Maxine Woodhouse, Waitaki Resource Exchange’s Co-ordinator is our Green Collar Job interviewee this week. We met Maxine at the WasteMinz workshops in April and although Waitaki is just outside of the Canterbury region we still thought what she does everyday would be of interest to our blog readers. Three days a week Maxine works with businesses, not-for-profits and schools looking at waste as a resource with the aim to divert that waste from their local landfill and to show people how to utilise waste as a resource within the community. She has also assisted in the implementation of recycling in local workplaces. Maxine says “Our goal is to create lasting networks between those with excess resources & those seeking them, thus extending the life of usable materials & keeping them out of the landfill”.
When not focussed on waste Maxine is either in her garden or volunteering in other initiatives in the community such as local cycle groups and the Alternative Transport project which is run in conjunction with Sport Waitaki, the Rural PHO (Primary Health Organisation) and the local Transition Town movement. Maxine also writes a fortnightly column in the local Waitaki paper which is read by people from all walks of life in the community.
1. What do you do to live more sustainably (with a low impact) in your life?
There are a number of things: I recycle all my household items, choose wisely when shopping, grow my own Fruit and Veges, I walk to work, ride my bike or car pool to visit business owners and I volunteer for the Transition Town movement to help educate the community on low impact activities to help our environment & promote alternative means of transport for people to get to school, work and around the community.
2. How do you live more sustainably at work?
I work from home. So this means I just have to walk up the back of my house to my office. Sometime I choose to jog or ride my bike. ha-ha
3. What do you think is the biggest environmental issue we need to deal with in Christchurch/New Zealand?
There are a number of environmental issues that I think NZ is going to face in the future & some that are already being shown.
I think we need to be farming smarter (inc Beef, sheep, cows, crops etc) and changing our habits, in order to protect our water ways and soils here in NZ, Genetic Engineering and food labelling.
The amount of people that drive cars.
How we, as consumers, are consuming. We are creating problems that are making our rubbish problems bigger. We need to start taking ownership of our consumer choices, when it comes to quality and the end of line, for our products.
4. What makes you smile?
Interacting with community and seeing people being positive and happy.
5. What is your biggest pet peeve?
People making excuses for their behaviour and not having a consequence for their actions!
6. What is your favorite colour and why?
Ummm, blue at the moment. Representing Water in the world and how precious this is for our survival.
7. Do you have a favorite place in the world? Describe why?
Oamaru of course. It’s centrally located, over looks the ocean, has a great community of supportive people, is the end place for the new cycle way in NZ, great surfing and has big things on the way for the future!
8. What’s your connection to SIFT?
I met the Olivia and Chris [Pickrill, Chairman] at the Waste Minz conference in April and heard all about the great initiatives that they are doing.
9. Do you remember your favorite teacher and why they were your favorite?
Would have to be when I did my Outdoor Education course in Cairns (OZ), my teacher Amanda Smith. She was a great female role model and inspired me to pursuer my career as an Outdoor educator in Victoria, which I did for almost 3 years.
10. What do you want to leave behind?
A world full of people who care and take responsibility for their actions, as human beings and understand that we can’t just keep taking and nothing is going to happen.
11. What do you think the future will bring?
This is the year for change. So hopefully people will make wiser consuming choices, start to recycle better and write more letters to companies to let them know what they think about products and the packaging used.
12. Who is someone you really admire and why?
I don’t have anyone that comes to mind, but in general, people who take risks and give things they may never had done before a good go!
13. What is happening outside your window right now?
It’s really raining. We have flooding and no school today.
14. What is your favorite breakfast?
Organic Clearwater Yoghurt from Peel Forest, with fresh organic strawberries.
15. What is the best piece of advice you can give us?
“Don’t try to convince people to change the way they think. Just focus on how you can work with the positive solutions and the positives examples…” David Holmgren
I love this peace of advice and this is my motto for this year..(It’s working too)