2012 in Review: Good News and Home Truths
This entry was posted on December 14, 2012.
The sustainable industry has gone from strength-to-strength. We continue to see more people making adjustments in order to practice an eco friendly way of living and 2012 has been no different. Although there are always challenges to be overcome in this ongoing battle, eco consciousness is continuously growing and we’ve witnessed it first-hand here at Sustainable.co.za. Here is a recap of the year through the eyes of Sustainable.co.za.
Dark Days Ahead
Eskom had some very big news to share earlier this year that once again demonstrated how important the reduction of electricity consumption continues to be. With the permission of the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa), Eskom have applied for a 16% electricity tariff increase in a third multi-year price determination (MYPD 3).
Following on from the MYPD 2, 25% increase over the three years (concluding at the end of March 2013), this above-inflation tariff will substantially reduce the affordability of electricity. The solution clearly lies with the implementation of solar power wherever possible. The payback period on your investment into going solar in your home or office is ever shortening, making excuses against going solar more and more futile.
For or Against: The Fracking Concern
Another major news story initiating conversation across all media channels this year is that of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in the Karoo. The debate continues around dinner tables and over radio waves on whether the exploration of shale gas deposits in the South African region is ethical or not. Facing strong opposition from those outraged at the non-eco friendly practices being implemented, government are still debating whether the resulting economic development will be worth subjecting the area to environmental risks.
What a Tree-t
At Sustainable.co.za, Arbour Day, Week and Month is always a very crucial time of the year. This September was all about dirtying our hands and cleaning our eco-conscience. We got stuck in where we could in order to support the cause. This started out with our little in-house effort, planting a few trees in the courtyard of our sustainably operated office block. Overwhelmed by the support arbour week generates year on year we decided to join Greenpop in their Trees for Zambia initiative – an inspired reforestation project that is passionate about counteracting the effects of deforestation in what is one of the most severely affected regions in the world.
The 18th of July marked another Mandela Day. The response this year was incredible and donations came flying in from all over the place. We at Sustainable.co.za felt we needed to get in on the action in any way we could, so we went over to Kalk Bay Night Haven Shelter where we did what we do best by donating a variety of energy efficient products to the shelter. These ranged from showerheads to geyser blankets, eco cookers and LED lights – All of which were ‘warmly’ received.
On a more serious note, 607 Rhinos were poached in South Africa this year. It’s a pretty hard-hitting fact, but sometimes the truth is a scary and depressing thing. This post, however, does unveil a glimmer of hope, echoing the announcement that the South African and Vietnamese governments have joined forces in the fight to curb the import and export of rhino horn between the most affected country in the world and Vietnam (the most active thoroughfare for rhino trade in the east). The memorandum of understanding signals a commitment to zero tolerance against poaching syndicates, which is definitely a positive end to what has been an otherwise disheartening year in this regard.
In an effort to really raise awareness of environmental issues as well as educate our loyal followers, we placed a much greater emphasis on online social engagement this year – and boy has it paid off. Our Facebook fan base grew from 1200 fans to a staggering 3300 in less than 12 months. Our most popular Facebook post got shared by over 1000 people in just a couple of days, thus further justifying our decision to go social. Our blog readership has increased significantly and we’ve had great feedback from our recent campaign that took our readers on a step-by-step journey through transforming your home from an energy-consuming monster into a green solar powered machine!
2013 – Here’s to the Future
With the new site up and running and a more active Facebook page (including our Wordless Wednesdays and Funny Fridays) we’re carrying the end-of-year cheer into the New Year. We hope you’ve had an eco friendly festive season and will join us in our resolution to do even more on behalf of the environment in 2013.
Remember, if you’re doing one thing, you’re doing something.