• By Cliff Mail

Carbon Neutral Kerikeri to launch 22 November


We are being bombarded with increasingly dire warnings about the consequences of man-made climate change but hear little on what we as individuals can do about that.

Following a 2017 public address on climate change in Kerikeri, by Professor James Renwick, we decided that it was time to look at what Kerikeri could do to start mitigating our own contribution to the changing climate. Our research uncovered a dearth of practical tools and lay information on carbon emissions and sequestration for the average New Zealander. It also highlighted a lack of leadership and a general apathy by most of us on what is seen as a problem that is unlikely to impact much in our lifetime. Unfortunately, what each of us do today directly impacts on the future that our children and grandchildren will inherit and those children have already been born. Time is rapidly running out!

Carbon Neutral Kerikeri is a collaborative community initiative aiming to get the residents of the greater Kerikeri area to start measuring, and taking responsibility for reducing, the carbon emissions of their household.

This process starts with a household undertaking an inventory of both their household emissions and the level of sequestration that is resulting from such things as trees that grow on their property.

Given the lack of tools for households, our Kerikeri group has joined forces with a similar group on Waiheke Island (Carbon Neutral Waiheke) to form the Carbon Neutral NZ Trust. The trust has set about developing a carbon calculator and database that the households can use to calculate and store their carbon data.

The Trust is also publishing practical advice and case studies on ways households can start to reduce their net carbon footprint. If we understand our carbon footprint we can start to change our behaviour. Those changes will not only have environmental benefits but also have a positive impact on household budgets and health through the more efficient use of energy and transport, better waste management and diet.

Both the calculator and advice are available on the Trust’s website www.carbonneutraltrust.org.nz.

The first set of data will become the household carbon baseline and contributes to an aggregate community baseline. The data will be updated annually.

The launch of Carbon Neutral Kerikeri will introduce the concept of carbon measurement to Kerikeri residents and is a starting point for what we hope will result in the town becoming one of, if not the first, carbon neutral town in New Zealand. Waiheke is aiming to become the first island to achieve that status.

For those who cannot make the launch or for those who live in other areas of New Zealand, you can determine your carbon footprint and set up your own carbon records by visiting www.carbonneutraltrust.org.nz

We hope that other communities will joins us as we strongly believe that action starts with each of us.

Launch: 22 November 2018, 7:00pm, St John Hall, 357 Kerikeri Road.

For more information contact Inge Bremer or Rolf Mueller-Glodde at carbonneutraltrust@gmail.com

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