This month, we're introducing you to our monthly featured member who's passionate about all things green, and has been with us almost as long as we've been around! Nic Turner from Mainstream Green is a delight to have in the space and I managed to get ten minutes of her time to have a chat about Meraki, new business and all things green and waste!
So tell us a bit about who you are what you do!
My name is Nic Turner and I have my business called Mainstream Green. Mainstream Green is a social enterprise and I work with businesses, councils and individuals around the concept of greenfulness, which is all about being a more mindful of how and what we’re consuming and the waste we’re creating.
Which is so important. I love it. And you’ve been at Meraki pretty much since it started really! How did you end up here?
So I’ve always worked in an office environment, I have a background working with large corporate organisations, so I was very used to the office environment. And when I first started out in business I was working from home a lot because it was a logical thing to do to save money, but I just found it wasn’t really fitting my working style. I preferred to go somewhere for work and be able to leave work in one place and it’s all about that kind of mindset for me. Granted my washing has suffered from being at a coworking space.
You don't have that procrastination at a coworking space do ya?
Exactly! And I also just like the vibe. I came in when I was in the infancy of starting my business and a lot of other people were working for themselves and have their own businesses so I was able to have that support and people to bounce off which is great, and the social aspect as well.
Absolutely. I was going to ask what keeps bringing you back, and I’m gonna say it’s probably all of those things?
Yeah probably all of those things, and as we were talking about before there’s always change and there’s always new people and different vibes and different things going on and I think that’s really nice. And I think you guys are doing some really cool stuff here around creating a community which is nice.
Going off that, if there were things that you would change about Meraki, what would you change?
Ooh that’s a good question! What would I change.. I think you guys have really ramped up the communication aspect having you in place and sharing tools and stuff I think is really cool. Thinking about other spaces I've been to, it’s a hard question!
Maybe around how you get more social cohesion going but that’s more the nature of a working space… people are naturally in and out, you know. You have your morning teas and stuff but I know it can be hard to get people involved in them and I think the way that you’re virtually sharing profiles and stuff will help facilitate that.
Yeah exactly, and I was having this conversation with a couple of permanent members who mention they aren’t on facebook, so everything we do on Facebook they don’t see it so it’s very much a matter of finding a common ground for communication for everyone. Because some people don’t open their emails so, it’s an interesting juggle.
Yeah, yeah, exactly. Though I’ve just thought of something that could be done differently, and I know that Sue’s put in a heap of effort, is the waste side of things. And I know you are doing a lot in terms of taking the compost and everything. But from my perspective from a behaviour change point of view knowing what I know it’s all about the systems being really good, but how do you make sure that’s the way of doing things around here. So people start as they’re meant to go on. Kind of like part of their onboarding of “this is how it works”. That’s what I say whenever I work with businesses, if you’re focusing on waste reduction , you’ve got to make it part of how things work in the space.
That’s handy for me to go, that’s really good! And it goes in to my next question. One thing about Meraki is we are big on zero waste and it’s a big value for us. Obviously in your role it’s a huge thing for you and your family at home. So what kind of things do you do at home?
Yeah so for me in terms of how I talk about greenfulness as well the first thing when it comes to sustainability or waste is just becoming more conscious. I think that’s what I talk to people about a lot, in terms of what I do, as I think we’ve fallen into this autopilot of how we’re consuming stuff. So I think it’s about flicking a switch and being more conscious, which for me is very much around before you buy something or consume something take a micro pause and go “do I really need it? Do i really want it? And if I do, can i make a better choice?” So everything starts with consciousness right? That’s kind of my high-level advice to people.
In terms of stuff we do at home, it’s been a process of one small change at a time, looking at the waste we are creating. And that’s what I say to people who are just starting out, look at your rubbish bin and just choose one thing and choose the easiest thing and start with that because you’re gonna be way more likely to do it then you’ll feel good about it and motivated to do another one.
Generally you’ll find the largest thing in your bin will be food waste.
And it’s so easy to just throw it away and be like ‘meh, what else can you do with it?’ and there’s so much you can do with it. And it doesn’t matter whether you’re out in the country or in town, something as simple as a small compost or finding someone who has a pig or getting a chicken, it doesn’t have to be a lot. My family are also really conscious about it.
Yeah, and you’re right in terms of how you get better at using it in the first place. They reckon a third of all food grown is wasted. So how do we get better at not wasting it?
And it also comes down to portion sizes and such too. Like if you’re not gonna eat your entire meal, why make it that large? Otherwise freeze it!
Yes! Freezers are great. They suspend food in time!
I love that!
Blows my mind haha.
One last question. Because we are a place that likes to collaborate, have you had an opportunity to collaborate with anyone else here?
Lots of great conversations! And definitely bouncing stuff off each other. I’ve worked with Amanda Hema when she was here. And lots of conversations with Sue in terms of connections and those are so important.
Connections in themselves are such an important part of collaboration.
Exactly. And she’ll ask me for advice and connections and I ask her for the same. Lots of powerful conversations.
Follow Nic via her Mainstream Green socials: