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October 07, 2009

Cape Town Tourism celebrates Green October


Rondvlei Nature Reserve, photo courtesy Ian Junor

Every major city in the world offers its visitors parks, a strip of beach or an urban forest. Cape Town’s allure, however, lies in the wealth and diversity of natural attractions and outdoor activities that it offers its residents and visitors: from the trails on Table Mountain to the bird and sea life of the Peninsula.

The City of Cape Town has joined the United Nations Environment Programme and partners this month in launching a “Cape Town Green Week” from October 19 to 23, 2009. Cape Town aims to become the “Greenest Business City on Earth” for the duration of this week, with a cluster of national and international “green” launches taking place in the city.

This forms part of the bigger picture in which the Executive Mayor of Cape Town and major tourism associations like Fedhasa, Satsa, Saaci and Cape Town Tourism signed a Charter on Responsible Tourism on September 28, 2009. This responsible tourism initiative has the goals of economic growth, environmental integrity and social justice.

Cape Town Tourism will be celebrating green living and responsible tourism throughout the month of October.

Visit these green initiatives in the Cape Flats and townships:

  • Kuyasa Clean Energy Project in Kuyasa, Khayelitsha involved fitting eight low-cost houses and two crèches with simple energy-saving devices like insulated ceilings, low-watt bulbs and solar water heaters. This resulted in a 2.85-ton saving of carbon dioxide annually and a 40% saving in electricity bills to the families who live in these homes.
  • The Edith Stephens Wetlands Park in Phillippi is home to 37 bird species and a variety of reptiles. A very rare plant called Isoetes capensis which has remained unchanged for 200-million years can be found in this wetland.
  • Rondevlei Nature Reserve in Grassy Park is the only place in the Western Cape where you can see hippos. It has a museum, waterside trail, aquarium, live reptile display and carp fishing.
  • Tsoga Environmental Centre in Langa involves the local community in projects like food gardens, street cleaning and recycling and can be found in Washington Street.
  • Fezeka Community Garden in Nyanga is a Harvest of Hope initiative which teaches people to grow organic vegetables to feed their own families. Visit their website http://harvestofhope.co.za to see how you can make a difference.
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