Anton Drazevick is hoping to bring new energy to the Nelson Environment Centre. Photo: Charles Anderson.

New environment centre manager looks to household sustainability solutions

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The new manager of the Nelson Environment Centre used to work with some of the biggest brands in the world, but now his sights are set on the difference acting local can make.

Anton Drazevick has just started in the role, after running a creative agency in Melbourne before working for the governmental agency which helped restore infrastructure in the aftermath of the Kaikoura earthquake.

Now, however, he wants to further the work that the environment centre does in helping educate the wider public about acting sustainably.

Last week, the Nelson Weekly featured a story about the waste that goes into landfill each year from local homes. However, Anton says there are easy things that everyone can do to lessen their environmental footprint.

“We are blessed to be living in this country, so we need to lead by example. I think we have a responsibility to show other countries and the best practice is to look after your waste here and sort it yourself.”

Recycling at home – Anton says “sorting at the source” is the best means to make sure what can be recycled actually is. This includes putting recyclables in the right bin but also ensuring it has been rinsed out.

“If it’s contaminated they will pull it out and chuck it in landfill.”

It is also compost month this month where you can get an increased subsidy of $30 on compost bins, worm farms, worms, or a Bokashi bucket, from participating retailers.

“Composting is a better use of waste, so it doesn’t go to landfill,” says Anton.

Do I need this packaging? – Anton says bringing your own container is a great way of not putting extra waste into the system.

He takes containers to restaurants and even rinses out takeaway coffee cups to reuse if he forgets his usual reusable cup.

“We don’t want to make life harder for people or expensive. At a restaurant they will sometimes knock something off the price because it’s convenient for them too.”

Do I need to buy new? – Anton says to ask yourself whether you need to buy something new.

“Or can you get something that is preloved?

I don’t think we should be taking so much from the earth, there is already so much in the system at the moment.”

Getting rid of e-waste – If you have an old computer or laptop or batteries then the environment centre has a dedicated space to recycle e-waste.
Much of it can be done for very little or for a small fee.