UKZN alumnus Ms Palesa Mchunu is a semi-finalist in the Miss Earth South Africa pageant – a leadership programme that aims to empower young South African women with the knowledge and a platform to create a sustainable difference in the struggle against the destruction of the country’s natural heritage.
‘I’ve always wanted to be a part of this platform,’ said Mchunu. ‘I see women doing amazing things in partnership with the Miss Earth SA organisation who pave the way for them to become leaders and eventually eco-warriors,’ said Mchunu.
An eco-initiative that Mchunu is involved in with the Go Green Campaign, started on Mandela Day. ‘We organised a food garden and motivational speakers to address high school learners and donated non-perishable food to a community old age home,’ said Mchunu. ‘I also participated in an eco-fashion challenge to recycle old material into new products and planted 10 trees – sponsored by the Kloof Conservancy – at schools in Sydenham in September for Arbour Month and took part in beach clean-ups.’
Mchunu, who sees herself as an advocate for processes that stem climate change and the pollution of the ocean, aims to minimise her carbon footprint and encourage those around her to do the same.
‘We are given a voice to create change and make the world a better place. Never be afraid to stand up for what you believe in, even if it seems impossible,’ said Mchunu.
‘The environment is in great danger because of our actions. If we don’t act now, our kids and future generations will suffer. Let us join forces to protect our planet.’