This healthy lunch hack is perfect for work, especially when you’re on a budget. First, cook a small portion of pasta, and allow it to cool. Next, mix in drained tinned chickpeas, tinned tomatoes, your favourite herbs, and any veggies you might have in the fridge. Seal the mixture in a jar, refrigerate, and enjoy at work the next day. Chickpeas are an affordable, healthy source of protein, so be sure to keep a few cans in your pantry for quick and easy work lunches.
1-31 Mental Illness Awareness Month
2-6 Corporate Wellness Week
11 World Population Day
18 Nelson Mandela International Day
28 World Hepatitis Day
Earth is the only planet we know of that has the right conditions for human life to thrive. But rapid global warming is having a profound effect on these conditions and on life as we know it.
NASA data showed that 2017 was the second-hottest year ever recorded, as well as being the single-hottest year without an El Niño event. Global average temperatures are steadily rising, and satellite data shows that this warming effect is causing ice sheets in the Arctic and Antarctic to melt more rapidly.
Global Warming vs Climate Change
We hear a lot of talk about ‘global warming’ and ‘climate change’ often used interchangeably. The two terms are related, but they do have different meanings:
- Global warming refers to the rising temperatures across the planet since the early 20th Century. The average surface temperature of the Earth has risen by about 0.8°C since the mid-20th Century.
- Climate change refers to a wide range of global phenomena like rising sea levels, melting ice sheets, and extreme weather events. These phenomena are largely caused by burning fossil fuels, which add heat-trapping gases to Earth’s atmosphere.
What Causes Global Warming?
The biggest causes of global warming (and in turn, climate change) are:
- Burning fossil fuels (like oil or gas) for energy. These fuels release gases into the Earth’s atmosphere, where they trap heat from the sun and warm the planet. This is called the ‘Greenhouse Effect’.
- Forests absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. They are like the planet’s lungs. As more large forests are being cut down to make way for human developments, carbon dioxide levels rise, and this ‘greenhouse gas’ contributes to global warming.
- Large-scale farms raising cows for meat or dairy purposes contribute to global warming, with almost 1.5-billion cows releasing methane gas into the atmosphere.
Scientists predict that global warming will only get worse, and this will have far-reaching effects on plants, animals and humans, as our environment undergoes significant changes. Extreme weather like storms, floods and droughts will also become more common.
How to Combat Global Warming
It might be hard to believe that just one person, or one family, can make a difference when it comes to global warming. Truth is, even the smallest changes can have a big effect. You can start by saving electricity, eating less meat, and lowering your carbon footprint one step at a time.
Practise these smart, sustainable habits in your home, to play your role in fighting global warming and climate change:
- Use energy-efficient LED lightbulbs in all your lights.
- Turn off the lights when you leave a room.
- Start a tradition of ‘Meat-Free Monday’, to reduce your reliance on farming, and enjoy more healthy vegetarian meals as a family.
- Turn off your computer or TV when you’re not using it.
- Unplug chargers when not in use; even chargers on standby use energy.
- Wait until you have a full load of clothes to wash before using the washing machine.
- Wash your laundry on a cold cycle.
- Don’t leave the tap running when brushing your teeth, washing the dishes or your hands.
- Switch off your geyser before you go out to work, or turn down the temperature of the geyser when it’s not in use.
- In hot weather, use a fan instead of air conditioning.
- In cold weather, bundle up and use a hot water bottle, instead of keeping an electric heater on all day.
- Take shorter showers, to save water and heating energy.
- Recycle household waste like paper, plastic and glass.
- Use public transport or a lift club to get to work, to cut down on vehicle pollution (and traffic).
Global warming is a serious problem, but it’s not too great to be overcome. If we all make a conscious effort to live a greener lifestyle, we can better protect the wellbeing of our planet, and give future generations a healthier start.
2017 was the hottest year on record without an El Niño, thanks to global warming. Retrieved from: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2018/jan/02/2017-was-the-hottest-year-on-record-without-an-el-nino-thanks-to-global-warming
Things You Can Do to Reduce Global Warming. Retrieved from: http://environment.about.com/od/globalwarming/tp/globalwarmtips.htm
What is Climate Change? Retrieved from: https://www.natgeokids.com/za/discover/geography/general-geography/what-is-climate-change/#!/register
Meat-Free Mondays. Retrieved from: http://www.supportmfm.co.za/
World Environment Day (WED) is an initiative from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). It was first started in the 1970s, to raise global awareness about environmental challenges, and encourage people around the world to take action.
Every year, World Environment Day focuses on a key environmental issue. The theme for this year (5 June 2018) is ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’.
