The EWT has a drive to reduce the public’s consumption of single-use plastic.


So how can we stop strangling sea turtles? Esmerelda paraphrases the ideas from EWT:

Our Ice Tea recipe:

  1. One Tea Bag – we like the Freshpak Watermelon and Mint flavoured Rooibos or Higher Living Liquorice and Mint
  2. Boiling Water
  3. Tea pot
  4. 3l container (eg. re-use a juice bottle)
  5. Pour the boiling water over the teabag in the pot. Allow to cool down.
  6. Empty the tea into the container. Fill up with water.
  7. Serve chilled.

I guess you could add sugar, but part of why we started drinking ice tea was also to start cutting down on our sugar consumption.




It basically comes down to “Plan ahead. Bring your own water and bags.”

Read more.



Eat healthy food to save water. How does that work? Check out this pamphlet for more information.


Anatolian Dogs EWT_DOGS

From the Endangered Wildlife Trust:

Winter may be creeping up on us, but we have new life to celebrate at the Endangered Wildlife Trust!

With winter creeping up on us, I find myself worrying once again about the Wild Dog population in our country. This is the time when they are most vulnerable to falling victim to the lethal methods used by some farmers to protect newly-born young livestock. The last free-roaming group of Wild Dogs in the Waterberg is particularly vulnerable as they often venture onto privately-owned land. We simply cannot afford to lose more of these beautiful animals, with fewer than 500 individuals left in the wild in South Africa.

Fortunately, at the EWT, we have an answer to this problem. A few days ago 3 brand new puppies came into the world. Right now their lives consist of playing with their brothers and sisters, cuddling up to their mom and generally not having a care in the world. But in a few months’ time, they will take on a huge responsibility.

These little heroes are Anatolian Shepherd dogs. These are among the oldest breed of working dogs in the world. As soon as these puppies are old enough, they will start living with flocks of sheep or other livestock. They will grow up with a strong attachment to ‘their’ livestock and their presence will be a deterrent for free-roaming predators like Caracals, Leopards, Black-backed Jackal, Brown Hyena and more importantly, Wild Dogs. If a carnivore is in the vicinity of the flock, the Anatolian will herd their ‘family of sheep’ away from danger and bark to scare the carnivore away, with huge success. This means that when a farmer has an Anatolian with their flock, they don’t have to use lethal means to keep their livestock safe. It’s a win-win for everybody.

But we need your help to get these pups. Each pup costs R5000 to source and buy from a specialised breeder. On top of that, these pups need inoculations, collars, microchips and regular trips to the vet to make sure they stay healthy and happy. If each of you could donate R300 before June, we will be able to buy the new pups, care for them, and link them up with their farmers before the winter sets in.
If you are able to help us with our Anatolian Livestock Guarding Project, so that together we can save the lives of Wild Dogs this winter, please make a deposit into our bank account, using the reference “Anatolian”,
Endangered Wildlife Trust
First National Bank, Rosebank
Acc. No. 50371564219
Branch Code. 25 33 05
REF: Anatolian


We thank you for your support,

Kind regards

Yolan Friedmann
CEO The Endangered Wildlife Trust


groot marico river



South Africa, and most of Southern Africa for that matter, is in the grip of a hellish drought.

And now they want to pollute the cleanest waterway we have?

I don’t even have the words.

Just. No. Just say no. Object.

Please add your name to the Action Campaign. There’s more info there on what the prospecting application by De Beers entails, and the devastating effect that would have.


Add your name, and, if you’re into that kind of thing, join them on Facebook.





Today we celebrate the work SANCCOB does to ensure the survival of the African Penguin and other seabirds in the wild. The dedicated people at SANCCOB identify, care for, and rehabilitate coastal birds that have succumbed to environmental degradation (and moulting. Moulting penguins are pretty useless and they need help. The people at SANCCOB provide that help).


The second celebration today is our wedding anniversary. We have been together for twelve years and married for nine. I love you, Pikkewyn, and I’m really happy we have created a real family together. You are a wonderful father and a great husband. Thank you.


This is from the April 2013 Crane Newsletter:


Golden Moles: call for specimens!


“The Threatened Grassland Species Programme has recently embarked on a new research project focussing on Golden Moles in Mpumalanga (also northern KZN and north-eastern Free State). These beautiful little subterranean mammals are endemic to Africa and although they look similar are NOT closely related to the true moles. There are currently 21 recognised species in Africa and 11 of these are threatened with extinction. Golden Moles eat insects and insect larvae and occur in grassland areas and often in agricultural lands and gardens.

They are very difficult to catch and hence we know very little about them. Because they tend to burrow close to the soil surface they regularly fall prey to domestic cats and dogs and even occasionally fall into swimming pools.

