One-on-one interview with Harry the Hominid
It's been a busy 2013 for Maropeng’s spokeshominid, Harry the Hominid, and with the year finally drawing to a close, we decided to catch up with him and find out what he has up his sleeve for next year.
So, Harry, how has your year been?
I have been so busy! It’s great – we have had school tours and plenty of other people come visit. I get so excited when people show an interest in the development of humankind.
One of the highlights of my year has been the recent discovery of more of my relatives. Did you know that more than 1 200 hominid fossil elements were found in Rising Star Cave in the Cradle? I wonder if any of them are directly related to me.
And, of course, Mrs Ples and Friends are here to visit over the holidays. I’m really excited because I have been begging her for eight years to come visit.
What have you guys been up to?
Well, we are making the most of our time together. She’s here till 17 January 2014, and while it seems like a long time, we are having so much fun that I know time will fly.
What are your new year’s resolutions?
Well, the biggest is to continue being part of the Maropeng family and informing our visitors about the development of humankind over the past few million years.
I also want to continue watching my health – you know I’m more than 3-million years old, right? So I need to take extra care of myself, as Maropeng needs me to help educate people for years to come.
And last, but not least, I want to encourage people to become more environmentally conscious, to "go green" as it were – at home, in their offices and in their lifestyle choices.
You are quite the green activist, aren’t you?
Well, yes – I keep telling humans that they need to change their habits if they want the planet to still be around 3-million years from now.
What are your top tips for a green future?
Reduce, reuse and recycle – choose products with minimum packaging, take your own reusable shopping bags to the supermarket, and donate old items if you do not need them anymore. As for food waste, why not create a compost heap in your backyard – it would be great for your garden. Separate your glass, tin, plastic and paper, and find out about collection agencies near your home.
Unplug your household appliances when not in use – most of the time household appliances such as TVs, DVD players, cellphone chargers, microwaves, washing machines and kettles are plugged in, but we aren't even using them. Did you know that they keep drawing power, even if they aren't in use? Unplug and save energy.
Use natural cleaners – there are natural cleaners on the market that are plant-based and biodegradable, and usually don't cost much more than traditional cleaners. Alternatively, research natural cleaning recipes and make your own!
Stop wasting water – did you know the average five-minute shower uses 95 to 190 litres of water? We also waste a lot of water simply by running water when we brush our teeth (if you brush twice a day). There are three easy fixes to cut water waste in the bathroom:
- Install a low-flow shower head
- Install a low-flow faucet aerator
- Install a dual-flushing toilet, to save thousands of litres of water a year
Harvest rainwater – looking for a free source of water, free of chlorine and other additives? Try rainwater! Simply put a rain barrel out during a shower and enjoy the free water, which is great for watering the lawn. If you have gutters, the best place for a rain barrel is at the bottom of a downspout.
Why is it so important to be environmentally conscious, Harry?
Well, there’s one simple answer: we need to change the way we use the Earth’s resources to protect the planet and ensure the future of humans. We have a limited amount of resources and we need to preserve them for the sake of everyone’s future.
We need to reduce carbon emissions to preserve the atmosphere. We have already experienced the effects of climate change, so let us change our behaviour before we make things worse.
Thanks Harry, it was great catching up with you. We hope to chat again soon.