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Fast Facts: Green UWC

It’s no surprise that the University of the Western Cape (UWC) has been declared Africa’s Greenest Campus in the African Green Campus Initiative Challenge...twice. What do you expect from a university where...

That fleet of golf carts you see zipping around campus? They’re powered by hydrogen fuel cell technology (HFCT) courtesy of Hydrogen Systems - noiseless, effective, and pollution-free - the only emission is water. HySA has also been responsible for many other HFCT breakthroughs in South Africa: the first hydrogen-powered tricycle, first fuel cell backup power systems prototype for the telecommunications market, and the first loadshedding-beating hydrogen fuel cell generator for the UWC Nature Reserve.

The UWC Nature Reserve - 30ha of Cape Flats Dune Strandveld - is involved in environmental education, and is home to more than 200 indigenous plant species. It also hosts a variety of animals, including the Cape angulate tortoise, mongoose, grysbok, 90 bird species and a wealth of insect life.

UWC’s Recycling Initiative receives an average of 70 tons of recycling each month, creates employment opportunities for over 100 people, and sells the recycled materials to help fuel more greening. (Looking at a bin on campus and wondering what to put in it? Green is for recyclables; yellow is for non-recyclables; white is for paper. Simple, right?)

The recently-launched Green Nanotechnology Centre combines the strengths of nanobioscience, nanochemistry and nanophysics to develop innovative solutions for societal benefit - alternative energy, new medical diagnostic/therapeutic agents, biological sensors, chemical sensors, smart electronic materials, nanoscale robots and environmentally benign breathing devices. And that’s just for starters.

Even the feral cats play their part. They’re provided a safe environment and decent care - and in return, they provide a natural means of pest control. Everybody wins! Except the pests, of course.

Inspired yet? Want to go get some more greening in your life? Why not join over 2,000 student volunteers form part of the UWC GCI Chapter, actively participating in various clean-ups, green talks and debates, and green gardening endeavours? Or get involved with the Young Environmental Africans movement.

 

 

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