The who’s who of the environmental movement in South Africa converged at Maropeng, Gauteng to honour the winners of the 2012 Eco-Logic Awards hosted by The Enviropaedia
Twelve top South African environmentalists were recognised and given a truly beautiful Eco-Logic Award Trophy together with many Finalists and Candidates who received commendations, at a glamorously green and eco-friendly ceremony at the Cradle of Humankind, Maropeng last week, hosted by The Enviropaedia.
From over 400 Award entries, the final 50 candidates were assessed by a diverse team of highly competent judges ranging from veteran environmental scientist, Dr John Ledger, Douw Steyn of Plastics SA and Francois van Wyk of Rand Water.
“It is time for a more enlightened and constructive mind-set to deal with the environmental challenges we face today” said David Parry-Davies– MC for the evening and publishing editor of The Enviropaedia (South Africa’s environmental encyclopedia and directory launched in 2000) “The doom and gloom messages of environmental crisis have not created constructive change in our world. We need to raise both our levels of consciousness and our ambitions – to create a beautifully harmonious and sustainable world to live in. I have no doubt that we can achieve this and we have identified a set of principles and values that are designed to create progress towards this goal. We call these principles Eco-Logic, because they are both logical and life-supporting of the Earth’s eco-systems”.
“The first principle involves an intelligent reconnecting with nature and that’s why the dress code for the Awards evening is ‘green’ – to honour our Earth. I am dressed in full dinner jacket with bow tie and tails, resembling a penguin, to show my respect for the brave and determined little African penguin – but also to symbolise the fact that that eco-logic is a value system that transcends black and white racial issues. It is an operating logic that can unite us irrespective of our skin colour, age, gender or religion. “
Ed Worster acting GM of SABC 3 (the lead supporting partner of the Eco-Logic Awards) paid tribute to the veteran eco programme 50/50 but said that SABC 3 is becoming even greener by screening programmes such as Shoreline and Green Tips, and through tree planting with NGO, Carbonfree.
The keynote speaker was Jason Drew who became an ‘eco entrepreneur’ after suffering two heart attacks. “The first revolution was started by capitalism. The next will be a sustainability revolution,” he told the audience. “Two million chickens are kept in sheds in Saudi Arabia. Slaughtering causes waste that attracts flies. Chickens traditionally eat flies. So I worked out how to use the chicken waste to produce fly larvae to feed chickens. This saves farmers money. And every ton of flies eaten means a ton of fish saved. This is nutrient recycling at its best.”
Drew has also created sterile mosquito males to introduce around homesteads in malaria ridden areas. Each mosquito only travels 300 metres, so the areas around these homesteads now have fewer mosquitoes.
His most recent eco-entrepreneurial innovation is selling urine. He has built 60 toilets in the slums of Kenya. Locals pay to use them. Urine is diverted one side and solids to another. Solids are composted and urine is fermented then sold to farmers as liquid nitrogen and phosphates.
Boy band December Streets (three guitars, drums, sax and trumpet) from Rocking the Daisies played a lively repertoire while guests enjoyed unfracked Karoo lamb and other local, lekker and in-season culinary delights. The place was awash with red organic Stellar wine and green glitterati – including Ella Bella and this year’s Miss Earth SA Tamerin Jardine, TV personalities Michelle Garforth-Venter and Braam Malherbe, veteran elephant and rhino conservationist Clive Walker, Jeunesse Park -founder of Food and Trees for Africa, Yolan Friedmann ceo of the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT), and Karen Trendler, wildlife rehabilitation specialist.
The EWT brought along Rico the Belgian shepherd sniffer dog to show how quickly he could find ground up rhino horn in a suitcase. The representative of Rand Water wore cascades of white and blue. Clever girls from Glorious Green People made themselves gorgeous frocks out of old shopping bags and walked off with high value few prizes for their innovative fancy dress.
As editor of The Enviropaedia, David Parry-Davies is a networker par excellence and through The Enviropaedia network, he organised big name sponsors for each award:
- Biodiversity was sponsored by the Department of Environmental Affairs (won by Endangered Wildlife Trust)
- Climate change was sponsored by Paarl Media (won by Food and Trees for Africa)
- Eco-Innovation was sponsored by Standard Bank (won by Bottleworx which patented a range of functional PET bottles which can interlock to reduce the transportation footprint and can be re-used as building bricks for houses, classrooms and other functional buildings)
- Energy saving was sponsored by Enviropaedia (won by RISO copiers which are low energy and solar powered – every school in Limpopo should have one)
- Recycling was sponsored by the Plastics Federation of SA (won by Rocking the Daisies for getting youth keen on recycling)
- Sustainable transport was sponsored by Airports Company of SA (won by Rocking the Daisies for organising environment friendly transport to concerts)
- The water award was co-sponsored by SAB and Rand Water (won by EcoWash which has a product that cleans a car using only one litre of water compared the usual 250)
- The youth award was sponsored by Pick ‘n Pay (won by Generation Earth for making ‘green’ issues trendy)
- Simply Green Magazine sponsored the Eco Angel award (won by Marcelle Meredith of the NSPCA)
- SABC3 sponsored the community award (won by Oyster Bay Reserve for reviving the Mossel Bay estuaries as well as uplifting the previously disadvantaged community)
- Sappi sponsored the lifetime achievement award (won by Clive Walker who said, “Never underestimate the effect you can have as an individual.”)
- MTN sponsored the Eco Warrior award (won by TV personality, Braam Malherbe of the DOT (Do one Thing) campaign who bounced barefoot onto the stage and said his son told him, ”You grownups don’t dream; you just have nightmares. We have to believe that everything is possible.” And that said David Parry-Davies –“ is entirely consistent with the principles of Eco-Logic – which you can read about in more detail on www.enviropaedia.com )