Tag Archive for: solutions to climate change

IMG_20140918_104935There is something very powerful about feeling part of a greater whole, of experiencing a group consciousness to actively use your hands and see the difference you can make. This past weekend was spent up in the hills of Hogsback with my family and 250 other treevolutionaries with the aim of getting 2 400 indigenous trees in the ground and having a seriously good time while doing it. GreenPop, a Cape Town based organisation with a focus on cooling the planet through tree planting, have Reforest Fests in the Overberg and in ZambIMG_20140917_201515ia and decided to branch out (pun intended) and transform the Wattle saturated hillsides of Terra Khaya Eco Backpackers in Hogsback to their former glory, something  JRR Tolkien would have been proud of. After all, a runaway Wattle plantation looks nothing like the rich forests we ogle in Lord of the Rings and that richness speaks of a biodiversity upon which, for one, the endangered Cape Parrot depends. Have you ever noticed the eerie silence of alien tree forests? Our local birds, insects, animals and butterflies are not able to survive or thrive in these barren ecosystems which also effect our water and rivers with their very thirsty roots. But, as Shane Eades of Terra Khaya enlightened us, these alien trees have their part to play in the handover, they provide shade and shelter for the baby indigenous trees to grow and they act as soldiers on the edge of the natural forests, sacrificing themselves for firewood while protecting the natural trees from the same fate.

human chain1 (1)And so, we arrived from all over the country and the world in magical Hogsback, from Joburg to Cape Town, from Botswana to Germany and the US, and were treated to good food, unbelievable local music and the opportunity to become active members of the treevolution! There is nothing quite as satisfying as seeing a freshly planted tree, with the sense of time and hope stretching into the future it brings. Especially when you are planhuman chain1 (2)ting with your children and envision them as young adults visiting the forest they helped to plant. Goosebumps. And yet it was no easy task, how do you move 2 400 trees up a steep mountainside? With a human chain of course! And that is one sure way to feel connected and effective as a group, you pass to me, I pass to her and we make it happen, a human funicular! Those baby trees were touched, loved and handled with care by almost all of us there! So that by the time we got to actually planting the trees we all had a good sense of the part we play in the greater whole and that what we do, each one of us, matters. The atmosphere was so tangibly positive, there were no masks, no egos, just open faced smiles and the collective sense of we’re doing this thing and it feels GOOD! There was Jenny from Germany planting her very first tree alongside my seven year old daughter who has felt the soil on her hands for many years already. It was beautiful.

Afterwards, we danced the night away until our happily weary muscles could dance no more, then sat round the fire and reminisced with new friends and kindred spirits, feeling the glow of the treevolution in our veins. And as we made our way down the mountain the next day and spread out in different directions to our homes, I hoped that all the passionate people present would hold onto what they had experienced and continue with their everyday revolutions by making conscious choices for people and planet on a daily basis. And my deepest wish is that Eco Atlas will play a part in empowering these conscious choices as we interact with the give and take of our daily worlds and as we awaken to the fact that every choice we make can have either a positive or negative impact. Until we meet again, of course, on a hillside or African plain to feel the might of our many hands and the power of the whole.



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eggsWe all know the benefits of choosing free range eggs, for ourselves, for the planet and of course for the chickens sparing us their eggs for breakfast! And if you want to throw in climate change as well, I was interested to learn at the Africa Climate Reality with Al Gore earlier this year, that factory farming is one of the greatest contributors to the global warming phenomenon. Eeek, solutions please!

