Held on the 16 February 2023, the One Blue Heart, a first-of-its-kind, blue carpet, Zero-Waste Dinner, showcasing art, fashion and food in support of the Turtle Conservation Centre at the Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation.
Working towards turtle conservation and rehabilitation
Bob, the endangered green sea turtle, which had been severely maimed, was released in the warm waters off the coast of Durban, after more than eight years of rehabilitation at the Two Oceans Aquarium.
Bob arrived at the Two Oceans Aquarium in 2015 with such severe injuries caused by plastic pollution that vets did not think he could survive. His injuries included a fractured shell and lacerations, which had led to septicaemia, which in turn, caused brain damage and blindness. His condition was exacerbated by plastic ingestion which caused digestive issues.
Introducing an environmental enrichment programme designed specifically for Bob, the team at the Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation (TOAF) fed, and nurtured Bob until slowly he began to show signs of improvement. Bob’s tale of hope, resilience and triumph captured the hearts and imagination of the country. For those getting their hands dirty at the TOAF Turtle Conservation Centre, it is all in a day’s work. Over a hundred turtles come through the Centre each year. Many are released back into the ocean after receiving medical attention and other intervention therapy. However, others are not as lucky.
The number of turtles needing rehabilitation by the Two Oceans Aquarium is increasing every year. The costs are significant and the current facilities are too small. The team’s ultimate intention is to establish a world-class turtle hospital. Since its inception, the Two Oceans Aquarium has rehabilitated and released over 1000 turtles – more than half of these have been in the last four years under the care of the Two Ocean Aquarium Foundation Turtle Conservation Centre.
To support the Two Oceans Aquarium’s Turtle Conservation Centre, the V&A Waterfront hosted a first-of-its-kind zero waste event to raise funding for the care of turtles like Bob and others that will come after him. A total of 71% of the turtles in the care of the Centre have ingested some form of plastic.
“The event called One Blue Heart highlighted how we think about our footprint on the planet,” said Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation Executive Chairperson, Ann Lamont.
One Blue Heart is a fusion of sustainable food, slow fashion and ‘artivism’ that took place at the One&Only Cape Town. South Africa’s first ever “blue carpet” event was a sensory experience second to none for a select group of attendees.
Lamont, says, “We have a saying at the aquarium that goes ‘not on our watch’. Not on our watch will we continue to stand by and watch our ocean life be decimated by ignorance and neglect. The time is now for all of us to act, to protect our marine world and our future”.
V&A Waterfront launches Zero Waste Chefs Training Programme and Food Accelerator
Zero Waste Chefs Training Programme
Zero Waste cooking means leaving behind as little food and packaging waste as possible. Through efforts to redirect edible food excess, to compost scraps and to eliminate single-use plastics, many restaurants and individuals at the V&A Waterfront are already well on this sustainability journey.
The One Blue Heart event represents the official launch of a new stage of the V&A Waterfront’s own Zero Waste initiatives.
SOLVE, a unit of the Waterfront tasked with identifying opportunities for innovation for sustainability and inclusivity, has been conducting focus groups with a wide range of chefs to find out what they understand as the barriers to adopting a Zero Waste kitchen philosophy. Based on the findings, the precinct is moving into designing a well-informed and co-creative Zero Waste Chef Training programme. This is intended for the chefs who work at the one of the 80+ food outlets within the V&A neighbourhood, but the intention is to open the programme also to cooks and chefs working elsewhere.
Zero Waste Food Accelerator
Alongside this, the V&A is also adding a Zero Waste dimension to the existing Incubator Programme at Maker’s Landing. This programme is an immersive accelerator course aimed at empowering food entrepreneurs to grow their business; and the Zero Waste dimension is intended to develop awareness and intention among the cohorts. Of particular interest to food industry professionals is the procurement and value chain that services Zero Waste intentions, such as packaging companies. The Zero Waste explorations in the Incubator Programme will be strongly geared toward this.
“It is our intention that through both the Chefs Training programme and the Zero Waste dimension of the Incubator Programme, those who are closest to food production will help to co-create a new understanding of what is possible in the Zero Waste food space,” says David Green, Chief Executive of the Waterfront.
“Zero Waste in the food space is part of the broader movement to reduce our impact – to do the best we can with whatever resources we have,” adds Green.
Blue Heart Dinner Programme
Previous lead singer of iconic South African band Freshly Ground, The One Who Sings, Zolani Mohale, performed at the dinner. Zandi Ndhlovu, The Black Mermaid (Freediver Zandi Ndhlovu) was the MC, and guests were be inspired by the words of Pulitzer Prize Winner Dele Olojede.
Those attending were offered the opportunity to acquire unique and limited ocean-inspired artworks by the likes of Ardmore and Dylan McGarry and Robbie Rorich. And for inspiration from the boundary-pushing, mind-expanding world of digital art, guests were the first to view pieces from the soon-to-be launched Cloudigital Museum, an anchor sponsor of the event, giving insight into the future of creativity and expression.
One&Only Chef Gianluca curated a bespoke menu offering born of his passion for the field of preventing food wastage. “To waste food is to waste resources. Whenever we waste food, we waste energy, water and more. We need to have more respect for food and the processes involved to harvest, transport and package it. Food connects us all in some way or another and to not proactively take part in them is to not accept responsibility. When we waste food, we waste life, our one greatest gift”, says Gianluca.
The curator of One Blue Heart, Gita Carroll of The Good Machine, says, “To conceptualise an evening of expression and exploration that would have a deep meaningful impact on earth, has been a long-time vision of mine. One Blue Heart is so completely different, so wild, yet so gentle, so pure and simple, and unlike anything seen before in South Africa”.