Responding to the growing demand for local sustainability solutions, EnviroWaste’s new education programme is empowering people in South Canterbury to make greener choices and raising awareness of the importance of recycling and resource recovery.
Sustainability champions Deepa Goswami and Danielle Schäche work with local groups to support the region’s waste minimisation goals, providing practical guidance to enable residents and businesses to waste less and recycle more. Their role is to help people look at resources and waste in a different way.
The new initiative is a collective community effort, says Goswami. Backed by the region’s councils, it supports local government’s Together Reducing Waste message. “It is a brilliant opportunity to work alongside my teammate, Danielle, to create awareness about recycling and minimizing waste and saving resources from landfill. We work with communities, schools and businesses in Timaru, Waimate and Mackenzie District Councils of South Canterbury. We’re working towards a sustainable world when there is a growing consensus about depleting resources and an awakening towards their recovery.”
The Timaru-based team share a teaching background: Schäche previously worked as an early childhood educator, while Goswami was a high school science teacher.
“Education plays an important role in protecting our planet to ensure we create a better future,” says Schäche. “I am excited to spread awareness of sustainable practices within the community, so together we can be proactive in the fight against wastefulness. I am especially excited to have a chance to bring this knowledge into education services, with the hope of fostering environmental mindfulness with our next generation,” she says.
Tackling New Zealand’s organic waste problem is a big focus for Goswami, who is researching how to shift food waste behaviours for her doctoral studies. “I started teaching science in 1995 and was an ardent environmentalist at work. But I felt my passion and message was being lost in the rigmarole of tests, grades and the pressures of teaching. Three and a half years ago, I grabbed the opportunity to pursue my PhD. That proved to be a major transition and I ended up getting drawn into the much bigger issue of the amount of waste generated by this country.”
Her new role means she can continue to support people’s learning journeys while providing encouragement and advice on steps everyone can take to reduce their environmental impact.
If you want to learn more about how you can embed sustainability at home and work, email Deepa Goswami and Daniele Schäche: TogetherReducingWaste@envirowaste.co.nz