Joburgers were eco-friendly long before the streets of Sandton were closed off

Joburgers are serious about going green, it’s not just the latest fad. It’s an alternative hipster lifestyle that separates the the cool peeps from the (global) warmers.  It’s safe to say Joburg is not just a pretty city, its an environmentally sensitive zone. And green is definitely the new black in the city of gold. Its going greener everyday and most of the city’s inhabitants embracing global cooling in very cool ways.

Thrift shopping

Many cool peeps in Jozi wear vintage or second hand clothing. Thrift markets are popping up everywhere and Joburgers love them because they are affordable and trendy. Thrifting allows styles to be shared and limits to be broken. At such affordable prices, why not.

Shopping the green way 

Shopping malls are getting greener and greener, one such space is 27Boxes. This mall is made of shipping containers, it has an edgy and sleek look that will make any shopper happy to spend money there.

 

SHOPPING THE GREEN WAY: Jozi shoppers, enjoy shopping the environmentally friendly way. Photo: Michelle Gumede

SHOPPING THE GREEN WAY: Jozi shoppers, enjoy shopping the environmentally friendly way. Photo: Michelle Gumede

Snazzy shopping bags

Reusable shopping bags can be seen hanging off the shoulders of the trendiest peeps in Joburg, from celebrities to ordinary Witsies. These bags are fashionable and eco friendly- made from recycled materials.

GEORGEOUS RUBBISH: Trendy shopping bags made from recyclable materials are hot in Jozi. Photo: Michelle Gumede

GEORGEOUS RUBBISH: Trendy shopping bags made from recyclable materials are hot in Jozi. Photo: Michelle Gumede

All naturelle body care 

Earth friendly body products are the “in” thing for the ladies of Joburg. The Africology range of beauty products is popular because not only is it cheap but they use natural ingredients to make their lathering body creams and scrubs. Having started their company in Johannesburg, the brand can now be found in hotels and spas across the world.

Healthy eating is healthy living

Most peeps in Joburg enjoy eating healthy because ‘green’ food is no longer rabbit food. Restaurants like Kauai are creating tasty and trendy meals for the everyday person. They have awesome smoothies made from “super foods’ which are healthy fruits and veggies that give you a boost when you need it.

Internet Madness

Everything is going digital! The postal office is becoming an endangered species because Jozi is going digital. Even students get their fees statements online, people are shopping online, even cabs like Uber are using the digital space to do business.

In a bid to reduce paper usage, internet in Johannesburg has gone viral! Everyone uses internet, for EVERYTHING from online shopping to online school fees statements. According to the City of Joburg, internet usage has trebbled to over 12 million since the year 2000. Nine of the 12 major internet service providers listed Internet Service Providers Association by are based right here in Jozi.

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Green Money

Even our money in Joburg is going green

MONEY, MONEY, MONEY: Our banks are going green. Graphic: Michelle Gumede

MONEY, MONEY, MONEY: Our banks are going green. Graphic: Michelle Gumede

 

Banks like Nedbank are committed to climate change through their Corporate Social Investment programs. As a a signatory to the Carbon Disclosure Project, Nedbank received an A-minus rating for transparency and performance. This bank is leading in sustainable business practices as their policy is strongly focused on climate change issues and sustainable banking.

Architecture

51% of Jozi buildings in the commercial sector are expected to be going green by the end of 2015 according to the McGraw and Hills World. There are long term financial benefits to going green for corporate companies including increased rental rates and asset value, reduced risk of depreciation, and higher tenant attraction and retention rates. The Green Building Council South Africa uses a green star rating system to determine how environmentally friendly buildings are built and operated.

The WWF Building in Braamfontein is one of the most cutting edge green buildings in Jozi, they have their own water purification system, light sensitive blinds and the building itself is made up of reused material.

Transport system

In an initiative to reduce carbon emmissions, the City of Joburg has embarked on a campaign to promote cycling in the city. Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau launched Cycle week in March to demonstrate the city’s commitment to cycling.

Designated cycle lanes have been set up to allow for cyclists to travel safely. Cyling lanes are patrolled and monitored by a patrol unit which is set up by the Metro Police. 31 people have been fined for parking in the cycle lanes while six cars have been impounded. Other forms of public transport like the Gautrain and the Rea vaya rapid bus system contribute to lower carbon emissions in the city.

CYCLING IN THE CITY: Joburgers love cycling and our Mayor Parks Tau agrees. Photo: Michelle Gumede

CYCLING IN THE CITY: Joburgers love cycling and our Mayor Parks Tau agrees. Photo: Michelle Gumede

The arbor city

Johannesburg is an arbor city which means that majority of the trees found in the city are planted. If there were no humans were settled here then there would literally be no trees in this semi arid space. Arbor week is celebrated from 1- 7 September every year.

