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Congratulations to Maria Lamb, our Tidy Kiwi Volunteer of the Month for November.

Maria has been plogging, a combination of jogging and picking up litter, as long as she can remember.

Maria says her aim is to make a small difference in her local St Albans neighbourhood in Christchurch and encourage others to do the same.

When both her children were at primary school, she thought it was timely to teach them about the importance of being a Tidy Kiwi. Over the school holidays, she would offer to have their friends over and together they would head out to a park or beach and take bags with them to collect litter. The kids didn’t mind as for each bag they filled they earned themselves a gold coin for an ice-cream afterwards.

Maria is now involved in hosting community events in her local neighbourhood which have been great at bringing locals together and meeting other like minded people.

Maria says: “I see it as my gift back to nature, role modelling the changes that I want to see. Also the old stigma that rubbish is dirty and if you didn’t drop it, why should you be the person to pick it up – I gently remind others that there’s more pride in being proactive, than simply ignoring it and wishing it away. Ultimately we all know we should do the right thing but by remaining actively involved, I hope to encourage many other Kiwis to unashamedly pick up litter wherever they see it.”

Congratulations again Maria! Thank you for being such a great Tidy Kiwi and inspiring others!

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The winner of Volunteer of the Month receives $100, a Keep New Zealand Beautiful t-shirt, a bag, Resene paint voucher and more – along with being automatically nominated for the Tidy Kiwi award at our annual Beautiful Awards!

If you know someone who does great work keeping New Zealand beautiful, you can nominate them here.

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