We kicked off February by chatting to EcoMatters – an organisation we’re very inspired by! The team at EcoMatters do a fabulous job of looking after our environment and inspiring other Aucklanders to do the same.
How would you describe EcoMatters Environment Trust?
EcoMatters Environment Trust is a charitable trust based in West Auckland, working with the community to deliver environmental initiatives. We equip people with the knowledge and tools to restore nature, reduce waste, ride and fix bikes and live more sustainably, through workshops, and hands-on environmental action.
The EcoMatters Store at our New Lynn EcoHub, is all about helping people live more sustainably. People can visit to get advice and tips, as well as drop off all sorts of items for recycling (from empty toothpaste tubes to batteries) and buy a range of eco-friendly and greener living products. We are a proud stockist of Rethink products here too 😊.
Can you remember when EcoMatters was created and how long you’ve been around?
EcoMatters was started back in 2002 as a partnership between the community and the Waitakere City Council to deliver on the environmental aims of both.
What is your core mission as a team?
Our purpose is to be a tohu, which we interpret as being a focal point, with the aim of connecting people and place. That can mean something different for every person we meet: for one person, it's all about streamside restoration planting, while another will be motivated by helping us sort e-waste for recycling. For us, it’s all about providing opportunities to take direct action for the environment. This also helps people connect with their neighbours, instill pride and ownership in their local area and build connectedness with their community.
EcoMatters’ proudest moment, next big goal and words of wisdom?
During the 2018/19 financial year, the projects we were involved with, along with help from our wonderful volunteers and our funding partners, helped achieve:
519,311kg of waste diverted from landfill
- 25.5km of streamsides restored
- 1,710 bikes repaired
- 500 homes improved.
As far as next big goals, we are focused on continuing to find new and different ways to work together with the community to restore balance in our ecosystems. If we are looking to start any new programme, it’s got to have the potential to achieve tangible outcomes and involve the communities affected right from the outset.
What’s one of your favourite Rethink products and why?
One of the favourites in our EcoMatters Store are the Rethink canvas bags with the bright, fun designs. People respond really well to the images, which feel very attuned to Aotearoa. They definitely sell well. But we are also seeing more and more people buying the reusable produce bags and bulk bin bags, as awareness about reducing single use plastic grows.