EVER GREEN CITY: Luscious plants cover every corner of Johannesburg. Photo: Michelle Gumede

EVER GREEN CITY: Luscious plants cover every corner of Johannesburg. Photo: Michelle Gumede

Cars

Eco friendly vehicles can be spotted all over Johannesburg. These cars emit less harmful fumes into the environment and have a positive

The Nissan Leaf, the Toyota Prius and the Porche Panamera S e-Hybrid are some of the popular environmentally friendly cars around. The Nissan Leaf for instance runs on electricity and its laminated lithium ion batteries can be charged at home or at any other electrical station. It has zero emissions and a low internal combustion engine allowing it to reach high speeds. The Eco mobility world festival is currently happening in Johannesburg until the end of the month.

ECO DRIVING: Earth friendly cars can be spotted across the city. Photo: Provided

ECO DRIVING: Earth friendly cars can be spotted across the city. Photo: Provided

 

Businesses reducing their carbon footprint

Energy saving measures are business as usual as retailers like Woolworths. By using Energy efficient store lighting, natural gas refrigeration and solar power theyre business model is built around the concept of being green. Their farming for the future initiative is a campaign to save water and have less chemical runoff through their farms. Fabric suppliers also adhere to high standards of sustainability when it comes to dyes, materials and chemicals.

RESPONSIBLE BUSINESSES: Sustainability is a large part of most businesses in Jozi. Photo: Michelle Gumede

RESPONSIBLE BUSINESSES: Sustainability is a large part of most businesses in Jozi. Photo: Michelle Gumede

Schools going green

Schools in Johannesburg are going green by planting veggie gardens.  Today’s primary school students, like those of Sunward Park use the digital medium to interact with learning material. saving paper saving the trees!!

GREEN KIDS: Vegetable gardens can be spotted at many Joburg schools. Children in Jozi are enthusiastic about saving our planet. Photo: Michelle Gumede

GREEN KIDS: Vegetable gardens can be spotted at many Joburg schools. Children in Jozi are enthusiastic about saving our planet. Photo: Michelle Gumede

Recycling

Is big business in Jozi for both the rich and the homeless. This trend is one that helps the homeless in Jozi make ends meet while businesses get to enjoy the long term benefits of responsible recycling.

SMART CITY DWELLERS: Recycling helps homeless people make extra money in Joburg. Photo: Michelle Gumede

SMART CITY DWELLERS: Recycling helps homeless people make extra money in Joburg. Photo: Michelle Gumede

 

RECYCLE, REDUCE, REUSE: Joburgers dispose dangerous batteries in safe and environmentally friendly ways. Local supermarkets put out these boxes to assist communal recycling. Photo: Michelle Gumede

RECYCLE, REDUCE, REUSE: Joburgers dispose dangerous batteries in safe and environmentally friendly ways. Local supermarkets put out these boxes to assist communal recycling. Photo: Michelle Gumede

Solar geysers

Residential spaces like Alexandra township have taken to installing solar geysers in their homes. This has resulted in lower electricity bills and of course a greener city.

GREEN HOUSEHOLDS: Many homes in the city supplement their electricity supply with solar power. Photo: Michelle Gumede

GREEN HOUSEHOLDS: Many homes in the city supplement their electricity supply with solar power. Photo: Michelle Gumede

Chill out spots are greener than ever

The city has dedicated a whole department to oversee the 20 000 hectres of green open spaces that hosts over 2000 recreational parks, cemeteries and botanical gardens.

Currently, the Zoo has 326 species consisting of 2 096 specimens housed within 54ha area. The collection consist of 20 Amphibia (Frogs), 5 Arachnida (Spiders), 128 Aves (Birds), 47 Reptilia (Reptiles), 25 Osteichthyes (Pisces- Fish) and 101 Mammalia (Mammals).parks. this includes botanical gardens, the city zoo and cemetaries.

GREEN PUBLIC SPACES: Johannesburg has a variety of places like the Johannesburg Zoo, where people of all ages can hangout and spend time close to nature. photo: Provided

GREEN PUBLIC SPACES: Johannesburg has a variety of places like the Johannesburg Zoo, where people of all ages can hangout and spend time close to nature. photo: Provided

Sandton shutdown

The way Joburgers are so serious about going green, even the financial hub of Africa, Sandton City, is shutting down for the entire duration of October to cut down emissions. The EcoMobility World festival and exhibition is an initiative that aims to close down all roads. Only public transport, cyclists and pedestrians are allowed to use the streets.

ECO MOBILITY IN THE CITY: The streets of Sandton, the economic hub of Jozi, will be shut down in October. In a bid to cut down harmful emissions caused by heavy traffic. Photo: Provided

ECO MOBILITY IN THE CITY: The streets of Sandton, the economic hub of Jozi, will be shut down in October. In a bid to cut down harmful emissions caused by heavy traffic. Photo: Provided

Mannequins 

Woolworths Urban fashion store RE: has mannequins that are made from recycled materials. Now if that is not eco friendly then, what is?