So, who wants to miss out on a yummy breakfast (that you don’t have to cook for yourself!) because you’re not sure of the origin of the eggs! You don’t have to, here is a list of ten South African eateries who are committed to serving free range eggs. Do you know of one that’s not on the list? Share the love and recommend them on Eco Atlas, click here. Or, even better! Take a selfie at the restaurants and share them with the #iLoveECO competition and you could win a luxury weekend for 2 at an eco star lodge in the Drakensberg (where, of course, your breakfast eggs will be truly free range!)


bramonBramon is the only Wine Estate Restaurant slap bang in the middle of The Garden Route! Enjoy an afternoon of local wines, cheeses, oysters, meats, pates and more all served with freshly baked homemade breads and polished off with a decadent dessert. Set in the vineyards and overlooking the Tsitsikamma mountains, this family run estate offers organoleptic fare for the entire family. Besides serving free range eggs they have made many other ethical commitments. Find out more.



dear meDear Me is a brasserie, pantry and event space in Cape Town CBD. They are committed to using local, ethical and sustainable produce as far as possible. They also accommodate many specific dietary requirements, such as vegans, food intolerances and allergies. Their menu changes on a regular basis and showcases artisanal methods & produce. Dear Me is committed to serving free-range meat & eggs, and only use sustainable seafood as well as Fair Trade coffee and chocolate. Could it get any better? Find out more.



fynbos estateNatural beauty and outstanding cuisine combine to make Fynbos Estate near Malmesbury an ideal venue for all kinds of gatherings and celebrations, as well as workshops and retreats. Fynbos Estate caters for up to 20 people in the farmhouse and up to 90 in the Pavilion. They use all their own vegetables, seasonal fruits, fresh fish and free range birds, as well as farm sourced meats. The small winery runs on organic principles, the olive, honey and lemon products are also all organic. Find out more.



grand cafeGrand Café in Plett, for alfresco dining in a grand style! They are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a unique style and magnificent views of the bay . They strive to follow as many green initiatives as possible to minimise their carbon footprint and to help create awareness to preserve the planet for future generations to come. Find out more.




la cafeteriaLa Cafeteria is a cool & casual eatery situated on Plett’s main beach. They offer a simple menu of breakfast and lunch with focus on quality and freshness. You have to try their thin based pizza smothered in rocket! They also serve Fair Trade coffee. Find out more.




le fournil2Le Fournil de Plett, Bakery and Café offers a wide variety of slow-risen artisan breads baked daily using organic stone ground flour, as well as pastries, desserts and croissants. They use fresh, simple and local ingredients wherever they can and their almond croissants are to die for. Find out more.





the kitchen2The Kitchen is a bustling eatery in Woodstock, Cape Town. Open during the week, they serve their legendary Love Sandwiches (possibly the best sandwich you will ever have), a host of exciting salads and all manner of delicious things for coffee or lunch. They are particularly proud of their salads. They are fresh and unusual and excite their loyal customers with new, fresh flavours daily. They are committed to sourcing local products wherever possible and many of their ingredients are organically grown. Find out more.



the tableThe Table Restaurant is all about simple food with serious taste. Everything they make from their thin-based, crispy pizzas, handmade pastas and signature dishes, to their lunchtime  Harvest Table, is lovingly prepared using only the freshest ingredients for a whole lot of yum. Simple, warm and modern – a place for families, friends & foodies alike. They use salad ingredients from their own veggie garden when in season and otherwise support local growers. Gluten free pastas and pizzas are also available. Find out more.



thyme and againThyme & Again on the Garden Route offers its customers a variety of scrumptious savoury and sweet home-made delights from its very own bakery as well as carefully selected, local delicacies and an excellent collection of fine wines mainly from the Western Cape. You can browse around the farm stall or relax in the garden cafe whilst enjoying a freshly brewed cup of coffee, accompanied by their treats or home-cooked meals. Kids can explore the magical castle and furry friends are most welcome too! Find out more.



holaHola Café in Plettenberg Bay is a friendly family-run business and a great local hub with a Spanish flair. They are famous for their gourmet coffee and they cater for those in a rush with mobile coffees to take away. Delicious health and freshly squeezed juices are available and kids and dogs are welcome. Find out more.




Know of any more great green restaurants serving ethical produce? Suggest them here.