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PLANETARY BOUNDARIES PART 4 OF 9 OCEAN ACIDIFICATION

PART 1 – Stratospheric Ozone Depletion
PART 2 – Loss of Biosphere Integrity 
PART 3 – Climate Change

If you know about climate change, then you will know that burning fossil fuels like oil, coal and gas is releasing carbon into the atmosphere. This carbon affects the ability of the suns rays to be bounced back into space.

Between 30 and 40 percent of this atmospheric carbon is absorbed by the ocean. As the ocean absorbs more carbon dioxide, it becomes more acidic. This increased acidity is killing sea creatures that use calcium carbonate to survive. These include animals with shells like oysters, coral and crabs. Many of these creatures are keystone species which means that they support the ecosystem in a big way. As keystone species collapse, then ecosystems collapse.

What can you do to help?

  • We don’t need a whole car to ourselves if there are other people who travel the same route or go to the same destination near us. Using public transport allows us to read, crochet and communicate with others instead of being stressed out by aggressive traffic. Doing a little bit of homework and setting up a car pool can save you hundreds of rands and it’s fun. If you can ride a bicycle to get where you want then you get to burn fat instead of fuel and your body will thank you for your efforts! It’s a win win all round!  Live close to work or find work close to home. What about working from home?
  • A healthy tree can sequester about 20kgs of carbon dioxide in a year and 1 ton in 40 years. By planting trees, you are sequestering carbon from the atmosphere. You will also be creating shade and reducing the city temperatures, building topsoil, and creating a habitat for wildlife. Trees filter noise, wind and increase property value and they provide shelter and food. You don’t need any help or petitions to plant a tree. Find some indigenous seeds, do a little research and plant some love in the world. If we all planted one tree a week, the world would start going green, literally.
  • Eat from the backyard and not from the shop. You save money, fossil fuels, doctor bills and electricity costs. Who needs refrigeration when your food is fresh and alive in the ground? You may have never grown a tomato before but it’s never to late to learn. By building this skill, you can be more independent than you have imagined. You will also appreciate food more and understand  the energy gone into it. The majority of us cannot say the same for what is on the grocery store shelves. There are horror stories full of poison, deforestation, world hunger, food wastage and abuse of resources lurking in those ingredients. What is even more disturbing is that you are paying for it with your hard earned money and becoming addicted to unhealthy food traced with poison. Stop this cycle of abuse and plant some food bearing seeds in the ground.
  • Recycle, up cycle, reuse and compost what you don’t need so that you produce no trash. If that sounds a little impossible for you, starting an ecobric will get you on the right track. Click here for more about Ecobrics. Join Facebook groups that are about zero waste and find support and knowledge. Join Freecycle – it’s a great way to turn your trash to someone else’s treasure. The more people who join in South Africa, the more useful this platform becomes.  Perhaps their trash becomes your treasure! I have already benefited from this resource by finding building materials for our natural water pool.
  • Get to know your neighbours and community. Strike up a conversation and find creative ways to network. We are sociable creatures and need social systems to thrive. As an African proverbs says, ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.’
  • Invest in clean energy and harvest water. You can reuse your grey water for the garden by making your own biodegradable cleaning products. Guerrilla House regularly hold workshops to learn how to do this effectively. Guerilla House also host many other workshops about permaculture, fermenting foods, growing mushrooms, fertility and more. You can also join their community of willing permaculturists who support each other through permaculture principles. Through this network, I have been given logs to inoculate with mushrooms, biochar for garden fertility, seeds and more.
  • Search with Ecosia instead of Google. They have planted over 40 million trees and offered 1 million Euros to save Germany’s forest from coal mining. I have helped plant 31 trees since using them. That’s enough to offset one plane trip!
  • Watch Surviving Collapse by Geoff Lawton and he will show you how he is greening deserts. The most arid, barren, dry, hot deserts where nothing grows. Read Permaculture – A Designer’s Manual by Bill Mollison and Permaculture – Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability by David Holmgren. This knowledge will empower you to provide for yourself.
  • Invest in an eco loo and build a compost bin. You can use all that water that you were using to flush, for your food garden. Plus, in year’s time, your biowaste would have turned into lovely black compost for your trees. Nature does all the work for you. Soil that has been well dressed with compost holds a good amount of water which means it needs less watering. So you save water by not flushing and you save even more by making compost for your garden. If everyone grew their own food by composting their biowaste, reusing their greywater and using water retaining soil, we could collectively save monumental amounts of water. Commercial agriculture has become so specialized, it misses the essence of good practice which often is low tech.
  • Support small local businesses instead of transnational companies.

The green revolution is in the gardens!

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