University to host environmental film evening

11 May 2017


Moses Simpson and Anne-Marie Simpson of Bikes on Campus, and Valerie Bianchi, Sustainability Coordinator on repaired bikes at the Eco Emporium

As part of a larger commitment to waste reduction, the University of Waikato’s Eco Emporium will be running events to promote tangible, positive solutions for environmental issues.

A film and discussion evening called, “Wai, Waste and What you can do” will be held on the Hamilton campus later this month. This will include a talk by Merren Tait to detail her year without plastic. Following this, the documentary A Plastic Ocean, will be screened, and a panel of waste experts will answer questions. This documentary was filmed by a team of international adventurers and researchers in 20 locations to document the global effects of plastic pollution and offer potential solutions to address the associated problems of plastic.

The University welcomes the public to this free event on 23 May from 6.30pm-9pm in S Block (S.G.01). For more information about Eco Emporium, to make a donation or for enquiries about “Wai, Waste and What you Can do”, contact the university’s sustainability coordinator Valerie Bianchi at

The Eco Emporium, which functions as the University’s op shop, resource exchange and sustainability learning space, is in its second year of running. Located on the Hamilton campus, it promotes reduce, recycle, reuse and repair philosophies. The intention is to help students and staff understand waste reduction and sustainability, offer ways to save money, and engage and help the community. The exchange space was established in 2016 with support from Hamilton City Council and is New Zealand’s first on-campus op shop. The Eco Emporium collects items such as books, clothes, shoes, and houseware. Bikes are also a welcome donation. Through the Bikes on Campus programme, bikes are refurbished and gifted to refugees settling in Hamilton.

The money raised at the Eco Emporium goes back to education and outreach to empower people to reduce their waste.  Since the start of the year, Eco Emporium has raised enough funds through the sale of donated goods to purchase a sewing machine. This is available for staff and students to use for repairing, remaking and upcycling projects. In exchange, people who sew are asked to make an item, such as a reusable bag or draught stopper, that will go on sale at the Eco Emporium or given to charity. By promoting sewing, Eco Emporium aims to equip students with skills and engage them in a bigger dialogue about waste reduction, one mended jumper at a time.