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10 Questions for Sustained Fun/EcoSplat Co-Founder Anthea Ibell

Tell us a bit about yourself

I have always been obsessed with the ocean (namely sharks, whales and other charismatic megafauna). I have been lucky enough to witness these amazing creatures through my travels and scuba diving. I now live in Christchurch.

Anthea Madill standing in a shop in front of a display of Remix Plastic earrings and smiling at the camera.

What did you do before Sustained Fun/EcoSplat?

I studied marine biology at uni, trained as a SCUBA diving instructor, traveled, had a child and then started my business Remix Plastic. Quite the list actually, now that I write it down! I found that my passion for marine creatures and science culminated in my work in sustainability education and science communication through Remix Plastic where I made recycled plastic accessories to communicate environmental issues and engage people in having conversations around solutions. 

What in sustainability gets you most excited?

I am passionate about empowering people to make some easy, manageable but big impact sustainable changes in their lives. I have found this to be where I really thrive - I can talk to people all day about problems and the current and potential solutions. 

Which environmental problem are you most concerned about?

I think for me, anything that impacts the charismatic megafauna that I love. With my work, I have funneled this mainly into reducing plastic pollution in the ocean as the way that I feel I can do something about. But I also have heart sinking moments when I learn about shark finning, trawling, whaling and those things that I have generally decided are beyond my control in a lot of ways. 


Anthea Madill scuba diving holding a waterproof camera

What do you do to relax?

I have recently made a resolution to do some art each day. This has taken the form of water colour painting at this stage but is a blanket ambition to try all the things that I have always wanted. I have a tendency to learn a skill to do it once then move on! 

I am also reading a lot more, to get off my phone and sleep properly!

Favourite book/movie/song/food

Will start with my favourite band as this has been something that has shaped who I am and how I see myself. The Mountain Goats. Their range of music covers all the things I love - quirky and comical, great storytelling, tragically romantic.

I would love to say that my favourite foods are fancy cheeses and charcuterie boards (which are amazing) …but in all honesty, I have to admit it is things like donuts, pancakes and pizza. I am being the responsible adult that I know I need to be and limit my intake of these. 

Do you feel positive or negative about the future?

I choose to feel positive and optimistic about the future because if you stop too long to think about all the horrible news and environmental impacts happening, you just feel overwhelmed and paralysed. 

What fun thing do you like to do with your child?

My daughter is coming up to 6 years and it is my favourite age yet because it means we can go for big walks, exploring our local neighbourhood. And she is massively into drawing so we sit and craft together - her drawing and me painting. 

Anthea Madill in a sunny garden with her daughter sitting on her knee. They are smiling at the camera.

What’s your favourite thing about Sustained Fun/EcoSplat?

I enjoy the element of solving people’s environmental problems. I am excited to be able to provide eco-options that as a parent, I also want and use! It is incredibly challenging as a parent to want to do the things you know will make your children happy, but also find a way that aligns with your environmental and moral values. 

Top tip for sustainability

A tip for people that want to make sustainable changes would be to take one thing at a time, do what you can within your own situation. You can’t go plastic free overnight and you shouldn’t put too much pressure on yourself otherwise it will be too hard. Each thing counts and it takes lots of people making small changes rather than a few people doing it perfectly!

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