Billie Eilish Eco-Friendly World Music Tour

Billie Eilish Eco-Friendly World Music Tour

I’ve said it before and I will say it again, Millenials and Gen Z’s are going to save the world. Though, in all fairness, they’ve been forced to take the helm of a sinking ship, these respective generations are doing an eco-friendliness like society has never seen before. 

And it’s making some big waves.

The Hollywood Foreign Press made history on 5 January 2020, by serving the first plant-based menu at the Golden Globes. They announced that it formed part of their sustainability efforts, and that they were planning to go vegan for all five of their major award ceremonies.

This is proof that any brand, company or conglomeration can be earth-conscious on a macro scale.

I’ve attended my fair share of music festival that have recycling bins, utilise water-wise bathrooms and have cashless bar systems. What Billie Eilish is committing to do incorporates all of these elements and elevate them.  Though she won’t be making a turn in South Africa, Eilish’s ‘Where Do We Go’ tour that kicks off in March will bring eco-awareness to 40 different cities across 17 countries

“Our Earth is warming up and our oceans are rising. Extreme weather is wrecking millions of lives,” the 18-year-old eco-warrior shared in a video released last year. It’s going to take a great amount of effort to treat our current climate emergency, and Eilish is collaborating with non-profit organisation Reverb to create a concert model that best honours the planet. 

Plastic straws have been banned and concert-goers are encouraged to bring their own reusable water bottles. Each venue will have a dedicated eco-village where fans can attend seminars and demonstrations that cover the subject of conservation and going green.

The first international performing artist to make a statement about eco-awareness on such a grand scale, Billie Eilish is certainly setting trends that fellow musicians will follow. Most of the concert venues she will be performing at have a capacity of 20 000+. By simultaneously proving that many people can be catered for in an earth-friendly way while using the opportunity to educate her audience about the urgent need to practise conservation, Eilish is using her influence in a way no one has before. Glastonbury, Burning Man, Coachella, Rocking the Daisies etc, have all made their own efforts to be eco-friendly, but individual acts haven’t been so bold.

Billie Eilish is proof that it doesn’t take a hero to save the world, just a few brave souls willing to do the work.

JanuWORRY Outdoor Activities in Cape Town

JanuWORRY Outdoor Activities

Even the most disciplined budgeters give themselves a little leeway during the festive season. When we’re with friends and family, it’s okay to get swept up in the excitement and spend a little more on a good bottle of wine, splurge on a special gift or spring on an upgrade for the hotel rooms. While we let the good times roll, during December, January and all its financial commitments waits patiently for us to get all the fun out of our system.

Some of us have returned to work, but the school year hasn’t started yet. If you’re looking for things to do so the little ones don’t get restless, here are a few free outdoor activities to keep you all entertained.

HIKE

The wonderful thing about enjoying the great outdoors is that it costs you nothing. Strap into your hiking shoes and get uninterrupted facetime with Mother Nature along any of the 10 main routes and trails within the city. 

Lion’s Head and Table Mountain are arguably the most popular hikes, mainly because the views each summit offer are second to none. They are quite tricky to navigate if you have little ones with you. I’d suggest packing a picnic and exploring the Newlands Forest.  If you’re willing to take a trip a little out of town, Kogelberg Biosphere is bursting with fragrant flora and enthusiastic fauna your kids will love frolicking in.

As always, pack enough water to keep yourselves hydrated and a few snacks to carry you through the leisurely cardio.

BEACH

Cape Town offers a brag of blue flag beaches for you and your family to enjoy. I’ll always recommend Clifton 4th because it is one of the smaller, less frequented locations that will offer you and your party some privacy. Camps Bay is equally beautiful and is always full of enough families that your kids will be able to make a few new friends if you want to catch up on some reading.

If you forget your beach umbrella at home, fret not, there are a whole manner of rentable beach gear at most of the beaches. Don’t forget your sunscreen. If you’re going to brave the Atlantic Ocean water, you’ll definitely be laying in the direct sun to warm yourself back up. Protect your skin against those harsh rays.

COMPANY GARDENS

I’ve heard tales of a mythical squirrel that wanders within the inner city public gardens. This elusive rodent doesn’t look like other rodents, if you want to solve the mystery of the squirrel, you’ll have to go and see for yourself. 

Company Gardens is a great place to spend the afternoon playing frisbee or having fun with the other animals that call this slice of bliss home.  You can get into some bird watching, marvel at the bouquet of flowers and trees that grow unbounded.

ART CRAWL

No one can accuse the Mother City of being boring because there’s a little bit for everyone within her walls. Surfers can drive out to Muizenburg to catch a few waves, shoppers have a number of malls and high streets to choose from, and those looking for a little culture can enjoy some of the best art galleries that all sit a few meters away from each other.

