NMB TN Newsletter – May 2013

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I know I know, it has been a long time since our last newsletter. Apologies for that; we’ve been pretty swamped with other things the last few months. But lets get right into it…

900kgs collected at the Trekking For Trash cleanup at Kings Beach

900kgs collected at the Trekking For Trash cleanup at Kings Beach

Some very interesting initiatives have started up in the Metro, focusing on waste.
You may remember the Trekking For Trash team’s recent visit to PE on their long trek across the SA coastline doing beach cleanups. 900kgs of waste was collected at their cleanup of Kings Beach, 200kgs of which was recycled.

Following on from that, cleanups will now be organized more regularly thanks to the Coastal Cleanups PE team. Their first one took place on 11 May, which saw a large group cleaning up the Cape Recife area. We attended and got our hands dirty too. While the sun was shining, and the company was great, the experience was rather unsettling. There was a huge amount of waste to collect, but the tricky part was the plastic. Bags that had been exposed to elements over time simply crumbled when trying to pull them from the sand, breaking down into smaller and smaller pieces. So easily waste like this could have been recycled instead of finding its way into the natural environment potentially damaging the wildlife.
Be sure to like their Facebook page, or follow them on Twitter, and stay tuned for the next one. They’re expected to happen every 3 months.

Eco-Brick starter crate supplied by Eco-Brick Exchange

Eco-Brick starter crate supplied by Eco-Brick Exchange

On that note of recycling, one thing such waste could be used for is Eco-Bricks, which quite simply are 2 liter plastic bottles packed with inorganic waste. They are surprisingly solid and are becoming quite popular as a building material. Check out HugItForward who are building schools from eco-bricks. Locally, we have the recently-initiated Eco-Brick Exchange who are wasting no time in making waves here in the metro. They’re intending to build a new building for the Penguins Learn & Play Centre in Walmer Township made from a combination of eco-bricks and concrete. To get the needed number of eco-bricks, they’re calling on you to get involved. Contact them on ecobrickexchange@gmail.com or 084 688 8554, and find them on Facebook too for regular updates

Local resilience calls for effective local waste management, and initiatives such as Coastal Cleanups and Eco-Brick Exchange are one way you can do your bit. And don’t forget Greencycle as well who will collect your recyclables each week.

And on the gardening side of things… Alan Fogarty with involved with a food gardening project in New Brighton and is look for some help. They need assistance with;

  • The physical aspect of digging and preparing the soil and beds in the hard rocky soil for planting.
  • Training them to mulch the soil and seed beds as well as any input in teaching them the principals of sustainable vegetable gardeing.
  • Planting trees and shrubs.
  • Helping to clean up the immediate environment.

You can contact Alan if you have questions or would like to get involved on 041 378 1486 or E-mail: info@alantours.co.za

The next meeting of our Edible Gardens Group will be on Saturday 8 June, 2 to 4 p.m., at the home of Diane Lawrie and her son Douglas. We’ll look at the food forest that Douglas has planted and at their plans to get off the grid completely.The address is 3 Belfast Drive, Fern Glen, also known as the mud house. Go up Cape Rd past the William Moffett traffic light. Take first left into Whitney, then first left into Glendale Avenue. The last home on right is 3 Belfast.Bring a healthy snack to share. Feel free to invite friends and family.

shift logoCongratulations to our co-initiator of the NMB Transition Network on being selected as one of the winners of this year’s Shift Sustainable Design Competition for his greywater recycling design. He’ll be traveling to Malmö, Sweden for two weeks with the other winners  on an educational exchange. He also spent two weeks in Cape Town recently and participated, together with the other finalists and a design team from Sweden, in a social design challenge. You can read about the whole experience here

A couple of markets coming up:
5 June – The Granary Market, Stanley Str, Richmond Hill – 4pm – 9pm

8 June – Cupboard Love little market, Somerset Str, Richmond Hill – 9am – 12

Green Drinks for June has a possible date, time and venue change. We still have to finalize that, but we’ll let you know the details nearer the time.

Thats all for now…




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