Enviroment Blogs This Week

Solar powered street lights in Capetown, architecture with a modern and green touch in Accra Ghana, questions about companies’ so called ‘green’ credentials, and a cute baby gorilla in Africa. All this, in today's installment of environment blogs on Global Voices.

We begin in South Africa with news of solar powered street lights in Capetown, viewed by Carbon Copy as a great start to ‘putting renewables on the map’. On the same article he discusses the need for an enabling environment for large scale initiatives, and specific strategies to encourage clean energy adoption on a mass scale. Carl of Greencars also blogs about the solar powered street lights, giving the project a thumbs up and providing context of what this pilot project means.

Apparently, a large traffic light installation such as this uses as much electricity in a month as a 3-bedroom house, and if Cape Town were to remove all its traffic lights from the grid, it would be equivalent to removing 1200 houses off mains power.

Carl mentions the primary and secondary benefits of the installation, adding

Besides the direct environmental benefits that come from using sustainable energy sources, there’s a significant secondary benefit – if the traffic lights are more reliable than their grid-powered counterparts, we’ll see fewer malfunctioning traffic lights, resulting in less traffic congestion, which means less fuel burned.

He is also worried about the theft or damage of the solar panels but hopes that this does not happen to the project.

And now to Ghana: From the blog African Architecture and Design, a post about modern green architecture in the capital Accra, exemplified by current development of condominiums that will

…showcase other sustainable materials easy to come by in Ghana: bamboo for the poolside cabana and balcony railing; adobe plasters for the walls; and recycled oil drums as large-format shingle siding. Responsibly harvested native woods in wide planks will lend clean, contemporary lines to wall panels.

Ever wondered whether a company that is advertising its ‘green’ credentials is really living up to the hype? Andreas writes on his blog the Antidote about ‘Greenwash on Spincycle’, laying out an argument for being more informed and having a “sophisticated eye for what we are told to believe”.

It’s official: green is the new, well… Green. Companies around the world have realised that environmentally sound business practices can improve their profit margins and are touting their green consciousness through lavish advertising campaigns and multi-million dollar rebranding exercises.

To some, these marketing efforts may represent the first positive steps towards a more sustainable way of doing business, while many others simply reserve the right to remain sceptical.


In concluding this roundup we go to Congo, where the war continues to affect the people and hamper gorilla protection efforts. The blog Gorilla protection continues to post regular updates about developments there, including the passing away of one of its rangers.
Not to leave in you on a sad note, but from the same blog is a picture of a baby gorilla named Kabila.


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