Our Burning Planet


Eco-logic — a new way of thinking that may just help to save humanity and our world

Eco-logic — a new way of thinking that may just help to save humanity and our world
Winners from the 2022 Eco-Logic Awards.(Photo: The Eco-Logic Awards)

The Eco-Logic Awards are based on the belief that the environmental challenges we face will not be fixed without first changing the thinking and values that created these challenges.

The Eco-Logic Awards provide a platform to acknowledge the individuals, organisations, projects, products and services challenging the behaviours, thinking and values that led to the climate crisis and resulting environmental challenges.

The Eco-Logic Awards founder and publisher of Enviropaedia, David Parry-Davies, said: “Eco-logic is presenting a better way of looking at things that are likely to kill people and the planet.

“If you keep doing what you have always done, you are likely to keep getting the same results, and when you look at the results of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports and the Conference of the Parties meetings so far, the results look pretty bleak for both people and planet, so it’s time we did things differently — more eco-logically.”

Parry-Davies said the awards sought to motivate people to support environmental organisations and use their individual and consumer power to make a difference for a more sustainable environment.

“The greatest causes of our environmental challenges are manufacturers, industries, etc, who are very much focused on their consumers. If a customer sends a message saying that we’re not going to buy products that are bad for the environment, they’ll change their practices,” he said.

​​Eco-logic: To heal people and planet

Despite the fact that the world’s leaders got together for the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, and every year thereafter to identify environmental challenges and appropriate responses, little has improved over the past 20 years, Parry-Davies said.

To fix today’s environmental challenges, he said, the thinking patterns and values that produced these challenges had to be identified and replaced with logical alternatives that would benefit people and the planet.

“The seven most common and obvious thinking patterns that result in negative environmental impacts are selfishness, short-term thinking, a materialistic value system, a cold-hearted lack of compassion for people and planet, disconnection with nature, and negative ‘doom and gloom’ messaging about our environment and future,” he said.

Parry-Davies touted seven alternative ‘eco-logical’ values to counteract this destructive thinking, defined by the acronym “Virtues”:

  • Vision: to inspire and motivate action by counteracting any toxic doom and gloom expectations.
  • Interconnected and integrated: to bring short-term silo and super-specialist thinking together to see the “big picture”.
  • Reconnection with nature: minimising harm to the Earth and creating benefits for the planet and its ecosystems.
  • Three-dimensional intelligence: using instincts, intellect and intuition to drive decision-making in business and science beyond material property and profits.
  • Ubuntu: recognising the value of community to address common environmental challenges.
  • Ethical consumerism: producing and promoting quality and durable products that can be recycled or upcycled, rather than disposable and wasteful consumer products.
  • Sustainability: demanding that social, political and business leaders include a long-term perspective and consideration when planning for today’s needs and the future.

Reflections from previous winners 

Hailing from the small Karoo village of Murraysburg in the Western Cape, Neville van Rooy has been working in previously disadvantaged communities for the past 10 years to empower community members to take action to protect the environment and their livelihoods against the onslaughts of oil and gas exploration projects.

eco-logic van rooy

Neville Van Rooy of The Green Connection (left) with Austen Nenguke of Polyco. (Photo: The Eco-Logic Awards)

Van Rooy is a member of the eco-justice organisation The Green Connection and last year won the Eco-Warrior award for raising awareness about environmental injustices across SA. One campaign Van Rooy has been involved in is against the Turkish company Karpowership, which seeks to bring its gas-to-power ships to South African shores.

“I salute the people that are starting to recognise the work that small NGOs are doing on the ground to protect our environment and the livelihoods that are so dependent on it,” Van Rooy said.

“What we’re seeing is that multinationals, including the government, do not own up even though they attend COP [Conference of the Parties] after COP. We don’t see anything changing for the better. They don’t walk the talk. They don’t practise what they preach. Industries and governments are exacerbating climate change and we know it’s all for profits, and not for people and planet.”

eco-logic noble

During the 2022 Eco-Logic Awards, the Two Oceans Aquarium Education Foundation’s Sea Turtle Rescue, Rehabilitation and Release Programme was awarded the Nature Conservation Award. Pictured here is Talitha Noble, the foundation’s conservation manager.(Photo: The Eco-Logic Awards)

Another of last year’s winners is the Two Oceans Aquarium Education Foundation’s Sea Turtle Rescue, Rehabilitation and Release Programme, which was awarded the Nature Conservation Award.

Talitha Noble, the conservation manager of the Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation, says the foundation wholeheartedly agrees with eco-logic and believes in changing behaviour through education, research and engagement.

“Turtles are powerful ambassadors for their species and the ocean environment; they are indicators of ocean health and they are loudly telling us that the oceans are deeply unhealthy. When a turtle comes into our facility and has 121 pieces of microplastic inside its small body, you realise that the core of our actions needs to change,” she said.

“The Eco-Logic Awards point out the businesses that are thinking creatively and sustainably, celebrates them and promotes the small South African businesses that are doing good work.”

eco-logic midgley

Professor Guy Midgley (left) winner of the 2022 Climate Change Award with Zolile Nqayi of the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment. (Photo: The Eco-Logic Awards)

Stellenbosch University climate change and biodiversity professor Guy Midgley won the 2022 Climate Change Award for his work, spanning more than 30 years, researching and communicating climate change risks to ecosystems and society.

Midgley says the Eco-Logic Awards recognise what are often somewhat thankless, endless and emotionally tough jobs.

“I found the awards ceremony a real celebration, somewhat light-hearted, uplifting for all, and inspiring to see how many people work hard at these tough issues across the spectrum, from government, to private, to NGO sectors.”

Midgley co-authored the South African Country Study on Climate Change report, which was South Africa’s first communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). He has also worked extensively for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the UNFCCC.

The 2023 Eco-Logic Awards

“This is a platform to educate consumers about environmental challenges and motivate them to be part of the solution by leveraging their consumer spending to support and buy from those that demonstrate a commitment to building a sustainable society and environment,” Parry-Davies said.

Individuals, organisations, projects, products and services compete for Gold, Silver and Bronze across 12 categories: Climate Change, Nature Conservation, Water Conservation, Circular Economy and Waste Innovation, Eco-Fashion and Lifestyle, Eco-Health and Wellness, Eco-Hospitality and Tourism, Eco-Innovation, Eco-Friendly Products, Eco-Communities and Schools, Eco-Angel, and Eco-Warrior.

This year’s awards will be televised on DStv’s People Weather Channel 180 and Openview Channel 11. Entries are officially open until 31 July and entry forms are accessible here. All entries will be judged by 12 independent, environmentally conscious executives from a diverse range of occupations and professions. DM

If you are an Eco-Champion, or want to support another who is,  enter yourself or nominate another by 31 July 2023. Enter now at www.eco-logicawards.com.

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