Category Archives: Daniel Robinson

Gallery

Annual Club Conferences are a great success

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Project 90 club coordinators Daniel, Happy and Nqobile have been working their socks off since the start of January to make our annual Club Conferences in Western Cape, Gauteng and Kwa-Zulu Natal a success. On the outer shell the three events were vastly different, creating their own rhythms and energies fed by the contrasting personalities of club members, teachers and coordinators working in the diverse environments of each region. Nevertheless at the core a strong thread tied them together, each with the objective to plant the seeds of inspiration so that the clubs could go back to their schools ready to take action and launch their new carbon cutting projects for 2012. Continue reading

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Gallery

Solar power shines in Muizenberg

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Each staff member received a sum of money to help us reduce our carbon footprint as part of Project 90’s renewable energy demonstration sites project. Daniel, our Western Cape Clubs Coordinator, tells us about what he chose to spend his R10,000 renewable energy allowance on. Continue reading

P90 flash mobs Silvermine

2010 has been a busy year for the Core Clubs in Cape Town. In April and May the clubs took part in two alien plantation hacks at the Kenilworth Racecourse Conservation Area, followed by a visit to Goedgedacht Farm for World Environment Day on 5th June. Then in November two clubs took part in the Children’s Radio Workshop on climate change. Throughout the year the clubs have worked on their own projects, aiming to reduce their schools carbon footprint. They’ve really done some amazing work and everybody at Project 90 looks forward to an exciting 2011. 

It’s quite incredible that Cape Town can be warm, sunny and windless for days on end, however when you plan a day to hold an event the south easter decides to blast its way over the mountain. In fact the weather was perfect for hiking, but for swimming it was up to the brave, namely myself and Art from Waldorf Constantia to take to the waters of the Silvermine Dam. For the afternoon we sat on the rocks, ate fruit and cake, chatted and planned our first of many flash mobs.

A Sunday afternoon at 1:30 pm is prime time for families to eat their picnics and gaze at the stunning scenery, so we decided to take over the Dam(n) Wall and create a little buzz. Everybody lined up on the wall, took their positions and started a rhythm, becoming faster and faster, until we sent a Mexican wave down the line followed by Project 90s tag – Cut Carbon, Dare to Change.

It certainly caused a little stir in the tranquil setting of Silvermine. Watch this space for much more to come in 2011!!

 Daniel Robinson, Western Cape Club Coordinator

Winning Project 90 Clubs – What did they get up to?

Curious to know a little bit more about the Project 90 winning clubs, and what sort of ideas they had and projects they implemented? Our regional clubs coordinators have written a little about each club for us, so read on to find out more.

Gauteng: Happy Khambule

Brescia House Primary School:

Brescia House Primary School - Johannesburg

Alison Jennings is the teacher behind the Earthkeepers; she is the spearhead and inspiration for the 22 girl horde. Brescia House is also an Eco-school and boasts a number of eco-projects on the go, including being a Project 90 Club. The variety of projects stem from environmental awareness to active carbon cutting.

The most intriguing project this year was that of a wormery and it has to be said, it has raised a few eyebrows including my own.  The Earthkeepers truly diversify their efforts, and deliver with outstanding results. It is not surprising that the Earthkeepers initiated a printer cartridge recycling project with Green Office, were they won 5 trees and cash for being so active and collecting over 500 cartridges and still counting… Earthkeepers never miss an opportunity to make the most of the moment from fantastic awareness campaigns on energy/water/biodiversity with posters and announcements in assemblies to turning Earth Hour into a spectacle.

A lot can be said about the Earthkeepers and their mentor Alison, but that would be downplaying their work, rather let the results speak for themselves. Congratulations to the Earthkeepers for their merit award.

Northcliff High School

Northcliff High School - Johannesburg

Colleen Rood, Elizabe Leeuwner and a 20 teen-powered group make up The Green Team.  The Green Team was formed only last year with the motto ‘if you love nature, come make a difference’. The aim is a balance of community type activities e.g. school ‘greening’ projects and learning experiential activities.

This league of eco-heroes started the year off with assessing their own carbon footprint at home and then at school, which is how they combined forces with Project 90 by 2030. This year was an eye opener which prompted some of the learners to encourage their parents to become carbon aware and to make changes at home.

The Green Team did not stop there, oh no, this was only the beginning; they did a survey of where the school needed to improve to reduce the carbon footprint. Water and electricity were identified as the two focus areas. The Team assisted with working out the school’s water and electricity usage in 2009 from the accounts for the competition audit. They were shocked at how big the school’s carbon footprint was.

The projects embarked on by the Team will be continued next year and the school water and electricity usage monitored. The school will aim to reduce its carbon footprint by 10%. Thus working on awareness amongst learners and teachers, where monitoring will be the order of the day. Again simplicity is the key and brings great results from light bulb changes, and doing feasibility studies, then the results communicate to the school through posters and talking to their peers.

Kyla Davis of Project 90 by 2030 was a great support and assisted with motivating the learners in getting projects going this year. This was a year of starting to get the school more carbon friendly and judging by their merit award, more can be expected from the champions of green justice in 2011!

KZN: Mathew van Lierop

St Anne’s

St Anne's - KZN Midlands

Rory Pennefather overseas a very enthusiastic group of learners from St Anne’s school in the KZN Midlands. The clubs has been hugely effective in enthusiastically cutting electricity use in the schools boarding houses through raising awareness of energy waste and turning off lights and electrical equipment not in use. This simple campaign has contributed to the school cutting their energy use by 10% from last year – a remarkable achievement! The club also supports a very active recycling programme on the school grounds – one that has finally taken off after much effort to resolve collection challenges in this part of the country. On top of this, the club has made great use of the wide variety of Project 90 resources to improve the knowledge of the all learners at the school, and encourage active and whole school participation in the great initiatives that the school has set up. Well done on being the only KZN school to receive an award this year, and good luck for the exciting projects you have in the pipeline for 2011.

Western Cape: Daniel Robinson

Somerset College

Somerset College has now been an established Project 90 Club for the past two years and each year they are becoming stronger and stronger. This year, was wonderfully led by Emily Chuchman and Jean Malherbe, supported by their faithful teacher Kathryn Kruyshaar. In July, the school received their second eco flag as part of the Eco Schools Network. To mark the occasion, Emily and Jean gave a speech, joined by other members of the club singing a rendition of the 3Rs (Reduce Reuse Recycle) by Jack Johnson.

As well as bringing awareness to their peers at school, the club sought to take action and create a number of recycling bins around the campus as a means to reduce their waste carbon footprint and thus make valuable carbon savings. The bins were old paint buckets found around the school. They resprayed them and chose strategic places where fellow students and teachers would use the bins the most. The recyclable waste is then picked up by a reputable company and taken off to a recycling plant. Next year the club will be led by Alex Forrester and Adrian Goemans, we wish them the best of luck and look forward to further carbon reductions next year at Somerset College!

Springfield Convent

Springfield Convent Girls School are Project 90s oldest club. They’ve been going for 3 years and have created a great example of a high achieving carbon slashing club! Led by Ruth Brain, Becky Hughes, Marilyn Lake and Kiera Dusterwald they worked on achieving most of their recommendations from their Green Audit Project last year in association with the City of Cape Town. This included creating geyser blankets, changing policies on lightbulb replacements, and installing water conserving shower heads.  They are still in the process of attaching a water meter to the borehole so they can calculate their usage for the following year.

The club is always busy and looking for new ways to cut carbon. At Springfield everyone knows about the Project 90 by 2030 club, from their frequent assemblies informing the rest of the school of their inspiring initiatives. Next year will be led by Ali and Emma, as the faithful four step down from their leadership role. We look forward to the Project 90 club flourishing in 2011! Well done.

South Peninsula High School

SP is a relatively new edition to the Project 90 Core Club Network. Like Springfield, they too were  part of the Green Audit Project in 2009. This year they have been brilliantly led by top students Tarryn De Kock and Brandon Van Niekirk, with huge support from Deputy Head, Zeid Baker. As part of their implementations they have created two indigenous gardens. One outside the reception area and the other on their school field. In edition to this great project, they created a food tunnel, which is maintained by grades 8s. The purpose of the tunnel shows how simple growing vegetables can be and will hopefully inspire other learners to start growing their own. The vegetables will be donated to disadvantaged communities.

The club has been very active in participating in the Project 90 events this year and are well organised, showing boundless passion and inspiration. We salute the club members at South Peninsula for all their hard work and effort this year. Well done!