We implore anyone who finds one of these little creatures to please contact us as soon as possible so that we can arrange collection of the specimen.
Please contact Dr Ian Little 0842407341.”

The Cranes blog at the Endangered Wildlife Trust Blog


micro breweries

Two reasons for doing this:

a). Ingredients for beer brewed locally travelled fewer kilometers and is therefore more green.

b). Fresh beer is delish!

We recommend any of these, available at most Spar liquor stores in Gauteng and everywhere in Cape Town:

micro breweries


From the Rietvlei Nature Reserve:

Hello Almal

We have created an online petition for Rietvlei .please go to this link ,sign up and show your support for our Nature Reserve !!

Then email to residents and stakeholders and friends & get them to sign up as well.

Stuur asseblief aan na almal wat julle ken.

The City of Tshwane wants to lease/sell over 100 hectares of the Rietvlei Nature Reserve for development into a high performance sports centre, despite over 100 appeals against the decision.

Laat die stem van die mense gehoor word.

Best regards

CllrBronwynn Engelbrecht Ward 42


Dear WWF Friends,

This is reminder to all the cycling enthusiasts among you! If you have not yet joined the WWF Panda Peloton to Ride for Nature in the Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge, DO SO NOW!
Official entries to enter the race close 1 October 2012!

On Sunday 18 November thousands of spandex-clad cyclists will line up at the Waterfall Country Estate in Johannesburg to take part in the Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge. Will you be one of them?

We already know that you’re a nature-lover, but if you’re a cyclist too, we’d love to invite you to join our Panda Peloton at the Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge in November. If you’re not a cyclist, why not take up the challenge, set some goals and put yourself out there – being part of the Panda Peloton will give you a chance to pedal for the planet – and that’s a pretty good incentive!

2 easy steps to get involved

Step 1: Enter the the Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge; do so now.
Step 2: Then, click here to sign up for the Panda Peloton by following the simple steps on the WWF website.

What’s in it for you?

Being part of the Panda Peloton secures you an early start time (between 08:15 and 08:35) and means that you get to ride with fellow supporters on the day. You will also receive a very classy WWF Panda cycling shirt, made by K-Way.

So how can you help WWF- South Africa?

We’d love you to use your ride as an opportunity to raise awareness and funds for WWF’s vital conservation work in South Africa. By joining the Panda Peloton, each rider commits to raising at least R1 000 for WWF (R300 of this in the form of a non-refundable deposit payable by 30 September 2012).
To make things easy and to add an element of competition, WWF will set up a profile for you on GivenGain, a fundraising website, through which you will be able to raise money along with other activists. Plus you will receive great fundraising tips as well as expert training and nutritional info so you’re well prepared for your big day!

There’s more information on the site, or for specific questions, email So what are you waiting for? Go enter! And if you already have, click here to join the Panda Peloton!

See you on the 18th of November!

The Panda Peloton team

P.S. Please feel free to forward this on to your friends – the more the merrier!


Planting Season


I received this beautiful and encouraging message from WWF recently. If you find yourself wondering “how are they saving the rhinos?” then here’s what they have to say:

WWF-SA’s rhino conservation work

world wildlife fund

You are a valued supporter of WWF. As such, I want to give you a comprehensive update on our rhino conservation work. Beating the current scourge of poaching is a serious business and there are no short cuts. It requires a strategic and systemic approach. As you will see, the funds we received towards this cause have been put to good use as we continue to work to implement a rhino conservation strategy.

Moving forward:
WWF’s rhino conservation strategy has been developed in consultation with various stakeholders to galvanise our efforts around a five pronged approach aimed at strategic parts of the poaching value chain.
WWF will:
1. Continue to improve the understanding of trade dynamics in importing countries and find ways to influence demand

2. Improve bilateral co-operation between South Africa and importing countries such as Vietnam

3. Improve the judicial and forensic processes, through capacity development as well as expert and hardware support

4. Build community buffers around key rhino populations

5. Continue to build resilient rhino populations by improving management of existing populations as well as establishing new founder populations in secure locations

This strategy builds on the work that has already been undertaken, and is currently underway.

Looking back:
1. The WWF Black Rhino Range Expansion Project aims to increase the numbers of the critically endangered black rhino by increasing land on which they can breed. Since 2003 seven new black rhino populations have been created. Nearly 120 black rhino have been translocated to these sites. In November 2011, 19 black rhino were translocated to create a founder population of black rhino in the north of the country. The translocation cost just over R1 million. This included the airlifting of black rhino to accessible areas where they were moved to transport vehicles to take them a further 1500 km by road. Costs included the payment of staff, drugs used during the translocation, and the on-going monitoring of the black rhino in their new habitat. In the first half of the project’s financial year, a further R330 000 has been spent on security for black rhino in important black rhino source reserves. This has been spent on camera traps, motorbikes, telemetry receivers, tents, rhino monitors and helicopter hours during veterinary treatments of black rhino that were injured in snares. The project also has an educational awareness component through a regular conservation/nature newspaper targeted to more than 10 000 children living near rhino reserves.

