”Be the change you want to see in the world, it starts with you.” This was the message of Dr Karien Henrico, a University of Johannesburg (UJ) lecturer and Mrs South Africa finalist when she addressed a group of students at the University’s Doornfontein Campus on Friday, 18 September 2015.
Speaking at an event that aims to spread awareness on the value of recycling, Dr Henrico encouraged the students to start adopting new habits and developing environmentally conscious lifestyles. She said that the main focus of the event was to grow and develop ‘green leaders’.
“By recycling we can contribute to less pollution and litter thus creating a healthier, greener and cleaner society. I urge you to embark on your own environmental projects and lead the way for a greener South Africa,” she said.
The recycling campaign is in partnership with Mpact, Mrs South Africa, the Department of Environmental Health and the University’s Department of Somatology.
As a Mrs South Africa finalist, Dr Henrico wishes to use the platform afforded to her as an opportunity to not only care for the people in the country but leave a healthier environment for the generations to come. “We must take a stand to save our natural heritage. It is of vital importance to preserve our resources, wetlands, and wild spaces. The time is now; climate change does not only affect global economies but the people of Africa as well. We need to live more responsible and sustainable lives.”
She pointed out that recycling reduce the carbon footprint, but recycling also creates employment and economic empowerment opportunities for around 100,000 people in the country. “We should partner with communities to promote recycling and job creation through recycling,” she elaborated.
Dr Henrico concluded: “Please take care of the environment so that we and our children, and our children’s children can also enjoy nature and its beauty.”