Awards celebrate eco champions

Glamorously green winners, from left, Wikus Olivier, Adele Botha, Brent Youens, Zoë Boshoff, Elizabeth Daniel, Stefano Semprini, and Sandra Venzke.

A “tree”, a “leopard” and numerous “fairies” were just some of the guests at the 2023 Eco-Champions Ecologic Awards held at the Two Oceans Aquarium on Thursday November 9.

Hosted by Enviropaedia, an online environmental encyclopaedia, the awards recognise the environment-saving efforts of individuals, organisations and communities across 13 categories.

The Tale of Two Leopards took the nature conservation category. The collaborative project by the Cape Leopard Trust and Endangered Wildlife Trust was launched in June 2021 to protect both the leopard and the western leopard toad.

And the Cape Leopard Trust’s CEO, Helen Turnbull, received the gold eco-angel award.

The Water Hub, a research project supported by the Western Cape government and the Stellenbosch municipality, took gold in the water conservation category.

UCT’s Dr Kevin Winter accepted the award saying the project is meant to inspire a new generation of leaders in water management. Vergelegen Wine Estate in Somerset West took the silver award.

Textile technologist sisters Kim and Natalie Ellis, of The Joinery, took gold in the eco-fashion and lifestyle category. The design brand has so far saved 900 000 plastic bottles from entering the landfill by repurposing them into luxury products such as the gowns and wide-brimmed hats they wore.

Something good to come from the Covid 19 lockdown is Backyard Farms. Based in Klein Joostenberg, the eco-friendly community award was accepted by Dom Johnson. During the pandemic, he operated an emergency feeding project for thousands of people within the townships and communities of the Western Cape.

Constantia comedian Nik Rabinowitz hosted the ceremony with light-hearted quips after Langa Marimba Band sounded the call for guests to enter the conference hall.

Guests were encouraged to wear “glamorously green” costumes to stand a chance of winning various prizes.

Enviropaedia publisher David Parry-Davies said the eco champions showed that through “eco-logical intelligence” we can all make a positive impact and collectively heal this planet, and in the process, heal ourselves.

The awards show will be televised on People’s Weather, DStv channel 180, and OpenView, channel 115, on Saturday December 2 and 16, at 8am and 2pm.

Disguised as a tree and a leopard, Wikus Olivier and Adele Botha, from Kabega Primary School in Gqeberha, won an award for being a glamorously green eco couple.
From left, Hermi King, of Devil’s Peak, with Moritz Wrubell and Gary King, both from Tamboerskloof.
Elma Pollard and her son, Ruben Swart, both from Somerset West.
ProNature Paints took silver in the eco-friendly products category. From left, Bernhard Lembeck, Marina Malitskaia and Sandra Venzke, all from Table View.
Textile technologist sisters Kim and Natalie Ellis, of The Joinery, Paarl, took gold in the eco-fashion and lifestyle category.
Constantia comedian Nik Rabinowitz, left, with UCT’s Dr Kevin Winter, of Rondebosch, accepting the gold award in the water conservation category for The Water Hub.
From left, Rayne Alexander, of Noordhoek; Brett Stott and Nobeel Desbois, both from Claremont; and Yoliswa Gumede, from KwaZulu-Natal.
Kate Stubbs and Natasha Edward from Johannesburg with Carmen Goliath, of Parow, and Jacques Collin, of Bellville.
Two Oceans Aquarium marine scientist Shanet Rutgers, of Bothasig, left, with communications manager Heather Wares, of Tokai.
Engineering and renewable energy specialist Stefano Semprini, of Muizenberg, right, with deputy mayor, Eddie Andrews, of Plumstead.
Lourens Leewner, of Simon’s Town, with Dr Jeanne Tarrant, of Durbanville, both with the Endangered Wildlife Trust.
Sivuyile Mamanzi, of Rondebosch, middle, with Natasha Adonis, of Ruyterwacht, left, and Marina Welcome, of Elsies River.
Eco angel award winner Helen Turnbull, of Constantia, left, with Katy Williams, of Paarl, both from the Cape Leopard Trust.
David Green, of Newlands, with Dr Kevin Winter and Sheila Winter from Rondebosch.
Flower girls, from left, Elizabeth Maans, of Fisantekraal, Danielle Cronje, from Durbanville, and Carla Ferreira, of Mowbray.