We all know we need to do good in our community and be better to our planet. That’s why this Christmas, we’re looking to celebrate people who are going the extra mile to care for people or care for our environment. Dob in a worthy someone and we’ll choose three champs in the lead up to Christmas, share their story and send them a Cactus ‘Do Gooder’ or ‘Do Betterer' bag to say thanks for giving a crap.
WEEK THREE: ALANA
Alana is a legend who makes the world a better place for every one she meets. She manages a food rescue and redistribution organisation called The Free Store, in Wellington Central. This work isn't just about reducing food waste but also about bringing people together from all walks of life.
Alana started volunteering at The Free Store over 4 years ago and has helped it transform. Her focus has been on waste reduction, why make waste to save food?? She has put in the mahi to educate volunteers, businesses and the community on why it is important to stop using single use plastic, only take what you need and find reusable/renewable alternatives.
Over 370, 000 items of fresh quality food redistributed annually to those who need it. That's over $2.6 million dollars worth of food! All food that would have otherwise been thrown into the landfill. Leading a great team, they have got funding for an EV so their food pickups are using clean energy.
Food redistribution can sometimes seem dehumanising when things grow to this scale, so Alana has given so much to ensure people feel a sense of belonging in the community that has formed around The Free Store. She shows that relationships have the power to transform peoples lives and communities. She lives and breathes sustainability at work and at home, in her spare time doing what she can to advocate for clean oceans, waste reduction and fossil fuel elimination. When she can, she does beach cleans, composts at the community garden (holds her breath during the very smelly car ride to deliver food scraps).
She inspires everyone she meets to Do Gooder and Do Betterer with so much love and patience, acknowledging not everyone has the privilege to make it a priority in their lives, that we can do a small part to make the world a betterer and gooder place!!!
WEEK TWO - MIKE
And this week's Do Gooder goes to...Mike Jamieson, dobbed in by mate John This week's winner is Mike, a humble human doing awesome things in his community. Mike, you're awesome. A Cactus Do Gooder is out to you in the post this Christmas.
WEEK ONE - MIRIAM
This week's winner = MIRIAM Check out Miriam's winning dob in from her mate Kylie
"Miriam Odlin not only is a do gooder but also a do betterer...she is a lady who focuses her whole being into doing good by people (in a very indirect way) and doing what is right by the environment. None of what she does is in your face notice me stuff...but it is everyday and it is in her values and in her philosophy of being a human being and being aware of the impact that she has and is having on the planet. Examples Miriam rides to work every day and back again 30km round trip rain, wind, winter summer...why because it is better for our planet." "Miriam often volunteers time to help with weed and pest control (control wilding pine on Tarawera), she does track maintenance on trail days in the Redwoods, she repairs tow lines when having ski holidays at Broken River. Miriam is an electrical engineer and has decided that he job does not satisfy her desire to have a more minimal impact on the planet, so she decided to start a coffee roasting business, all beans are ethically sourced, they are roasted in a roaster that is powered by renewable energy and the beans are to be delivered by an e-cargo bike. Miriam tries to only buy NZ made or locally sourced (yes she owns plenty of gear from Cactus)."
"Miriam started a Canoe Polo club and gets people out and motivated to move, she made the goals and gets them out every Monday night along with boats, helmets and gear all of which she stores at her house., for the benefit of others in the community. She grows her own produce, has her own chickens, eats meat that is hunted. Her house has solar panels. She advocates minimal packaging and set up a recycling scheme at her Squash club, when they had none. When she goes running she takes a bag with her so that she can collect rubbish from along the road. She often goes on wild weed chases around her neighbourhood, removing toxic vegetation that might impact natives or bees (yes she has a bee hive). Every second year she and her partner scoop up 10 of her friends children and pay for them to go on a skit trip to Broken River...why...so that she can teach these kids about the planet, how to ski and have a positive impact on them. Miriam made a tin roof for the local Waka that gets used by her local community for Waka Ama.She truly is a unique, intelligent, human who defines what having INtegrity means. Please consider this awesome person as a potential recipient of your cool things. She truly is a modest modern day superhero.