‘Green supergirl’ helps school

2015-06-23 06:00
Miss Earth semi-finalist Andrea von Gunten surrounded by pupils of Observatory Junior School where she donated a truckload of plants to make the school greener.

Miss Earth semi-finalist Andrea von Gunten surrounded by pupils of Observatory Junior School where she donated a truckload of plants to make the school greener.

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Andrea von Gunten is not only a Miss Earth semi-finalist but also believes that her passion for the environment has grown stronger and stronger through the things she does in her day-to-day life.

The 24-year-old from Durbanville recently visited Observatory Junior Primary School, where she was part of a group who donated a truckload of plants to the school in a bid to make the school greener.

Von Gunten teamed up with the Botanical Society and the Custodians of Rare and Endangered Wildflowers to go to the school. They were met by the Life Sciences teacher, also a member of the Botanical Society, and two representatives from the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa.

“We were very impressed with the teachers’ drive and dedication to greening the school as they even have an active food garden,” Von Gunten says.

“The produce is used by the school as well as surrounding schools. They also have a tank to collect rain water, which is used for watering the school grounds, and a grey water system, recycling water from the bathrooms.

“It was an inspiring day, to say the least. But it doesn’t end there. As we take this new relationship further, we will be revisiting the school as they plan on developing a mini-wetland area as well as another garden in an open space on the grounds,” she says.

Excited about the donation to the school and participating in the Miss Earth pageant, Von Gunten believes everyone must do their bit to make sure that our environment is looked after properly.

“We all have a part to play in protecting our earth. We only have one earth and therefore there is no such thing as a second chance. We need to act now and change our habits today so that we can protect our beautiful Mother Earth.

“This is simple. It all comes down to choices. If we can start making choices with the environment in mind, that’s one less plastic bottle in the ocean, one less plastic bag to recycle, more solar-powered houses and, of course, one less day of load shedding.

“Our natural world is taking strain but if we could change one action a day to making better informed choices together, that becomes a big difference,” she says.

The Miss Earth South Africa programme is a platform for younger women to showcase their passion and be rolemodels. The programme focuses on developing young women through the vehicle of environmental education

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