Founder of company The Rubbish Whisperer, Helen Rupp, is offering New Zealand schools, sports clubs and organisations a healthier and more environmentally friendly fundraising alternative to selling chocolate bars with her reusable produce bags.
Canterbury’s Southbridge Primary School was one of the first to team up with The Rubbish Whisperer to sell the brightly coloured reusable produce bags to raise money for school projects. Since then, more nationwide schools have come on board.
The reusable produce bags are hand-made in Christchurch and are designed as a lightweight and convenient option to take to the supermarket and fill with fruit and veges to place directly into your trolley, take through checkout and then store in your fridge or panty at home.
“We’ve made them with durability and longevity in mind. I still have the first bags I made six years ago!” Helen said.
The fundraising alternative is both health-conscious and environmentally friendly, prompting children to think about better eating choices, as well as their disposable plastic habits and impact on the environment.
“This is as much about reinforcing the need to stop promoting high-sugar chocolate snacks as it is about protecting our environment,” Helen enthused.
“While the national debate continues around what Kiwi children are eating and drinking, and how their sugar intake is causing dental decay and obesity, it’s surprising schools are still actively encouraging pupils to
fundraise with the very thing we are telling them to avoid.”
The initiative is part of Helen’s plan to reduce the amount of plastic waste that people generate every day by offering simple and easy solutions to making good environmental decisions.
“Changing just one person’s plastic bag habit will have a positive effect on the environment,” Helen said.
“Imagine the nationwide impact of having all New Zealand schools change from fundraising with chocolate to reusable produce bags.”
The Rubbish Whisperer has sold more than 15,000 reusable bags across New Zealand. Helen calculates that if each of those reusable produce bags is used once a week for six years, this saves around four million
“By simply changing the means by which we fundraise for things like new sports equipment and school trips, we are creating good lasting environmental habits for young Kiwis and the people who buy the produce bags, and promoting better eating choices for all of those involved,” Helen said.
“It helps that by selling one pack of reusable produce bags, children get the same return as seven chocolate bars.”
Fundraising with The Rubbish Whisperer:
Each fundraiser can purchase reusable produce bags at a discounted price by contacting The Rubbish Whisperer directly. They then sell packs or individual bags directly through their school or organisation.