The Problem with Plastic
Plastic is a very strong, durable substance that doesn’t degrade (break down) easily. One plastic bottle can last for 450 years, slowly degrading into smaller and smaller pieces which leach into the soil and the water. These pieces end up microscopically small, but they never truly ‘disappear’.
Plastic pollution is a huge problem in the marine ecosystem. Litter is left on the beach, or washed through the drains of cities and towns to end up in the ocean. This litter, especially the plastic kind, can harm marine animals, fish and birds that mistake it for food, or become entangled in it. And of course, once ingested plastic works its way into the food chain via ocean fish, it finds its way into our restaurants and kitchens. Yuck!
Fast Facts on Plastic Pollution
Unfortunately, the human race has become very reliant on the convenience of single-use plastic products – like shopping bags, drinking straws, and water bottles. This has brought us to the point where:
- 500-billion plastic bags are used worldwide every year.
- At least 8-million tonnes of plastic end up in the oceans every year.
- 1-million plastic bottles are purchased worldwide every minute.
- Plastic makes up 10% of all of the waste we generate.
- 50% of this plastic is ‘disposable’, designed to be used only once.
Scary stuff! No wonder more and more people are turning to reusable alternatives, like stainless steel straws and bottles, or canvas shopping bags.
Help to #BeatPlasticPollution this World Environment Day
This year, UNEP is calling on individuals and companies to organise cleanups in their communities. Get involved with World Environment Day celebrations for 2018, and help to rid the world of plastic pollution. Here’s what you can do:
- Join the cleanups planned in your city, country and workplace.
- Spread the word about WED and local events via social media. Use the hashtags #WorldEnvironmentDay and #BeatPlasticPollution.
- Arrange your own WED cleanup or presentation for your neighbourhood, community, school or workplace.
- Register your event at: http://www.worldenvironmentday.global/en/register-event.
- Invest in some plastic-free, reusable products for your family to use instead of disposable plastics.
World Environment Day gives us all a chance to get involved and make a difference. Here’s to a year with less plastic and less pollution!
World environment day. Retrieved from: http://worldenvironmentday.global/
Drive against plastic pollution to gain momentum from India – the global host of World Environment Day 2018. Retrieved from: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/environment/pollution/drive-against-plastic-pollution-to-gain-momentum-from-india-the-global-host-of-world-environment-day-2018/articleshow/62994154.cms
World Environment Day: 5 June 20187. Retrieved from: http://www.greeningtheblue.org/event/world-environment-day
With World Environment Day coming up and the extreme weather conditions of 2018 on everyone’s minds, now is the time to start taking sustainability seriously. Running an eco-friendly home will ensure that your family cuts down on resources like water and energy, while also giving back to the planet.
Eco-Friendly Home Habits to Start Today
Eco-friendly living is much more than using LED light bulbs and making the occasional trip to the recycling bank! Here are some small but strategic steps you can take, to make every part of your life a little greener.
- Cut down on single-use plastics, including shopping bags, water bottles and straws. These wasteful items are major causes of pollution, and pose a big threat to the environment. World Environment Day 2018 is focused on overcoming the plastic pollution problem.
- Switch to natural cleaning detergent brands, or better yet, make your own 100% safe and natural DIY cleaning products at home. This will be healthier for your family, and safer for the planet’s waterways.
- Install a rain tank to collect rainwater, and use it to water your garden, clean your windows or wash your car.
- Whenever you can, hang your washing out on the line to dry, instead of using a tumble dryer.
- Pay your bills and do your banking online. It saves on fuel and paper – plus with no queues to stand in, it will save you time and hassle.
- Participate in a clean-up of your local park or beach (or organise one yourself)!
- Whenever possible, buy your groceries from a local farmers’ market instead of a big chain store. This supports local growers and stimulates the local economy.
- Make sure all leaks, drips and faulty taps in your home are fixed. Water is precious and every drop counts!
- Grow your own veggies and herbs. It’s a fun and rewarding way to connect with nature and save on expenses.
- If you have a garden, start a compost bin or a worm farm. Compost will improve the health of your soil, without all the chemicals found in ordinary fertilisers. And it’s much greener than throwing your food waste straight in the bin.
40 ways to go greener at home… besides just recycling. Retrieved from: https://theartofsimple.net/tips-to-go-green-at-home/
1-30 Men’s Health Month
National Blood Donor Month
National Youth Month
1 International Children’s Day
3 National Cancer Survivors Day
5 World Environment Day
5-11 World Heart Rhythm Week
14 World Blood Donor Day
15 World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
16 Youth Day
24-30 SANCA Drug Awareness Week
25 World Vitiligo Day
26 International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking