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SL Breakfast 4

Smart Living Breakfast

On 7 June 2010, in Project news, by Andrew Bennett
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A Smart Living Breakfast was held today at the Vineyard Hotel & Spa to acknowledge the companies that participated in the City of Cape Town’s Smart Living Corporate Campaign, as well as the schools that participated in the Global Change Green Audit and Smart Eating Projects.  The event provided an opportunity to learn more about the different projects and the experience of the people that participated.

The Smart Living Handbook has been developed to provide households in Cape Town with practical information on how to be energy efficient, waste wise and reduce their negative impact on our environment.  The aims are simple to achieve and can easily become part of everyday life – both at home and in the work place.  The handbook has been distributed to schools as a resource book and given to participants in the Smart Living Corporate Campaign.

Three projects were showcased at the event:

SMART EATING  – FOOD AND CLIMATE CHANGE

The aim is to teach learners about the impact that our food has on the environment and specifically it’s effect on our climate.  The learners research and practical exercises associated with the audit will build capacity around assessing impact and the choices we have.  A handbook has been developed which provides guidance to educators and learners on how to do a tuck shop audit at their school.  It considers different aspects such as production, transportation, packaging, storage and preparation.

The schools that participated in doing their tuck shop audit were Hout Bay High, St Cyprians and Ned Doman.  They considered the current situation and how this could be addressed through practical changes.  Each of the teams did a presentation to their school about what they had learnt and made recommendations around possible solutions.

GLOBAL CHANGE – GREEN AUDIT AND RETROFIT

This project started with the development of a toolkit for doing an environmental audit at a school.  This included a handbook for learners and teachers as well as audit sheets.  Eight schools were invited to participate in this programme through their various eco clubs.  Seven of the schools managed to do audits at their school resulting in the development of a retrofit plan – practical solutions on what needs to change at the school.  The schools all presented their audit findings and retrofit plans at a presentation at the end of last year.

This year they received funding from the City for implementing some of the proposed changes at the schools. St Cyprians, Hout Bay and South Peninsula are busy with planting food gardens at their school.  LEAP and Springfield has a focus on waste minimization through implementing recycling and vermiculture (worm farming), while Bishops is focusing on energy efficiency.  St Cyprians, Hout Bay and Springfield are installing rainwater harvesting tanks.  St Cyprians and Hout Bay will be using this water for their food gardens.  The schools are currently busy with the final implementation and the final report will be ready by the end of June.

SMART LIVING CORPORATE CAMPAIGN

The Smart Living Corporate Campaign aims to provide Cape Town based companies with the opportunity for training around developing more sustainable operations in their organisations and the homes of their staff and on the Smart Living Handbook.

Companies were approached to give their staff the opportunity to receive training about sustainable living.  They were also given a copy of the Smart Living Handbook, which focuses on what they can do in their homes. This is then translated to the workplace through linking the principles of sustainable living to the company’s environmental policy or strategy.

Waste, energy, water and biodiversity are the four themes that were included into the training.  Staff participated in training workshops with interactive discussions and an exhibition showcasing innovative products that they can use in their homes, such as a solar water heater, worm farm or hot-box.

A total of 15 companies have participated in the Campaign, including Santam, Pick ‘n Pay, CTICC, ACSA, Mars Africa, Spur, GrandWest, Woolworths and more.  Spur participated in the initial training in 2008 and has made great progress over the last two years.  They have established a green team at their head office and did eco audits at their key functional areas.  They are currently busy with their environmental reporting and measuring their impact on the environment.  Santam has taken the Smart Living Training up to their Gauteng based offices and continue to explore ways for promoting this simple, yet effective message.

All three of these projects were successfully implemented by icologie on behalf of the City of Cape Town.  Grace Stead, the project manager, said that the message to the schools and businesses are essentially the same.  “We need to consider intelligent ecological solutions to enable us to adapt to the changing needs of our world.  These projects show that we all have a role to play in creating a better future at home, work or school.”

The Smart Living Handbook is available as a PDF download in English, Afrikaans and Xhosa on www.capetown.gov.za/environment (click on Smart Living Handbook).

 

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