Name: Megan Younger
Currently Reside: Ohakune
Profession: Ecologist/Project Manager
Megan is one rad lady! Not only is she an accomplished scientist but she is also out there trying to make the world a better place. When she isn't flat out with mahi or her garden you can find her adventuring around the Ruapehu region. We’re super stoked to have Megan join Team Opus!
Hi Megan, can you give us a quick overview of what your all about?
I’m incredibly passionate about our indigenous flora and fauna here in Aotearoa! I have been extremely privileged to undertake work with tāngata whenua in our natural and urban spaces here in Ohakune. And now am helping to manage pest control projects around our wider region.
I’m about equitable outcomes for the environment and our community. I get the most joy out of sharing stories about our environment and encouraging people to incorporate sustainable practices, little by little, in their every day! Even, maybe, help see the world a bit differently. A favourite whakatauki or saying I love is “ka ora te whenua, ka ora te tāngata” (when the land is well, the people will be well). So, its important to me to consider the impact of my behaviors on our landscapes, and how that might impact the wellbeing of future generations.
What are a couple of sustainable practices people can incorporate into their daily lives?
1) Buy or wear natural fibres. It's good for so many reasons;
- No microplastics in waterways from the washing process
- It breathes better, allowing your skin to behave as it should, not incubate in the same way synthetics do
- When it eventually becomes no longer wearable, it's probably not going to outlast you e.g. it will break down better
I want to do more research into composting clothes! But it's a good start.
2) Grow a vegetable garden if you can;
The whole concept of farm to table is pretty interesting and trying to reduce the steps in between is a good thing! Even start small with herbs, or lettuce. Often these things come in plastic packaging, so the more of that we can divert from landfill or even being produced is a win in my books!
You're a busy lady! On those rare moments when you have spare time. What do you love to do?
In my spare time I love to cook and garden, I love to cook what comes out of my garden! I love to cook all these high quality ingredients.
If I’m not doing that and the weather is good, I’m out and about visiting our beautiful spaces. I’ve just recently had put my dog betty through her avian aversion so we can take her into some of these amazing spaces.
Go Betty! Safe to say your passionate about nature?
I’m 100000% a nature nerd. I love talking and learning about it constantly. We are so lucky in the Ruapehu region to have such variety right on our doorstep. I will not shut up, but for the purposes of this interview – I will tone it down.
Megan teaching students about freshwater stream ecology
Heading out into the bush, what item can you not leave the house without?
Literally never leave without good base layers, because you can never be 100% safe in our environments here, it can be very changeable; so my merino pop tops get absolutely thrashed going out. I’m a sweaty human too haha so I rate my opus tops for two main reasons 1) they wick my sweat away and still keep me warm and feel light even if it looks like I’ve been swimming, and 2) because it doesn’t start to smell manky haha in the same way that synthetics do. They also feel like a dream.
Queen of the world for a day. What would you change?
Huge question.. I think it would be a compulsory worldwide “get outside and make friends with a plant” day haha we’re mostly so disconnected with nature that we don’t know who is around us (as in, plants and animals) so how can we make good decisions on behalf of them if we have no connection to them; knowing their names is the first step!
Love it! Do you have a favorite tree buddy?
My FAVOURITE tree friend is the kōtukutuku or tree fuscia. I love it because it is a striking tree, with red bark and cute little pinky purple flowers which turn into delicious berries (kōnini). They are pretty rare to see in the bush these days due to possums and deer browsing. But are great additions to a garden for the birds and bees!
Where can people find out more about what you are up to?
I like to share the odd snap here and there with anyone that’s interested on my Instagram @ohsnap.someonejust but also stand by for some cool mahi I will be involved in – I’m yet to set up platforms for ‘MY Projects’, so watch this space!
We are super impressed with your mahi Megan. Thanks for chatting with us!
The Opus Fresh Crew