Made in New Zealand

ISBN 978-0-473-18714-9

This book contains over 200 colour pictures from around New Zealand. I hope this book can inspire you and provide ideas from myself and other educators. Ideas on what can be incorporated from solid waste materials, and the home environment, into an early childhood centre’s environment. I have made over four hundred ‘activity centres’ to date, in my volunteer time. It is true, that one man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure.

“Turning Trash into Treasure for Young Children” highlights sustainability, which is an important issue within the community and the education sector. I enjoy encouraging others to find creative ways to reuse waste. The innovative equipment I have designed and made for young children is predominantly made from solid waste materials. It is about transforming someone else’s rubbish into learning experiences for young children. This book shows how to link people from the wider community to the early childhood environment, knowing that they are contributing their solid waste to be transformed into something useful- to inspire and enrich young children’s learning. It is also a practical tool, providing useful information and tips, as well as the all important health and safety considerations for young children.



One man’s rubbish is definitely another’s treasure in this resource for early learners. This book has hundreds of different ideas to use ‘trash’, all recorded in clear, colourful photographs. What’s interesting is how inventive you can be with materials that would normally end up in the dump.”

Enviroschools, Northland, 2011

 “Turning Trash into Treasure for Young Children” has received awards and scholarships for:


A Green Ribbon Award in the category of ‘Community and Education’.

Environment Minister Hon Amy Adams presented Adam Buckingham with a 2013 Green Ribbon Award at a function at Parliament (5 June 2013) on world environment day.  This is one of New Zealand’s top environmental awards.



A NZI Sustainable Business Network Award.

They have been running for 10 years, are the pre-eminent and longest-standing sustainability awards in New Zealand.  Winner of the Community Impact Category (2013) and in the Longlist for Community  Innovation (2013). Each of the 230 entries has been assessed by a panel of judges for significant environmental benefit, measurable and tangible results, innovation, awareness-raising and going the extra mile.

“Congratulations for the win last night.  According to the judges you were a clear winner so that’s a fantastic endorsement for all your hard work.”


The Auckland Regional Council Environment Awards (2007)

Commended Individual Award


Scholarships and grants from
Joyce Barns
NZEI Te Riu Roa
Rodney District Council Environmental Education Fund
Lotto grant
Waitakere City Waste-Not fund
North Shore City WasteWise fund