Loop Street and Bree Street are awash with charming galleries where you can appreciate art, buy a few pieces for yourself, or even commission original works from the artists themselves. You will have to purchase a ticket to see a show, if you’re partial to art of the theatrical kind. Between the Fugard Theatre, Artscape, District Theatre, Baxter Theatre, Alexander Bar and Theatre on The Bay – to name a few –  you’ll have countless options to choose from.

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5 Facts to Know About The Australian Fires + How to Donate 

For almost 10 months in 2019, the world watched in bated breath as the planet’s lungs burned in a raging fire. The Amazonian fires were devastating and caused irreparable harm to vegetation and animal life in the area. 

It was a huge wake-up call for climate change denialists. 

As the flames in Brazil were beginning to calm, Australia was hit with a series of wild bush fires, and the country has been working tirelessly to extinguish the inferno ever since. Here is some information to clue you up on the current natural disaster that has the potential to affect all our lives.

WHERE ARE THE FIRES

The Australian bush fires have hit every single state across the country, but New South Wales is receiving the brunt of the burn. 

You might have seen a number of doctored images making the rounds, misinforming people about the state of Australia. Some might call it artistic expression, while others argue that its purpose lays in the shock value – if people think the entire continent is up in flames, they’ll spring to action. Either way, we can all agree that it is deeply concerning to find a few opportunists using the fires to create fake news. 

WHEN DID THE FIRES BEGIN

Similar to places like Cape Town and Los Angeles, Australia has a fire season. When the climate is hot and dry, fires start easier. On particularly windy days, they can quickly grow out of control. Having said that, Australia was coming out of an intense drought when a supposed lightning storm sparked the first of the fires.

To give you some context of the natural conditions, it was reported that a fire which began in the Victoria’s East Gippsland region travelled 20 kilometres in 5 hours in December. The flames are consuming land at a horrifying rate.

WHAT IS THE CURRENT DEATH TOLL

Australia has developed an incredible fire fighting system. In 2009, Black Saturday fires claimed the lives of 173 people, making it the most lethal case on record. As of 5 January 2020, 25 people have died including a few brave firefighters who put their lives on the line to help quash this natural disaster. 

Thousands of homes have been destroyed, and over 4000 civilians fled to the coast of Mallacoota to escape the heat, only to be stranded when the fires crept closer towards the shoreline. Thankfully, they have been evacuated by the National Navy.

Naturally, human lives have been prioritised, but close to half a billion animals have died in the fires. There have been heartbreaking images of kangaroos embracing each other with fear in their eyes and koala bears clutching desperately to volunteers who have rescued them. Together with the Amazonian fires, these two events have been calamitous for the animal kingdom.

HOW WILL THIS AFFECT THE LOCAL CLIMATE

“For Australia, dangerous climate change is already here,” Penn State University professor Michael Mann believes.

It has been reported that, because of global warming, the conditions Down Under will only intensify. With the rising temperature of the planet, we’re set to see hotter summers, which will certainly result in fires greater than the ones we are seeing at the moment.

30% of the koala species has been wiped out, and other endangered species in the area are at risk of being exterminated completely – this will drastically change the natural order of the ecosystem. 

7.3 million hectares of land, larger than Denmark and Belgium combined, have been decimated (a little over what burned in the Amazon over months), entire towns have been levelled. Australia will never look the same again.

WHAT IS BEING DONE

Over 2 000 firefighters, hundreds of navy personnel and countless local volunteers continue to work around the clock to offer relief to those affected as well as to suffocate the flames that have engulfed Australia. 

“We need to fundamentally rethink how we prepared for, finance, and respond to disasters like this,” Nicholas Aberle, Campaigns Manager for Environment Victoria, said. Though their disaster management has improved over the years, a revised contingency plan that takes climate change into consideration would be strategically sound.

HOW CAN YOU HELP

There’s not much hands-on assistance anyone can offer from an ocean away, but you can donate to the Australian Red Cross, Salvation Army Australia, the NSW Rural Fire Service who continue to fund the relief efforts. 

If you’d like to extend a hand to help the devastated animal population the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital and Currumbin Wildlife Hospital are also accepting financial aid.

REFERENCES:

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/01/01/australia/australia-fires-explainer-intl-hnk-scli/index.html
https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/476595-five-things-to-know-about-australias-devastating-wildfires

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New Year = New Me: (ECO)nstructive Resolutions for 2020

Climate Change is Real: 7 Simple Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

New Year = New Me: (ECO)nstructive Resolutions for 2020

New Year = New Me (ECO)nstructive Resolutions for 2020

SAY ‘NO’ TO PLASTIC

FTN is trying to rid the world of single-use plastic one straw, grocery bag, and roll of cling film at a time. We’ve run campaigns trying to educate consumers of the effects plastic waste has on the environment. Earlier this year, Capetonians met a fish named Faithful at the V&A Waterfront. The 4.5m-long by 2.5m-high installation was intended to show the public that plastic ends up in the ocean and pollutes our marine life.

We don’t just talk the talk, we walk the walk too. 

Giving up plastic entirely is incredibly tough – our whole world has built around the use thereof – but times are changing, one product at a time, and this means that – so can you. Bring your awareness to the ways in which we use and interact with plastic is an incredibly mind-opening experience. Starting with some of the main (and easy to tackle culprits) like a takeaway coffee cups is and great start. And from there the use of plastic products, in general, will start to drop drastically – and logically. It’s not impossible. One of our Faithful journo’s has some practical and actionable tips on how to replace single-use products with more sustainable ones. 

REMEMBER: when you get rid of your plastic items, do so responsibly. If there’s a way to repurpose them, then do so, if not then definitely recycle.

PLANT A TREE

For some reason, we’ve stopped talking about the devastating fire that consumed California and the Amazon for weeks. And now, Australia is experiencing fires on an even larger and more catastrophic level. The belt of forest in the Amazon can be seen as the earth’s lungs and we need to consider how to deal with the aftermath because when we lose it, we will begin to feel the effects of our CO2 emissions in distressing ways.

Planting a single tree might not save the world, but if we all decide to sow a single seed, we are investing in our future.

In Mozambique there were mango trees lining the streets and, it being summer, the fruits were ripe enough that any passing pedestrian could pick to their heart’s delight. Why not cultivate a fruit of vegetable plant until it becomes a seedling, then re-pot it in municipal land that is accessible to the public. It might take a year or two to bear fruit, but when it does, homeless people will have the option of feeding themselves something nutritious. While it is developing, your little project will be doing its part to inhale carbon dioxide and exhale breathable air for humans. A bonus is that the humble honey bee has something to pollinate and there is nectar for it to feed on, who knows how many organisms your initial action will be helping.

ECO-SHAMING 

Eco-shaming is a bit of new concept but you get the idea. We have walked around for long enough politely letting people know what kind of reckless behaviour is no longer appropriate for the successful growth of the earth. It is time the politeness goes out the window. The plight of the planet is now fully known, we’ve been singing this song for long enough for ignorance to no longer be a thing. And furthermore, the plight of the planet is a shared one. It requires collective thinking and action to create the shift needed.

So you no longer need to worry about the awkward moments created or the demoralising interactions shared with retailers who refuse to accept any responsibility. 

Show people how and continue to educate with the eco-fire that is needed to set our hearts and actions alight. We don’t have the time to place and shift blame as to who is responsible for the state of our planet. We have to act. Right now. Collectively.

Educate your loved ones and you’ll be amazed at what they begin to do with the information. 

PRIORITIZE SELF-CARE

Full cups overflow. When you are at your best, you are your best for those around you. The planet needs your best efforts. Don’t wait until your burnout to get help, you’ll only end up reaching for quick-fix solutions that aren’t sustainable for yourself or the planet. 

Have you considered incorporating micro self-care practices into your day-to-day? Something like spending just one hour a day outside. And not outside as in dashing from my apartment to the deli downstairs for a cup of hot chocolate or waiting five minutes at the MyCiti stop. No, I intentionally put my phone on aeroplane mode and spend 60 uninterrupted minutes walking along the R27. It’s mostly at sunset because the view of Table Mountain across the bay is magnificent. The fresh air and Vitamin D make my lungs and skin happy. The cardio gets my muscles working; I also get a healthy dose of endorphins and dopamine. It’s all absolutely free and beats wasting electricity binging Netflix on the couch.

UNCLUTTER YOUR LIFE

An ex of mine once told me that we are given things to share. He didn’t know it at the time, but he had planted a proverbial seed. Now, I make it a point to get rid of as many new things that I buy. Last month, I treated myself to a beautiful jumpsuit from poetry, and two pairs of earrings. When I got home, I placed a pair of sneakers, a sweater and a summer dress into a paper bag, dashed to the store and bought a loaf of bread, a carton of milk as well as a toothbrush and some toothpaste. The care package I put together went to a homeless person who frequents the park near my apartment building.

If we all donate, regift or repurpose things we don’t use anymore, the demand to keep producing will certainly decrease drastically. Most of the clothes in my wardrobe are hand-me-downs from my mama. My cutlery and crockery are antique items she’s collected over the years too. The only things I really spend any money on are food and cleaning items. Heck, I sold my car because the public transport system in Cape Town is so impressive. 

Get into the habit of getting rid of things that you don’t use habitually. You’ll find you’re less stressed, you save more money and help Mother Nature in the process.

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FORECAST: 2020 Sustainability Trends

May The Forest Be With You 2020 Sustainability Trends

Looking into the year 2020 – what are some of the eco actions that we need to see more of? What kind of green-washing are we going to eradicate and where do we need to see more charge being taken?

YOUTH LEADING THE CHARGE

For all the grief Millennials and Gen Zs get, they really are the ones spearheading the green revolution. They are a group of incredibly conscious consumers who have clued themselves up on reading product labels and ingredient lists. Though there are certain undesirable aspects of what is called ‘cancel culture,’ but the upside is that they are willing to tweet, gram, yelp a company into extinction if they harming the environment they are trying to protect.

And it’s effective.

Eco-irresponsibility is beginning to affect a lot of business’s bottom lines. Conglomerates like Unilever have had to take a hard look at some of their entities. They are incorporating green practises as part of their business strategy.

I haven’t even mentioned the young eco-warriors disrupting the status quo and leaving policymakers quaking in their boots. Who didn’t feel ashamed when Greta Thunberg bawled, “How dare you? You have stolen my dreams and childhood,” at the UN Climate Action Summit back in September. The 16-year-old Swede is just but one of the countless young activists calling people all to order. In 2020, we’re going to see a lot more youth rallying together to effect change for the benefit of the environment in a way we haven’t seen before.

GREEN TECHNOLOGY

The general theme for 2020 is to take things further. We are entering a new decade cycle and the catalogue of apps that help you sift through the companies that test on animals and dump toxic waste into our water sources aren’t going to cut it. We need to level up on our clean technology.

If you don’t have LED lights or low-flow faucets yet, you’re going to soon be lapped by developments in echo dots that save on buying a whole host of devices for your home and office.

HOLISTIC WELLBEING

Who would’ve thought that prioritising self-care would be environmentally friendly? Cleaning your clutter and donating all your unused or unwanted items, instead of throwing them out, is a simple exercise that Mother Nature will appreciate.

Replace retail therapy with a barefoot walk along the beach or full body massage.

You see, when we take better care of ourselves on a daily basis, we decrease the risk of feeling run down. I can always tell I’m running on empty when I order out more than usual. Cooking for myself is a form of self-care I perform daily. When I pop into a Mcdonalds or Drive Thru a KFC, I am telling my body that I can’t be bothered to intentionally sustain it with quality ingredients. Sure, eating out can be a form of self-care too. There is a huge difference between treating yourself to dinner at a restaurant that sources ethically grown ingredients, locally, and damaging your body with GMO foods that come from macro farms responsible for immense deforestation.

KEEPING IT CLOSE TO HOME

If you’re a regular FTN reader, you’ll be familiar with this concept; I am an enthusiastic advocate for shopping locally because the benefits for the environment as well as the economy are undeniable. The surge of local artisans, this year, has made this undertaking incredibly easy.

Picture this: Jonathan from your pilates class has a stall at the farmers market, where he sells his probiotic preserves and pickles. Nhlanhla, who’s daughter is part of the same after school programme as your kid, repurposes discarded fabric to make beautiful quilts to keep people warm during winter. Would it not feel better supporting small business owners, who really are the backbone of our economy, while reducing your carbon footprint at the same time?

Supporting local merchandisers creates a great sense of community which has shown to increase volunteerism. When you feel part of something bigger than yourself, you work harder to preserve it for both yourself and those around you.

ALTERNATIVE ENERGY PRODUCTION

If the return of load shedding in South Africa, and the subsequent excuses given is anything to go by – wet coal and sabotagers – the need for other forms of energy production is clear. As mentioned a bit earlier, in 2020 we are taking our efforts a step further.

Solar power has helped the few who have invested in panels, geysers, and other apparatus. So what developments can we look forward to next year? It seems we’ll be seeing more sustainable energy generation in public spaces and homes because it is becoming increasingly affordable. Products that facilitate micro-generation of electricity in the home will be easily purchasable and implementable.

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5 Easy (and Affordable) Eco-Friendly Items to Add to Your Kitchen 

Keep Endangered Wildlife Off The Shopping List

5 Easy (and Affordable) Eco-Friendly Items to Add to Your Kitchen 

5 Easy (and Affordable) Eco-Friendly Items to add to your Kitchen 

The biggest misconception about going green is that it is difficult. I’ve had a lot of frustrating conversations with defeatist friends and family who’ve decided to make the change is too much trouble. 

Nothing could be further from the truth. Not only is are these five additions easy to achieve but the difference on your weekly pocket spend is not even noticeable – add these eco-friendly items to add to your kitchen and countertop.  

It was the Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu, who said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” The same can be said for adopting an eco-friendly lifestyle. Start by replacing a single item or appliance in one room. Before you know it, your entire home and office will be a haven of earth friendliness that you can be proud of.

Being a lifestyle writer, I spend a lot of time in my own and other people’s kitchens. I can tell you that the room where people prepare food can be the most wasteful space of them all if you’re not careful. When you consider the single-use plastic, easily compostable food scraps, cleaning products, storage containers and so on, that go through a scullery, the possibility to either help or harm the planet will make your head spin.

If you have any of the following kit in your kitchen, you’re well on your way to having an earth-conscious space. 

  1. ECO FLOW NEEDLE SPRAY

R47, years of use.

If you’ve kept up with the news, you’ll know that while Cape Town managed to avoid Day Zero, the entire country is still teetering towards a great water depletion. We can’t continue to use water as wastefully as we have done in the past. Fix this nozzle to your faucet and you stand to save up to 80% of H2O every single time you open the tap.

  1. CHARCOAL WATER FILTER KOINS

R165 per box, 4 koins per box, lasting up to three months each.

Since we’re on the subject of water, one of the main reasons we buy it bottled is because it gives us the assurance that the water is clean, and the Ph Balance is low. While this may not help those who prefer drinking sparkling water to still, popping a few of these charcoal discs into your distilled water will purify it. Each koin can be used for up to three months, and protects you against all sorts of bacteria like e.Coli, and harmful chemicals like chlorine, lead & mercury.

  1. BREAD BAG

R60, machine-washable, lasts a lifetime.

You’re buying your bread from the farmers market, which means that you’re supporting small business owners, and you’re minimising your carbon footprint buying locally. Good on you! It would be a shame if your efforts were sullied by having to slide your fresh loaf into a film of single-use plastic. This unbleached calico drawstring bag is guaranteed to keep your bread fresh without compromising the planet.

  1. COFFEE FILTERS

100 filters for R45.

The world would be very depresso, if we didn’t have espresso. If You Care make wonderful coffee filters that are 100% unbleached (chlorine-free) and plastic-free. They’re particularly special because while they won’t harm the environment by laying in landfills for decades to come, they won’t compromise the quality and integrity of your coffee either. You needn’t worry about the packaging. These guys have pushed the boat out to ensure that you can recycle the box your filters come in. Everything can be popped into your compost bin when you’re done with it.

  1. BIODEGRADABLE BIN BAGS

10 bags for R36.

The planet’s collective waste is unacceptable. We are weighing down the earth with all our trash, and if we aren’t careful, there will be catastrophic consequences for our irresponsibility. We need to desperately reconsider what we are getting rid of, but how we are getting rid of it is of equal importance. 

Let’s all purchase biodegradable bin bags. I’ll say it again because this is important: LET’S ALL PURCHASE BIODEGRADABLE BIN BAGS! It seems silly that some of us are painstaking about separating out garbage for the bin men when we’re shoving it into plastic trash bags. Isn’t it oxy-moronic?

This PLA product is fully biodegradable under ideal conditions – they’ll break down completely within 45 days. If they end up in a landfill, it might take a little longer, but it won’t be much.

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Keep Endangered Wildlife Off The Shopping List

The Green Goddess Guide to Creating an Eco-Friendly Kitchen

REFERENCES: 

https://www.treehugger.com/htgg/how-to-go-green-in-the-kitchen.html
https://www.hgtv.com/design-blog/design/make-your-kitchen-greener
https://greenerideal.com/guides/an-environmentally-friendly-kitchen/

Drinkers Guide to Surviving the Festive Season: How to Avoid a Hangover

Drinkers Guide to Surviving the Festive Season How to Avoid a Hangover

Most of us enjoy a drink every now and again. Watching the Springbok’s bring home the rugby world cup has certainly given us a reason to get a little more boozy than usual, over the past few weeks. While the bokke have returned, and enjoyed the victory lap through the country with their cup, the average Joe and Josephine are entering a challenging final of their own. 

The Festive Season is the pinnacle drinking season of the year. Office parties, end-of-year functions and themed get-togethers are well underway. A good time doesn’t need to compromise your wallet or liver if you have a rigorous game plan. Pace yourself if you want to make it through the night, and better still, wake up with no hangover.

Remember, when it comes to session drinking, it is a marathon and not a sprint. While I don’t drink anymore, there are a few tips I’ve picked up from 13 years with the bottle. Some seem obvious, while others will definitely surprise you.

EATING ISN’T CHEATING

If I could go back and scold 20-something-year-old Inga every time she slapped fries, burgers, or a slice of pizza out of a friends hand before whining, “eating is cheating,” I would.

Lining your stomach is taught in Drinking 101 (you might not have heard of the course because it’s strictly reserved for the night school curriculum). The alcohol percentage, and amount, aren’t the only things you need to consider when drinking. How your body metabolises alcohol is important too, so help it along. 

Eating a balanced meal is especially important before heading into a night of heavy drinking. So skip the salad and tuck into a plate of complex carbohydrates, good fats and protein – I hear red meat is great because the amino acids help process booze.

HYDRATE

For every drink, there has to be a glass of water. Your liver needs the extra help to flush out as much alcohol as it can. If you’re alternating between booze and aqua, you won’t have to shock your body by chugging a litre of H2O at the end of the night. 

What I have found to work is swapping out still water for sparkling. A vivacious American shared the tip at a dinner party I attended two years ago. I tried it once and because it worked so well, I recommended it to all my friends who now do the same. Though Nisa harped on about how the bubbles helped metabolise the alcohol quicker, the scientific explanation is even more of a mouthful. Just take my word on this one – it works.

Activated charcoal has been used as an antioxidant for generations. Drink a glass of this before bed and you should wake up feeling a whole lot better than you would’ve had you skipped it.

STAY AWAY FROM SUGAR

We don’t give children a lot of sugar because their manic rush is always followed by an epic crash, right? Why do we think that after a certain age, we are miraculously exempt from the same biological phenomenon?

Cocktails and punch often go down a treat because there is enough sweetness to mask the sharp taste of alcohol. But as you sip on your long island iced tea or brandy and coke, you’re body is stockpiling on sugar that’ll have you dancing on tables one moment, and cursing the day you ever picked up a drink the next.

But wine has sugar too, you might be saying. This is true. Which is why I often stick to tequila on the rocks or whiskey and water. The sugar content is much lower in liquor, so if you drink it neat (or with a splash of soda water, a block of ice, or a little water) you won’t suffer a sugar crash hangover the next morning.

SKIP THE SMOKES

Regular- and social-smokers alike, while I can totally appreciate how sweet a cigarette is while you’re drinking (I’ve been nicotine free going on four years now) the grogginess you feel in the morning isn’t worth it.

Cigarettes and alcohol both contain acetaldehyde, which is thought to be the chemical behind hangovers. When you smoke, you’re doubling up on the chemical that makes you feel horrible the morning after a night out. 

Carrying a pack of gum has helped me a lot. When I’m feeling a little tense, I’ll chew some gum and it sorts me right out because I know I was smoking because of the oral fixation and social anxiety. Find a method that works for you.

STICK TO TOP SHELF LIQUOR

The drinking club at my university had this tradition of starting out with a challenge called the Crackling Bomb. A 1.5L bottle of Autumn Harvest was tapped to your hand and you could do nothing else until that you saw the bottom of the bottle. Every guzzle was followed by a wince because the wine had an alarming fizz to it and burned all the way down your throat.

When you drink cheap alcohol, your mouth suffers for a moment, but the rest of your body suffers the entire time it tries to digest the stuff.

You must’ve noticed that you’ll have a nasty hangover is you drink cheap or box wine, but wake up feeling perky when you splurge on a R200+ bottle of grape. The same goes with hard tac, so if you want to avoid a hangover, pay a little extra for it.

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“Just Water For Me Thanks!” Why More People are Going Sober

Just a Water For Me Thanks! Why More People are Going Sober

Did you know that South Africa is ranked one of the top 25 countries that consume the most alcohol in the whole world? Our rainbow nation enjoys an ice-cold brew so much that we beat out countries like the United States of America, for example.

Every year, over 80 000 cases of drunk driving are reported nationwide, and the festive season is when we see a spike in incidences. Unfortunately, where there is drinking and driving, accidents and even death often follow.

Thankfully, things have started to change. While Oc-sober began in Australia, in 2008, to raise funds for health education in local schools, it sparked a global phenomenon. Since then, more people have begun to reconsider their relationship with alcohol. The 31-day challenge is being extended indefinitely by some individuals.

Elective sobriety is a growing global trend where people who don’t necessarily consider themselves alcoholics, but would like to take a break from the social ritual they might feel they’ve become dependent on, undergo. I, myself, have only been on the journey since September 8, 2019, but it was important to me to challenge myself. Before I stopped smoking, I’d reach for a cigarette when I was feeling anxious in public. After I kicked that habit, I noticed I was relying on liquid courage to carry me through situations I felt uncomfortable in. Now that I’ve been sober for 11 weeks, I’ve begun to notice the physical and mental improvements. 

If you’re considering taking a break from booze, let me share some information to help you make an informed decision:

HEALTH BENEFITS:

When I was younger, my friends and I would joke that a hangover was god’s way of telling us that we kicked a** the night before. If we threw up during a night out, we’d console ourselves by insisting that we were getting rid of the influx of ‘awesome’ to make room for more.

How silly and naive were we.

Your body naturally purges anything it considers a threat. Whether there’s an excess of food, an ingredient you might be allergic to, or in this case, a digestive irritation caused by alcohol. Though a glass of red wine a day has been suggested to be a healthy practise, too much can cause great strain on your pancreas and liver. 

The effects don’t stop there. Have you considered that slurred speech after a few too many is a sign that the channel from your brain to the rest of your body has been compromised? Your immune system doesn’t work as well when you’ve been drinking heavily either, and, until recently, I didn’t know that alcohol can lead to muscle weakness, cramping, and eventually atrophy.

I won’t even go into the unhealthy food choices you make when you wake up with a splitting headache and unforgiving hangover. We’ve all been there and it isn’t cute.

PENNYWISE:

I don’t have to tell you how generous you person get when you’re drunk. Suddenly you’re offering to foot the bill for your 18-person party, or you’re ordering shots for the entire bar. When you wake up in the morning to the bank notifications and cringe at how reckless you were, you begin to reconsider how much you’ll drink the next time.

The lack of inhibition feels great when you’re dancing on a table with your best friend, howling to Sweet Caroline on a Friday night. In reality, breaking the bank on an aged bottle of whiskey, because you feel on top of the world, is just financially irresponsible

 EARTH-FRIENDLY:

Obscure though it might sound, going sober – even for a short period – can drastically decrease your carbon footprint. Consider the amount of water used to irrigate fields of barley and hop plants or grapevines. There is a substantial amount of aqua used to produce your favourite drink too. Now factor in what it takes to package and transport cases of booze from the manufacturers to all the different distributors across the country and the world.

Drinkers who buy local booze are a little being greener about their alcohol, but the dent is still made.

If you’re still reading this, you’ll appreciate that I’m not standing on any soapbox, persecuting people who drink. I’m sure there will come a time – not too far off into the future – that I will indulge in a tall glass of Shiraz or participate in libations with a few shots of tequila. The operative word in the global movement is elective. Whether you choose to go sober or not is entirely your choice. If you want to make an extra effort to do good by the planet, this is the perfect challenge for you. If not, there are many other ways to honour Mother Nature.

REFERENCES:

https://elemental.medium.com/the-rise-of-elective-sobriety-8989550afbcb
https://www.drinkstuff-sa.co.za/whats-behind-the-elective-sobriety-trend/
https://www.healthline.com/health/alcohol/effects-on-body#11
https://www.thetemper.com/sobriety-environmental-impact/

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Cape Town’s Best Farmers Markets 

Cape Town’s Best Farmers Markets 

We can all admit that Cape Town is the culinary capital of South Africa. The Mother City is brimming with restaurants that specialise in traditional crêpes and galettes, there are bars that only offer bone broth, and diners with an offering of over 200 milkshakes. If you have a craving for it, rest assured, there is an eatery serving it.

With so much land spanning across the Western Cape, agronomists can grow a bag of the freshest produce to supply these creative coffee shops, canteens and cafeterias. Once a week, however, they cut out the middleman – so to speak – and offer up their fair to the average Joe and Jongikhaya who want to stock their pantries with locally sourced and ethically grown food. Of all the farmer’s markets I’ve been to, these are my pick of the best in the Western Cape.

BLAAUWKLIPPEN FAMILY MARKET, STELLENBOSCH

Cape Wine Country is truly a sight to behold. Rolling hills of grapevines budding with bulbs that will soon produce some of your favourite varietals whether it be Savignon Blanc, Shiraz, Merlot or Chardonnay. Stellenbosch is where you can spend a lazy Sunday, lounging under a wild fig tree at this family-friendly market.

Olives, oils, jams and other delicious preserves are prepared weekly by farmers and artisans in the area. I’ve been known to pop past Stonehill’s stall for a few free samples, while quenching my thirst on Piroschka’s iced tea on particularly hot days.

BLUE BIRD GARAGE FOOD & GOODS MARKET, MUIZENBERG

In 2016, I tasted my very first cotton cheesecake at this unassuming market. It was a culinary AHA moment. Since then, every Friday, I hazard the unforgiving M3 traffic from Cape Town to Muizenburg to enjoy the weekly offering.

There is a great deal of already prepared food for you to purchase and enjoy round the community tables they set up on the inside an old postal plane hangar. Eco warriors will particularly enjoy the fresh bread, fruits and vegetables that you can purchase from local subsistent producers who have a surplus from their own gardens.

If the weekly traffic getting into Muizenberg doesn’t sound appealing to you, the market runs on the first Sunday of every month too.

BOSCHENDAL NIGHT MARKET, PNIEL

How does a glass of Boschendal MCC at the end of a long week sound? Pair that with a few freshly caught oysters, or a leg of free range chicken with organic coleslaw and you have yourself a wonderful Friday night.

The Werf plays home to one of Franschhoek’s popular night market. Farmers, winemakers and artisans in the area flock to this well-attended market to sell their goods to visitors. You can certainly bring your children along. They’ll be entertained at the Tree House Playground where they can enjoy bottomless popcorn while watching a film at the outdoor cinema while you shop and nosh to your heart’s delight.

