For the joy of children for generations to come and in honour of Arbor Week and Tourism Month, Tsogo Sun and environment partner, Miss Earth SA, planted 20 indigenous trees with 50 Grade 4 pupils at Diepsloot Primary School No. 4 on 6 September. Ten of the trees were donated by Samsonite.
Tsogo Sun and Miss Earth SA have been involved in the upliftment of Diepsloot Primary no. 4 for six years, contributing to the environmental improvement of the school grounds as well as installing and planting vegetable tunnels for the school feeding scheme.
Miss Earth SA is a leadership programme that annually empowers about 60 young South African women ‘ambassadors’ with knowledge and a platform to make a sustainable difference in combating the destruction of our natural heritage. In the past five years, Tsogo Sun and Miss Earth have planted thousands of trees, going some way towards offsetting the group’s carbon footprint.
As part of the Miss Earth SA leadership programme, 16 young women from across South Africa have been involved in different environmental and social projects and efforts in their communities for the last six months. From different provinces across South Africa, the women have been hosting tree planting and food security projects, clean-ups, collection drives and school educational workshops – all under the banner of this year’s theme: #WasteStopsWithMe.
Candy Tothill, Tsogo Sun’s GM of Corporate Affairs, says that, together with the conservation of electricity and water, and waste reduction, education and greening initiatives such as tree planting are high on the group’s environmental priorities (https://www.tsogosun.com/citizenship/environment). “We’re extremely aware of the environmental issues the planet is facing, as well as the need to take steps to reduce damaging impact. Planting trees is one way we can make a real difference for many people, particularly in disadvantaged areas, well into the future.”
Ella Bella Leite, Director of the Miss Earth Leadership Programme, says it’s a privilege to be in a position to add green value to the lives of children in Diepsloot. “We believe that the children will benefit from these trees, enjoy them, and take care of them as part of their heritage.”
National Arbor Week is an annual Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries programme “to encourage all South Africans to plant indigenous trees as a practical and symbolic gesture of sustainable and environmental management”, according to the department.