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Local small business chanelling 5% of sales to rehome Environment Centre, calls on others to follow suit

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A small business in Hastings is committing 5% of their revenue over the next four weeks to help the Hawke’s Bay Environment Centre, which is desperately seeking $150k for a new premises. They are calling on others in the business community to join them, to help scale up the support.

Team members at Douglas Outdoor & Textile Innovation heard about the centre’s plight last week and have since rallied into action. As at Monday the centre’s Givealittle page had raised $4850 towards the goal, plus an additional $9,100 in the bank from an email campaign.

Douglas’ co-owner, Pete Swinburn, believes that business must play a role in supporting a sustainable Hawke’s Bay. “The days of selling stuff and letting the end result become the consumer’s problem are quickly disappearing. While none of us are perfect, ourselves included, if businesses are in a position to do something then we really must.”

The tight timeframe comes as the Environment Centre has only weeks left until they need to move, and a new premises secured in order to stay open.

HB Environment Centre CEO Emma Horgan-Heke explains that securing the new premises will help to set a series of important initiatives in motion. “This organisation has cemented itself as a flag-bearer for recycling and the circular economy in Hawke’s Bay. We provide a number of services including hard to recycle items, eWaste and training the business community on taking circular action in real life.”

“Climate change awareness is driving a huge increase in demand for our service, with 200 – 400 people through our doors daily from across Hawke’s Bay, learning to recycle and wanting to know more about other things they can do to reduce their impact.”

“This year we diverted 100+ tons of electronic waste, plastics & other specialist recycling, provided advice to thousands of people though our centre and outreach, and diverted 95% of event waste” shares Horgan-Heke.

“We are now ready to do more, under a bigger roof. The Environment Centre has a pretty exciting Strategic Plan which we hope will enable greater developments for Hawke’s Bay in key areas like climate adaptation and food resilience. But we can’t do it on our own.”

Horgan-Heke is working on a scaled, paid membership model that she hopes to launch with the business community in the coming months. “We recognise there are many out there who want to be on the right side of history, but just don’t know where to start. We would love it if more people in the business community would walk beside us on the journey.”

Swinburn of Douglas would like to see other small business owners answer the Environment Centre’s call. “Everyone is challenged at the moment, with illnesses, supply chain disruptions and staff shortages ongoing. However the environment can’t afford to wait for us to find the perfect moment, which is why we are trying to do something to support this important organisation now.

“Alone it would be hard, but together we could easily raise this sum.”

Douglas will be sharing details of their donation on their social pages, and invite customers who are ready to push play on any outdoor living or textile jobs they may have been considering to help add to the donation pool.

Both concerned individuals and businesses can make donations via the Hawke’s Bay Environment Centre’s Give a Little page here: https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/we-need-your-help-to-move-premises-and-keep.

Emma’s reasoning for the temporary Give a Little funding is clear.

“We don’t charge our community for most services, including specialist recycling as we want it to remain accessible all. Unfortunately our funding doesn’t cover our specialist recycling services or match growing demand yet. We have irons in the fire to bring in more funding, but we need short term help to keep the doors open and get us up and running in a new premises.”

The current Hawke’s Bay Environment Centre premises is located at 1004 Karamu Road North, Hastings, and its doors are open 10am – 5pm Monday to Friday.