What are you doing this Earth Day?

Sunday April 22 marks the 42nd annual Earth Day, a global event meant to celebrate the Earth and raise awareness for environmental causes.

So what can you do to celebrate? Here are some ideas!

 

Buy an indigenous plant

Go to your local nursery and get yourself a new plant, indigenous of course! Be on the lookout for the Spekboom (Portulacaria Afra). Spekboom has an exceptional ability to take big quantities of carbon dioxide out of the air and convert it oxygen.  Ongoing research shows that 1ha of Spekboom can covert cargon dioxide to an average of 4.2t of oxygen per year.  (This makes South Africa very popular on the international carbon dioxide sequestration commercial market)

 

Porkbush (source: http://www.herbgarden.co.za)

Have a picnic at one of the Botanical Gardens

We have about 15 botanical gardens all over South Africa, and with their lush gardens, trees and birds, it makes the perfect picnic spot! Take some sandwiches, lemonade and biltong and enjoy the outdoors. Just don’t forget to take your blanket!

You can find more info about the Botanical Gardens here:

http://www.sa-venues.com/national-botanical-gardens.htm

 

Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden (source: http://www.sanbi.org)

 

Have a romantic candle-lit dinner with your loved one.

What a great excuse to turn off the lights and get cosy. Lit a few candles, enjoy a home cooked meal, and use the fire place for extra warmth. Who thought celebrating Earth Day could be so good? ;)

 

Go on a hiking trail

This is a great way to experience fresh air, fauna and flora all at the same time. South Africa has a huge variety of awesomely scenic hiking trails. Hiking trails are not only for the experienced hiker, there are many trails that are more than suitable for the beginner. All you need is a good pair of takkies, a water bottle, sunscreen and a hat. Check out some of the beautiful trails here:

http://www.southafrica.info/travel/adventure/hiking.htm

http://www.sahikes.co.za/

http://www.tablemountainwalks.co.za/

 

 

 

Why not extend Earth Day and make into an Earth Week. Try out these fun activities and let me know what you thought of it!

 

 

Sources:

Spekboom Trees http://www.indigenousflora.co.za/index.php?page_id=15&page=Spekboom

http://www.sa-venues.com/national-botanical-gardens.htm

 

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What’s the fuss about…Geranium?

Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) is an aromatic perennial shrub about 1m high, with serrated leaves and small pink flowers. For the gardeners, it is grown for ornamental purposes, but some varieties are used in the perfume industry. Aromatherapists would be well aware of Geranium, as it is known for its balancing and

uplifting properties. The essential oil has a sweet aroma similiar to Rose, but with the sharpness of Bergamot.  In Afrikaans, it’s also known as the “malva”.

I am really fond of most products that include Geranium. The smell is divine! Usually I do not like flowery fragrances, so the geranium came as a surprise. It settles to a soft rosy-sweet, minty scent. (And just a warning, the smell may become addictive! ;)

Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)

Did you know… Pelargonium graveolens is indigenous to South Africa! Perfect excuse to go buy some now at your local nursery!

 For gardeners: This plant can be propagated by means of stem and tip cuttings, or seed. Cuttings root well when dipped into a suitable rooting hormone and then placed in trays filled with coarse river sand. The trays should be kept in cold frames. Optimum rooting time is autumn (March – May) and Spring (September – November). Seed can be sown in spring, summer and autumn.

Beauty and Aromatherapy uses: Helps to balance the sebum secreted by the sebaceous glands and keeps the skin supple by moisturising it. Also good for congested, oily skin. As a diuretic it helps the lymphatic system by relieving congestion and the fluid retention that leads to swelling. Said to be helpful for anxiety and depression (related to hormones) and will lift spirits.

Sources:

Hoare, J. (2010). Aromatherapy Tutor: A structured course to achieve professional expertise. Octopus Publishing Group Ltd: London

Lawrence, E. (2002). Pelargonium graveolens. <http://www.plantzafrica.com/plantnop/pelarggrav.htm&gt; (Accessed 15 April 2012)

About Us – Welcome!

Green Thinking is blog about the more natural side of life.

Interesting South African places, admiring wild life and nature, and appreciating good food. Exploring natural beauty regimes and a healthier way of living.

Many of you wonder, what is the big hype about “going green”, “safe cosmetics” or even “save the rhino”! With this blog, I hope to stir up a passion, not only for our beautiful earth, but also for what you put into your own body.

Whether you are an avid tree-hugger or just someone who is interested in nature, I am sure you will find this blog interesting and informative.

Things to look out for:

Natural Product Spotlight : featuring green and safe products)

In the News : environmental highlights

What’s the Fuss About… : you have been hearing about these things, but what exactly is the fuss about?

In My Kitchen: green or healthy things I have been exploring in the kitchen

And the of course, there are also giveaways to come!

Look deep, deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. (Albert Einstein)