Thirty of the donated green desks were funded by TOMI through #GOGREEN, with the remaining 15 coming from funds raised by Two Oceans Marathon runners who participated in 2017 to raise funds for Wildlands.
Ikhaya le Themba was chosen as the first recipient of the green desks thanks to Imizamo Yethu playing such a pivotal role in the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon. The Hout Bay Rotary Club helped to establish an Imizamo Yethu marshalling team, with the race day crew now totalling 45 members. Initially, Ikhaya le Themba helped to establish the Imizamo Yethu marshalling team with the Hout Bay Rotary Club.
#GOGREEN was developed by Wildlands and is supported by Old Mutual. It aims to provide a practical solution for collecting, recycling and upcycling waste from athletes and spectators at endurance events, while educating them about responsible waste management. Large troughs, also known as green zones or throw zones, were set up at this year’s Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon so that runners could throw away their waste without littering on the route.
Through a combination of grinding and extrusion, and then squeezing and densifying the waste material into a mould, planks are produced and used to create school desks. It takes 60kg of previously unrecyclable waste to make a double green desk, which means that the manufacture of these 45 desks has diverted a total of 2 700kg of waste from landfill, rivers and oceans.
“Being the official beneficiary of the Two Oceans Marathon is a huge honour and we are humbled and grateful,” says Wildlands’ Lauren van Nijkerk. Since the first ground-breaking green desk was unveiled by Wildlands in June 2016, around 2 000 desks have been distributed to schools in need across KwaZulu-Natal, with another 1 100 in production.
Susan Hill, director of Ikhaya le Themba, said that the school’s learners, many of whom assist Hout Bay Rotary with marshalling during the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon, were very pleased to receive the desks. “We thank everyone involved with the campaign for this contribution.”
“One of the most rewarding aspects of Old Mutual’s sponsorship of events like the Two Oceans Marathon is that it enables us to collaborate on innovative projects that have both social and environmental benefits,” says Old Mutual’s chief marketing officer Vuyo Lee.