Social Change Challenge: March

Things are pretty good social change- wise when you move on to doing three challenges in a month. These ones aren’t hard, though, and nothing costs more than R25!

cover of The Big Issue
This month’s issue focuses on the threat posed by fires in the Cape.  Image: The Big Issue

Support The Big Issue

For just R25 every month, you can buy an interesting magazine, while directly creating jobs! This month’s Big Issue topic is fires in informal settlements. There is also a subscription option (R275 per year, including postage in South Africa and R204.84 per year for an online subscription). Although the profits from the subscriptions don’t go directly to the vendors, the money is channelled into social and skills development programs.

Iziko exhibition
The National Gallery is exhibiting its most recent acquisitions.  Image: Iziko

Participate in Human Rights Day Celebrations

Visit a national museum or gallery

There are things that our government gets right and granting free access to museums and galleries on public holidays is one of my favourites.

Iziko South African Museum

Iziko’s South African Museum holds a number of natural and historic artifacts, including dinosaur fossils.

Iziko South African National Gallery

The gallery is currently hosting Filling in the Gaps, an exhibition of works acquired since 2014. Artists featured include Moses Tladi and Peter Clarke. 

National Library Week

18-24 March 2019 is library week across the country. Although most of us see it only as an opportunity to dodge library fines, the idea is to encourage active involvement with libraries, for example by joining the local Friends of the Library association.

Good Green Deeds campaign
The government has launched a new campaign to encourage eco-friendly habits. Image: the South African Government

Get behind the new Good Green Deeds Drive

President Ramaphosa has just launched a new environmental awareness campaign that aims to reduce environmental pollution and, ultimately, to improve quality of life.

There’s nothing new about recycling and avoiding littering but what is of interest is that government is now actively facilitating eco-friendly practices (which points out just how important it is for us to think green). So, for the March challenge, let’s fine-tune our green practices.

Donate your recycling

Ensure that your recycling is going to a public school or NPO so that these organisations can profit, as well as the environment. This is even more beneficial for the environment as having an incentive to recycle helps to encourage further recycling. (As much as a mind-shift as it may be to switch, your former private school does not need extra funds for a new astroturf!)

Cut down on single-use plastic straws

After all the years carrying around reusable bamboo straws to avoid single-use plastic, we can finally let go and accept the straws that accompany our drinks! Mugg & Bean and Ocean Basket are just some of the major restaurants chains that now serve recyclable cardboard straws! Even more impressive is that Coca-Cola will be ending  its supply of plastic straws to soft drink outlets. However, there are still eateries that present plastic straws. With big business like Coca-Cola on board the no-plastic straw bus, now is a good time to apply the pressure if you are given a plastic straw. There’s no need to give your waiter a lecture but a few, well-chosen comments will get back to the powers that be.

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