Falling in Love with the Greener Side of Life

As I mentioned in my last blog post, Who Wants to be a Tree-llionare with Greenpop, I am taking part in a competition to win a trip to Trees for Zambia with GreenPOP (read all about it in said blog post). Part of this competition is to write certain themed blog posts every week to help raise awareness for the campaign as well as spread a little bit of green love. I am a terrible blogger and already behind in the posts…so here I am trying to catch-up 🙂

The second weeks theme centers around how you incorporate sustainability into your life, and how you live the Greenpop way.

While I could harp on about recycling, watching my water usage, cutting down of car usage blah blah, I would rather talk about how I strive to keep falling in love with nature. Because when you love something, you want to look after it.

I live in Johannesburg, a city often thought of by outsiders as the ‘Big Smoke’, rigged with pollution, concrete buildings, high fences and non-stop traffic jams. Yes, we have those things. But we also have trees…a lot of trees. According to Joburg.org.za we have 6 million trees in Johannesburg.

One of the best places to appreciate how many trees Joburg has is to take a trip up to to Northcliff Water Tower. Here you will get the most amazing view of the green Joburg Suburbs.

Joburg Suburbs from Northcliff Water Tower

Yes, our urban forest is man-made. But it is still beautiful and makes our city quite spectacular.

We can tell that winter is starting to creep in when the tall Oak Trees that line the streets in Rosebank and surrounding suburbs start dropping their leaves on the streets and side-walks. The sound of the crunch beneath your feet as you walk over them still sends a rush of childlike excitement through my veins.

And then, when we are all getting depressed and feeling like we will never again have green and colour in our life, while everything looks dry and brown from the long dry Joburg winter, the bright sprigs of purple start appearing on our streets. It’s time for the Jacaranda Trees to have their moment of shine. We get excited, snap pictures of as many purple dotted streets as we can, and rejoice because summer is coming!

It’s these small things that remind me how important trees are, and how much I really love them. I can’t imagine a Joburg without tall green trees sticking out over the houses in the suburbs. I can’t imagine a world where we aren’t reminded of the change of season by the changing of the leaves colour, or a world where we don’t have a big shady tree to have an afternoon nap under on a hot day. A world without trees sounds pretty awful.

It’s appreciating how important trees are in our life that I practice the GreenPOP way. It’s not forgetting to stop and admire a pretty flower that I cross paths with, its stopping on the side of the road to take a picture of a tree that has interesting branches, its going for picnics in our beautiful parks and lying under a big leafy tree with friends, and its not forgetting how lucky I am to be able to do all of these things.

Being grateful and mindful of your environment is the first step in making sure that you look after it.

Here are a few photos that I’ve taken over the years of the various trees around Joburg.

Please spread the love, and help a blogger out. I am raising trees for GreenPOP on this GivenGain page – http://www.givengain.com/activist/117275/projects/. Donations can be done within minutes. A quick and simple way to make a BIG change to the environment. Pop over and donate a tree or two 🙂

There is also something in it for you, everyone who purchases a tree will be entered into a lottery to win a stay at Umlani Lodge for two days and two nights.


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