One hundred street and park clean-ups marked World Environment Day for Tsogo Sun and environmental partner Miss Earth South Africa; 99 on 3 June; and the hundredth clean-up in Soweto on Monday, 5 June.

Tsogo Sun employee volunteers from properties near the respective clean-up sites joined the Miss Earth SA regional finalists in their respective areas, encouraging community members to get involved and join the cleaning teams.

The clean-ups took place largely in and around streets and parks in such areas as Johannesburg, Soweto, Orange Farm, Daveyton, Roodepoort, Vanderbijlpark, Bloemfontein, Pretoria, Tembisa, Attridgeville, Polokwane, Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth.. The 100thclean-up was at Mshenguville Park in Soweto. This year’s theme of World Environment Day internationally was ‘Connecting Humans with Nature’, which encouraged communities and local community leaders to create natural environments in their areas to take care of and appreciate.

Miss Earth South Africa and Tsogo Sun were joined by their ongoing partners, the City of Joburg and Pikitup, the High Commissioner of Canada, representatives of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), Brand SA and the South African Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) in a continuation of the #WasteStopsWithMe campaign, which is now in its second year.

World Environment Day (WED) was established by the United Nations to increase awareness of the need to preserve and enhance the environment. In the South African context, WED is a key driver of month-long June Environment Month celebrations that include World Oceans Day and World Day to Combat Desertification – which are also annual events celebrated globally for positive action in the environmental sector.

“WED, and indeed Environment Month, is an opportunity for people to embrace their responsibility to care for the Earth and become agents of change; it’s a chance to do something positive for the environment, and to harness individual efforts into a collective power that translates into positive impact on the planet,” says Candy Tothill, Tsogo Sun’s GM of Corporate Affairs.

She adds, “It’s a privilege to be able to make a difference to our environment – and to work with passionate partners who are dedicated to educating people, young and old, on environmental responsibility. Tsogo Sun remains committed to having a lasting and positive impact on the environment, wherever possible.”

Says Ella Bella Constantinides Leite, Director of the Miss Earth South Africa Programme, “The theme is to ‘Connect with Nature’ and we are enabling the community to do just that. When you really connect with nature and give a little time to preserve, pick up and nurture this gift, it builds communities and builds a better South Africa. That’s how we are celebrating World Environment Month this year, by building a better Earth for everyone to enjoy.”

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