ECO WARRIORS SPYS and EcoMaties joined forces to discuss Climate Change. Photo: Supplied

SPYS and EcoMaties tackles pollution


There has never been a topic that has caused as much day-drinking and panic as Climate Change. In a world where young people are constantly confronted by the end of days, two Matie societies decided to team up to discuss the scary but hopeful future and how our spiritual lives play a big role in solving the climate crisis. 

On Thursday 5 March the Spirituality Philosophy and Yoga Society (SPYS) combined forces with the EcoMaties Sustainability Society at the Regter van Zyl Hall to host a talk on climate change and how turning inward and cleaning the pollution from within is an important step to tackle the issue. 

It was a message that pulled no punches in its discussing of the environmental issues that we face, and yet it was also a hopeful and constructive discussion on how we can better the environment and ourselves. 

The speakers who delivered this message were Axl Maas, a former Maties student and cur- rent operator of Down to Earth Stellenbosch, a plastic-free grocery delivery service, and Zan Le Roux, a passionate member of EcoMaties and an aspiring conservationist. 

“The biggest contribution we can make as the youth of South Africa and as members of this University is to invest in our future. If you are studying law, try going into environmental law,” Le Roux said. 

“It shouldn’t be a death sentence. We are the first people who have caught on to this thing, we are the first ones who can change this.” 

Maas spoke of how our comfort zones are fuelling the climate change fires and how there must be internal change in order for external change to take place. 

“In a very real way we are super attached to our comforts” Maas said. “We need to clear all pride, greed and envy from our hearts and through that our world view and our habits shift. 

“A big part of spirituality means becoming humble. Humility means looking at the world realistically and realising that we are all part of a big system and that we are all interdependent.”

During the Q&A section the conversation was carried further and Maas gave some tips on how we can shift our mindset to help solve the problem. 

Meditation is key in changing our mind set, Maas argued. “Meditation, in whatever form, is important each day in order for us to clear the inside of our minds.” 

The societies are planning more events in the future with the aim of helping Stellenbosch not only grow as an environmentally conscious society but as individuals with hearts for the future. 

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