News briefs

Posted by Laura Grant on December 19, 2008
Posted in Green News

  • BOTTLE STOPPERS: Students at Britain’s Leeds University have voted to ban bottled still water from all their bars, cafes and shops. More than 30,000 pounds in profits reportedly will be lost from the sale of around 20,000 bottles of water a year to students by the university union’s outlets. “It’s a measure of concern about the environment, putting sustainability before profit,” Tom Salmon of Leeds University Union told the Guardian. Bottled water will be replaced by water fountains and “affordable, reusable water bottles”, and a campaign will promote tap water. [Source: Guardian] (Thank you to Anna on Twitter for the link)
  • BUY EVERY MOUNTAIN: Capetonians were shocked to discover this week that Hout Bay’s landmark Sentinel mountain, which has been described as one of Cape Town’s most photographed features, has been put up for sale for a mere R12-million. Many people had been under the impression that the mountain was part of a national park. The fact that it is privately owned raises concerns that the mountain may be developed – Hout Bay is a very popular, upmarket, residential suburb. South African National Parks has apparently made “several offers” to buy the Sentinel, but they have been rejected. Any attempts to develop the land are likely to be met by fierce resistance from environmentalists. The estate agent involved in the sale was quoted as saying: “It’s quite unusual for a mountain to be up for sale. Whoever buys it will probably do so to be able to say: ‘I own that mountain’.” [Source: IOL]
  • POWERING DOWN: The government has retrofitted 4,000 buildings with energy-saving equipment, saving R56-million a year in electricity costs, the deputy president, Baleka Mbete, told an energy saving conference earlier this month. It aims to eventually make every government facility energy efficient. Ms Mbete urged ordinary South Africans not to waste power. She also warned that Eskom will be carrying out routine maintenance to its infrastructure in January. This time last year rolling blackouts cost the economy billions of rands. [Source: BuaNews]
  • SHORING UP: The Netherlands is spending  billions of dollars on reinforcing its dykes amid  fears of flooding from rising sea levels as a result of climate change. Two-thirds of the country  lies below sea level. It is also investing in augmenting its fresh water supplies. [Source: AFP via TerraDaily]

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