South African underwater photographer Allen Walker (Warner Beach) took the number one spot for the shark photography category at the World ShootOut 2018 awards held at the boot Düsseldorf dive show in Germany recently. “I am thrilled about having won the shark photography category of the prestigious World ShootOut. It puts South Africa firmly on the world map of underwater photography and will promote tourism to South Africa in the diving industry, more specifically shark diving which has become a very popular activity for underwater divers and photographers from around the world. Aliwal Shoal on the KZN south coast boasts with some of the best shark diving in the world and is definitely a must-visit attraction. I really hope that this will also strengthen South Africa’s resolve to protect these animals for future generations and the tourism industry,” commented Walker. Hundreds of photographers from around 40 countries around the world take part in the World ShootOut competition year after year, submitting thousands of images and videos, ranging from those that capture the calm lakes of the Nordic countries and Canada, showcase the exotic secrets hidden in Alaska and introduce the great dramatic white shark in the Gulf of Mexico. To see more of Walker’s images visit: http://www.awphotosa.com CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
February 11, 2019 – MALIBU, Calif., U.S. – Plastic Oceans International and Breathe Conservation, two global nonprofit organizations dedicated to solving the plastic pollution problem, today announced Swim Against Plastic: Easter Island, a campaign to raise awareness about plastic pollution with a world-record swim, education and beach cleanups on Easter Island in March. Sarah Ferguson, a former national swimmer for South Africa and founder of Breathe Conservation, will attempt to set a world record to become the first person ever to swim the entire perimeter of Easter Island. Her journey will cover more than 40 miles (65 kilometers) through cold water and dangerous currents, and the swim is estimated to take up to 24 hours to complete. “This is a huge challenge, but my passion for ocean protection and rehabilitation is a strong driving force that fuels this dream,” said Sarah Ferguson, founder of Breathe Conservation. “It is our responsibility to protect the ocean, and I’m proud to partner with Plastic Oceans International on this campaign to fight the problem of plastic pollution.” Located in the South Pacific Ocean between Chile and New Zealand, Easter Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site on Chilean territory that is considered the most remote inhabited island on the planet. The waters surrounding the island contain one of the highest concentrations of microplastics in the world, most of which originates from sources thousands of miles away. In addition, 20 tons of trash is produced daily on the island, so waste management issues, especially related to the growing tourism industry, are prevalent. Swim Against Plastic: Easter Island includes a series of beach cleanups to help restore Easter Island’s fragile environment. Plastic Oceans and Breathe Conservation are organizing the events with the island’s local communities and nonprofit organizations, encouraging all residents to participate. “The planet needs leaders to draw attention to the serious . . .
#RunningDry community joins with Mina Guli on marathon 100 NEW YORK, February 11, 2019. International water activist, Mina Guli’s #RunningDry movement came full circle on Monday 11 February, 100 days after Mina kicked off by running the New York Marathon. Having initially started as a solo campaign for Mina to run 100 marathons in 100 consecutive days around the world to raise awareness for the global water crisis, the campaign turned into a movement after marathon 62 when Mina fractured her femur and was no longer able to continue on her own. Thousands of people from more than 44 countries across all 7 continents banded together to cover the distance for Mina, logging a collective distance equal to the distance from the North to South Pole, whilst at the same time pledging to do what they can to save water. The sport of running was used as a way to highlight water issues around the world. “Over the past 100 days we have seen first-hand the enormous impact on families, communities and economies when taps run dry. But we have also had the privilege of meeting incredible water heroes around the world who are 100 percent committed to helping save our most precious resource,” says Mina Guli. Starting with the New York City Marathon on the 4th of November 2018, Mina ran a marathon every day, while travelling to run across Europe (UK, France, Italy), Uzbekistan, India, China, Hong Kong, Dubai, the Middle East (Jordan, Palestine, Israel), and South Africa where an acute fracture was identified in her femur. She then went on to Australia before heading back to the USA to finish the 100-day journey back where she started in New York. “When I broke my leg in Cape Town someone told me an old African proverb – if you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together – which perfectly sums up the #RunningDry movement,” says Mina. “Together we have created a movement for change - people around the world stepping up for water saving, and committing to . . .
Baltimore, MD, January 31, 2019 -- From February 8 - 17, Maryland Vegan Eats launches their winter vegan restaurant week, expanding outside the Baltimore City limits. Visit close to 30 participating eateries in Baltimore and surrounding counties who have been challenged to produce new and creative vegan-friendly dishes – not just another freaking salad. "Restaurants are usually looking to bring new business in and what a way to do this and appease a market you might not be catering to right now," said event co-founder and co-owner, Naijha Wright-Brown, of the award winning, vegan soul food bistro, The Land of Kush. According to data collected by the Vegetarian Resource Group, nearly 40 percent of Americans choose to order vegan in restaurants, regardless of diet. Samantha Claassen, proprietor of Golden West Cafe, located in the Hampden section of Baltimore, also a co-founder of Vegan Restaurant Week, has expressed, “This event is about sharing the beauty and simplicity of vegan food. We started an annual vegan week in our restaurant four years ago because there was a lack of options and understanding of what vegan food really is. We wanted to have a week where we focused on an underserved community of people, so we gave vegans a place to share a meal. I've always dreamed that other establishments would join in and am happy to have finally partnered with The Land of Kush after years of hoping.” The winter Vegan Restaurant Week is the fourth of a series of bi-annual events. Entering it's second year, restaurant foodies, vegan and veg-curious, are now invited to dine out and vote on the best vegan dishes in the categories of Best Appetizer, Best Entree, Best Brunch, Best Dessert and Best Overall. There will also be some special events planned at participating restaurants and venues during the week. Restaurants still have time to participate. But hurry because registration closes on Thursday, February 7th. For more information about Maryland Vegan Restaurant . . .
Mina Guli’s #RunningDry movement sees people from all over the world completing more than 200 marathons on Sunday 27 January 2019 to raise awareness for the global water crisis! AUSTRALIA, January 29, 2019. On Sunday 27 January 2019, thousands of people across the world laced up their running shoes to help Mina Guli reach the target of collectively running and walking more than 100 marathons in 1 day to raise awareness for the global water crisis. As of midnight on the 27th of January 251 marathons had been logged, which is an incredible distance of 10 629.3km. People logged marathons from 44 different countries and territories - from Antarctica to Sweden, Mexico to Japan, Australia to Serbia and everywhere in between. “I’m blown away by people’s passion for water, and their commitment and willingness to step up to this challenge,” says Mina Guli. “I have always believed in the power of the people to change the world. On Sunday we saw that happen. I’m inspired for our future and the future of our planet. Together we truly can make a difference in how we see and think about water.” Mina originally set out to run 100 marathons in 100 consecutive days around the world, before having to readjust her vision upon breaking her femur at marathon number 62. The global community have rallied around her, logging marathons for her on social media every day since then. Since announcing her injury on the 5th of January, collectively more than 22 747.4km have been logged, including Sunday’s mammoth effort.” “We had distances from 1km to over 50km, in temperatures from -15 degrees Celsius to over 40 degrees Celsius,” says Mina. “We had people running in deserts, snow and in forests. We had people running by rivers and others by oceans and waterways. Some ran in cities and on tracks. Some ran in groups and others on their own. But every single one of them donated their miles on Sunday to support our campaign and help drive global water awareness. Every step and every . . .
Johannesburg 29 January 2019 - Enterprise Development (ED) and Supplier Development (E&SD) is one of the most current government and private sector driven programs, after the 2003 Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) document. These programs are racially selective systems to empower previously disadvantaged groups and to enhance the economy, in South Africa. According to the Stellenbosch Business School, Enterprise Development is defined as ‘the act of investing time and capital in helping people establish, expand or improve businesses.’ This certainly presents young entrepreneurs, inventors and those with unique business ideas, with the opportunity of making a difference in society - not just for themselves, but for other economically active citizens as well. At the end of 2018, nearly 800 000 matric candidates sat for their final exams across the country. Of these many will opt to further their studies through a tertiary institution, but for those who will be seeking employment, it will not be easy. According to an article in Fin24, less than a quarter of matriculates will find jobs relatively quickly. The economist, Mike Schüssler of economists.co.za said in the online article - about the previous year’s matriculates - dated January 2018, “Those members of the matric class of 2017 who will not be studying further, but will be looking for a job, will not be easily absorbed by the job market.” He continued, “it will be tough for them to get work. Over 50% of our matriculates under the age of 34 have not found permanent employment and it’s not getting better.” [https://goo.al/pfEP3H] Whilst the facts of the situation are important, seemingly, discomforting news articles make those who just completed their exams, be it in school or a tertiary institution, rather despondent. These are meant to be the years to which they look forward to making a difference and impacting the South African economy; and those communities in which they live. Those . . .
“Through its active involvement each year, the plastics and packaging industry has proven that its concern for marine litter is not just an awareness project, but a driving passion that transforms actions into words” The results of the 2018 International Coastal Clean-up, which took place on Saturday, 15 September 2018, have just been released. “For more than two decades, thousands of South African volunteers have been joining the rest of the world on the third Saturday of September to remove, collect and document the litter from our country’s coastlines. During the 2018 event, 19,563 volunteers collected 241,425 items nationally in audited clean-ups that took place along the country’s 2 500km long coastline,” reports John Kieser, Sustainability Manager of Plastics|SA and Western Cape ICC coordinator of this annual event. (Although this is the official figure, many more volunteers and kilograms of litter were removed at unaudited clean-ups that took place throughout South Africa and throughout the month of September.) Top pollutants on South Africa’s beaches According to Kieser, the most recent results showed that broken down plastic pieces, foam pieces, cigarette butts, bottle caps, food wrappers (such as chip packets and sweet wrappers), glass pieces, beverage bottles, straws and lolly sticks continue to be the biggest pollutants on our country’s beaches. Asthma pumps were the most prolific medical items found in the three Cape provinces, whilst in Kwazulu-Natal (especially in urban clean-ups), it was disposable syringes. “The main cause of litter on our beaches and in the marine environment, is irresponsible human behaviour. The improper disposal of waste and a lack of waste management infrastructure are the two biggest issues that need to be addressed and corrected,” he stressed. Kieser added that the increase in the amount of disposable diapers found illegally dumped (especially around informal settlements) was another area of concern, whilst . . .
Hammarsdale, KZN, 24 January 2019. Scientists attending the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group II meeting in Durban, on Wednesday (January 23) visited Mathe Group, South Africa’s largest radial truck tyre recycling plant. Based in Hammarsdale, the factory has been a trailblazer in the recycling of the millions of used radial truck tyres that had been building up in the country. Intense product development and changing mind sets to create demand for the resulting rubber crumb were key to Mathe’s ongoing success, explained Dr Mehran Zarrebini, head of British investment group PFE International, which bought a major stake in the group three years ago. Until 2012, South Africa had no tyre recycling strategy. Dr Zarrebini explained that, because tyres are robust and durable, they are notoriously difficult to recycle and take ages to biodegrade. Up until now, they either accumulated in landfills or were dumped on vacant land. Often, impoverished communities burnt them for warmth or to remove scrap metal. The resulting dioxins and carbon monoxide were both an environmental and a health hazard. Mathe Group began operating from a mini factory in New Germany, Pinetown in 2012. The joint venture with PFE International ensured a ready supply of rubber crumb for the manufacture of acoustic underlays for carpets manufactured at PFE’s Van Dyck Floors factory. When the new R20 million processing plant in Hammarsdale came on stream in 2016, the number of tyres processed shot up from 8 500 in 2012 to over 170 000 in 2018 and rubber crumb output grew from 400 T to 6200 T. Dr Marlies Craig, Science Officer for the IPCC Working Group II pointed out that operations like Mathe Group were important in light of the dire warnings in the latest IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C. “Without wide ranging, unprecedented and immediate transformation in the way we do things, we are heading for extremely dangerous levels of global warming, . . .
Veolia Water Technologies South Africa has been re-awarded the operational and chemical water treatment contract for ArcelorMittal South Africa at its Vanderbijlpark steel Works operation. Veolia has operated the facility’s water-related infrastructure and supplied and managed its chemical dosing requirements since 2014. The awarding of the new contract will see the water treatment specialist operate the plant until 31 October 2021. ArcelorMittal South Africa Vanderbijlpark Works is one of the largest inland steel mills in the world, consisting of 60 water systems in nine separate site locations. Veolia will manage all the water treatment facilities, including the dosing of approximately 100 tons of Hydrex™ water treatment chemicals per month. These include chemicals for boiler treatment, cooling water treatment, coagulants and flocculants, antiscalants and disinfectants, which are manufactured at Veolia’s new 6 600 m2 Hydrex™ chemical blending facility in Kempton Park. Unique treatment plant ArcelorMittal South Africa, Vanderbijlpark Works, is required to comply with zero effluent discharge (ZED) standards. This is to ensure its economic sustainability and reduce its environmental impact. In order to ensure ZED, it requires the treatment of process effluents to a quality suitable for reuse on various plants. Part of the effluent is treated to ultra-pure boiler feed water quality utilising reverse osmosis and CEDI technology while the remainder is recycled to different non-critical cooling circuits and process systems. The build-up of salinity is controlled by two thermal desalination plants. Veolia group is the global leader in optimized resource management. With nearly 169 000 employees worldwide, the Group designs and provides water, waste and energy management solutions which contribute to the sustainable development of communities and industries. Through its three complementary business activities, Veolia helps to develop access to resources, . . .
Severe injury turns #RunningDry from a campaign into a movement as community rallies to run marathons and raise awareness about global water crisis with 100 marathons in 1 day CAPE TOWN, January 22, 2019. Mina Guli’s vision for her 100 marathons in 100 days #RunningDry campaign was simple: to make saving water famous. Just over 2 weeks after announcing her injury on social media and completing 62 marathons in 62 days, this vision has become a reality with #RunningDry becoming a worldwide movement. “The support I have received from around the world has been so humbling - and so inspiring,” says Mina. “I found out yesterday that my original injuries to my femur have become substantially worse!” The global running and water communities have rallied around Mina and undertaken to complete the remaining marathons for her. They have already logged more than 8500 km of donated kilometres, which has seen #RunningDry trending on Twitter. “#RunningDry is about using the sport of running to get people around the world to pay attention to the water crisis happening around us,” explains Mina. “I will honestly be forever grateful to every single person, young or old, walker or runner, for taking time out of their lives to help raise awareness for the global water crisis that we are facing,” says Mina. “I have always said that I want to make saving water so famous that it’s no longer the right thing to do, but the only thing to do. That dream is now becoming a reality!” On Sunday 27 January, the #RunningDry community will attempt 100 marathons in 1 day - worldwide. 100 marathons in 1 day for 1 reason: water. To take part, supporters will simply run or walk a marathon (or part of a marathon) and log their distance on social media with the hashtag #RunningDry. The marathons will be taking place all over the world, linked together by #RunningDry. Supporters are encouraged to share water facts (available on Mina’s website) and invite their friends to join. To date, the . . .