There is something so exciting about this time of year. Yes, it rains a great deal in the Western Cape (who’s complaining, it’s not like we get a lot!) but it’s also the time of the coming of the whales to our shores.
I love the whales. These beautiful, gentle, giants show utter trust in humanity when they enter our bays to produce their young. I wouldn’t trust human beings with quite the same level of humility and grace (hey, I know what they’re capable of!) particularly when you take a step back and reflect on the current state of the environment.
Yet people flock in their thousands to reciprocate the confident peace of these great beasts, and to catch a glimpse that leaves each of us feeling touched by something infinitely exceptional.
But back to humans and our commitment to affluence and economic growth at all costs, that is literally costing us the earth. We live in wonderful, yet alarming times where radical changes are called for. Where a profound shift in our value system and our take on the world needs to take place, or there will be little left to enjoy or call our own, and whales will be a distant memory, something about which we tell our grandchildren, but which they will never have the joy of seeing.
This is the second year that the Design for Sustainable Living Expo is on at the Hermanus whale festival, 24th – 28th September. It’s indicative of public concern and a growing interest in all thing green and sustainable. I’m always heartened by individuals and organisations who actively seek to involve individuals in solving the problem – many of us can end up feeling particularly powerless in the face of the doom mongers of global warming, despite its being a very real threat.
At the heart of the sustainable living expo is the issue of coming up with a practical plan of action, involving individual households. This year focuses on planning in urban and non-urban areas, as well as information on agricultural practice and food security.
Topics include home and workplace design, alternative energy, water, recycling, transport and recreation, so head down to Gearing Point in Hermanus to find out how you can do your bit to living in a more sustainable way. And let the whales be reminder of how close we are to letting it all just slip through our fingers …