In 2009 the General Assembly of the UNestablished, by consensus, April 22 as International Mother Earth Day.
Trevor Manuel's injunction to stop blaming our country's woes on apartheid certainly is a refreshing voice from a government that seems blind to the capacity issues emanating from its own incompetence.
Using natural gas to run vehicles always struck me as a bit impractical. For one thing, it is highly flammable, with a likelihood, in our accident-prone society, of vehicles exploding across our littered streets.
Cape Town really came to the party this last weekend for the Argus cycle race. It was great to see the city mobilised around this environmentally friendly sport. The cheering crowds lining almost every part of the route gave welcome succour to tired and hot cyclists, battling against the tough winds.
It's hard to describe the feeling of vulnerability you have as a cyclist on our busy metropolitan roads.
If you think of the environment in economic terms, you can view the wealth of our natural assets like a company does a balance sheet.
South Africa has a burgeoning solar photovoltaic (PV) industry, which has for many years been supplying PV power to remote installations that are not connected to the Eskom grid.
By now you are probably back at work, thinking wistfully of the holidays. While you may not be mindful of it, the environment around you almost certainly played a big part in making your holiday so relaxing.
Last week, while the rest of the world was preparing for the COP 18 climate conference in Doha, I was in the Eastern Cape with a rather interesting assortment of project developers, investors and regulators. Hosted by the economic affairs department, we were making plans to massively expand renewable energy in the province.
The 'grasslands forum', convened by South Africa's National Biodiversity Institute, brings together scientists, activists, government officials and NGOs to discuss the future of our grasslands.
What does the Census tell us about the environment?
One of the biggest dangers of climate change is the threat to our water resources. As our water engineers constantly remind us, South Africa is a water scarce country.
If you want to change mindsets about renewable energy, there's no better place to start than in schools. So I was fascinated to hear about work being done on biogas in remote schools in the Eastern Cape.
Last Friday I joined the Critical Mass night-time ride through Johannesburg's streets. It was just off the full moon and the streets had an eerie glow about them as the beautifully lit up cycle parade glided past.
The National Development Plan has given us a bold and beautiful vision of where we could be in 2030 - a community that cares, that carefully balances its impact on the environment with its social and economic needs. In its soaring, poetic language the plan states that "each and every one of us is intimately and inextricably of this earth with its beauty and life-giving sources".
City food gardens are cool. They use otherwise wasted space, produce lovely fresh food that doesn't cost the earth, and are good for the environment.
South Africa has been making great strides in the construction of green buildings, with the flagship Vodafone Innovation Centre in Gauteng being the first to get a six star rating by the Green Building Council.
THE recent security breach at the Pelindaba nuclear facility near Pretoria has again put the spotlight on the safety of South Africa's nuclear facilities.
I was invited to be a judge in the Mail & Guardian's Greening the Future Awards, and what a great job it turned out to be, highlighting passionate and heroic efforts by ordinary South Africans at corporate and community level.
At long last the Park Station leg of the Gautrain's Johannesburg-Pretoria route is complete. It will greatly improve the lives of commuters who work in the Johannesburg city centre or who study at Wits. However, not enough people are taking advantage of it.
YESTERDAY, Johannesburg hosted the last of the African consultations on the future of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), the UN's global carbon trading system.
CAN Rio+20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, genuinely improve environmental protection of such assets as clean air, fresh water, oceans, plants and animals - in a sense common global goods?
Other than glib promises about job creation, we have heard very little about the social consequences of starting a fracking industry in South Africa.
Despite the much celebrated second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol, there is a mood of despondency sweeping global carbon markets.
Much to the horror of greenie friends, I've always been a pragmatist when it comes to the use of nuclear technology.
After many years of putting it off, I have finally committed to riding the Argus Cycle Tour. This means I am doing some serious huffing and puffing up hills as I try to get fit enough for the race. But the upside is that I am seeing a whole new side to Johannesburg city and the roads that I take for granted in my car. I am also acutely aware of how bicycle-unfriendly our city is.
It irritates me that I often shop "blind" - when prices indicated on supermarket shelves are not easy to link to the products.
South African maize prices are reaching record highs, and we may need to start importing maize due to existing export commitments.
While the rest of us were celebrating New Year, 18 contestants from seven countries were preparing to set off on the most extreme endurance race in the world.
Predictably after the recent climate negotiations the usual contingent of climate-change sceptics voiced their opinions.
Overall hosting of the COP
At the risk of alienating some of you, here is my two cents' worth on the tolling of our roads.
Everything we've experienced about the traffic situation in Johannesburg has been confirmed.
Cruising around Johannesburg, you can clearly see that more and more people have opted for an alternative to the traditional house on a large piece of land with a white palisade fence.
Once in my biology class I watched in wonder as yeast in a grape juice-filled Petri dish multiplied uncontrollably.
It was a shock to arrive at Zoo Lake on a Sunday afternoon, with a picnic basket in hand, to find usually picturesque open spaces of the park swamped in rubbish.
Have you heard the story of Easter Island?
FOR the second time this year, municipal workers are on strike.
Leaving last month's "Greening the Future Awards", the words of the boldly charismatic Lewis Pugh rang in my ears: "We need to break this problem down in manageable chunks . make the decision today to live in a sustainable future."