With the vision to be the leading of University that contributes the most to environmental sustainability and climate change that enhances knowledge within communities; is the aim of the Durban University of Technology (DUT) Green Campus Initiative (GCI) which has achieved a lot in terms of knowledge, education and the implementation of GCI campaigns from the day of its inception in August 2012.
From 2012, the organisation has also implemented a number of programmes which have been a huge success. It is a dynamic place that conducts research, pioneer technological innovations, engage faculties and students and encourages community partnerships. The DUT GCI team address the climate challenge of reducing global warming emissions and of integrating sustainability into curriculum which will better serve students and help create a thriving, ethical and civil society.
The organisation is under the helm of GCI 2019 Chairperson, George Makwakwa, and includes GCI executive members and a mentor. The members are Mfumo Mabhunda, Nonjabulo Zibula, Sicelukwazi Duze, Thandeka Khumalo, Bulela Mankanzana, Nhlakanipho Khumalo, Ayanda Msomi and Sanele Mthembu.
DUT’s GCI uses two short term and long term strategy methods to differentiate their strategies used to ensure sustainability of the organisation. The DUT GCI team has dedicated Wednesdays as a day to raise awareness by the use of wearing green T-shirts that have different messages addressing the importance of a Green campus. By the use of this platform students have more of an understanding of how the GCI works and encourage more participation in programmes. Another great initiative by GCI is a programme which is done through the campus where they collect and separate waste for recycling and to be collected by the Durban municipality to the dumping site.
GCI 2019 Chairperson Makwakwa, said: “DUT consists of many organisations, clubs and societies but none of them are like the Green Campus Initiative, which holistically addresses issues of sustainability and forges a fight against global warming much as the new world movement is fearlessly doing.
“We promote the usage of renewable energy, the reduction in product wastage and much more all aimed at preserving our Earth for generations to come. The DUT GCI team in Durban works both on campuses and student residences, thus reaching out to the many spheres to ensure the direction we are heading is indeed right. Students must take the opportunity to make their own personal difference to the University stride to become greener. This action will offer vast benefits to students, staff and various other stakeholders associated with our University. Recognition for such efforts is always recorded in the history books that are continuously being written,” he said.
Also, as part of their annual programme, the GCI Executive of Durban announced that students now have an opportunity to join their movement through their Peer Recruitment Programme (closing date is 7 March 2019).
This programme is aimed at DUT resident students. Posters and other forms of online communication have been sent out with details of how to apply to join. They are looking for one student per DUT residence to enrol themselves in this vital cause. “Students who do not live in residences can still join our movement and programmes planned throughout the year, though it is imperative for these stakeholders to follow our social media pages and other forms of communication for invitations which will be posted,” said Makwakwa.
He also added that annually the DUT GCI team joins the majority of sister universities in the Green Campuses Conference, which will this year be hosted by the University of the Western Cape. He stressed that the conference serves as a platform to address developments on energy sustainability, environmental awareness and sharing many other ideas in connection of preserving the Earth. He further added, “We have our own major events each year which serves as an opportunity to involve those with talent of singing and modelling; both events are our main highlights in our calendar and they bring together all kinds of students to support their friends, classmates and their favourite contestants. The events are The Green Clash of the Choirs and Mr and Miss Green,” he said.
Students wishing to become GCI Peers need to send a motivational letter as to why they are a suitable candidate, with no previous record of misconduct. For more information, call the GCI Executive Team on 072 462 7933 or 071155 4819.
Pictured: The GCI Executive Team at DUT.