St. Georges Grammar

St. Georges Grammar are one of our newest clubs. They officially started in July 2010 and have  achieved so much in such a short period of time. The club is 14 members strong and is masterly captained by learners Danisa Parks and Antaya March, supported by teacher Feroza Salie. As a club, they seeked to re-organise their recycling facilities at the school. To get the project off the ground, they gave a presentation to the headmaster to inform him of their plans. With the backing of the headmaster they organised a recycling drive. Each Friday, fellow learners were encouraged to bring in their recycling from home. The club then separated the waste and carried it to the bottom of the field where Oasis Recycling picked it up. The club has plans to incentivize the recycling program and extend it to the preparatory school. In addition to the recycling project, they discovered that hot water geysers were left on for long periods of time in the preparatory school classrooms. The classrooms were once used as accommodation. This has proved to be a gigantic electricity saving for the school, not to mention a huge carbon saving!! Well done St. Georges Grammar, we look forward to your valuable contribution in 2011 as a Project 90 Core Club!

Voices of the Youth

Last week, Project 90 Club members were taking part in an exciting workshop run by Lee Middleton, an American journalist based in Africa for the past five years, and Mbali Vilakazi, an award winning performance poet and radio host, from the Children’s Radio Foundation based in Cape Town. The club members were in the process of creating three podcasts which will be broadcast on SAFM in December on the issue of climate change, coinciding with the COP16 meeting in Cancun, Mexico. The aim of the project was to give youth the opportunity to speak up about their concerns on this very important topic.

 In addition to gaining more knowledge on the subject of climate change and it’s impacts, Nkosinathi and Thulisa from Rhodes High School and Brandon, Nadine and Kimico from South Peninsula High School learnt some valuable radio interview techniques; asking open questions, using the recording equipment correctly and speaking confidently into the mic and to the interviewee.

 Their task for the afternoon was to interview the public. Armed with the question ‘Do you think you are contributing to climate change and why?’ the club members set out to achieve their objective. It was interesting to see the different responses from the range of people they spoke to. One person admitted he’d never heard of climate change, another knew they were contributing to it but didn’t know how to lessen their impact.

 One of the most fascinating things we learnt that day was in Xhosa, there is no word for ‘Climate Change’. In order to communicate this clearly, one must describe exactly what it is. I certainly know in English it’s a very difficult concept to have to explain. Now that’s a challenge for the youth of today – to create a word for climate change in Xhosa and other local languages in South Africa. Who’s up for the task?

Groundbreaking Allotment Party a huge success!

Residents from Observatory and the surrounding suburbs have been given the right to use a section of the disused tennis courts in Strubens Road to grow organic veggies and indigenous plants. 

Daniel and I, with our respective partners Andrea and Richard, are now proud owners of 2 adjacent allotments. The plots however were covered in asphalt and we had to manually break it up with picks and spades to uncover the earth beneath. Despite this backbreaking work, it was the most satisfying feeling watching the grey tarmac being slowly lifted and removed piece by piece.

 

Sunday was the 10/10/10 Global Day of Action where 7,347 work parties in 188 countries were held and citizens around the world called to government: “We’re getting to work… what about you?” to show them the global climate movement is bigger, more diverse, more creative and more determined than ever and we simply won’t give up until our planet is safe. 

We decided to host an allotment party and invited people to come and support us in creating an inspirational vegetable garden. We received amazing sponsorship from Starke Ayres – 36 trays of rocket and another 20 trays of different types of lettuces and cabbage to plant.

The day could not have been more successful. Despite the dubious weather over 30 people arrived armed with spades, forks and trowels ready to get dirty! Some were friends, others colleagues and a great many had found our party on the 350.org website and had come along to help out.

We spent the day digging holes and trenches, shovelling clay, sifting sand, raking soil and planting. We had three film crews filming our actions: ecobuzz, One Day on Earth and an independent film maker. We also took loads of great photos up now on facebook and flikr.

We all need to start thinking about where our food comes from and the environmental impacts this has had. Is it organic? Has it been locally grown? Has it been excessively packaged in layers of plastic, nestled on a polystyrene tray?

 

I am looking forward to being able to eat food that I have grown myself, which is local, pesticide-free and unpackaged as this will help me to dramatically decrease my carbon footprint. 

Organic farming releases less greenhouse gases than non-organic farming. Where you can, choose organic, local and seasonal food. And remember that driving to the shop adds to your food’s carbon footprint.  

