Rowing to Rio for the DOT Challenge

Last time we ‘met up’ with extreme adventurers Braam Malherbe and Wayne Robertson they had just embarked on a world first row from Cape Town to Rio de Janiero all in the name of the DOT Challenge.

In a tailor made craft, without any assistance, navigating one of the busiest shipping routes in the world and contending with extreme weather and gruelling physical endurance over three months, they have truly embarked on a record-breaking and awe-inspiring journey that we are proud to support.

Wayne Robertson Braam Malherbe Row to Rio DOT

In total the #CapetoRioRow should amount to a staggering 2.4 million oar strokes. As to why he decided to undertake such an outlandish expedition, Braam says "To get at least 2.4 million onto our DOT app. We are pulling 2.4 million pulls, at least, to get to Rio. So, let's all pull together towards a sustainable future.

The DOT – or Do One Thing – Challenge, “is so much more than a trend, a fad or a catch-phrase. These three little letters boldly aim to unite the world in the hope that, together, we can still save our planet”, Braam says. Essentially the DOT Challenge is about raising awareness for the four biggest challenges that our planet faces at the moment: water, energy, conservation and waste.

While each of these global issues seems insurmountable, especially when we look at our lives and the difference that we can make personally, don’t underestimate the power of the DOT.

As lifelong conservationist Braam explains it, “Our planet is a dot in the universe, and we are just dots on the planet, but if each of us Do One Thing collectively we reshape our planet’s destiny…  We need to take responsibility for our future through our small daily actions. This is what DOT is all about”.

“The DOT challenge is based on the premise that, over time, little things can make a big difference… The DOT movement encourages and challenges you to make planet-saving changes (known as DOTs) which can be implemented immediately, most likely won’t cost you anything (and, in fact, will probably save you money), all the while helping to protect and preserve the environment. DOTs are as simple as making lifestyle changes or breaking bad habits”.

This is a message that resonates strongly with the Southern Charter family and our ethos. As CEO Mark Thompson says, "When you compound all of these little actions they make a big difference. It's like starting your unit trust. Just do one thing", and by making consistent contributions to your investment - however small - "all of these little things add up. The compound effect of a whole lot of people doing something, or you alone doing something regularly, is powerful. It can create change".

DOT App Water Waste Conservation Energy

Your DOT can be placing a bucket in your shower to collect waste water; composting; committing to not watering your garden; unplugging unused appliances; turning off the tap while brushing your teeth and shaving; not buying products containing palm oil; walking, cycling or taking public transport to work; buying local; turning off all of your lights every time you leave home or work; using glass water bottles; recycling; installing solar panels or a greywater system. As Malherbe says, “We all have the ability to positively impact our environment on a daily basis”.

We believe that all businesses, and especially big business, needs to have and act in line with their conscience. We’re proud to be doing our one small thing in support of this worthy cause. Some simple and effective DOT’s that we challenge other businesses, like us, to try are: recycling all paper, encouraging your clients to go digital and paper-less, installing inverters to save electricity, and making steps towards solar power and going ‘off the grid’.

Little or big, just Do One Thing! That is the beautiful message behind this brave voyage. As Braam says, “It’s not just about how many dots you can do, it’s about how many people you can influence to do your DOT… If we all just do one thing, that’s 7.2 billion DOTs”, a tremendous impact on our world, and great strides made towards a sustainable future.

Just think about it… If you saved one litre of water per day by turning off the tap while washing your face, brushing your teeth and shaving, you’d save 365 litres of water a year. If you encouraged all of your friends and family to do the same, and they in turn encouraged their family and friends, we would save hundreds of thousands of litres of water all by making one small, simple, cost-free and effortless change to our daily behaviours. This is the power of the DOT.

The DOT Challenge is supported by a cleverly designed app which is available for free download in both iOS and Android. The DOT app acts like "Facebook for the planet" creating a social network around sharing, sustaining and supporting environmentally friendly behaviours. It's all about encouraging sustainable lifestyle changes while providing you with all of the important information and motivation you need to do so at your fingertips.

DOT App Cape to Rio Row

Aside from being able to monitor the DOT movement, publically commit to specific DOTs, submit your own, and share them with your friends, you’re also able to watch Braam and Wayne in real-time as they row across the Atlantic uploading regular 30 second clips and updates documenting their intrepid expedition.

Lost your way on some of your new year's resolutions already? Download the DOT app today and support Braam and Wayne with every stroke they take towards a more sustainable future.

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