Educator spreads green message

By Lin Ferguson

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Anna Dawson is the new enviro educator at the Whanganui Resource Recovery Centre. PHOTO/STUART MUNRO
Anna Dawson is the new enviro educator at the Whanganui Resource Recovery Centre. PHOTO/STUART MUNRO

Anna Dawson is the Whanganui Resource and Recovery Centre's (WRRC) first teacher, the first enviro-educator and she is thrilled.

The former primary teacher from Northland who returned to her home town of Whanganui last year said her appointment has been an educator's dream.

"Especially for me as a teacher who loves the environment and enjoys giving young children the knowledge and awareness of recycling and what it means to help save our surroundings."

Children from kindergartens to college age come into the centre where Ms Dawson has specialised lessons set up in every facet of environmental need-to-know facts and figures.

Her classroom is set up in what was the dining room of the old Wanganui Prison.

The WRRC is full of resources and learning that would fascinate everyone not just children, she said.

Because the centre had been so popular with the community, opening the doors to educational groups was a natural progression, she said.

As well as worm farms and every kind of recycling to litter-free lunchboxes were so important, Ms Dawson said.

"A lunchbox where everything is reusable. No more cling film, small yoghurt pots and chippie bags for example."

Beeswax wraps are perfect for wrapping food in and they are so easy to make.

Small squares of material are cleaned with warm soapy water then baked in the oven after being covered with melted beeswax.

"Beeswax is easy to buy and these wraps are totally reusable. And buying yoghurt in litre containers then putting some in a smaller reusable container each day is far better than tossing little yoghurt containers every day. To have a litter-free lunchbox to really something to aim for."

The WRRC open day will be held on Saturday, September 10 from 11am-3pm. They really want to encourage the public to come and see what is behind the gate and what is available at the recycling centre.

There will be tours running on the half hour to look through the reuse academy and education room.

"We will also have some planting for kids to do and plants to give away. We will be asking the public to bring along any sized colourful plastic lids they have to contribute to a community mural which will be made entirely from lids and started on the day."

There will be a sausage sizzle and drinks available as well as demonstrations on grading recyclables. It will be a fun-filled family day out.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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