Denial: It’s becoming a warm place

We’re entering an era of consequences; opportunities to forge a global commitment to fight climate change must be seized.

In December 2009 world leaders will meet in Copenhagen with a view to come up with a solution to climate change. Its success will be measured by whether China and the USA come to the table and agree to reduce their carbon emissions. It cannot be another Kyoto; the planet is is running out of time.

The question is what you’re doing to keep this issue on the public agenda.

Earth Hour – do your bit; switch off on Saturday

Sign up and join Earth Hour for the global switch-off this Saturday night! Visit www.earthhour.org to joint the movement and switch off all your domestic appliances for one hour of darkness – also be sure make sure the light are off at work before you leave on Friday!

The V&A’s also hosting an Earth Hour Concert in the Dark; the Cape Philharmonic and marimba group Ethnic Rhythm will be performing in support of this worth cause.

Get in there! 🙂

Changing weather patterns in SA

If you live in Cape Town, you’ve noticed it: Summer came late, and it came hot as hell.

I’ve noticed a trend regarding global warming and environmental sustainability, (and if you were to check when last this blog was updated, you’ll notice it as well).

Global warming and reducing carbon emissions are hot topics when the economy  is booming; and virtually expunged from the agenda when people are worrying about making ends meet.

The problem, of course, is that global warming doesn’t slack off just because humankind’s doing damage control around the credit crisis.

There’s not 11th hour or Inconventient Truth to remind us today; isn’t it time we set daily cellphone alerts and sharpened up on green practices? I know I for one have been slack about carrying my green shopping bag around…

Organic vegetables: Why LOCAL is lekker

The only rip-off that is bigger than “Our favourite Top-end Retailer’s” fresh produce is their pre-made sandwiches. Yet despite this, it’s the quality and convenient packaging that keeps you going back for more. (Or is it the laziness when it comes to packing your own lunch?)

Guilty as charged.

Yet consider this: Woolworths proudly tells you where many of their fresh produce is sourced from: Veggie type A from Kenya, Veggie Mix B from Zimbabwe, etc.

But nice and wholesome as these products may be – and whether they are organically produced or not – they cross borders from one country to the next before finally ending up on the shelves of your local store.

Fresh products don’t tend to stay fresh for long, hence you need to move them quickly from A t B if you want to sell them at a premium. This suggests air transport to South Africa, which in carbon terms is roughly on a par with what genuine mink coats are to animal rights.

From the airport, fresh products are generally delivered to retail outlets by refrigerated truck – all nicely packaged in plastic, cling-wrap, cardboard and cellophane. 

Between the cargo plane and the distribution network, that’s a LOT of carbon being emitted to bring you a bunch of fresh carrots you could’ve bought from a local grower.

Why you should support local organic producers

I am no carrot expert, but I am willing to bet my lunch for a week that an organic carrot grown in the Western Cape will taste as good, if not better, than a Zimbabwean one. And it will probably be more nutritious is as well.

In addition, local produce tends not to be so over-packaged, which means that you buying organic vegetables has double the effect in reducing your carbon footprint.

Brilliant – you CAN make a difference.

Although there may be exceptions to the rule, there’s a lot to be said for buying local grown fresh produce. Choosing to buy locally will help combat the climate crisis, and it’s hip to shop organic!

If you’re looking for a place to buy organic products,  be sure to visit Urban Sprout’s Ubergreen Organic Eco Directory for more information on organic products and the companies who grow them. Also check out The Vegan Diet for some cool veggie recipes and inspiration…

Carbon Accountable vs. Carbon SMART

Herewith your daily opportunity to learn from the stupidity of others, rather than have to pay the school fees yourself:

In keeping with my resolution to switch my geyser off when I go on holiday, I flip the switch on the mains and kick it to the Transkei on 20 January, 2008, for seven full days. Great, what a carbon saint I am. Helping Eskom out. Saving energy. Halting my second-biggest fossil fuel consuming activity for a full week.

Except.

 I also apparently hit a pathetic little switch next to it that, in hindsight, is labelled “plugs”.

In the third week of January, in the Year of our Lord 2008, as per the global warming hypothesis, the temperatures in Cape Town soar like Zimbabwean inflation.

I get back to a flat that smells like a burglar got in, slipped, fell and staked himself on my pre-rigged Congo macheti. Twice.

 No, not even. It smells like the freaking Salt River Morgue after a week of rolling Eskom black-outs. In fact, given the amount of dead meat sprouting fur and gleefully whispering as I transfer it into a doubled-over black refuse back, it may as well have been the next X Files science project gone wrong.

 The moral of the story?

If you’re carbon conscious, you’ll do the right thing and switch off your geyser when you go on holiday. But if you’re carbon smart, you won’t do it the way I do it.

SA Climate Crisis wins with Nomad-One

We are very pleased to announce that SA Climate Crisis has won a professional logo design in the recently concluded www.nomad-one.com competition.

The competition was intended to dispel some logo design myths, and to shed some light on the broader subject of logo design. It took a Q&A format,  with contestants being given the opportunity to submit a design-related query, which was then explored extensively by resident “nomadic” communications consultant Nur Ahmad Furlong.

Our thanks to Nomad-One – the entire design process, complete with look and feel updates, should soon be viewable at www.nomad-one.com …

Hamma Hamma – How green is Cell C?

As a former advertising copywriter I choose not to comment on the creative fiasco that is Cell C’s recently launched “Hamma Hamma” campaign. But as a green blogger I’ve had a couple of thoughts and questions:

How green is Net#work BBDO? 

Strategically, the blunder went beyond the way in which the campaign was communicated; the very decision to give away 6 Hummer H3s points to a worrying lack of forethought and environmental awareness:

The use of non-armor-plated Humvees in Iraq earned GM’s flagship urban 4×4 brand some of the nastiest publicity available on the planet, while their fuel consumption and emissions performance leaves a lot to be desired from an ecological perspective.

Add to this the misogynist undertones of the gangster culture, where a pimp ride is a Hummer, and you have the one product you frankly should not co-brand with.

The Halo Effect with Horns 

To those who can afford it, these ecological-disasters-on-wheels now probably appear far more appealing than before they were punted as the ultimate form of transport in this ad campaign – and compared with most other passenger vehicles on the road, their carbon fooprint is immense.

Driving your spoilt brat brood to school in a 3.7-litre monstrosity not only contributes to the climate crisis, but probably also causes your kids becoming insufferable pricks by the time they hit puberty.


For General Motors, this ought to translate into more sales, which in turn will result in more greenhouse gasses being emitted, with more and more rabid Hummer fans busting themselves to make enough money to afford these lifestyle icons. And they’ll get there, and they’ll fill them up and ride them empty each and every week; even if we hit R10 per litre for petrol.

Why couldn’t Cell C have given away Toyota Priuses or a number of Cell C scholarships?  

Personally, I find Cell C and ad agency Net#work BBDO decision to use the brand’s marketing machine to fuel poor Joe Soap’s lust for bigger and better things crass and thoroughly offensive – almost as offensive, in fact, as Cell C’s service levels, which prompted me to terminate my contract and move to Vodacom after two years of frustration and anger.

I hate Mo the Meerkat even more than I hate “hamma hamma”, but at least their call centre tends to be available far more often. Feel free to comment if you share in this sense of outrage.

Oh, and welcome to 2008, y’all.