Travel Gallery: Cape Town, South Africa

About Travel Galleries

As indicated in the name “Permaculture Journeys”, our lifestyle is nomadic; and discovering new places is one of the best things about it.
Travelling expands our horizons both in geographical and spiritual terms; it allows us to appreciate the beauty of the world and renew our commitment to protect it.

If you have read about our Vision on our About Us page, you know already that it encompasses “[…] inspiring and empowering people to care for themselves, all life form and the environment”.
And so I have created a “Travel Gallery” series to do just that; as I hope that showing people the beautiful places we visit will inspire a sense of gratitude and love. And as Louie Schwartzberg channeled it so well in his 10min TEDx talk in San Francisco in 2011, “we protect what we fall in love with”:

Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town was the first overseas trip Tobi and I did after leaving my corporate job and embracing this new life. It was in March 2017, at the occasion of a friend’s wedding.
This photo gallery will show you the surroundings of Cape Town, including the Table Top Mountain, the region of Paarl and vineyards all the way down to Betty’s Bay on the coast, as well as The Cape of Good Hope National Park.
We only spent 10 days there, and even in such a short time, we experienced the consequences of climate change and environmental challenges.

  • On our way down to Betty’s Bay, the road was closed and we had to turn back because of massive bushfires that burnt thousands of hectares. I have heard that many baboons and other wildlife suffered immensely, both in loss of habitat as well as in deaths and injuries. Loss of biodiversity is a major issue. You can read about soon that in our upcoming article about Forests & Biodiversity. I will activate the link when published in the next few weeks.
  • Every time we would drive along the highway, we could read messages on the electronic road panels about the drought and water crisis. The day that we left, there were only 107 days left of water supply in the area. 

Water Crisis

Every year since, I have read on the news about this water crisis repeating itself every summer in South Africa. And the problem is spreading, with Australia experiencing serious drought problems as well in the last months. When we visited France in summer 2017, the grass in Nice on the mediterranean sea had become straw, literally, i.e. completely yellow and burnt. Even Belgium, which is quite known for regular grey skies and rainfalls experienced some drought in summer 2018. And this is only going to become worse overtime if we don’t change the way we consume water. 

What can we do

There are many ways to save water and I’m thinking about adding this topic to my list of blog posts for a future publication. Meanwhile, here are a few strategies you could implement:

  • Take shorter showers, 3-5 min should be plenty; and avoid baths most of the time.
  • Turn off the tap when you wash your hands or brush your teeth.
  • Drink tap water and avoid bottled water. Invest in a water filter (jug or other system of your choice) to filter-out the chloride, fluoride and any unpleasant taste that is typical with town water.
  • If your dishwasher or washing machine needs replacement, choose a high water saving rating (the little blue stars).
  • If you wash your dishes by hand, use a couple of basins instead of letting the water run for every item. Use one basin to wash / soap, and the other to rinse.
  • Reduce your consumption of animal products. It takes much more water to produce 1kg of beef or 1L of milk than 1Kg of plants. Plant-based diets are the most efficient in terms of land and water usage. If you’d like to learn more about plant-based nutrition, you can read about that here.
  • If you have a front or backyard, you could turn your lawn into a permaculture garden. Feel free to check-out our design consultancy package.
  • Favour food that is local and seasonally-grown. Chances are they will be more adapted to your local climate. 
If you can think of any other strategies, feel free to share them in the comments below !

And for now, happy travels in South Africa !

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