From 11 April 2016, for six days, 16 penguin lovers from all over South Africa (plus one from the UK) will be walking 125 from Gansbaai to Boulders Beach in Simonstown. The mission behind this meander: to raise awareness for the endangered African penguin, and to encourage everyone we meet to take action and make a “penguin promise”. What’s good for penguins is good for all animals, including ourselves. The Waddle for a Week campaign, now in its sixth year, is led by African penguin conservation initiative Penguin Promises and the Two Oceans Aquarium.
The Waddle for a Week campaign is all about inspiring action – for the future well being of the planet and of the African penguin.
We want everyone we meet to start with one small, environmentally friendly change. Of course, we have to walk the talk (which is the whole reason why we’re here this week), so each of us has been challenged to make one serious penguin promise this week – and stick to it.
All this time on the road – 24km today, from Stanford to Hermanus, which we covered in about five hours – gives us lots of time to think about what that promise is going to be.
Our penguin promises
Vernon Hong: Two Oceans Aquarium Volunteer
“My penguin promise is not to buy bottled water anymore. The water in South Africa that comes out of the tap is perfectly drinkable, so if I need to have water I’ll always fill up a water bottle and carry that around with me instead. Why? To produce that plastic bottle uses a lot of water and energy, and then it’s often only used once!”
Leitza Gorman – Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park African Penguin Keeper
“I think my penguin promise is going to be to stop buying and using plastic-bottled drinks. That’s something that I’m guilty of a lot. I love bottled water and I’m also a bit of a Diet Coke fiend, so I always buy that in bottles. My penguin promise is going to be to give that up. Plastic is such a massive issue. We do a sea lion show back at home and one of the bits that we do in our show is we talk about plastic litter: our sea lions pick up the litter from the pool and put it into a recycling bin for us. So this is me taking that message further. To live what I preach. Walking the walk and not just talking the talk.”
Gabby Harris – uShaka Sea World Curator of Animal Behaviour Management and Guest Experiences and Penguin Promises Founder
“Because I’ve made a number of promises before [this is Gabby's sixth Waddle for a Week], you’d think that there’s nothing to do, but there’s always something to do. And I saw Hayley McLellan’s [Two Oceans Aquarium Environmental Campaigner] bamboo toothbrush, so my penguin promise is to get a bamboo toothbrush. Bamboo is more sustainable because it grows quickly, and it’s not plastic. You have to change your toothbrush every two months, so you might as well use sustainable stuff and stuff that will break down when it’s done with.”
Ingrid Sinclair – Two Oceans Aquarium Digital Content Coordinator
“My promise is actually a renewal of a previous vow I have taken – to walk as much as possilbe! I get to live in one of the most walkable, beautiful cities in the world – Cape Town – and I live only 4.5km from the V&A Waterfront where the Aquarium is. My promise is to walk at least four out of every five weekdays, and to use Cape Town’s great MyCiti bus system when weather doesn’t permit. Walking is such a great way to think things through, and it keeps you young!”
Waddle you do for the planet? Let us know by leaving your penguin promise here.
Watch the Day 2 highlights
A big thank you to the sponsors who make the Waddle possible:
- Two Oceans Aquarium
- uShaka Sea World
- Old Mutual Finance
- De Kat Safaris
- First Ascent
- XXL Brands
- Badges Unlimited
- Better Earth
- SPAR Western Cape