Rita Hart's doing her part in preserving the environment.
The 10-year-old Te Atatu Peninsula resident is involved in the Biz Kids Challenge and is combining her love of art with recycling glass bottles and jars.
Her business, Waste-Not Want-Not sees her transform bottles and jars into bright decorative vases by covering them in colourful magazine clippings.
"It's about sustainablilty. I think recycling is really important.
"People can get hurt. I've seen lots of bottles smashed everywhere, it's not good. And landfills are really bad bad too," Rita says.
The inaugural Biz Kids Challenge is a young entrepreneurs competition for children aged between five and 12-years from or in schools around Te Atatu Peninsula.
Created by charity, Love to Live, the competition gets children to show creativity and learn entrepreneurial skills which they'll showcase to the public at a community fun day this month.
Love to Live was established in 2012 and gives money raised back to children through events, life-experiences and mentorships.
Nine semi-finalists including Rita were chosen at a presentation day in November and have received support and mentoring from local businesses and were given $100 to help produce enough products for the community fun day.
Rita first learned of the challenge at her school, Matipo Primary and thought it would be a good opportunity to make money.
She will donate 10 per cent of her earnings to conservation project Ark in the Park, while saving the rest for university fees.
Rita sources her materials from her family and will approach the RSA to see whether it can donate bottles.
She's made about 20 creations and aims to sell each one for around 25 dollars.
Rita's mum Debra is proud of the good ideas and initiative her daughter shows.
"The challenge is really good for teaching children how to start a business."
"I think a lot of people don't go into business because it's a bit daunting and they don't know how to start. Teaching them at this age is really good to hold them in good stead for the future," she says.
Biz Kids organiser and co-founder of Love to Live Marilyn Kelly says the growth of children throughout the challenge has been amazing.
"We wanted to do something that was fun and educational."
"Business knowledge is a good life skill, even if you never go into it," she says.
The community fun day will be held at Jack Pringle Park in Te Atatu Peninsula on February 23 from 10am to 2pm.
There will be a panel of three judges and three winners will be drawn from different age groups, each receiving prizes including a lunch and tour with a local business.
Visit tapfunday.net for more information.
- © Fairfax NZ News