After weeks of having fewer cars on the road and being forced to discover our local areas by foot on daily walks, our minds have understandably been focused on the environment and our impact on it. If you’ve been wondering how you can help, there are heaps of initiatives in Auckland that you can contribute to by donating just a little of your time and energy.
From helping the local flora and fauna, reducing your carbon footprint or getting around to finally recycling that stuff, here are six places you can get involved to do your bit.
The hub that is Ecomatters has it all. From bike hubs and nurseries to home advice, Ecomatters is a thriving organisation that covers ways to do better in all aspects of our lives. As a little incentive, they even have a ‘Flat White Ride’ where cafes offer discounts to bikers who pick up a map and get on the trail. With a range of events and workshops there are a number of opportunities to connect with other like minded people too. If you’re digging away in the community garden, you could also swap out your empty ecostore bottle for a pre-filled one at their onsite shop and be on your merry way. Less time getting your household bits means more time to help out right?
Keen on waste reduction? Tāmaki WRAP has multiple projects and community initiatives to reduce waste and share knowledge. From the Sustainable Sisters project to composting workshops, there are different ways to get involved and tackle the waste problem that continues to be such a growing concern. Keen on dipping your toe in but not sure where to start? There are monthly network meetings too where you can find out what’s happening in the waste world and chat to other people. Everyone is welcome and they’re free to attend so get amongst it.
Conservation Volunteers NZ
There’s nothing better than feeling the fresh air on your face and if this is your jam Conservation Volunteers NZ are the team for you. They run single and multiple-day volunteering sessions in a range of activities that include tree planting (winter only in most locations), constructing walking trails, seed collection, weed control, conservation fencing and predator control. If the multiple-day session sounds like a bit of you then check out their residential opportunities, like an overnight stay on Awhitu Peninsula. Sign us up.
Volunteering at a Red Cross retail store is another way you can help by diverting things from going into the landfill. You also get a bit of retail experience too. In fact, if you volunteer with them for three months, you can train with them to get your Certificate in Retail from Service IQ. A qualification that you can put on your CV for free, you can’t say fairer than that! As a side bonus it could help you up your op-shopping game as you get inspired by things you never thought to get second-hand. We’re always on the look out for that perfect pair of jeans.
Is getting down and dirty in the soil more your style? The Kaipātiki Project do bush restoration, weeding, trapping and planting. They aim to restore native plants, birds, bugs and fish in our urban environment. The Kaipātiki Project makes helping out the environment open to everyone. Whether you are living with a disability or are a sustainability novice, they want everyone to be included so feel free to chat with them. Not sure you have time? Luckily the volunteer roles here are flexible—but knowing Auckland weather, don’t forget to pack both a sunhat and raincoat! They also enjoy coffee and chocolate biscuits which we are all about.
Find your local recycling centre. Instead of chucking stuff in landfill, why not investigate whether it can be accepted by a recycling centre. The materials can be repurposed and in fact the centres have shops on site that sell usable household and building materials. Best of all, proceeds from the shop are invested back into the community so you’re doing a bit of social good at the same time. If you’re looking for a knick knack to brighten up that corner or a quirky gift for a friend it’s well worth checking out. Remember one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
These are just some of the awesome ways you can help out. There are heaps more ideas for how to get involved in projects near you on Auckland Council’s website Live Lightly where you can search by area.
Get on the sustainability train with 6 eco-friendly stores that deliver across NZ.