Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Namaste


Some yoga inspiration designed by yours truly. Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Save paper - save the planet


Here's something to think about: I was browsing the net for great ad campaigns and public service announcements and I came across this one from the World Wildlife Fund. This eco ad campaign emerged in 2007 with the aim of raising awareness about the negative impact of disposable paper towels on our planet. The dispensers have a cut out shape of South America through which a stack of green paper towels can be seen. The towels represent the rain forest canopy of the continent and, as the towels are gradually dispensed, the greenness of South America is slowly drained. The slogan at the top of the dispenser is "save paper – save the planet".

As with any good PSA, this campaign inspired me to find out more: so I did a little research and discovered these facts:
  • To make one ton of paper towels, 17 trees are cut down and 20,000 gallons (+- 92 000 litres) of water is consumed.
  • Every day, over 3 000 tons of paper towel waste is produced in the US alone.
  • Decomposing paper towels produce methane gas, a leading cause of global warming.
  • Paper was the largest contributor to municipal landfill waste in 2006 in the US.
  • The average person uses 2,400 – 3,000 paper towels at work, in a given year.
Now I don't know about you, but I've never really given using paper towels a second thought. The OCD hygienist in me would never even consider using the icky germ-infested,flannel towel equivalent, and those warm hand-dryers are a breeding ground for bacteria. So what's a girl to do? My solution: drip dry. Yes, it's not ideal, (and yes, sometimes it isn't great to wipe your damp hands on your pretty clothes) but even if you only pass on the paper towels once a week, it'll still help the environment in the long run. Now that's what I call being proactive! 

Friday, 19 April 2013

Save Water. Save Life



Step 1 towards being more proactive:

Every time I go into the office kitchen, I notice that the tap above the sink is running. I try and try to turn it off, but (in my expert plumbing opinion) I'm guessing that the washer's broken and that the actual tap needs to be fixed. Day by day people walk in and out of that kitchen and pile their dishes in the sink, ignoring the amount of precious water that is pouring down the drain. Today, while I was waiting for my lunch to heat, I put a coffee cup under the tap... Within 1 minute the cup was full. That's 250mℓ of water a minute just going to waste. Which adds up to 15ℓ an hour and a whopping 360a day! I couldn't believe that nothing had been done about this tap and that most people seemed completely unperturbed by the travesty that was going on in our kitchen. So I got hold of administration and asked her to call in a plumber to fix the tap. Considering the fact that I have only been at my office for a month, I think that she was probably quite taken aback (and probably didn't know who the hell I was), but wasting water is no joke and I had to do something about it.

The plumber is coming on Monday and although this bit of proactivity (is that a word?) may seem tiny and feeble, I am happy in the knowledge that my voice is going to save 2 520ℓ a week. And that's nothing to be sneezed at.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Life is beautiful



I’ve been feeling very sad about the state of the world at the moment. I think it’s just a combination of bad (and completely unnecessary) events happening all at once and me feeling terribly emotional and overwhelmed by it all. I was in the middle of lamenting about life when an amazing friend of mine gave me some even more amazing advice. This message has really stuck with me and so I wanted to share it with you:

“There are some horrible people in the world out there. People are cruel and selfish and don’t think of the pain they cause. There’s only so much you can do about them. There are lots of groups you can join who help those animals and people who suffer because of them. If you’re serious about it then join a group and become proactive. The best thing you can do is try and negate all the bad in the world. Be the best person you can be and do good when you can.” 

This made me realise that no matter how bad I feel about things, complaining and getting upset does absolutely nothing to change them. I am guilty of falling into the 'I am just one person, what difference can I make?' frame of mind, but the above conversation really made me stop and think about all of the good that I can actually do. I tend to get very wrapped up in my own thoughts and sometimes forget to stop and appreciate the beauty that surrounds me and to remember that the world isn't all bad. So this is my first step towards becoming a more positive, proactive person and I am starting by reminding myself (and all of you) that life really is beautiful.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Ban All Animal Circuses


For those of you who don't know, last night Carte Blanche aired the most horrific footage of an elephant being beaten by its handler - an employee at the Brian Boswell Circus. I haven't had the courage to watch the video, but the still images that I have seen have left me feeling so saddened and disgusted that I'm struggling to even finish writing this post. When I cried my way through Water For Elephants, I comforted myself with the thought that at least this sort of abuse doesn't happen anymore. But I was wrong. I am so angry. At Brian Boswell (whoever the hell he is), at the animal handlers, at the company, and at the people who actually support this kind of cruelty. 

For more information, here is the media statement made by the SPCA
SPCA Press Release

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Happy thought for the day


Good to remember, especially on such a cold, Wednesday morning! .x.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

A BIG Issue



I am really bad at travelling light. Even when I was younger and my Mom would pack my suitcase for me, I would always shove clothes in at the last minute “just in case I need them”. Needless to say, I have been charged for excess baggage more than once and this whole system (as well as airports as a whole) is something that really grates my carrot! Whenever this happens, it is not uncommon for me to go on a long rampage about the injustice of it all – why should a 53kg person pay R200 for 8kgs extra luggage, when a brute of a human being weighing twice (sometimes three times) as much as I do gets off scott free?

So imagine my glee when yesterday I stumbled upon a news report announcing that the very small (but obviously super awesome) airline Samoa Air has started charging their passengers for international flights based on the joint weight of themselves and their luggage. At an average rate of $1.00 p/kg, a ticket for myself and my 28kg luggage would cost approximately $81 – bargain! Despite the expected uproar that this news has caused, Samoa Air Chief Executive Chris Langton justifies the new policy by saying, “Planes are run by weight and not seat - the plane can only carry a certain amount of weight and that weight needs to be paid.”

I’m not sure whether the structure of the model has been completely thought out (maybe passengers should only be charged if they very overweight for their average height and age), but the basic concept definitely has its merits. Obviously there are all sorts of ethical implications with the scheme – like the fact that on average men weigh more than women, and that some ethnicities have larger bone structures than others to name but a few – but considering today’s continual rise in obesity, I’m just glad that someone has finally recognised this very serious (and very large) problem. Samoa Air has already been accused of discrimination through their blatant support of “body fascism”, and no doubt their rugby team is less than enthused with the idea, but I for one doff my hat to the person who had the guts to suggest it. 

Find out more at washingtonpost.com