Miss Earth South Africa loves green

2009-11-14 00:00

A VISIT to a fully sustainable eco-metropolis in the Philippines has left Miss Earth South Africa, Chanel Grantham, inspired to encourage builders in South Africa to think green.

Twenty-year-old Grantham, who is on Borocay Island competing in the Miss Earth World contest, believes the site, called Nuvali, is proof that people can harmonise productivity and sustainability.

“Every detail of this city took into account the environment and everything looks harmonised, serene and futuristic. It a blend of nature and high technology,” the Pietermaritzburg-born beauty and former Longmarket Girls’ School pupil said. “This model truly redefines urban living through sustainability. Experiencing this I felt like I had found the gold wrapper in the Wonka Bar. Eco-bliss.”

All the contestants in the pageant visited the eco-metropolis, which has tree-lined pedestrian and bike lanes to encourage walking and a healthier lifestyle and over 100 000 trees to ensure good environmental air quality and less soil erosion.

For Grantham, a University of Cape Town bachelor of science student in property studies (focusing on green developments and sustainable development), Nuvali is exactly the sort of development that should be a model for future building projects.

Grantham, who lives in Umhlanga, is one of almost 90 contestants from around the globe competing for the Miss Earth World title.

“I would love to win and I’m certainly doing my very best to bring the green tiara home to South Africa on November 22,” she added. “But whichever way it goes, it is such a wonderful platform to share the environmental work that we do as Miss Earth South Africa (in association with Consol) and showcase the beauty our country has to offer, especially in the run up to 2010.”

In the meantime, she’s proudly showing off the outfits created for her to wear at the pageant by designers Francois Vedemme (evening gown), Katherine Montague (cocktail wear), Colette Designer Garments (swimwear), Gerrit Pienaar (national costume) and her granny, Doris (Dolly) Grantham (daywear).

“I know that I can rely on my gran to make me look day-fabulous,” she said, adding that she now intends calling her gran Dolly Wang because some of the day dresses look as though they were made by celebrated designer, Vera Wang.

i’m doing my very best to bring the green tiara home to south africa.

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