected world – the checklist stuff [of environmental change] just naturally happens.

going green – a presentation

Download this file

My company has introduced a “Speaker’s Corner” once a month where someone gets a chance to say their say about something that’s different or interesting or their passion outside work etc. To start it off, they asked me to be the first speaker and to talk about “going green”.

I quickly accepted and was quite pleased I’d been asked to do this – it’s my first presentation ever about green things (and hopefully not my last!)

I think it went down quite well with those people who attended (unfortunately, not everyone came to listen) – I got a fair bit of feedback and questions both that afternoon and in the weeks since then. I hoped to just raise awareness, and to that end I think I did a good job. Even today someone was asking me about the “garbage patch in the sea” that I had mentioned.

Figured I’d share the PP here too. If you’re interested, you’re welcome to use it as you see fit, tho it would be very nice to hear if you do.


Update: the Scribd thing that posterous uses to display the PP on screen doesn’t seem to give you access to my notes which will add more meaning to the slides – download it if you want more info.

Great initiative by BluBird shopping centre


The BluBird shopping centre is hosting a great recycling initiative this weekend – check out the flyer. I think this is a fantastic idea! Kudo's to BluBird management and I really hope that we see more local shopping centres doing something similar in the future!

I'm thinking I might do breakfast there on Sun and take some recycling through (I'm sure there are bits lurking in my spare-room cupboard that really don't need to be there… like the desktop pc speakers that don't work properly anymore…)

Trees in springtime

In celebration of both Spring day and the start of National Arbor Week, I bought 5 trees today through Food & Trees for Africa.

One was bought with money out of my swearing jar at work and I have therefore dedicated that tree to all in Cambrient who have had to listen to me swear and who have helped me become a little more lady-like (if not a little poorer).

The other four are in support of the awesome work that Food & Trees are doing for Arbor Week as well as to make me feel better about all the driving we did in order to have our lovely holiday on the Mozambique coast.

If you haven’t heard Food & Trees for Africa, do yourself a favour and take a browse through their recently updated website: www.trees.co.za. They have been doing great ‘greening’ work for years (since before carbon offsetting via trees was even a concept really) and they do it in a way that really gives back to the community (see their Trees for Homes project).

It’s dead easy to buy trees through them too: As an individual you can buy a tree to donate in someone else’s name, or you can join as a F&T member or even make monthly donations. All facilities are available on their website, or if you’re an ebucks member, you can find them under the “greening” section on the ebucks site.

Do it – donate a tree or get yourself a tree to plant on the weekend!

Meat eating

“Mounting evidence suggests that meat-based diets are not only unhealthy, but that just about every aspect of meat production – from grazing-related loss of cropland, to the inefficiencies of feeding vast quantities of water and grain to cattle, to pollution from “factory farms” – is an environmental disaster with wide and sometimes catastrophic consequences.”  GaiamLife

What I’ve read & heard about beef farming scares me – both from a health perspective and an environmental perspective. So I decided to embrace the Meatless Monday trend that’s making it’s way around the world. I am not into the idea of eating hormone-filled meat, and I’m devastated by reports of deforestation primarily for cattling ranching or growing cattle food.

But I have a confession to make: I have tried to implement Meatless Monday over the past 6 or 7 weeks, but I’m really not winning with it. Predominately because I am just bad at planning ahead of time and so end up standing in front of the fridge at 7pm looking at a mostly empty vegetable tray and thinking “Dammit. Guess my options are pasta arrabiata or cheese on toast…” Not exactly a good dietary choice for me and my temperamental blood sugar.

So this week I’ve been toying with the idea that maybe I should abandon the one-non-meat-day approach. Maybe I should change it to having at least 3 vegetarian meals in a week – lunch or dinner. (Not breakfast, because I very seldom eat meat at breakfast, so that would be cheating.) I’m sure I could manage that and it’s effectively the same concept right?

The other option I’m considering is to outright stop eating red meat (beef & pork). I eat very little of it anyway, so I would only really be giving up the very occasional steak and it would give me a great excuse to not have another boerewors roll again in my life (not my fav.) But then that makes me pause to consider my consumption of chicken and fish – what is the environmental impact of these protein sources?

Watch this space to see which option I end up going with… have to do the chicken/fish research first…


Go check out these brilliant WWF campaigns designed to get people thinking (and hopefully actioning).

It would be so wonderful if local agencies would produce similar ads focussing on local environmental issues. Offhand, I can only think of one: a TVC for Food & Trees for Africa: http://www.bizcommunity.com/PressOffice/PressRelease.aspx?i=211&ai=22068

Origins of Forrest

Just to set the record straight before anyone tells me I can’t spell, I am fully aware that “Forrest” has been spelt incorrectly. “Forrest” is a family name from a few generations back, and it’s one that, as soon as I heard it, had an affinity to it.

You see, I wasn’t given a second name when I was born. I don’t specifically have a problem with this, until my brother came along and he was given one. In my childhood years, I felt this to be rather unfair (as you do when you’re 5). When I discovered the “Forrest” name in our family tree when I was a teenager, I decided it was a perfectly suitable second name for me. It tied into family heritage and it represented my love for trees which I inherited from my Father.

I have not officially changed my name – the thought of the pain that is the Home Affairs department has put me off making it official. However, I consider it my adopted second name. I just feel it ‘fits’ me.

And now that I’ve decided to launch a blog about my green journey, I thought it ‘fitted’ well as the name too.