South Africa

Maverick Citizen: Generation Green

How building can be more eco-friendly

Tarryn Jolly (Photo supplied)

Greta Thunberg’s generation is making the most noise about the environment right now. But they are frustrated that they seem powerless to implement the changes. Most of the world’s politicians are old, male, ponderous and conflicted by their relationships with the fossil-fuel industry. But young people all over the world are adapting their lives and business ideas to be the change they want. South Africa is no exception. In this series, Maverick Citizen profiles 20-something South Africans with a higher than average eco-IQ and asks them to share their visions for a greener future.

Hands-on Tarryn Jolly, 27, gets back to basics building eco-homes 

I became eco-aware in 2013 when I started waking up to what was going on “behind the scenes” with the meat and dairy industry, and that opened a can of worms. It led me to research about sugar, cocoa, coffee, climate change and so much more.

Humans are responsible for the plastic waste in the middle of the ocean the size of two Texas states.

Knowing we are responsible for this and the destructive and damaging ripple effect it has on multiple levels, I became passionate about being the change I wish to see in the world. Because, if we can’t do it for ourselves, who else is going to?

My journey truly began when I was 24, in 2016, when I built a house for a woman in the rural community of Oakford, Durban, made of bricks and secondhand resources, that I sourced from all over Durban.

I spent months raising funds to pay for a local builder from the community and additional materials needed.

I built another house in 2019 and chose to use a more natural method known as SuperAdobe (watch Tarryn’s stop-motion video Earth Bag construction).

We taught local people and the city people who came to help us build why we had chosen this method and what the benefit was.

This led me to my next big project, for 2020, building with Eco-Bricks: I will be project manager, writer, and making a documentary about the Folly Chapel in Morgan Bay.

The project is led by environmentalist Robyn Rohm from Yellowwood Forest, Morgan Bay. It will hopefully spread the message and teachings about the damaging effects of plastic and what more can be done through your actions alone, as an individual. 

Future Forecast 

I see South Africa completely transforming, and standing together in unity.

If every community can shift, as a community, one by one, community by community, our nation will transform.

2020 Green Vision

Our transformation is about truly coming together as one nation, one community at a time, and following our Madiba, Nelson Mandela’s, enlightened teachings.

He knew the way forward for our country and if we can follow in his footsteps, educating and focusing on our youth and empowering our people, and working together, old and young, black and white, male and female, rich and poor, we can have one of the most powerful, most beautiful nations in the world.

All it takes is a vision and a voice. As Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” 

Our land is rich, raw, and organic in so many ways. If we start to educate all of the youth with a new way of thinking and with a connection to their land, their heritage and their culture, we will find a new respect for what we have in front of us.

I have realised, through my own transformation, interactions and projects, that this mass shift is only possible if we individually start being the change we want to see in the world, in any way, in every way, big and small, through our daily choices and actions. MC



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