Eco-Friendly Horns from Cape Town a Funky Alternative

Kelp Vuvuzelas

The buzz of the vuvuzela is incessant, and has never been so directly in the global spotlight as it has during this year’s World Cup. The plastic horns are now found everywhere, but Adam Carnegie of the Kelp Environmental Learning Project, is offering his own take on this haunting. if not annoying, Siren.

Adam is now creating vuvuzelas made from dried kelp. The material is eco-friendly and completely natural, in addition, the production of the kelp horns provides sustainable employment in Cape Town.

vuvuzelas kelp

A few kelp vuvuzelas

“Taking the loudy, wildy vuvuzela, and the magic that brings to the game, we are able to create something just a little bit more unique — and of course it’s natural,” Adam said.

He first came up with the idea as a fundraiser for his son’s school. The horns were so popular he bought his first small factory and began selling his version of the horns for around $30.

Kelp is common on most of the beaches in the area, a material that many dismiss as worthless, but it is a far cry from the old and discarded plastic pieces that are found al over beaches in the world today.

“Kelp can have a bad interpretation being a smelly beach item,” said Adam. “But in actual fact, it’s a tremendously valuable resource. We should all celebrate that. This is precisely that opportunity, let’s rethink kelp.

The kelp is dried in the sun, and good pieces are selected by hand. Some horns appear more dramatic, with natural kelp hair dangling from the horn, giving them a more dramatic warrior feel. Adam uses local artists to decorate other horns, painting them with designs of anything from sea creatures to team mascots and colors.
Kelp Vuvuzelas

Adam is working with a team of about 17, who scour the beaches for good pieces of kelp. Adam hopes to expand to new areas of Africa, where there are bountiful kelp beaches and willing workers.

“With the people in the city of Cape Town, people recognize very fast that we are creating a project [that] basically amounts to building national heritage,” he said.

“We know we are creating the building blocks that will eventually be taken up in different communities along the coast. We will start to see those cultures flourishing through interpretation in these horns, whether it’s wild flowers or fishermen’s boats and crafts.

“We are creating a vehicle itself to take South Africa’s heritage onto the map, onto the world wide map. We are using football as a launch platform.” said Adam.

 Cape Town Kelp Horns

Kelp Horns being sold in Cape Town

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