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26 March 2018 Photo Pixabay
Back to the drawing board to save water
We’ve managed to damage nature’s ‘filter’ with air, ocean, and soil pollution, and by destroying wetlands.

Dr Cindé Greyling, a University of the Free State (UFS) DiMTEC (Disaster Management Training and Education Centre for Africa) alumni, studied drought mitigation with a strong focus on communicating important water-saving information. 

Can we run out of water?
Yes, and no, says Dr Greyling. “To our knowledge, water is not ‘leaking’ through our atmosphere. We have what we have, but that doesn’t mean we will have enough clean, fresh water forever. Nature has a magnificent way of purifying water through the water cycle. We, on the other hand, must use a lot of money and energy to purify water. Also, we’ve managed to damage nature’s ‘filter’ with air, ocean, and soil pollution, and by destroying wetlands. The other problem is a simple supply and demand scenario. More people will need more water, but not only that, population growth calls for industry development and increased food supplies – all of which require more water.”    

A war over water
Besides some Hollywood impressions, it is difficult to imagine a war over water, but it is possible. “Some experts are convinced that we are heading there, and others claim that such tensions already exist. Personally, I don’t favour these kinds of shock tactics (or truths) – social research has shown us that it rarely leads to behavioural changes. We can learn a lot from what was has been done in Cape Town. Although we all think people were bombarded with ‘Day-Zero’-scares, they were actually encouraged to adapt their behaviour with a communication campaign that hardly ever used the term ‘Day-Zero’. This approach mobilised citizens to reach record lows of water usage.” 

Adapt a new normal
Dr Greyling encourages the “new normal” set in motion by Capetonians. “Water consciousness is needed, even when the rain comes again. We’ve taken water for granted for too long. As consumers, we have the power to turn this situation around – drop for drop. Be aware about the amount of water you use, how you use it, and for what. Keep in mind that any wastage and pollution (of ‘dry’ things) also wastes and pollutes water. Generally, we need to behave better regarding consumption.”  

News Archive

From Architecture graduate to fashion sensation
2016-11-14

Description:Paul Whitehead  Tags: Paul Whitehead  longdesc=

Paul Whitehead, owner and founder of
Major John.
Photo: Supplied

Paul Whitehead never thought the small business he started in his hostel room at the University of the Free State (UFS) in Huis Abraham Fischer on the Bloemfontein Campus would develop into something of magnitude.

Paul, who completed his Honours degree in Architecture in 2015 at the UFS, is currently taking a gap year due to the rapid growth of his business. Major John started back in December 2012, with Love Warrior becoming Paul’s first outlet. In 2014 Paul started manufacturing his first series of timber bow ties and after that, sales started booming.

Supplier to 16 outlets in South Africa

“We currently supply 16 outlets throughout South Africa with a range of products such as timber bow ties, genuine leather suspenders and concrete and timber desk lamps, as well as other leather products,” Paul says.

He says that a new range of nine timber bow ties is launched every four months. “The timber is recycled and the fabric is handpicked from around the country to ensure quality, thus the bow ties are hand-crafted and unique,” Paul says.

Trust your gut feeling and believe in yourself

His main goal with the timber bow ties is to expand while the unique quality of the product is not compromised. “We are also in a process of expanding the range of our products in the exclusive market.”

Paul attributes his success to delivering excellent service to people who appreciate his pride and joy, his Major John collection. He encourages future entrepreneurs to listen to others’ advice, but to trust their own gut feeling and always believe in themselves.

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