Sunday the 22nd April 2012 marked the 42nd anniversary of Earth Day. This is a historic event where people unite globally to take action and call for a sustainable future. Over one billion people in 192 countries and over 56,000 university students took part to honour this day, uniting with the same goal in mind – to ‘mobilize the Earth’.
The Greenpeace Local Durban Group saw this day as an opportunity to bring light to our country’s current energy crises, and to promote the value and necessity of renewable energy solutions in South Africa.
The volunteers were out in full swing at The Workshop (a shopping centre in Durban‘s CBD), showcasing our very nifty solar-powered trailer and our energized costumes.
The solar trailer depicts a ‘solar home system’ and powers an LCD television and speakers. This is achieved with two solar panels, an inverter, charge controller and batteries. The trailer represents an easy, tangible way of decreasing one’s dependence on Eskom’s dirty energy and achieving autonomy at home.
The issue of affordability was a key and valid point raised by the public, because many South Africans are unable to personally invest in renewable energy solutions.
This is one reason why Greenpeace started the Use Me More campaign calling for the government to use the sun and wind and invest more in renewable energies. This campaign lays out an easy, affordable platform for individuals to make a difference, by signing the Use Me More petition. The volunteers showed individuals how to sign on, all in an effort to get political will behind cleaner energy.
Overall, it was a fun sun-filled day, with high-energy volunteers and very amenable passersby. Our goal to educate and increase awareness was achieved.
Special thanks to the Greenpeace Joburg crew who helped us achieve a successful activity, the Workshop shopping centre for providing the venue, and my fellow Greenpeace Durban volunteers. You rock!
See photos from the day's activities below: