GENERATION EARTH: Felix Donkor shows the Mondeor Primary the ropes on sustainable gardening

GENERATION EARTH: Felix Donkor (Phd APES) shows the Mondeor Primary the ropes on sustainable gardening. Photo: Michelle Gumede

Large tyres filled with leaves, torn newspaper and vermicast soil  are some of the ways Wits society Generation Earth is helping to spread the word on environmentally friendly living.

Generation Earth visited Mondeor primary school last Thursday to teach primary school learners how to start sustainable vegetable gardens.

“We have to share our knowledge on sustainable gardening with the school kids because they are the future of this country,” said Felix Donkor, an Animal Plant and Environmental Sciences (APES) PhD student and executive committee member of Generation Earth.

Founder of Generation Earth and teacher at Mondeor primary school, Ella Bella Elaine Constantinides, said the school had previously attempted to plant a vegetable garden but it was unsuccessful and fell apart with most of the vegetation dying.

“Now Wits Generation Earth is teaching us how to sustainably plant, grow and take of our garden,” said Constantinides.

Eleven-year-old Madison Bailey told Wits Vuvuzela that she and her sister chose to join Generation Earth because “we love the plants and flowers.”

A third-year Fine Art student and Miss Earth semi finalist, Jessica Janse Van Rensburg, attended the historic event as she has a fierce passion for the environment.

“Joburg is a beautiful city and we need to teach the young guys how to take care of it for their sake as well,” said Janse Van Rensburg. She told Wits Vuvuzela that she feels young people need someone to look up to, someone to act and inspire them to do the right thing.

Glenanda primary school head prefects were also there in solidarity with the greening initiative. Deputy head girl, Keisha Ras, said that she feels it is important to have more trees and go green. “It’s an honor for us to do this especially with a Miss Earth finalist,” she said.

Local community builder and leader, Robert Winter, said “these kids absorb information and they go on to do it themselves at home, sustainable living becomes a part of who they are.”

Winter is more than happy to teach the children about gardening, soil types, plant uses and everything to do with green living.  With over 100 plant cuttings in his garden and two water tanks, he has much experience on environmental sustainability.