Congratulations to Sophie Weenink, the winner of our Tidy Kiwi Volunteer of the Month for July.

Sophie is nearly 16 years old and has been on a mission for the last three years to inspire as many people as possible to be ‘Tidy Kiwis’ and look after our planet.

Her journey started when she was snorkeling at Cable Bay and saw plastic floating in the water amongst the marine life. Sophie said this experience really shocked her and made her realise the damage humans are doing to the planet.

Since then Sophie has organised many beach and river clean ups around Nelson through her Facebook page called EcogirlNZ. Over the years this has involved hundreds of volunteers collecting and sorting massive amounts of litter.

Sophie takes the opportunity to speak at events, local schools and daycares to motivate and educate others about how they can make better everyday choices for the environment. She is the under 25 representative for the Nelson Tasman Climate Forum, a group formed to make change which is sponsored by Nelson Council, and regularly recruits volunteers and volunteers herself for the Waste No More scheme in Nelson, to divert waste from landfill at events. Her efforts have not gone unnoticed and she has been featured in Readers Digest Asia and Australasia.

“My message to everyone would be you are never too young or too old to change the world,” says Sophie.

Congratulations again Sophie and thanks for all the hard work you are doing to educate and inspire others to Keep New Zealand Beautiful.

This month’s Tidy Kiwi will receive $100, a Keep New Zealand Beautiful t-shirt, a Resene paint voucher and more – along with being automatically nominated for the Young Legend Award at our annual Beautiful Awards! Plus, thanks to Stand Desk we have four desks to give away this year to our Tidy Kiwi Volunteer of the Month winners – we will draw a winner for this every three months.

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

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