Community, Community group, Ecosystem & Biodiversity, Education, Food & Health, Household / individual, Like-minded, New Zealand, Non-profit organisation, Oceania, Otago, Projects, Recycling & Waste, Schools, Upper Clutha, Wanaka, Water

Community Involvement

After working on ourselves and improving our households as much as we can, getting involved in our community is a powerful and accessible way to make a positive change. Over the years, I have volunteered in many groups depending on what’s on and the children’s activities. Unsurprisingly, I tend to focus on sustainability-related initiatives. Today, I am leading or committee member of these groups:

Aspiring Conversations - Cool It!
Meeting Tim Flannery with
Team Green students in 2016

MAC Team Green facilitator. For 10 years, I’ve been supporting, encouraging, coordinating students – always different over the years- in making a change in our college. Recycling, fair-trade, solar panels and energy-savings… are fantastic achievements! And we are starting water monitoring as part of the Touchstone project soon.

ALREC secretary. Alpine Lakes Research and Education Centre is an awesome project set up in 2015-16 by late Dr Maggie Lawton and taken forward by her daughter Ella, both my good friends.

PBFW17 Committee meeting
PBFW committee meeting

Plastic Bag Free Wanaka is Anna Van Riel’s initiative to phase out single-use plastic in our region. Her energy and enthusiasm has brought me into her team of uber-efficient women, having a lot of fun on the way too!

Local Food Wanaka started in 2014 to promote and support the relocalising of food production in the area. Its main event is the very successful  Autumn Apple drive.

Friends of Wanaka Wastebusters is a bi-monthly involvement role where we exert our role as guardians of the shares of Wanaka Wastebusters Ltd on behalf of the community.

Timebank secretary. I inherited this hat more than I wanted to have it… From 70  people really eager to create this initiative, it went progressively down to just 2! We are currently switching software and will do a lot more advertising when this is done.

Te Kakano Flo Gary Roys Bay 9 June 2012
Te Kakano Tree planting in Roys Bay, June 2012

I am also volunteering with Te Kakano as often as I can. Tree planting is the simplest most satisfying way to restore the future.

2 cups of tenacity, 2 cups of altruism, illimited adoration/admiration of nature and life, 1 cup of curiosity, 1 spoon of positive intention, 3000 spoons of time – extracted from super-organisation, 1 pinch of risk-taking and 1 pinch of idealism, this is how I end up with several -probably too many!- hats.

These volunteer activities satisfy five of my fundamental human needs. I feel part and connected to a network of great people. It has taught me a lot over the years, I contribute to positive change and defend what I stand for and most importantly, it is FUN!

Do you want to participate too? Feel free to contact any of these friendly groups.

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Agriculture & gardening, Community, Community group, Food & Health, Like-minded, Otago, Upper Clutha, Wanaka

Bumper Apple Drive

With my Local Food Wanaka friends, I’ve been co-organising the Autumn Apple drive for several years. This year, there was a bumper apple crop and a huge turnout, showing the growing interest people have in local food, skills sharing, community building and resilience.

Great photo in the Otago Daily Times Online News today!

Climate change, Community group, Events, Wanaka

Wanaka Climate Celebration

Involved for a long time with Avaaz and 350, I was well aware of the preparation of Climate Marches all over the world ahead of the Paris Climate Conference in December 2015 (read the IPCC recommendations here). When I checked in October, I found out that the closest march was 280 km away so I dived and signed up to create an event here in Wanaka.

It’s been a stunning month of preparation. I received an amazing support from everyone in the community.

We’ve eventually had a volunteers team, 2 banners, a facebook event page, 6 local newspaper articles, 2 radio talks, a poster all over the place, a video made before and a video made during the event sent to the world organisers days later, an informative leaflet, 100 signs pre-made, face-painting, bubbles, 25 sponsors/supporters and even a song!

Most importantly, it’s been a great success! Between 320 and 350 people came to the Dinosaur Park and / or marched to “the Wanaka Tree”, with music, signs and cheerfulness. People here care for the planet.

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A BIG thank you to everyone who supported the event, particularly my Team Green students who carried the banner all the way into the water!

And the Paris COP 21 conference was a victory, as governments signed the beginning of the end of the fossil fuels era.

We did make difference!

Community group, Ecological footprint, Education, Energy, Housing, Recycling & Waste, Wanaka, Water

Yellow Blue Park

Yellow Blue Park is a project that combines a campground, a campus and community participation to optimize the use of space and facilities. Developed between 2011 and 2013 in Wanaka, it is on hold due to the campus part discontinuation. YBP

Click here for the Slideshow that present the project, the Website, the Facebook Page, and a Presentation Page.