Support Local Students, Plant Trees and #DontBeTrashy with CapeNature
By Claudia Waller
CapeNature joined us at the Eden Festival of Action 2021 in the Garden Route, sponsoring 10 local students to attend the immersive, week-long sustainability festival. Alongside 140 other activists, the students took part in important ecosystem restoration work like alien clearing, tree-planting and a beach clean-up.
CapeNature’s #DontBeTrashy campaign, voicing the issue of littering behaviour, featured in a spectacular collaborative mural artwork in Kurland Village.
CapeNature students, with other festival volunteers, local community, and artists from BazArt co-created this stunning artwork, expressing this important message in an accessible and appealing way.
Embarking on the overlander truck, the students spent the afternoon surveying and cleaning 10,000m2 of Nature’s Valley Beach. In the act of participating, conversations turn to understanding the scale of the issue that is plastic pollution, and the domino effect of how your consumer habits essentially affect what ends up in the ocean.
Where does the data collected go?
“Currently our fishing line bin and marine debris data goes into a hotspot map and is being written up into scientific papers. This information goes into local conservation organisations (such as SANParks) as well as local municipalities to inform regulations and awareness campaigns. Nurdle data is further sent to Spill Tech who deals with waste management.” – Lauren Moriarty, Nature’s Valley Trust
What’s a nurdle? A pellet sized piece of plastic, the raw material of all things made of plastic and used in plastic production. Deeply harmful to the environment, and humbling to find on our beautiful sands.
CapeNature also supported the festival’s on-site waste recycling and resource activation. In doing so Greenpop created a Maker Station which allowed for attendees to engage with their waste that was accumulated over the event, using waste as a resource to create something new.
Planting trees & clearing aliens
“ To forget how to dig the earth and to turn the soil is to forget ourselves”– Mahatma Gandhi.
1000 indigenous trees, of 34 different species, were planted over two sites during the event. The students got involved, getting hands dirty solidifying the event’s ethos of getting active for the environment.
The clearing of alien vegetation was a first for many, which brought about great learnings on the larger and often overlooked issues surrounding ecosystem restoration, emphasising the importance of whole systems thinking – not just tree planting – when working to restore any ecosystem.
“First and foremost, I would like to extend a sincere gratitude to CapeNature for granting me the opportunity to attend the Greenpop Eden Festival of Action 2021. It was a great privilege. On arrival, I noticed the high and positive energies of people from all over the country and even international travellers, and that is when I knew that I would have a ball of a time. I took part in quite plentiful activities, but I have to say that my highlights were partaking in planting, the #Don’tBeTrashy murals with the Baz-Art group and tree planting activities. And that’s because I like getting my hands dirty for a good cause. Opportunities like these are what keep my visions and aspirations as a Conservation student alive.” – Sinayo Lungile, George
What was your favourite part about the Eden Festival of Action?
“Difficult question to answer because there was just too much I found engaging and eye-opening. Not only were the workshops a fascinating experience. But the people I met were just as aspirational and incredible. There was just a feeling of community, eagerness to get stuck in! Honestly, I can not wait for my next Greenpop experience.” – Vuyisile Koyo, George
“Being at the festival made me realise that as humankind we need to stop separating ourselves from nature because we are one with it. The journey to live better starts when we become one with nature and work together with it.” – Ms Goitsimang Rashopola, George
The Eden Festival of Action looks forward to hosting more scholarship students year on year, as this is vital to making environmentalism inclusive, diverse, and resilient.
Big thanks to CapeNature for the continued fervent dedication to support our ecosystem restoration work!
Scientists have found that trees communicate in various ways, one of them being fascinating fungal networks below the earth.
For this year’s Women’s Day in South Africa, we want to introduce a woman in sustainability who inspires us daily. After earning a Master’s degree in Development Studies, she joined Greenpop in 2014. When she is not heading up programmes across Sub-Saharan Africa, you can find her spending time with her family, tending to her garden, practising Italian, and searching for the best pizza in the Mother City. Get to know Zoë Gauld-Angelucci!
World Environment Day is organized by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and has been held annually since 1974. The goal of the day of action is to promote environmental awareness and draw attention to crucial concerns around our planet’s survival, that require active engagement and commitment. Today, the day represents one of the largest global platforms for environmental action, with millions of participants from around the world. Each World Environment Day focuses on a specific issue that reflects urgent problems and challenges of our time, such as climate change, biodiversity loss or pollution.
Greenpop Foundation NPC is a registered non-profit organisation. Registration Number (NPO): 151-411 NPO.