EARTH FAIR MARKET, TOKAI

Who says all the fun needs to happen over the weekend, and that it’s only reserved for those who live outside the city centre? Every Thursday St George’s Market is flooded by local artisans and farmers who offer inner-city professionals a palette cleanser from the surrounding food offerings.

While the market is mostly hot foods, you can purchase traditionally cured meat, CBD & hemp products and a few non-perishables from local producers. My cookie jar is packed with only the Gourmet Pantry’s baked goods that I order monthly, you can certainly negotiate with whoever mans the stall the week you go and get a few sweet treats for yourself. 

ORANJEZICHT CITY FARM MARKET, WATERFRONT

I really shouldn’t be biased, but this is my favourite market in all of the Western Cape – mainly because the sweet section is so extensive. My mouth is watering just thinking about the nutty brownies and the chocolate-covered nougat I nibble on every time I visit the market.

OCFM runs until 3pm on Saturday and 2pm on Tuesday. Work your way from the produce tent, packed with organic fruits, vegetables and meats, as well as breads made with flour substitutes, banting friendly preserves and condiments etc; to the tent with everything from breakfast burritos and Belgium waffles to bagels and Ethiopian injera. 

Top Johannesburg Farmers Markets

Farm-To-Fork 101

Eating Seasonally: The 101

Eco-Friendly Gifts for the Whole Family

Eco-Friendly Gifts for The Whole Family

As we gear up for the festive season, most of us are keeping our eyes peeled and ears perked for a hint about the perfect gift to give our loved ones. The year is ending, and as we plan to attend office parties, Secret Santa’s are being assigned accordingly. My own brother is a December baby, so every year our family weighs the option of either getting him one big present or splitting up the gifts respectively. 

Finding the perfect token to show someone you care is something we can all admit to struggling with. Here are some eco-friendly suggestions you can consider as we enter the most generous time of the year: 

AROMATHERAPY BUNDLE FOR THE SELF CARE FUNDI

Aromatherapy has proven to be effective in relieving pain, improving sleep patterns, and reducing stress and anxiety. If you’re not buying this for a loved one who practises mindfulness on a regular basis, someone you think might need to would definitely benefit from this gift. The bundle includes an oil burner, beeswax tealight candles and a few indigenous essential oils. Depending on what oils you get in the pack, you’ll want to top up on lavender, rosemary, as well as clary sage. Lavender treats anxiety, insomnia and restlessness. Rosemary can improve brain function and increase circulation, while sage works as a natural antidepressant.

GET SET GROW SET FOR THE SOMEONE WITH GREEN FINGERS

Gardening is such a relaxing pastime. Not only are you reconnecting with the earth in a very intimate way, but you also get a healthy amount of Vitamin D through exposure to direct sunlight (that doesn’t mind you wearing a protective layer of sunscreen by the way). This would be a thoughtful gift for someone who is passionate about their health and nutrition. It can be incredibly rewarding preparing a meal consisting of ingredients you have grown yourself. Because you’ve tended to it, you can ensure that non-toxic pesticides were incorporated into the gardening process. Give this to a friend or family member that is serious about avoiding GMOs. If your little ones are curious about growing their own treats too, My Eco Sprout has a strawberry popcorn set they will adore.

KOMBUCHA BREWING STARTER KIT FOR THE HEALTH NUT

All you need to brew your own booch in one convenient craft box. The starter kit comes complete with a brewing bottle, the symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY), and comprehensive instructions. Safe enough for the whole family to drink, kombucha gets to work on your gut to promote healthy digestion and liver detoxification. If you have a restless teen who is looking for a cool project to dive into, brewing this fermented probiotic will keep them occupied.

REUSABLE GROCERY BAGS FOR THE FORGETFUL SHOPPER

You’ve done your week’s shopping and you’re wheeling your trolley towards the till. While the cashier rings up your groceries, you reach down for your FTN hemp bag and then you realise you left it on the kitchen counter as you grabbed your keys and ran out the door. DOH! How about buying a few reusable grocery bags to stuff into each Christmas stocking this year? You’ll have to remind everyone to put them in their cars or handbags, of course, so they’re never forced to resort to buying plastic bags ever again

COOKING/YOGA/SELF DEFENSE CLASSES FOR SOMEONE WHO HAS IT ALL

We all have someone in our circle who is a bit of an enigma. They seem to have it all so you’re stumped as to what to get them. That person is my father; a practical man who only has what he needs. If you ever ask him what he wants and he’ll tell you he wants to be able to get what he needs when he needs it. It can be impossible shopping for people like that. So don’t. Gift them with experiences like helicopter pilot lessons or an all-access card to the aquarium. Since they seem to have acquired their fill in physical things, give them something they will remember forever – a memory.

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Robyn’s top picks: The eco gifts I’m most excited about this year

Homemade Vegan Gingerbread Cookie Jar