SU to celebrate Sustainability Day; cycle relay a highlight

GoGreen – for a green generation! This is the theme for Stellenbosch University’s (SU) Sustainability Day that is celebrated on Thursday (15 March 2012).

The highlight of the day is a cycle relay with the new MATIE BIKES that takes place at 17:30 on the “Rooiplein”. Some 20 teams, consisting of staff and students, take part in this cycle fun race. The race begins at the JS Gericke Library and follows a route around the Wilcocks, up to Bosman Street, through the parking area at the Neelsie and down to the Rooiplein (click here for the route map).

Prizes are up for grabs for the best staff team, the best residence or private ward team and then the overall winning team. There will also be a lucky draw in which a bicycle from Flandria can be won as well as using a MATIE BIKE for free for a year. Several other prizes to raise awareness for sustainability will also be awarded.

Staff and students are invited to come and support the riders.

The relay also marks the official launch of the University’s cycling project as part of the institution’s Mobility Plan to reduce traffic on the campus and in the rest of Stellenbosch and thus contribute to sustainability. A total of 400 commuter bikes have been imported from the Netherlands for this purpose. In an effort to raise awareness for this project, a MATIES BIKE team participated successfully in the Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Cycle Tour – using the single-speed commuter bikes – on Sunday (link and video).

The Sustainability Day also boasts various exciting and interactive GoGreen exhibitions by a variety of student bodies, University divisions and departments and external organisations. The exhibitions can be visited in the Neelsie Student Centre. There will be practical demonstrations – ranging from a bicycle which generates energy to organic wine tasting as well as an exhibition of the MATIES BIKES.

The well-known green man, Mr Dave Pepler, presenter of the programme Groen on kykNET and a lecturer at the University, will present a talk at 13:00 in the “Vrouevereniging-saal” of the Student Centre.

Dr Barbara Pool, Manager: Projects at the University and organiser of the Sustainability Day, says there are a great number of sustainability initiatives on campus and that sustainability is entrenched in SU’s core functions and daily activities. “We not only want to showcase the University’s commitment to promoting a sustainable future, but we also want to create a special awareness of sustainability initiatives we can all partake in. By celebrating Sustainability Day we want to say that sustainability is not only a theoretical concept but can be applied in practice.”

The Sustainability Day also forms part of the University’s HOPE Project – a university wide initiative to find scientific solutions for some of the country’s and the continent’s greatest challenges.

Staff members parking their cars in front of the buildings along the route, are kindly requested to park their cars somewhere else and then to come and join in the festivities! Riders are reminded that they need to wear a helmet for the event.