Spekboom, which has been described as SA’s “wonder plant”, can gobble up between four and 10 tons of carbon per hectare per year. Wembley College in Greytown has plans to plant lots of these small trees, which use carbon to make plant tissue and produce oxygen.
According to The Spekboom Foundation of SA, the plant’s capacity to offset harmful carbon emissions is compared to that of moist, subtropical forests. “This remarkable plant is unique in that it stores solar energy to perform photosynthesis at night. This makes a spekboom thicket 10 times more effective per hectare at carbon fixing than any tropical rainforest.”
Spekboom is also great at adapting to its surroundings and can flourish almost anywhere. It makes wonderful hedges and beautiful shrubs and, can be planted in fields, flowerbeds and pots.
To further promote its healthy and green school, the biology department of Wembley College, in conjunction with the school’s eco-committee, is using extra bottles not used for ecobricks to create planters for the high school classrooms. Once the cuttings have taken root and achieved a suitable size the plants will be planted into the gardens, where their carbon fixing potential can be achieved, the school said.
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In the meantime, the plants provide aesthetic value and improve the quality of air in the classroom.
“Wembley College encourages everyone to take a leaf out of our book and begin cultivating Spekboom in their homes, and become ecowarriors in our battle against climate change.”