February is the month of love with people across the world opening their hearts and their pockets to celebrate Valentine’s Day with their loved one, be it with a shower of heart-adorned cards, teddy bears, bumper boxes of chocolates or whispered romantic messages.
ALSO READ: Phumelelani takes on environmental projects
Whist Valentine’s, like every other day, should be the perfect setting to show our love and affection for others, it has instead become a heavily commercialised event laden with expectation to spend and sending us on a guilt trip to the mall to buy more and more stuff at a big cost to the planet.
February is also the month in which we celebrate wetlands, and this year, the young Water Explorers at Phumelelani Primary School decided that loving our planet and water was just as important as loving and caring about each other.
After all water is life and a healthy environment means happy, healthy people. Wetlands and the services they provide are the epitome of unconditional love. The Water Explorers learned that not only do they clean and purify our water, wetlands also play a critical role in the storage of water, replenishing our rivers, and providing a verdant home for many endangered frogs, birds and plants.
After a fun filled Water Explorer challenge building water filters to mimic the water purification process of wetlands, the children gained a new-found appreciation for the effort and money that would need to be spent on water treatment should our wetlands be compromised. As they later set to work writing letters of love and appreciation for our wetlands, a Water Explorer teacher workshop was held.
Instead of wearing the traditional Valentine’s red, teachers from 16 schools in the area arrived wearing blue in solidarity with water and the water crisis is South Africa.
The Water Explorer workshop focused on practical ways in which schools can implement small changes for big water savings. Being in a vital water catchment area generating 80 percent of South Africa’s water, people understand how the choices they make today, will have huge impacts on the lives of those tomorrow and all those living downstream.
The Water Explorer Team, Bridget Ringdahl and Julia Colvin, would like to extend their gratitude to the staff at Phumelelani Primary School for hosting the workshop and their valuable contribution to championing the environmental cause!
Water Explorer is an HSBC sponsored online water conservation program spanning 11 countries. With over 350 South Africa teams participating this year, the program, now in its fourth year, has grown from strength to strength with bucket loads of water saving efforts equating to a massive five million cubic metres of water saved.
To join this exciting initiative, schools, eco-clubs, scout/cub groups can register for free at www.waterexplorer.org