environmentally-friendly career choices by xps54377



                                                                      career choices
                                                                                   So you recycle your waste, eat organic veggies
                                                                                and are passionate about saving the planet? You’d
                                                                                   make the perfect candidate for a green career.
                                                                                             KATHERINE GRAHAM explains how

There’s no getting away from it – we live in                                                            GREEN GOALS: 10 WAYS TO REDUCE YOUR
a world of finite resources. It’s no wonder                                                             CARBON FOOTPRINT
then that the trend towards living sustainably
is gathering momentum, and with it, career                                                              We all make lifestyle choices. The term
opportunities. As Grace Stead of environmental                                                          carbon footprint is simply a measure of how
consultancy, Steadfast Greening, says: ‘I studied                                                       those choices impact on the environment.
15 years ago and, at that time, your options were                                                       By MELISSA BRITZ
very limited. There is a greater demand now in
the marketplace for green professionals, simply                                                         Think about your lifestyle – look at where
because there’s a greater awareness of issues                                                           your food, clothes and shoes come from, and
like climate change.’                                                                                   how they are made.
   So what exactly are your options?There are two   ’I’M NOT A BUNNY-HUGGER’                            Knowledge is power – find out more about
routes you can take when it comes to studying                                                           climate change and green issues.
– either by pursuing a social-environmental         Tarryn Petersen, 24,                                Be proudly South African – buy locally-
degree, or one in environmental science.            environmental consultant                            produced goods. It’s better for the environment
                                                                                                        and creates local jobs.
SOCIAL ENVIRONMENTAL CAREERS                        What does your job entail?                          Reduce, re-use, recycle – try to consume less,
Careers in this field revolve around people         I work for the Environmental Partnership. We        re-use what you have and find the recycling
and their interaction with the environment,         do environmental impact assessments which           points in your area.
and ways of making these relations beneficial       need to be carried out by law before the            Conserve water – water is a precious resource.
to both parties. You will need to complete          government or private companies can develop         Don’t keep the tap running while you brush
a Social Science or Arts degree at a university,    land. I assess the need and desirability of the     your teeth or wash your hands.
studying subjects including Anthropology,           project and how it will affect the receiving        Start an indigenous garden – trees reduce the
Archaeology, Development Studies, Geography         environment. I need to be fair – I can’t be         amount of carbon in the atmosphere.
and Environmental Studies, Law, Journalism          biased in favour of the client, but then I also     Volunteer with an environmental organisation
(Environmental Journalism) and Education            can’t be a 100% greenie and be unreasonable.        – it looks great on your CV and may even get
(Environmental Education).                          When people hear what my profession is,             you a job.
                                                    they assume I’m a tree-loving bunny-hugger.         Try to buy organic products – they are free
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE CAREERS                       Actually I’m not anti-development, but I want       from harmful chemicals and are better for the
If you want to pursue this route, you’ll need to    it to be done in a responsible way.                 environment.
apply for a science degree at a university, or a                                                        Save power – switch off lights/appliances
relevant diploma at a technikon. Subjects such      What did you study?                                 when not in use.
as Zoology, Botany and Ecology usually lead         I did a three-year Bachelor of Science Degree in    Drive an environmentally-friendly car
to a career path in biodiversity conservation or    Environmental and Water Sciences at UWC.            – environmentally-friendly cars are those
environmental management. Subjects in the                                                               that produce the least carbon dioxide.
physical sciences such as Mathematics, Physics      Do you find your job fulfilling?                    For a list of Car Magazine’s top-10 rated
and Chemistry will prepare you for a career in      Yes. What makes my job appealing is that I          cars and other green motoring tips, visit
pollution control or waste management. You          get to preserve the environment and still work      www.brightgreencar.co.za
could also study to be a landscape architect        on a construction site. I have to balance the       Celebrities like Brad Pitt, Hayden Panettiere
or civil engineer, with a particular focus on       biological needs against the social needs of        (Heroes) and Sheryl Crow are all opting to
environmental sustainability.                       the area. For example, one of the projects I’m      go green.
                                                    involved with is the Cape Town Film Studios.        Celeb and activist, Nicole Fox, offset the
                                                    The land contains rare renosterveld which is        carbon footprint of her wedding by donating
                                                    a red-data species. In the end, we decided to       trees to schools.
                                                                                                                                                          STOCKXPERT / KATHERINE GRAHAM

                                                    set aside half of the site for conservation and     We all need to do our bit to take care of
 Interested? Find out more from the university      allow the other half to be developed.               our planet.
 or technikon you wish to study at. The
 Department of Environmental Affairs and            What aspects of the job don’t you enjoy?
 Tourism also offers bursaries and internships      Dealing with difficult clients! A lot of property
 to previously-disadvantaged students. Phone        developers don’t understand the need to             MUST-SEE GREEN MOVIES:
 012-310-3800, e-mail internship@deat.gov.za or     incorporate environmental considerations
 bursary@deat.gov.za, or visit www.environment.     into their design, such as preserving wetland       An Inconvenient Truth
 gov.za/Bursaries_Internship.html for more info.    areas on a site.                                    The 11th Hour


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