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Contest seeks to nurture environmental awareness

The 35 finalists for the inaugural Environmental SA 2019 contest posing for a picture                                                                                            Pic: Supplied

New Trends Reporter

The hunt is on for the crowning of the first environmental pageant winners in South Africa with a total of 35 contestants vying for honours in five categories, come April 27.

The unique pageant, a brainchild of TML Models Academy, seeks to increase environmental awareness among the youth to enable them to become ambassadors of good environmental use. Contestants will be competing in the following categories; Little Miss Environmental SA 2019 (open to 6 – 10 yr olds); Miss Pre-Teen Environmental SA 2019 (11 – 13 yrs); Miss Teen Environmental SA 2019 (14 – 17 yrs) as well as the Mr. and Miss Environmental SA 2019.

“Finalists of this pageant are required to take part in environmental awareness campaigns and projects. In so doing, they will learn responsibility of humans to respect, protect, and preserve the natural world from human afflictions. Environmental awareness is an integral part of the pageant’s success,” said Thando Lepele, the CEO and Founder of TML Models Academy.

Some of the issues that the contestants will deal with include the recycling and reuse of plastic and other non-biodegradable materials; the use of alternative energy sources such as solar power; establishing vegetable gardens at homes, receive education on climate change, career paths in the environmental sector, among others. The programme also seeks to ignite the curiosity and appreciation of nature in children as young as six years old.

According to Lepele, the environment also presents various opportunities to grow the economy. Coming up with sustainable environment use initiatives such as solar power can create employment opportunities for the youth while recycling has, over the years, provided a livelihood to many families.

“We held a workshop on 30 November last year at the National Museum in Bloemfontein where DESTEA and ENGEDI Minerals and Energy presented on the importance of environmental affairs or aspects to our finalists. As our environmental ambassadors, the finalists learned a lot about the environment and are anxious to be involved in the awareness campaigns and projects,” Lepele said.

The pageant’s grand finale is expected to be held on 27 April at the Civic Centre in Bloemfontein.

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