Miss Earth SA to tackle eco chal­lenges in com­mu­ni­ties

The Star Late Edition - - NEWS - KARISHMA DIPA karishma.dipa@inl.co.za

THE NEWLY crowned Miss Earth SA Irini Mout­zouris wants to use her plat­form to help make a sus­tain­able change to com­mu­ni­ties around the coun­try.

The 22-year-old was crowned at a cer­e­mony in Joburg at the week­end. First run­ner-up was Orielia Egam­baram and the sec­ond Bianca Run­gasamy.

Born in Klerks­dorp, North West, Mout­zouris told The Star she was ex­cited to be able to make a dif­fer­ence in the lives of all the peo­ple she is set to meet dur­ing her reign.

“I want to be re­mem­bered as some­one who grabbed every op­por­tu­nity with both hands.

“I re­ally want to be ac­tively in­volved, not just in the glam­orous events, but I also want to get my hands dirty and make a sus­tain- able dif­fer­ence.”

The pageant sets it­self apart from other beauty com­pe­ti­tions in that it seeks to em­power young South African women with knowl­edge.

It also prides it­self on work­ing to­wards com­bat­ing the de­struc­tion of our nat­u­ral her­itage.

This gal­vanised Mout­zouris, a BEd stu­dent at the Uni­ver­sity of Pre­to­ria, to en­ter the pageant this year.

“I have wanted to en­ter Miss Earth SA for many years, but this year I de­cided to take the plunge be­cause I knew I had the time to fully com­mit my­self.”

“The rea­son it ap­pealed to me was that Miss Earth SA is an en­rich­ment pro­gramme that im­pacts en­tire com­mu­ni­ties.”

The beauty queen and en­vi­ron­men­tal am­bas­sador said she was ex­cited about vis­it­ing the schools and ed­u­cat­ing learn­ers about sus­tain­abil­ity.

“Ed­u­ca­tion is the key to solv­ing so many prob­lems and by go­ing to the schools and teach­ing pupils from a young age about the im­por­tance of re­cy­cling and pro­tect­ing the en­vi­ron­ment, we will be so much closer in our fight to pro­tect our en­vi­ron­ment.”

As part of her du­ties, she will also travel around the coun­try to teach peo­ple how to min­imise waste, re­cy­cle and plant their own veg­etable gar­dens.”

Mout­zouris is no stranger to this type of work.

In the past few months, she and other Miss Earth SA fi­nal­ists have been work­ing on the #WasteS­top­sWithME, an ini­tia­tive with the City of Joburg, Pik­itup, Tsogo Sun and the South African Na­tional Bio­di­ver­sity In­sti­tute to clean up the coun­try and ed­u­cate peo­ple about lit­ter.

NEWLY CROWNED: Miss Earth SA Irini Mout­zouris will ed­u­cate pupils about the en­vi­ron­ment and sus­tain­abil­ity.

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