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Sue Ollerton - Westfield Local Heroes 2020

Fighting waste with edible gardens

Sustainable Papakura
Dedicated. Big-hearted. Community Centred.

Edible gardens are popping up in public spaces all over Papakura, as locals follow the lead of sustainability champion Sue Ollerton.

It's all part of her mission to help the residents of the Auckland suburb cut down on waste to save their wallet and the planet.

Sue weaves her magic at Sustainable Papakura, where she facilitates sustainability workshops in her role as marketing manager.

She teaches people to sew disposable nappies and cloth pads and how to make beeswax wrappers to replace plastic wrap.

Locals also learn how to grow veggies from seeds and prevent food waste.

"Our workshops help people feel confident to become more sustainable in their homes," Sue says.

"This helps them to reduce their waste and the effect it has on the environment, save money by making small changes, repair instead of replacing and grow their own food."

Thanks to Sue, who volunteers 15 hours a week on top of her paid role, many local shops are now supplied with reusable bags, sewn from donated and repurposed fabric.

Her team of volunteers are also responsible for the edible gardens around town, with people encouraged to pick what they need.

"I thrive on helping people," Sue says.

Westfield Local Heroes are nominated and voted for by their communities, with the three top finalists per Westfield centre each awarded a $10,000 grant for their affiliated organisation. Sustainable Papakura will have precisely the amount needed to employ her for 11 months of the year.

For further information on the Westfield Local Heroes program, click here

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