How To Be A Nature Conservationist At Home? Eight Products Giving Back To Wildlife…
I’ve always been an animal lover. Ever since I was a child I originally wanted to be a game ranger or veterinarian. However, the more you get older, the more you become aware of the cruelty in the world around you.
In all honesty, I don’t think I’d be able to handle the emotional and mental strains. I mean I cried for a week when my budgie died, (I was six years old) Not so long ago I cried for a month when my cat died, I still get all emotional. When I see our innocent animals being mangled and slaughtered for what, I just can’t stand it. AND FOR WHAT??? Their horns?, their paws? their fins? Or whatever sick idea people tend to think gives them a status symbol of power, wealth and success. 😡😡😡
It fills me with rage to see these gorgeous animals slaughtered for no real purpose. Please don’t tell me rhino horn has magical healing properties. Rhino horn is made up of keratin – the same protein which forms the basis of our hair and nails.
Here Are a Few Very Sad Statistics For You!
In the last 10 years 9885 African rhinos have been poached. The current poaching crises began in 2008 throughout the African continent where rhinos were killed for their horns.
There were 1349 rhinos slaughtered for their horns in 2015, a record number. South Africa has the highest concentration of rhinos in the world; which was also the hardest hit with regards to poaching. Between 2013 – 2017 more than 1000 rhinos were butchered and killed just for their horns. Though numbers have dropped significantly, each and every day a rhino is killed.
Unfortunately, as lockdown restrictions started to lift, criminal syndicates started to take their opportunities to find rhinos again, causing poaching to increase by 13% since 2020.
Sadly though in 2021, 451 rhinos were killed in South Africa. First time in six years South Africa has recorded an increase in rhino poaching incidents.
As lockdowns were in force across the world, and in particular, curfew laws in place in South Africa, it would have been much harder for poachers to get into a reserve to kill a rhino and then smuggle its horn out of the country, without being noticed.
Rhino populations are at a tipping point. We cannot afford to lose any more rhinos: we must do everything possible to protect the last few remaining population of Rhino’s to help their numbers increase.
But My Boozy Kitchen, what can we do? Well the obvious solution is to support non profit organisation with donations, but there are so many where does one actually begin?
One of the most easiest and best way is to simply support products that gives back to wildlife. Therefore it is a win win for everyone.
Today my dear animal and booze lovers, I will share with you my favourite eight products that gives back to wildlife!
Products Giving Back to Wildlife #1 – Just Listen!
The first amazing product that gives back to wildlife is a very special playlist put together by the WWF. We all been going through rough times – it has been COVID, lockdown, booze ban, now we sit with loadshedding, petrol hikes, job uncertainties and who knows what all else we have to go through.
Thankfully the WWF South Africa is putting us all in touch with nature by launching a restful playlist of unique sounds and features of Africa’s natural heritage all for enjoyment in the comfort of your own home.
The WWF playlist, titled ‘Bring Nature Inside’, captures the soundscapes of our beautiful natural world. It also features the sounds of projects and areas where WWF is actively working.
“We wanted to allow people to experience the richness of nature. With many of us feeling overwhelmed by the current state of the world and the unique disruptions we are facing, it is imperative for us to take care of our mental and emotional well-being. Nature provides the perfect ‘escape’ that we need during this time.
Fostering a connection with nature during these unsettling times is essential for our well-being and a reminder of the ways in which we can look after our environment, especially as the world searches for a new normal in how we live“Justin Smith, head of business development at WWF South Africa.
From enchanting sounds of rhino translocations, to soothing backdrop of a free-flowing river or the rhythmic sound of the Atlantic Ocean. Each authentic track features immersive sounds with a description bringing together the beauty and significance of our natural resources. It showcases the hard work that the WWF is doing in protecting South Africa’s natural heritage.
A total of 10-hour mix of different calming and inspirational tracks, the WWF SA soundscapes can be enjoyed in any setting; whether you are working, exercising, cooking, gardening or simply taking a break from your home desk.
For access to the WWF SA Soundscape Playlist you can visit wwf.org.za or click on the below links:
- 1. SoutPansberg
- 2. HighVeld
- 3. Fishing
- 4. Rhino
- 5. Beach
- 6. Bees
- 7. Sugarbird
- 9. Windfarm
- 10. Pastures
Every time a track is streamed, WWF will earn/royalties modest amount of much-needed money (at no cost to the platform user) to put towards its conservation efforts.
Products Giving Back To Wildlife #2 – Wixworth Gin!