2. Law enforcement support is significant to aid in the investigation and prosecution of illegal wildlife trade. R272 000 has been spent on law enforcement support. Of this, R72 000 was spent on support for prosecutors and magistrates involved in rhino poaching trials. This includes the development of guidelines and handbooks for use in rhino case management, and the identification and support of expert witnesses. R200 000 was provided for the purchase of microchip scanners for South African conservation agencies. The fitting of microchips to live animals and to horns recovered from the field can aid investigation of rhino horn crimes.

3. Rhino population database development: R355 294 was spent on the development of a black and white rhino database, and status surveys on black rhino and white rhino on private land within South Africa. The private sector own 24% of South Africa’s white rhino population so play a major role in their conservation. WWF’s surveys of white rhino over the last decade, with the latest done in 2008, are the most reliable estimate of this population of rhinos.

4. Rhino horn DNA profiling: R240 000 was contributed in 2011 to the building of a forensic database and provision of forensic kits for the investigation of rhino crimes. The University of Pretoria Veterinary Genetics Laboratory have developed new techniques of fingerprinting rhino horn using DNA profiling. This will help to ensure full traceability of legal horn for reporting to CITES. It will also provide a mechanism to trace the origin of recovered horns.

5. Capacity building between South Africa and Kenya: R490 000 has been spent on a bilateral collaborative project between South Africa and Kenya. This project aims to improve forensic capacity related to rhino poaching cases in Kenya and strengthen DNA profiling capacity in South Africa through team building and the exchange of information. 300 DNA forensic kits have been supplied to Kenya Wildlife Services. The funding has also gone into sampling 800 rhinos in Kenya, helping to build an Africa-wide rhino horn database.

6. Controls in rhino horn trade and possession: R200 000 has gone towards identifying illegal rhino horn trade routes, promoting investigative collaboration between countries and supporting enforcement of CITES regulations by ensuring credible information about trade dynamics and member state compliance.

7. Anti-poaching support for North West Parks: R427 000 has been given to North West Parks to support their anti-poaching efforts. This has been used to purchase equipment for anti-poaching patrols, including battle jackets, sniper vests, camouflage nets, patrol tents, binoculars and radios.

Thank you for sharing in our commitment and passion to secure our rhino populations. We welcome your continued support. Please contact Denise Samson on 021 657 6600 or with comments or queries.

For a living planet,

Andrew Baxter (Dr.)
Head: Business Development & Fundraising


World Penguin Day

BTW today is our 6th wedding anniversary! Coincidence?


From the EWT newsletter:

Hello EWT supporters

I am almost too nervous to write about rhino in this first edition of EWTalk for 2012. Not because they don’t matter but because, with the overwhelming amount of publicity and media exposure the rhino poaching crisis is getting, people may start to get fatigued and inclined to turn the page with yet another rhino poaching story…. So I am not writing about rhino as much as I am writing about an aspect to the human psyche that the rhino poaching crisis has revealed in us all. In recent months rhino poaching has mobilised civil society involvement in conservation in an almost unprecedented way – and this is good! Members of the public have been campaigning, blogging, lobbying, marching and raising their voices, demanding severe penalties for poachers, bans on rhino hunting, government intervention at the diplomatic level, boycotts on buying Chinese and Vietnamese products, and in general, making a great big noise about THOSE Asian folk who are decimating OUR rhino population. It has indeed become a masked attack on these other cultures and markets that demand our resources to such a degree that they will stop at no cost and have no ethical limitations to the levels of brutality they will apply in getting what they want. I have often been asked and have asked myself why civil society is so outraged by the killing of rhino for Asian markets and seem to not care one iota for the rampant killing of carnivores, birds, reptiles, marine species or a host of other creatures and plants that continues unabated every day in this country. And no, their deaths are not necessarily less brutal or less critical for the survival of their species… My personal theory is not that it is the rhino that matters more, but that the outrage stems from the fact that is not ‘us’ that is using the products, but a foreign nation whose beliefs we don’t share and whose practices we don’t understand, right or wrong. How much easier it is to attack a common enemy in the form of a foreign nation than to look within our own borders and lambaste the actions of a local tribal leader who illegally trades in Leopard skins, or a local hunter who illegally shoots caged Cheetah, or a local dealer who removes crane eggs and chicks from the wild, or a local pet store owner with a host of reptiles illegally caught and traded to often not-so-unsuspecting ‘pet’ buyers. How careful we must be to not be politically incorrect in saying what I have just said and demanding that our own people stop catching, selling and buying chameleons and tortoises on the road outside Sun City, or cycads with known falsified or absent permits, or destroying indigenous plants by the truckload in the name of ‘development’ or from poisoning, shooting and snaring thousands of animals every year in the name of the bushmeat trade, food provision or ‘conflict’ with humans. The EWT is also angry about the increasing demand for rhino horn from the East but we are equally concerned with the increasing illegal decimation of a variety of species that is perpetrated every day within the borders of this country, by ordinary South Africans, whether they know it or not. Come on South Africans, it is not just ‘them’ versus ‘us’. Please let this rhino crisis bring some much needed reflection back into all of us about how we treat our own environment and our precious wildlife heritage. Let 2012 be a year of cleaning up our own act and ensuring that our right to these animals we called ours is not a right to kill and destroy but a right to love and enjoy – matched by a responsibility to protect and revere. Let the rhino lead the charge for the other creatures we are often too casual about and let 2012 be a turning point for humankind’s largely destructive treatment of those with whom we share our earth. It starts with us.

