News | 19 April 2023
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Helping reduce waste footprints with funding boost

From Family Planning to Victoria University’s Student Association (VUWSA), the under $2000 Waste Minimisation Seed Fund has supported various organisations with a large range of waste reduction-focused projects.

Woman wearing a high vis jacket holding a crockpot.
Crockery from the Tip Shop, where VUWSA got new plates, bowls and cups with their funding.

The purpose of this annual fund is to support and enable Wellingtonians to implement or expand initiatives that target priority waste streams, reduce harm to the environment and improve efficiency of resource use. Find more details and how to apply here

Back in 2021, Family Planning received funding to implement their Environmental Education Project, which was overseen by the organisations Green Team in the Wellington office.  

The project saw the successful running of two educational workshops for their staff, as well as the production of resources and collateral that focused on waste reduction and the link between waste, climate change, and sexual and reproductive health, says a Green Team Spokesperson.  

“People need to be able to make choices about their bodies and their lives, including their sexual and reproductive health and rights, to be able to adapt and respond to the impacts of the climate crisis.  

“Pollution and climate change can be damaging to sexual and reproductive health and rights. Environmental disasters can weaken health systems and access to sexual and reproductive health services and supplies. As individuals, we can make small changes – like minimising our waste – that can support community impacts that benefit us all.”  

Plates and bowls stacked in a shelf.

2021 also saw VUWSA receive funding for the purchasing of crockery so hundreds of students could minimise waste during study week, says VUWSA Sustainability Officer Mika Hervel. 

"With the Waste Minimisation Seed Fund, we were able to acquire cups, plates and bowls. This allowed us to offer a free lunch to hundreds of students during study week, a stressful time of year, without creating an enormous amount of waste. Being able to reduce the stressful burden on students in a sustainable way was an awesome initiative made possible by Waste Minimisation Seed Funding."  

 VUWSA were able to move away from wasteful single-use options, like paper plates, and towards service ware that can be used again and again.  

This is a great example that sustainable change doesn’t have to be complex to make a difference - simply throwing away less makes a big difference.  

Similarly, Newtown Playcentre were able to implement more reusable options as a result of funding received in 2021. The volunteer-led organisation used funding to purchase a new washing machine to avoid using large amounts of single use paper towels.  

“Having a new washing machine has allowed us to have confidence that our washing will be washed once and washed properly. We’re able to effectively wash numerous small cloths in efficient cycles. This has allowed us to minimise the amount of paper towels we use in session. Which not only reduces our rubbish but helps make our budget healthier too!” 

Yours could be our next success story! The under $2000 Waste Minimisation Seed Fund is currently open for another round of applications, find out if you’re eligible here.