This is still one of my ULTIMATE FAVOURITE Gins. You can read my full Wixworth Gin Review Here!
Nature is the lifeblood of humankind’s existence and we are all connected to the natural world around us.
It’s a dependency is admired by people for centuries. Even to this very day people travel from all over the world to see South Africa’s rich wildlife and biodiversity.
This very natural life is no under threat. We have poaching and illegal trawling which is soaring due to illegal wildlife trade! Not only that but our entire ecosystems is being steam-rolled by urban, industrial and mining developments making way for agriculture, biofuel production and coal-fired power stations.
The National Red List assessments indicates that already 100 000 known South African fauna and flora species, 10% of birds and frogs, 20% of mammals, 13% of plants, and as much as 82% of main river ecosystems are threatened, along with 50% of wetlands which have already been destroyed.
Conservationists like Elise Serfontein are fighting HARD for the future of South Africa’s wildlife and biodiversity. Through the non-profit organisation, StopRhinoPoaching.com, Elise raises awareness and funds to combat rhino poaching and calls upon every South African to take action.
“We are all connected to nature. Our survival depends on it and if we let it slip, there’s no getting it back. The rhino is a symbol of our wild spaces and South Africa is the species’ last remaining stronghold. If we don’t act now, iconic species like rhino will become symbols of humankind’s failure as custodians of our planet!”Elise Serfontein.
So what does a Gin got to do with wildlife?
Well Wixworth Gin’s connection to wildlife lies in the unique botanical, renosterbos!
This indigenous shrub is the very essence of Wixworth Classic Gin’s flavour creating a link to the brand’s rhino conservation initiative.
Renosterbos or ‘rhino bush’ gets its name from the majestic creatures that once roamed freely across South Africa. When the bush is dried in the sun, the colour of the shrub’s leaves is compared to the same shade of grey of a rhino’s hide.
Just FYI – This is where the Swartland gets its name from!
“Renosterbos is the lifeblood of Wixworth Classic Gin, so paying it forward in the name of rhino conservation was a natural fit for the brand. We believe that saving endangered wildlife from extinction is something we can all collectively raise a glass to, which is why we’ve committed to donating a portion of funds generated from each unit sale of Wixworth Classic Gin to StopRhinoPoaching.com,”Zonja Penzhorn, Wixworth brand manager at The Really Great Brand Company (RGBC).
Wixworth recently donated R51 000.00 to StopRhinoPoaching. The proceeds were generated from unit sales of Wixworth Classic Gin and are being used to fund Welgevonden Game Reserve’s K9 unit – a proactive anti-poaching initiative that aims to help secure rhino in the Greater Marakele Security Cluster.
It’s more important than ever for big business and civil society worldwide to play their part in protecting our wildlife and creating a sustainable future. Wixworth urges every South African to #DoOneThingToday to help conserve the world’s biodiversity.
Everytime when you buy a bottle of Wixworth Classic Gin, you are contributing to wildlife conservation! Now is that not a great reason to pour yourself a gin! Gin for the Win is what I always say!!
Wixworth Classic Gin is available from Makro stores nationwide or on Takealot.com and at selected liquor stores and restaurants nationwide, for the recommended retail price of R299.
Products Giving Back To Wildlife #3: Guardian African Gin
Another wonderful boozy product that is on a mission to give back to wildlife is Guardian African Gin or should we rather say is a Guardian of Nature!
With every sip of Guardian African Gin, you are protecting South Africa’s natural resources and taking a stand for conservation.
Guardian African Gin is crafted in small batches in a boutique distillery Gin & Co in White River, a mere 30 minutes’ drive from the world-famous Kruger National Park.
Driven by a quest for authenticity and provenance, only botanicals local to the Lowveld distillery, such as juniper, baobab, spekboom, orange and lemon zest, are wild harvested to craft a most flavourful gin in a “London Dry Gin” style.
10% of each Guardian Gin purchase helps SANParks protect our endangered rhino, lions, elephants, wild dogs as well as abalone along our coastlines.
This donation also goes a long way to help activate local communities, educate our youth, and preserve our rich cultural heritage.
SANParks conservation initiatives that benefit from the purchase of Guardian African Gin include:
- K-9 Unit: the rangers’ dogs that are very often the first respondents to incidents of suspected poaching;
- SANParks Air-wing unit: which is responsible for wildlife management and conservation activities, most notably dedicated aerial anti-poaching support;
- Greening and Management Plan: which has been introduced to local communities to encourage a clean, green, safe and healthy environment which includes planting of indigenous plants, waste and wetlands management, combating land degradation and encouragement of small scale farming.
