Text Mariola Jakutowicz Fouché Photographs Supplied GREENKEEPERS Being an integral part of the greening of Sebokeng township in southern Gauteng is just one of the feathers in young landscaping company Cathro Earthscape’s cap. When plans for parks and soccer fields in the burgeoning settlement were drawn up, the team created a beautiful, natural space for residents to relax and play soccer, surrounded by indigenous trees, ground covers and shrubs, along with colourful jungle gyms for the younger members of the community. IN YOUR CUPS EcoPack’s compostable containers are made from plant-derived sustainable raw material, meaning fewer greenhouse gases and a reduced dependence on fossil fuels. They’re BPA- and toxin-free, and are available in various sizes (from R22 per sleeve of 50 200ml cups). SOLE PURPOSE Eco-minded footwear fans will enjoy PUMA’s sustainable InCycle collection of shoes, apparel and accessories. The InCycle Biodegradable Basket Sneakers (R1 199) can eventually be returned for recycling to Bring Back Bins at designated PUMA outlets. Q&A Cathrin Roets Landscape architect Cathrin Roets focuses on designs and installations for her company Cathro Earthscapes, while her sister and partner Lucille handles project management. We spoke to Cathrin about the duo’s commitment to green living. What drew Cathro Earthscapes to the Sebokeng project? We wanted to make a difference in the lives of people in an area where a park for relaxation and sport could be considered a luxury. This was our chance to do something that will affect people’s quality of life. How has your involvement contributed to community upliftment, job creation and development? Members of the community were involved in the planting of the trees and shrubs used to create the park. We worked with a lot of women, which meant that households now had two main income generators: husband and wife. Permanent workers were employed to help maintain the new landscape. What consideration was given to plant choices for the park? All the plants used are indigenous, water wise and hardy, and they were specially chosen to survive the harsh, cold winters in the Sebokeng area. How did you help minimise the carbon footprint? We sourced products locally and kraal manure from the Sebokeng area was used to enhance the soil structure. The 420 indigenous trees that were planted will effectively absorb 11 tons of carbon per year. How much awareness was created regarding sustainability? We shared the advantages of greening the environment with the residents and encouraged them to plant fruit trees and vegetables at home so that they would be able to sustain their families with their own produce. This article was originally featured in the May 2013 issue of House and Leisure.