The Happy Earth Festival : Teachers ! Learners! Have some fun while doing a whole lot of good ! Lynn Hurry with Friederike Voigt

Did you know that a plastic bag takes over 200 years to decompose in a landfill site? Did you know that it takes 870 litres water to produce 1 litres of wine? Did you know that recycling an aluminium tin can save energy to run the TV for 3 hours? Did you know that a mature leafy tree is producing enough oxygen to support two people and absorbing carbon dioxide at the same time!!! Have you ever heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, where lots of our plastic rubbish ends up?

Teachers, learners, moms and dads – want to know more about the environment and how we can make a difference with our life-style choice ? Then come along to the Happy Earth Festival!!. It is a follow up of the successful Eco-schools day held during last year’s Sustainable Living and Indigenous Plant Fair (SLIP). We had over 600 learners last year, spending a day of fun, learning and exploring the beautiful KZN Botanical Gardens. The Happy Earth Environmental Education and Sustainability Forum was founded after last year’s Eco-Schools day, identified as a need to build on the momentum of this successful event. It is a multi-department and multi-stakeholder volunteer association of passionate environmental educators. This organization put together the Happy Earth Hall during the Sunday Tribune Gardenshow in 2013.

The Happy Earth Festival will be run over two days, the 11th and 12th April 2014 at the National Botanical Gardens in Pietermaritzburg. It is open to school groups on Friday and parents, children and interested members of the public are encouraged to attend on Saturday. The Friday morning will focus on hands on activities for learners and teachers with organizations such as SANBI, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, Singakwenza, DUCT and WESSA Eco-schools. Registration for participating organizations is still open. There will also be a “Survivor” obstacle course through the gardens. WESSA Pietermaritzburg Eco-Schools will be recognised at the annual Eco-Schools Awards Ceremony on Friday afternoon.

Saturday will have a full program including an up-cycle fashion show, workshop for teachers and the interested public and environmental stands where they can learn about environmental and sustainable topics. Entry to the Botanical Gardens for the Happy Earth Festival will be free. So save the dates and join us for a fun way to learn, to be inspired, and motivated. Let’s connect kids (and grown-ups too) to nature and let’s step together towards a more sustainable life style.

If you are a teacher or a learner and would like to participate in this exciting event, please send an email to by 20 March 2014. If you are an organisation that has an environmental educational experiential activity or message to share and would like to be involved in the festival, please send an email to Friederike Voigt – Email or call her on 082 779 6766.

We are looking forward to seeing YOU there !

Friederike Voigt (PhD)
(Happy Earth Forum coordinator)
Tel 033 344 1166
Cell 082 779 6766

Why the Hurry  pic scotsville prim and solar cooker ed138 mar14

Scottsville Primary celebrate ten years on the WESSA Eco-Schools Programme receive a solar cooker their Diamond Decade Award. (pic supplied)