The City of Tshwane celebrated Earth Hour 2017 throughout the weekend with a variety of activities. This year the City organised and participated in three events, each aligned to the mitigation of carbon emissions, namely waste, green buildings and low-carbon mobility respectively. Each ceremony spoke to a specific thematic sustainability focus, namely reducing carbon emission by diverting waste from landfills, using less electricity by switching off non-essential lights and promoting low-carbon transport through cycling.
Waste: Earth Hour gives us all an opportunity to reflect on our impact on our environment and how we manage our waste, which has a direct impact on our environment. The Atteridgeville Recycling Park Open Day aimed to raise awareness of the activities of the park and debunk any concerns held by community members, especially in relation to composting; to build skill in vegetable gardening and composting; and to develop an understanding of entrepreneurial opportunities associated with compost (bulk purchasing and retailing).
Green buildings: Menlyn Maine prides itself on being the first green city in South Africa, where people can live, work and play in a sustainable environment. All role players were requested to shine a light on climate change and switch off all non-essential lights from 20:30 to 21:30 to observe Earth Hour. In doing so, South Africa saved about 400 megawatt electricity during Earth Hour. A total of 4.7 million 60-watt light bulbs were switched off.
Low-carbon mobility: Hammanskraal in Region 2 was the venue for the Hammanskraal Green Ride, popularly known as the "Kasi Ride". It was aimed at promoting low-carbon interventions, healthy lifestyles and non-motorised transportation in communities. The Kasi Ride demonstrated cycling as a mode of transport that can apply in any environment, not only on cycling tracks. The event had a great turnout, as cyclists including young ones came in numbers to support and participate in the 35 km cycling fun ride starting at the Hammanskraal Sports Complex (near the Mandela statue).
The MMC for Sport and Recreation, Cllr Ntsiki Mokhotho, welcomed all participants and wished them a joyful day. She briefly explained what Earth Hour is about and how it led to hosting the Kasi Ride and similar events. "I welcome you all and wish to say thank you for supporting this great event. This supports Earth Hour, and we continue to appeal to all people to become the change that our planet needs," said Mokhotho in her message.