Striving for a sustainable resort

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Environmental action group Sustainable Queenstown Charitable Trust’s made massive strides in cleaning up the resort since forming earlier this year. Joshua Walton gets the lowdown on its goals from its founder and newly-appointed trustees

It all started with a vision to change Queenstown’s environmental footprint.

Sustainable Queenstown was officially formed as a trust earlier this year but co-founder Esther Whitehead says it’s been more than three years in the making, “born out of a passionate grassroots community group”.

Those involved wanted to inspire people, businesses and public bodies in the Lakes District to come together to tackle ‘throw-away’ culture and help the environment in general.

The not-for-profit has more than 2000 members dedicated to protecting the planet, one small but significant step at a time, and a plethora of projects on the go.

But it’s now stepping up its game, looking to grow its support base and attract even more volunteers, businesses and organisations to join the crusade.

Last week it appointed three new trustees, bringing the total to nine, and held its first board meeting.

Whitehead says this start-up stage is “crucial” to making an impact on the wider district.

“To date we’ve achieved everything without funding.

“We’re looking to achieve growth in all of our projects. So we hope to be able to achieve more of what we’re doing and have the capacity to be able to do that.

“We have a real strong community backing, which is awesome.”

One of the trust’s pivotal projects, ‘Dishrupt’, aims to solve problems caused by disposable waste items piling up at large events by providing reusable dishes and cups.

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joshua.walton@scene.co.nz