EARTH FRIENDLY FASHION: Looking good and taking care of the environment are not mutually exclusive concepts in Johannesburg. Photo: Provided

EARTH FRIENDLY FASHION: Looking good and taking care of the environment are not mutually exclusive concepts in Johannesburg. Photo: Provided

Enough talk about green talk, Joburgers LOVE a bit of color!

 

LGBTI

Food, glorious Braamfontein food!

braam sign

Braamfontein, one of Johannesburg’s oldest suburbs, boasts a unique food culture with modern twists on hundreds of classic recipes. The 162-year-old suburb, which has undergone a 13 year process of urban renewal, has seen entrepreneurs transform abandoned buildings into trendy restaurant spaces, artisanal shops and business centres.

And, it doesn’t matter what time of the day you pop into the area, because there is always something to tickle your taste buds. Here are 19 must try food & drink treats:

1. Early birds’ breakfast: Post, on Juta, prides itself on feeding the early birds in Braam. Opening at 6:30am every weekday, this five-year-old cafe serves a flapjack, bacon, Greek yogurt, honey and fruit breakfast which is a crowd favourite. Owner Dave Hayes says it’s their “most popular breakfast on the menu,” and setting you back only R 42.00, it’s easy to see why.

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2. Mid-morning coffee boost: If Friday night’s shenanigans give you a heavy head, pop into Double Shot coffee shop on Juta, for a boost of the Kenyan Masai espresso. “It tastes like gummy berry juice, with its black current and dark berry flavours,” says coffee connoisseur, Ori Cohen.

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3. Pizza perfect: Your lunch plans will never go wrong with 86 Public‘s gourmet pizza and a glass of sparkling wine, on a sunny day in the Square on Juta.

4. Wholesome & healthy: If pizza isn’t your thing, try the Quinoa salad at Anti Est on De Beer Street. Rocket and mint leaves provide a fresh body to the dish, with a hint of sweetness from the peppadews and a tangy pop from the lemon dressing . Cashew nuts and goats cheese adds contrasting textures which give the salad a smooth and crunchy, yet rounded finish. Well worth R 99-00!

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5. Cocktail complements: Despite its risqué name, their Porn Star Martini and a shot of sparkling wine pairs perfectly with the freshness of the salad.

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6. Tea anyone? : Give afternoon traffic a skip and try Double Shot’s Earl Grey latte.

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Cohen says the latte ” is really interesting and tasty, with milk, but you wouldn’t expect it or regret trying it.” We know we didn’t regret it!

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7. Diner dinner: Ever heard of a  deep fried Mac ‘n Cheese burger? Well, Mr. Big Stuff,  located  on Melle street, is a modern take on the classic American diner with its burgers and shakes. “We wanted to stay away from the hipster, cafe style trend,” says co-owner, Shane Durrant. “We don’t do a brie and cranberry burger, we do the diner classics!” Beef patty and a layer of deep fried mac ‘n cheese? Yes please!

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8. Classicshakes: And it wouldn’t be an American diner experience without a chocolate & peanut butter milkshake.

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9. Gourmet burger: If you’re looking for something a little fancier, then The Burger at Anti Est is a must! Fluffy matchstick fries accompany a moist, handmade beef patty topped with roasted baby peppers and mozzarella cheese. “I created these flavour combinations so that when someone bites into the burger, their mouth is full of different flavours and not just the meat flavour,” says head chef, Alona Yizhaky.IMG_2593

10. Cocktail hour: Most delicious cocktail in Braam – Cousin Mary, also at Anti Est. A hint of vodka, a splash of gin, some fresh litchi and mint… Hello weekend!

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11. Beer instead? If you prefer beer, then choose from a selection of craft beers at the Neighbourgoods Market on Juta, over the weekend.

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12. Weekend spoils: The Neighbourgoods Market is a foodie’s heaven, but be sure you arrive early! So while you wait for opening at 9am, grab a sweet, sticky pretzel, covered in slivered almonds (R10) and a coffee at Daleah’s eatery down the road on De Beer Street.

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13. Neighbourgoods Market: In the mood for a weekend cheat? Buy cake and eat!

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There are countless sweet treats to get your hands on from a variety of cake, candy and patisserie stalls at the market.

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14. Japanese Dim Sum: A savoury snack platter of four dumplings and a Hong Kong pear is well worth R50-00 at the market’s DimSumFest stall. Filled with crab & cream cheese, chicken & coriander and spinach & cream cheese, the dumplings are delicious, but the Hong Kong pear steals the show.

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15. Hong Kong pear: “I wanted to make something that would showcase my creativity,” says chef, Canny Sbu Msongelwa, and that’s exactly what he did. Filled with spring onion, spicy chicken and cream cheese, the intriguing looking pear is surprisingly fluffy and flavoursome once you bite into its golden crust.

