Hey you, yes YOU! Be water wise at school and at home!

After the much-needed storms in Cape Town, we still find ourselves in a worrying drought crisis, at the heart of which lies our everyday use of water. We have been working hard to save water, but we must still work harder in so many easy, everyday ways. Small efforts can go a long way. And apathy never gets anyone, anywhere very fast.

After the much-needed storms in Cape Town, we still find ourselves in a worrying drought crisis, at the heart of which lies our everyday use of water. We have been working hard to save water, but we must still work harder in so many easy, everyday ways. Small efforts can go a long way. And apathy never gets anyone, anywhere very fast.

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Mindful of Teacher Wellbeing

A teacher’s sense of wellbeing impacts directly on their students’ wellbeing. As one of the most rewarding careers, it can also be a stressful and emotionally-demanding profession, particularly for teachers working in under-resourced communities South Africa. Read more

8 Ways I Try to Be Environmentally Sustainable: Guest post

Ovidiu Popescu is an Earthchild supporter who is supporting an eco-warrrior for more than a year. He is also the co-founder of Greentumble.com. He asked to share the steps he takes to live a greener life. What steps are you taking? Let us know! 

Environmental sustainability is about making responsible decisions, taking action to conserve and preserve the natural world so it can keep supporting human life.

Thanks to modern day technology and creativity, adopting a green lifestyle has never been easier. Whether you want to support the environment by recycling, carpooling or producing clean energy for your house, everyone in the world can make a difference.

Focusing on a few pro environmental practices over a longer period of time will begin to feel like a habit and that’s when you will be living a sustainable life.

All I’m about to share with you next is what I do in my own life, in order to live as consciously and sustainably as possible.

  1. I installed solar panels and insulated the walls of my house to keep heat longer in the winter time. The switch to solar energy not only reduced my carbon footprint but saves me a lot of money on the electricity bill. It feels good to know that my home runs with clean energy, from our precious Sun.
  2. I walk or bike instead of drive distances less than 2 kilometers. This not only reduces the pollution for the local environment but keeps me healthy.
  3. I bought a reusable water bottle from stainless steel and use tap water with filters after I noticed the pros and cons of bottled water. It saves me money, reduces waste and protects the environment.
  4. By shopping with reusable bags and picking less wasteful plastic packaging I reduced my waste output significantly. However, I find it hard to completely avoid packaging because almost everything in the supermarkets is wrapped in something. Luckily, I have a local market close to me where small and medium sized farmers are selling their products without wrapping.
  5. I spend as much time as possible outdoors because it is healthy, refreshing and it’s through understanding nature that we will want to protect and care for it.
  6. I stopped investing much time and money in technology and the benefits are amazing. My social life improved, I have more money, and I produce less electronic waste.
  7. I decided to support and donate small sums of money to charities and non-profits that promote environmental protection while relying on financial support from people like you and me.
    (* Thank you Ovi for your generous donation, which will support an eco-warrior for more than a year!)
  8. Raising awareness is the first step in helping people realize how important and beneficial sustainability is in their lives. In April 2015, together with some friends and university colleagues we decided to create Greentumble, a blog to share information about environmental topics.

What are you doing to be environmentally sustainable? Which goals are you focusing on?

A Radical Shift in our Approach to Wellness

The norm today is to visit a doctor only when we are sick. We make dietary or lifestyle changes in response to illness, and we slow down only after we have burnt out. We invest time and money in our well-being only when it is threatened. What if we radically shifted our approach? In traditional Chinese medicine, one sees a doctor regularly to stay well… what a brilliant idea!

The Chinese doctor not only enquires after your physical well-being, but also about your relationships, your work, how you are eating and sleeping, your emotional temperament, etc. The doctor would then treat you with herbal remedies, acupuncture and qi gong.

Perhaps it is possible to embrace the essence of this approach and then use a range of ‘therapies’ that feel right for you. The essence is to make a decision to invest in your well-being while you are well. Look at all areas of life and constantly make incremental changes to grow, learn and find balance. Here are 10 ways to do this:

  1. Start every day with warm lemon water
  2. Grow your own herbs and drink one glass of fresh herbal tea a day (e.g. parsley, mint, rosemary or lemon grass)
  3. Ditch the extreme ‘one fits all’ diets for good! Rather experiment with what works for you. Eat for health and pleasure. (If you still knowingly choose unhealthy options or overeat, until you examine the underlying emotional reasons for this behaviour, it won’t ever truly change.)
  4. Include some form of creative expression in you life – be it a weekly dance or art class, listening to music or writing in a journal
  5. If you are struggling to make a decision about what to prioritise, ask the question “If I only had three months left on earth, what would I do?”
  6. Nurture and prioritise the relationships with the people you care about
  7. Respect your body by listening to what it’s telling you, rather than numbing the symptom with a tablet. Is that headache asking you to drink water, rest or go for a massage?
  8. Commit to a monthly investment in your health. Be it going for a massage, acupuncture or seeing a therapist
  9. Choose one or two charities you believe in, calculate how much 5% of your income is, and commit to supporting them every month. Find out more about the Five Plus Project
  10. You are the greatest masterpiece of your life, a constant work in progress. Experiment, explore, play, learn, create…

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