BluBird recycling initiative unfortunately disappoints

Even though I always take my recycling to the nearby Pikitup garden centre, I decided to take my e-waste and other bits and pieces that the garden centre won’t accept to the BluBird recycling weekend. I really wanted to see what they were up and had great expectations.

I was sorely disappointed. I went through at around 2.30 on Sunday afternoon, and when I arrived, I only spotted one guy taking all manner of computer, furniture and other bits and bobs. No-one and nothing else. One of the flyers was printed out at A3 size and placed under a tree and that was all that lead you to their “recycling event”.

I gave my one bag of stuff to this “I’ll-take-it-all” guy, but I didn’t get a chance to chat to him to find out more because he was already busy talking with two other people.

My first thoughts were that perhaps they hadn’t had a great response so far, so the other people had already packed up and left before I got there. But when I got to work on Monday, some of my colleagues asked me if I’d gone and we swopped stories.

Turns out that besides this guy there was one other church/charity lady there too, taking a few paper-based things (like she took books from a colleague) but that was it really.

From their pamphlet, I was expecting something more. Perhaps I dream too big, but I was expecting to arrive to find a number of bins and representation from the big players in the recycling world. I expected paper bins from Sappi or Mondi, a bottle bank from The Glass Recycling Company, Plasfed representation & people around to talk about the how’s, why’s and where’s of how to do get involved.

I was disappointed, because it is an idea/concept that really has merit in terms of providing a very easy way to get people to get rid of things easily while attracting clients to the shopping centre and is a great opportunity to create awareness and encourage recycling behaviour.

I do feel could be pulled off better, and I do hope that BluBird tries it again with more effort – or that other shopping centres give it a bash.

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: 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: