This year’s Greening the Future finalists and winners give us something real to celebrate after a long and turbulent year – and they ensure that we have something to look forward to.
“After Covid-19, it does seem like 2020 is a really dark time for us, and this planet,” says Sipho Kings, acting editor-in-chief at the Mail & Guardian. “But in the middle of the lockdown nature began to breathe again. As we slowed down the world, literally, started shaking less. Pollution decreased. Rivers became healthier. We got to breathe in cleaner air. This came at a tremendous human cost. It is, however, a sign of what we could do.”
As this year’s circumstances demonstrate, all is not lost – and as this year’s finalists show, we needn’t achieve our environmental goals at a great cost. Their projects and endeavours show a consideration for every aspect of our lived experience and have found remarkable ways to improve lives and livelihoods in the short term while safeguarding our future.
“The projects and individuals that we have awarded for over two decades are all showing us the way,” continues Kings. “This year’s finalists and winners give us, if we listen to them, a blueprint for a more sustainable world.”
Mail & Guardian launched Greening the Future in 1998, with the aim of “recognising these new trends and rewarding those companies, organisations and individuals who, by investing in the environment, are investing in our future”.
Nominated and selected by the public and a Mail & Guardian editorial panel, those featured in our 2020 supplement are awarded across six categories: Agribusiness, Urban Spaces, Sustainable Design, Clean Air and Quality of Life, Oceans and Waterways, and Forests. Their daily activities are varied and fascinating: working with materials from dough and wood chips to old tyres and young trees, in spaces from a vegan deli and legal offices to river banks, beaches and farms, they’re ensuring that sustainable living is easier for each of us who’d like to play our part.
Greening the Future finalists and winners will be shared with viewers in a virtual reveal at greenfuture.co.za from 6:30pm on Thursday 26 November, with the printed supplement included for our readers with the Friday 27 November edition of Mail & Guardian.