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ISUZU Green Hero

Congratulations to Michelle de Villiers and her team at Amahlathi SPCA - you are ISUZU and Algoa FM's Green Heroes, as voted for by the public!

The winner of the R2 000 voter's prize is Eleanor Sparks from Sedgefield.

Thank you to all our phenomenal Green Hero finalists for the outstanding work you do in preserving our environment and in making Algoa Country a greener place for all to live.

The ISUZU Green Hero Campaign – building a brighter, greener future together, for the long run.

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Screenshot 2020-05-12 at 13-20-09

WINNER

Michelle de Villiers

To Michelle de Villiers, plastic in its various forms is a scourge upon society, ending up in landfill or polluting rivers and oceans and ultimately causing the deaths of numerous land and sea creatures. This desire to clean up the environment and build much needed structures for the Amahlathi SPCA led to the development of their hugely successful EcoBrick project. Through this initiative Michelle and her team not only help to clean up the environment, they provide ‘green education’ for the surrounding community as well. This ‘green education’ will eventually be extended to assist the economically vulnerable in their region to use plastic bottles to build their own eco-friendly structures. From kennels to shelters for livestock – an engineer is already on board to assist with the design and building of these structures. Their Eco-brick project is a multi-pronged tool that serves to protect the environment, save the lives of the voiceless, educate and empower.

 

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Finalist 4:

Siya Ntsumpa 

Just 6 years ago this young man founded the Giving Them Wings Foundation – an NPO that adopts schools and turns them into ‘environmental hubs.’  His sustainable living and recycling programme encourages a circular economy within each of these ‘enviro schools’.  Permaculture food gardens are established and each child is asked to bring a plastic bottle to school every day. Instead of ending up as landfill, ecobricks are made from these plastic bottles which in turn are then used to create colourful chairs and benches. Over the years, Siya has built strong relationships with both educators and learners and, as a mentor, spearheaded award winning projects for some of the schools with which he has worked. In 2018 he was placed third in the Environment Category of the South African Youth Awards.

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Finalist 3:

Siphokazi Gxoyiya 

Siphokazi is a woman who wears many hats in her role as Director of the House of Resurrection Children’s Home – it was the need to raise additional income to feed the thirty children in their care that saw the birth of Siya Vuna. This green project turns discarded tyres and inner tubing into stylish items - from handbags to pen and pot holders, coasters and jewellery – all made from old rubber! This project not only makes money for the home, it also cleans up the environment and provides employment for a number of people. And the Siya Vuna team are always up for a challenge – they love to create original corporate gifts for companies and bulk orders are no problem!

(Siya Vuna means We Harvest)

 

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Finalist 2:

Sizwe Johnson

Sizwe, a resident of New Brighton, has changed the mindset of many through his indefatigable work as an environmental activist, not only in the area in which he lives, but throughout the metro. Sizwe has tackled everything from the endemic illegal dumping of waste in public areas, to initiating projects that involve the recycling of plastic into items that can then be sold. Many an unsightly dumping ground has been turned into a vegetable garden thanks to Sizwe. He is also helping to tackle the drought through his rainwater harvesting and grey water projects. Sizwe has spearheaded public awareness campaigns and also works tirelessly to educate the youth on the importance of taking care of our environment.


 

Finalist 1:

Andrew Laing

Four years ago, Andrew singlehandedly began the process of clearing up an area bordering the townhouse complex he had moved into, the area is known as Little Kabega River.  This river forms part of the Baakens Valley and as such is vitally important to Nelson Mandela Bay’s eco-system.  The area was filled with alien vegetation and used daily as an illegal dumping ground.  Andrew has successfully eliminated all invasive plant species and reintroduced indigenous plants to about 1km of riverside. This has led to the return of many animal and bird species including otter, fish, fish eagles, Franklin and buck.