Best wishes for a rewarding and uplifting 2012.

Yolan Friedmann

One of the easiest ways to support the Endangered Wildlife Trust is to sign up for a MySchool card with EWT as the beneficiary.



Esmerelda is responding to this post.
(You should read it first. He swears a lot. If you haven’t read it, the rest of this post might not make sense ’cause I’m too lazy to summarise it for you.)

I have a few arguments to make:

1. Recycling does make a difference for these reasons:

(a) I’m not sure the statistics he’s quoting are correct, but anyone who’s lived in a city where the refuse collection guys have striked for more than a week will know: a household generates A LOT of waste, and it has to go somewhere. It can’t stay in the streets – where would we drive? Even if we didn’t pass out from the stench. So, where does our rubbish go? To Garbage Island.

(b) Recycling is a habit. It re-inforces a certain value. Values are powerful. Sure, today it may only be in homes, but homes generate children, and children work for companies when they grow up. If the values of recycling, re-use and waste reduction are strong enough, it’ll flow into the personnel of companies. We can’t expect corporations to start the change. We can’t expect values from them we don’t hold dear in our own homes.

(c) I’d rather be a hummingbird than an impotent lion.

2. I’m all for boycotting, but who will Black March really hurt?

3. The bill didn’t even go up for voting. So yeah, a little internet action did speak loud enough.


From their email newsletter:

Penguin Christmas

December is ‘baby time’ at SANCCOB.

Adopting a wild penguin is cited by celebrity conservationist, Michelle Garforth-Venter, as one of her top 2011 Christmas gifts.

This year SANCCOB is yet again playing Father Christmas to a group of African penguin chicks abandoned by their moulting parents in the colonies where they breed. Why not join Michelle, and adopt one of the gorgeous fluff balls for yourself or for a special friend.

For R500 / US$72 / Euro46 you can pay for the hand-rearing of one of these chicks at SANCCOB, so that they can be released back into the wild to join their wild ‘family’. With the status of the African penguin listed as endangered on the IUCN Red Data List saving the life of every single wild African penguin is important. Since 2006 SANCCOB and its partners in conservation have helped to save over 2 000 chicks that would have surely died from starvation, dehydration or predation if left unattended.

To Adopt a Christmas Chick visit the website. Since 1968 SANCCOB has treated more than 90 000 seabirds, which makes it one of the busiest seabird hospitals in the world.



She means it literally.


Dishwasher savvy


Fizzy Drinks

Go on, drink a glass of water instead ;-)


pots and pans


Comic Creator's Alliance
My Planet

Every time you swipe your MyPlanet card at specific stores (most notedly Woolworths) a percentage of your purchase is donated to a charity of your choice. We suggest World Wildlife Fund or Endangered Wildlife Trust.

Remember the Comic Creators Alliance drive – it’s only running until the 24th.






Quit bottled water


Stinky feet

This tip brought to you courtesy of Friends of the Earth. In SA they’re called Groundwork



This tip brought to you courtesy of Friends of the Earth. In SA they’re called Groundwork



This tip brought to you courtesy of Friends of the Earth. In SA they’re called Groundwork


Olive oil

This tip brought to you courtesy of Friends of the Earth. In SA they’re called Groundwork


Make salad

This tip brought to you courtesy of Friends of the Earth. In SA they’re called Groundwork


Free range chickens and faeries



Go for natural pest control, like owls. Hoo hoo.

We got a cat. Works well. No more rats, mice or house-snakes in the birdseed.


We are soapless

At the Fish household we use Biowashball. It’s rather strange, clothes don’t smell like soap. I’ve always associated the smell of soap with “clean”. Now, after washing, they smell like… nothing.