Remembering Trees

Friday, April 11, 2014

My prompt from Greenpop, for my Givengain project to raise Trees for Zambia, was to relive my favourite tree memory. But in actual fact, I should be terrified of trees.

When I was about seven years old, my aunt and uncle had built a look-out over a dam on their farm. It was about 7 m high, in a tree. A friend and I went up to check out the view, while my uncle was putting a few planks together. I stepped on a plank that was not quite fixed to the structure yet and plummeted those seven meters out of the look out. I landed in a thorn bush, with a thorn in my neck. That thorn bush saved my life. My guardian angels too. I now have a fear of heights, not trees.

Also in my young years,I had another terrifying incident with a tree. We were a group of kids that lived on our street and would all play together during holidays. One day we had gone with a friend’s mom to some place. We were about four or five kids playing around an old, big tree, swinging on its branches and just being kids. The next we know, the tree starts falling over. IT FELL ON MY HEAD! And I had to get two staples in my head for the gaping hole.

But I’m still not scared of trees. And you shouldn’t be either. You should also not be scared to donate money to grow trees, which you can do here!

How green are you?

Thursday, April 3, 2014

How green are you in your every day life? I'll admit that my green efforts in my own life isn't as good as I would like it to be. We don't have a recycling system at home, but I consciously decided not to implement one, as it somehow creates jobs in my area.

You see, every morning at around 4 am, you can hear them coming: the informal trash collectors. 
This awesome new video by Skrillex can give you an idea of what they do. 

But in layman's terms: these are people who have no other source of income but to go through peoples' trash, find the glass, the paper and the plastics, sort them in their bags and take them to recycling centers in the area for a little bit of money to buy their daily bread. Now, you see, if I consciously recycled and took my rubbish things away from these people, I would literally be taking food out of their mouths. It's quite a huge occurrence in Johannesburg and I actually wish that our government would support these guys a little bit more - kit them out with proper tools to make the most of what they do.

I tried to be a little more sustainable by starting a compost heap in my garden, but - even when it was fenced off - my dogs would eat all the peels, egg shells, everything. They are worse than pigs. They absolutely LOVE carrot peels and potato peels, so there is no hope there. Perhaps I should invest in one of those plastic composters? But, chances are, my staffie will eat that up too.

I never leave a room without switching a light off, something my mom has drilled into me and I work in an office that recycles paper. I would say I am pretty green, hahaha.

I would love to go off the grid - my husband is constantly nagging that we must install a windmill in our garden to generate windpower. But, aren't windmills actually used to pump water? I'll have to look into that. And if the roads weren't so crazy dangerous here in Joburg, I would switch to riding my bike to work every day. Heck, anything to shed a kilo or two.

So, there are ways that I can green my life, it's about time I started implementing them, just like GreenPop is doing with its Trees for Zambia initiative. You can help green the world by buying a tree!

By clicking the image below, you can donate money for my role in
'Who Wants to be a Tree-llionaire?'

I am tree hugger

Friday, March 28, 2014

Trees are one of my favourite subjects to photograph. My instagram feed will testify. I just love how each tree has something to give - a story to tell;  a fruit to bear; producing livegiving oxygen and that they make earth so beautiful!

 Trees talk to each other, did you know? They warn each other when danger is in the area, such as a large flock of insects or a whole bunch of giraffes. The tree then secretes some chemicals, making the leaves bitter or poisonous and not very pleasant to eat. I learned this fun fact on an evening game drive once. We couldn't see anything, so I just kept asking questions about trees. 

So, when GreenPop, a social business that believes that greening and sustainable living can be fun, approached me to work on one of their campaigns, I nearly fainted.

The great folks at GreenPop are currently running a project called Trees for Zambia, where they are trying to raise as much money as they possibly can to assist in planting trees in the town of Livingstone. This forms part of combating deforestation, which is tragic occurrence in modern day living. 

Did you know that Zambia has approximately 50 million hectares of forest, 
with an estimated deforestation rate of 250 000 to 300 000 hectares per year? 
That should certainly make you sit up straight and DONATE! 

Now, if I make the most donations out of five other Joburg bloggers, 
I will get to travel to Zambia to help plant these trees! 
It will be a dream come true!  

What can you do to help? Well, through crowdfunding on Givengain, you can buy a tree! 
Only R120 - that's not even a decent dinner in a restaurant these days.

And if saving the world one tree at a time isn't motivation enough for you to buy one, here's a little something extra. For every tree you buy, your name will be entered into a draw to win a little holiday at a game resort in Botswana! So make my dream come true and help yourself to a fantastic getaway!

Owning a Jack Russell

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Anja today tells us about what it is like to own a Jack Russell, or more than one of them. 

My dad has been obsessed with having Jack Russells his whole life - even as a kid they only owned Jack Russells. 

So, when he started his own family, it was just natural to add Jack Russells to it.

We got our first Jack Russell when I was 8 years old, and we named him Jack. (Don't judge us - I know people who've called their cat "Kat".)

Jack was the best dog ever. He was very entertaining - his weird antics made us laugh every single day.

When he was a puppy he was SUPER naughty. He ate/humped/chewed everything. 

Seriously. He ate Blitz, matches, a R50 note and a car phone charger. Oneday when we were on our way somewhere he saw a dog on the outside of our car, and out of frustration of not being able to sniff its butt he destroyed the window panel. (The cushion under the window.)


But in between his naughtiness he was a beautiful, intelligent dog. He used to play better soccer than anyone on the Bafana Bafana team (which isn't difficult) and he was a very talented detective.
We used to hide tennis balls from him because he lost his shit when he played with them. It got so bad that we actually put the balls in the freezer, just to throw him off the scent.
After 15 years of living with us he passed away last year. It was very traumatic and it took us a year to move on. (We'll never forget him.)

We now have two Jack Russell puppies - I told you my dad is obsessed! I can already see the parallels between them. Like Jack, they enjoy digging holes and leopard crawling in small spaces.

Here's a summary of Jack Russells:
- They are fiercely loyal and intelligent dogs.
- They have ENDLESS energy and need to be walked/played with everyday.
- Your garden isn't safe from them. They will dig holes in it.
- They need lots of toys as puppies, and will probably destroy most of them.
- They love leopard crawling in confined spaces, but don't worry - they always get out.
- They're always keen for a drive, whether it's 5km or 5000km.
- They will love you forever and ever. (Like all dogs)

Want to know what it's like to own a boxer, staffie, border collie or French bulldog?

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