As you break the seal of each bottle of Guardian African Gin and sip from the gifts of the abundant earth, delight in knowing that this act alone allows you to join the ranks of Nature’s Guardians.
“To explore, to savour, and to protect. That’s what it is to be human on this earth. That’s what it is to be a Guardian of Nature.”
Learn a little more on how Guardian African Gin was created, by watching this IGTV interview between Dean Horwitz of @instaeatscapetown and Patrick Siebel of @guardiangin
Purchase Guardian African Gin:
- Available from the Gin & Co Distillery in White River, Mpumalanga
- Purchase Online and free delivery for R455
Guardian African Gin 750ml with box and botanical salts (R495)
- Takealot.com –African Gin 750ml with box and botanical salts for R450 – and free delivery
- Available at select liquor retailers nationwide
- Also available at select SANParks Rest Camp Stores
Products Giving Back To Wildlife #4: Rhino Run Wines
Van Loveren Family Vineyards has continued its contribution to nature conservation in South Africa with the release of the latest vintage Rhino Run wines. The range of superb quality wines celebrates this magnificent animal of the African plains and the efforts being made to save it.
The range was established in 2013 and is inspired by Dr Ian Player, founder of the Player Ntombela Foundation and the conservationist who dedicated his life and career since the 1960’s to lead the efforts to save the rhinoceros. Successful conservation efforts brought both Black and White Rhino species back from the brink of extinction, but a dramatic upswing in poaching since 2008 re-ignited their fight for survival.
Rhino Run was conceived to create awareness of this crisis. A portion of every purchase of Rhino Run Wine is donated to conservation and anti-poaching initiatives.
“The plight of the rhino has been well-publicised and continues to grow direr every passing day,” . “It has mobilised millions of people across the globe to help fight the scourge of poaching.says Van Loveren Wines CEO Phillip Retief
As a producer invested in the preservation of our natural heritage, both through responsible farming practices and initiatives wider afield, Van Loveren has long been involved with conservation and continues through Rhino Run.
Good news for environmentally conscious wine-lovers is that South Africa’s Rhino Run Wines is now officially 100% organic from the 2020
Organic farming principles demand the reduced chemical usage on grapes and in the vineyards and lead to amongst others lower sulphur in wine. The result is generally healthier soils and a return of natural biodiversity.
“Making the change to organic brings Rhino Run in line with its environmental goals,”says Van Loveren Family Vineyards MD Phillip Retief.
Now, Rhino Run expands its view to restoring environmental health while continuing to produce exceptional and elegant wines.
There are five wines in the Rhino Run organic range, which comprises two white wines, a red blend and two single variety reds.
Rhino Run Sauvignon Blanc
This wine has a fragrant tropical style with attractive gooseberry and green fig character that lingers elegantly on the palate. Enjoy chilled with seared tuna, chicken, smoked salmon, creamy pasta dishes, seafood risotto, oysters or white meats.
Rhino Run Chenin Blanc
This medium bodied Chenin Blanc was created to honour the White Rhino. The wine has aromas of ripe peaches with fragrant floral notes that linger gently on the palate. Enjoy with herbed mussels, grilled chicken or pork, fresh seafood, creative salads and sushi.
Rhino Run Ian Player
This wine has rich almond, plum and mint on the nose, followed by ripe berry, cassis and redcurrant on the palate. Good oaking ensures a soft toasty finish. A classic blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot with minimal intervention in the natural process following each cultivar to express its unique characteristics.
Rhino Run Cabernet Sauvignon
This is a deep garnet-coloured wine with ripe berries, cassis and redcurrants on the palate. Judicious oak maturation lends a soft, toasty finish. Enjoy with rich meat dishes, hearty casseroles, pork, venison and flavoured cheeses.
Rhino Run Pinotage
This uniquely South African variety lends an attractive purple red colour to the wine, which has a complex nose of ripe banana, cassis and strawberry followed by layers of fruit, vanilla and spice on the lingering palate. Enjoy with hearty stews, rich red meat dishes, spicy foods, curries and smoked meats.
The wines are being made available through a variety of small and large retailers, as well as restaurants, and are priced from around R80.
The Van Loveren vineyards are situated in the Robertson Wine Valley and have been in the Retief family since 1937. Maker of wines of international repute including Christina Van Loveren and Four Cousins, Van Loveren is known as a producer of award-winning wines that are consistently high in quality and great value.