  • Intensive agriculture needs ten calories of energy to produce one calorie of food
  • Globally the production and use of artificial fertilisers are the largest single source of nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas 310 times more damaging than carbon dioxide
  • To make one tonne of artificial fertiliser takes 108 tonnes of water, emits 7 tonnes of carbon dioxide, and uses one tonne of oil
  • Globally, agriculture is responsible for between 17 – 32% of the world’s total greenhouse gases
  • Organic farming typically uses 26% less energy to produce the same amount of food as non-organic farming. Source

Food miles are also a very important aspect of the carbon footprint of your food. You can measure how far your food has travelled before it reaches you with this excellent Food Miles Calculator . And if you get the chance watch the excellent documentary called Dirt!  which shows us how important soil is to our survival.

Our sincerest thanks to all those who came along to help us at the Allotment, and please feel free to pop by anytime. Hopefully soon we will be able to offer you locally produced, pesticide-free delicious veggies!  

Olivia

We interview Generations star, Fundi Zwane

In August and September, Cosmos Productions teamed up with Project 90 to take Joyce’s Choices, a climate change themed show, on tour to schools in the Eastern and Western Cape. One of the show’s actors Fundi Zwane, is also an up and coming star of the SABC hit soapie Generations. She speaks to Cape Town Clubs coordinator Daniel Robinson about the Theatre for Change tour, fame and her views on Climate Change.
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DR: Tell us about your character on Generations?
FZ: Rethabile is an outspoken young intern at New Horizons advertising agency and she was is very good at what she does. She is also very protective of her friends and has an outgoing personality. In 2010 she was heavily involved in an abuse story which has not yet been resolved fully and she made some good friends so she is coming back.

DR: Do you get recognised a lot?
FZ: I do get recognised, it’s something I still haven’t gotten used to because to me and the people that know me, know I’m still just normal Fundi.

DR: Is this the first time you’ve worked with Cosmos Productions and Project 90?
FZ: No, I have worked with Cosmos Productions in partnership with Project 90 for over 2yrs and the passion and drive on the issues surrounding climate change have impacted me not only as a person and young celebrity but also as a performer which is why I agreed to come on board for this schools tour.

DR: What was your favourite moment on tour?
FZ: Realising that kids actually GET IT!! They know there is a problem and they are willing to do something about it even though they feel overwhelmed by climate change.

DR: Do you think your status as a ‘celebrity’ had an impact during the tour?
FZ: As a young celebrity it is my deepest hope that this schools tour left a lasting impact on the young minds we came into contact with. I hope that they realised the seriousness of the issue of climate change and I hope it came through that if a young celebrity like RETHATBILE thinks that this is an important matter that indeed NOW is the time to act to try and curb this huge problem.

DR: How important is Climate Change to you at this present time?
FZ: I as a young South African I have come to realise how pressing the issue of climate change and global warming is. I believe that as youngsters we are in such a strategic place where we can make a huge difference in the future of our world as a whole. There is such an amazing opportunity for youngsters to INVENT!!! Especially in the fields of science, engineering and technology. This also came across strongly on the tour where kids had an amazing opportunity to “invent the world they would love to live in one day” it was thrilling to hear and see some of the amazing things that high school youngsters came up with.

DR: Is the mitigation of climate change something you would like to continue to support in your future work?
FZ: Without a shadow of a doubt!!! I’ve been asked to be an ambassador for agriculture in KZN which I learnt through doing the tour that it links directly with climate change. So I’m very excited to implement what I know about climate change into the agricultural sector in my beloved province. I’m already fully supporting it in my work!

DR: What impacted you most since becoming climate change aware?
FZ: I realised how much I still need to change the way I live and the way my family lives to contribute positively to the issue of climate change. I want to do so much more!

DR: If you could send one message to all the youth of South Africa what would that be?
FZ: My message to the youth would be to take action NOW!! If we unite our efforts to bring change to the state of our environment we can achieve so much!! Every little effort counts.

DR: What is your view on the government building the Medupi,Coal Power Station?
FZ: I believe that our government should rather spend that same amount of money installing renewable energy in South Africa as it would be a giant step in the right direction with regards to curbing carbon emissions. That’s why I decided to sign Activist’s online petition urging the government to spend R60 billion on solar water heating rather than coal. It would be my deepest wish for the government to come fully on board with renewable energy initiatives in the future.
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If you agree with Fundi and would like to like to sign the online petition, or you’d just like to find out more about the campaign, go to http://www.activist.co.za/solar.

Be sure to look out for Fundi on SABC’s Generations in 2011!