What are you doing this Earth Day?

Sunday April 22 marks the 42nd annual Earth Day, a global event meant to celebrate the Earth and raise awareness for environmental causes.

So what can you do to celebrate? Here are some ideas!


Buy an indigenous plant

Go to your local nursery and get yourself a new plant, indigenous of course! Be on the lookout for the Spekboom (Portulacaria Afra). Spekboom has an exceptional ability to take big quantities of carbon dioxide out of the air and convert it oxygen.  Ongoing research shows that 1ha of Spekboom can covert cargon dioxide to an average of 4.2t of oxygen per year.  (This makes South Africa very popular on the international carbon dioxide sequestration commercial market)


Porkbush (source: http://www.herbgarden.co.za)

Have a picnic at one of the Botanical Gardens

We have about 15 botanical gardens all over South Africa, and with their lush gardens, trees and birds, it makes the perfect picnic spot! Take some sandwiches, lemonade and biltong and enjoy the outdoors. Just don’t forget to take your blanket!

You can find more info about the Botanical Gardens here:



Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden (source: http://www.sanbi.org)


Have a romantic candle-lit dinner with your loved one.

What a great excuse to turn off the lights and get cosy. Lit a few candles, enjoy a home cooked meal, and use the fire place for extra warmth. Who thought celebrating Earth Day could be so good? ;)


Go on a hiking trail

This is a great way to experience fresh air, fauna and flora all at the same time. South Africa has a huge variety of awesomely scenic hiking trails. Hiking trails are not only for the experienced hiker, there are many trails that are more than suitable for the beginner. All you need is a good pair of takkies, a water bottle, sunscreen and a hat. Check out some of the beautiful trails here:





(source: http://www.southafrica.info/travel/adventure/hiking.htm)



Why not extend Earth Day and make into an Earth Week. Try out these fun activities and let me know what you thought of it!




Spekboom Trees http://www.indigenousflora.co.za/index.php?page_id=15&page=Spekboom




What’s the fuss about…Geranium?

Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) is an aromatic perennial shrub about 1m high, with serrated leaves and small pink flowers. For the gardeners, it is grown for ornamental purposes, but some varieties are used in the perfume industry. Aromatherapists would be well aware of Geranium, as it is known for its balancing and uplifting properties. The essential oil has a sweet aroma similiar to Rose, but with the sharpness of Bergamot.  In Afrikaans, it’s also known as the “malva”.

I am really fond of most products that include Geranium. The smell is divine! Usually I do not like flowery fragrances, so the geranium came as a surprise. It settles to a soft rosy-sweet, minty scent. (And just a warning, the smell may become addictive! ;)

Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)

Did you know… Pelargonium graveolens is indigenous to South Africa! Perfect excuse to go buy some now at your local nursery!

 For gardeners: This plant can be propagated by means of stem and tip cuttings, or seed. Cuttings root well when dipped into a suitable rooting hormone and then placed in trays filled with coarse river sand. The trays should be kept in cold frames. Optimum rooting time is autumn (March – May) and Spring (September – November). Seed can be sown in spring, summer and autumn.

Beauty and Aromatherapy uses: Helps to balance the sebum secreted by the sebaceous glands and keeps the skin supple by moisturising it. Also good for congested, oily skin. As a diuretic it helps the lymphatic system by relieving congestion and the fluid retention that leads to swelling. Said to be helpful for anxiety and depression (related to hormones) and will lift spirits.


Hoare, J. (2010). Aromatherapy Tutor: A structured course to achieve professional expertise. Octopus Publishing Group Ltd: London

Lawrence, E. (2002). Pelargonium graveolens. <http://www.plantzafrica.com/plantnop/pelarggrav.htm&gt; (Accessed 15 April 2012)

About Me


Cooking should be simple and uncomplicated. Although I consider myself a foodie (if I am not reading cookbooks, I am watching cooking shows), I can also be quite lazy. So if a recipe has too many steps (or leaves you with too many dishes), I give it a miss. So most of the recipes here should be relatively easy and simple and I also make it as nutritious as I can (without scaring hubby away with too many veggies).  Every now and then, I like to get “fancy” and make something with ingredients that may not be in everyone’s cupboards, but I will try my best to give some substitutions that will also work. Since I also happen to be a food scientist, I might just debunk a few food myths along the way.

I love avocados, feta, thyme and everything made with potatoes. I really dislike cilantro.

My favourite food bloggers are Louisa Clements (www.livinglou.com) and Nagi from Recipetineats.com. I also like cooking recipes from the cookbooks of Alida Ryder and Siba Mtongana. I also find that Good Housekeeping is a treasure trove of easy recipes!


I really love to travel. Over the past few years, hubby and I have travelled to a number of places in South Africa and I am always amazed to see the natural diversity we have in our country. Although I currently live in the Western Cape, I am originally from Bloemfontein, so a holiday for me does not necessarily have to be at the ocean. If there is wide open spaces (perhaps with no cell reception), then I will love it!

Favourite holiday destinations: Devoet Padkloof (Mpumalanga) and Natures Valley (Western Cape).


This blog was originally called “Green Thinkin“, so you might still notice old posts regarding natural products and reviews I did. I decided not to delete these, since I have spent many hours creating these posts!


Look deep, deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. (Albert Einstein)