Products Giving Back To Wildlife #5 – Royal Rhino African Cream: A Message in a Bottle
Two flavours, native to the African continent, come together in a distinct fusion. Rich and robust Arabica coffee balanced with the delicate fragrant and floral vanilla, folded in with fresh dairy cream to create a unique African Liqueur. Every serving of this decadent liquid serves a purpose – to protect and honour the black and white Rhino.
The Royal Rhino bottle design is inspired by the horn of the rhino. The unique design aims to spread a message of conservation across the world, reaching the global markets which fuel the poaching of rhino in Africa. This my darling booze loving friends is the only Rhino Horn in having real benefits.
The Royal Rhino is a registered and audited donor towards the Wildlife Conservation Trust (WCT). WCT allocates these funds to the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre (HESC). HESC has 13 orphan rhino which lost their mothers through poaching. “The Royal Rhino is committed to helping change the fate of this endangered creature”
Only when empty, turn your bottle of the Royal Rhino upside down, observe and make a wish for the survival of the rhino.
You can purchase online for R159.99
Products Giving Back To Wildlife #6: Chipembere Blend – Saving ONE Rhino at a Time
Another wonderful initiative that gives back to Wildlife is Chipembere Coffee from Mastersons Coffee. Chipembere Blend is a blend of medium and dark roast all African Arabica Coffees.
Chipembere Rhino Foundation (CRF) is an NGO run by trustees with extensive Rhino experience and assisted by a group of committed volunteers.
- in sourcing, testing and funding technology for effective monitoring of Rhino;
- funding K9 handlers and their tracking and apprehension dogs;
- providing anti-poaching teams with vital ongoing training and equipment;
- funding equipment needed to translocate Rhino across Southern Africa;
- collaborating with other like minded NGO’s and companies.
For more info please feel free to visit their website: www.chipembere.org
To purchase your coffee you can purchase directly online or you can get it at Checkers. FYI the coffee is really good!!
Products Giving Back To Wildlife #7 – The Megamaster Rhino Balls
#OnsGaanNouBraai with a real reason. Who doesn’t enjoy a good braai and I mean guys what better way to light a fire in aid of wildlife conservation.
Now you can by means of The Megamaster Rhino Balls Eco-Firelighters who supports Rhino Conservation with every fire lit!
Megamaster Rhino Balls Eco-Firelighters are:
- no residue;
- easy to light;
- 16+ minutes of burn time;
- nade in South Africa – #LocalisLekker
- perfect for braai, fireplace, or while camping.
Proceeds from the sale of these innovative eco-firelighters support the groundbreaking Rockwood Conservation – where the signature ingredient is sourced. Rockwood Conservation helps to protect over 300 Southern White Rhino’s privately and are based in the Northern Cape.
Purchase your Rhino Balls online or at your local Spar.
Products Giving Back To Wildlife #8: Glenwood “Save Our Rhino” Range
Glenwood not only makes the best Sushi ever or has stunning views where you feel like you are anywhere but in South Africa they are extremely big on nature conservation. They also produced a wine range specifically for the saving of Rhinos – “Save our Rhino” range.
Proceeds of wine sold in this range goes to the Rhino Revolution. A non profit organisation dedicated in putting an end to Rhino poaching in South Africa.
Save our Rhino – Sauvignon Blanc (R105.00)
A pale straw-coloured Sauvignon Blanc showing tropical flavours of granadilla, guava and pineapple on the nose, that continue through to the palate. A refreshing acidity creates balance with a lingering refreshing finish.
Save our Rhino – Shiraz/Merlot Blend (R188.00)
An opulent, medium-bodied wine with supple, vibrant fruit and tannins. Spicy, smoky aromas pervade a ripe, fruit-driven profile. Drink now or aged another 5 years.
Save our Rhino – Rosé (R95.00)
Rose gold in colour with floral, strawberry and raspberry aromas. The palate is dry with a crisp, refreshing finish.
Rhino Revolution is tackling the escalating poaching crisis with a holistic approach, rescuing and rehabilitating orphaned rhino calves, pangolin and other endangered species for release back into the wild, and educating and inspiring young people – the conservationists of tomorrow.
These are just a few products giving back to wildlife but there are many more. Every little bit helps and it is more important than ever for individuals right up to the big corps worldwide to all play an active part in protecting the little wildlife we have left.