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16. Crumbed chicken and fries: The market’s Sumtin Fresh stall likes to keep the street food scene real with their fried chicken strips on a bed of fries, topped with cheese, mayo and a sweet chilli sauce.

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And they might not do the chicken dance, but their chicken has them singing for customers all day:

17. Seafood Paella: It’s impossible to walk by Tutto Food Co. at the market and not stop for their seafood paella. They draw inspiration from Italian and French heritage and create what they call “Afro-Mediterranean” food. IMG_9310

18. Breads: Nothing can replace the taste and smell of freshly baked bread on the weekend. You can grab a loaf or two from a selection of breads at the market every Saturday and Sunday.

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19. Sunday smoothie: There’s nothing like a refreshing fruit smoothie at the market on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Grab a cool one as you head home for a late afternoon snooze, as the weekend draws to a close.

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The truth about two-minute Noodles

Instant noodles are a popular meal enjoyed around the world. But while many consume them regularly, most are not aware of what goes into their favourite cheap eat.

CHICKEN ALA NOODLE: A quick and easy way to move from 'instant noodles' to a 'meal'. Photo: Sibongile Machika

CHICKEN ALA NOODLE: A quick and easy way to move from ‘instant noodles’ to a ‘meal’. Photo: Sibongile Machika

Instant noodles, everybody loves them. They’re cheap and super easy to make.

“Every bowl of instant noodles we consume is high in carbohydrates, sodium and other food additives”

But while instant noodles can satisfy your hunger and are great for your budget, there are some important facts that you should know about this popular food.

Every bowl of instant noodles we consume is high in carbohydrates, sodium and other food additives that aren’t good for your body. This is according to a study, published in 2014 by The Journal of Nutrition based on data from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2007-2009.

Using the surveys data, researchers examined the diets of a total of 10,711 adults between the ages of 19-64. The survey showed that consumption of instant noodles two or more times a week was associated with a higher occurrence of metabolic syndrome in women.

Instant noodles and the flavouring soup base in each packet contain high amounts of monosodium glutamate (MSG). Which is the flavour enhancer that makes your beef flavours taste “beefier”. But as tasty as that may be, MSG consumption has been linked to other diseases such as cancer.

Aside from containing substances which can pose some risks to your health, instant noodles are also low in nutritional value. No to mention that they contain substances that reduce the body’s nutrient absorption ability and have a negative effect in the digestion process.

But In case you’re still not sure about how bad instant noodles are for you, TEDxManhattan published a video in 2011 that showed how our bodies digest instant noodles compared to organic noodles. In the video, the ingredient tertiary-Butylhydroquinone (TBHQ) is named as a possible reason for the differences. TBHQ is an anti-oxidant derived from petroleum that is commonly used as a preservative.

While instant noodles may not be that healthy, they certainly are cheap. The challenge I guess is balancing our budget while keeping in mind that the food we may be eating may be detrimental to your health.

Education campus caterer stays put

The catering company for Wits Education campus is set to stay put, at least for another year, along with its costly menu.

Students on the campus were hoping that a change in caterer would provide more cost-effective options but the company, Olives & Plates has just received a one year extension from Wits University.

The contract

Deputy director of Wits Services Nicholas Matthes, in response to questions about the extension, said, “The tender committee selected Olives & Plates as the preferred operator,” said Matthes. Although the contract has been secured for 2014, an agreement for the duration of 2015 has not been reached yet.

Last week Wits Vuvuzela reported that students on education campus were unhappy about the cost of food at Olives & Plates. Many students said they wanted more variety in food retailers on campus, and specifically, more affordable options.

Njabulo Mkhize, former Education School Council (ESC) vice-president said he was aware that Olives & Plates was a retailer which provided quality food.“It goes through testing and all that, but the issue is whether or not this service they are providing is financially viable for students”

The tender proccess

Olives & Plates currently complies with the tender criteria from the Wits services department which includes nutritional value, attention to current trends as well as cost for various types of menu items.

Matthes said 2013 had been “a year of significance” for the food industry as economic pressures saw food prices soar. Alongside these economic pressures, a global horsemeat scandal rocked consumers all over the world.  In light of this, Wits services invested time and effort into building strong relationships with credible suppliers adding the ingredient of “trust”.

Possibility of a new retailer?

It is unlikely that education campus will get another food retailer on the campus.  According to Matthes, feasibility, sustainability and space allocation play a role in the selection of a suitable operator. “It is not feasible to have more than one operator on campus,” he said.

The Wits services department told Wits Vuvuzela they were in talks with Olives & Plates in order to determine the best way of engaging with students to get specific feedback in relation to the service delivery.

The department would ensure “that a broad variety of products and price range is available to the variety of clientele,” said Matthes.

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