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, Business, Climate change, Ecological footprint, Energy, Household / individual, Transport

New Zealand’s carbon crisis

Per capita NZ GHG emissionsAlthough a small contributor to the global greenhouse effect (0.2%), New Zealand’s emissions of greenhouse gases per capita (17,2 tons) places us in the top countries, nearly twice as bad as the UK! To prevent catastrophic climate change, we *should* emit less than one ton per person and per year.

It’s a huge responsibility and also a huge opportunity.

Half of New Zealand’s emissions of greenhouse gases depends on how we choose to use our land. Originally covered by forests by 80% only 30% is left today with more than 50% used as farmland. So trees today only manage to absorb about 30% of CO2 emissions. A lot of farmland is used for ruminants who belch out methane, a gas 25 times more powerful than CO2 as a greenhouse gas. Something will have to be done there.

 

Footprint_tagsThe 86% of us who live in urban settings contribute to the other half of emissions of greenhouse gases. A third of energy production is from non-renewable sources and we use too much energy anyway because of our poorly insulated homes. Also we consume a lot and making things creates lots of CO2, as well as waste and pollution. We also drive in cars too much and our air travel increase is a worrying trend. One return flight to Europe adds 10 tons per capita and per passenger…

These are things we can work on. We can choose better energy, save it and improve our homes. We can be thoughtful when we buy things and when we hop in our cars.

We’ll help you figure out what is easily done, what will make a big difference in your case, how much it will cost you and save over time.  We’ll help you feel good about yourself and how you tackle your responsibility towards future generations and the Earth.

Source: Carbon Neutral by 2020: How New Zealanders can tackle climate change. Edited by Niki Harre and Quentin D. Atkinson. Nelson: Craig Potton, 2007.

 

Business, Household / individual

Saving the Earth also saves money!

Dollar symbol goldGoing green saves money and increases profits.

For businesses, studies have shown that profits can easily increase by 80% in 5 years when deciding to go sustainable. From innovations, opportunities to waste reductions, employers engagement to improved business image, not to mention avoiding massive risks to profits from legal or environmental changes, it pays to anticipate!

At home, whether you carpool, switch to energy efficient light bulbs, buy and sell second-hand or eat local food, your household bills will reduce by the thousands of dollars.

Ask for Eco-Consultant advice to decide where to start and what will ensure the best return on investment enabling you to pursue your path. Being sustainable financially rhymes with sustainability!