We are all aware of the increasingly alarming climate outlook for our planet. The action required to slow, halt or even reverse the current trends is something that we can and need to start taking personal responsibility for. Unfortunately, our individual efforts can seem insignificant. As top-down energy policy has been rather weak: a bottom-up approach is needed.
Vision Kerikeri Chairman Rod Brown believes that the answer is to start working collaboratively as a community. “Create the means by which each of us can determine our carbon emissions and measure our efforts to offset those. Using the aggregate data, we can benchmark our community carbon footprint and work collaboratively to find ways to reduce it with the objective being to ultimately create a carbon neutral Kerikeri”.
Rod introduced this concept at the last AGM and after a slow start we are pleased to be able to advise that the project is starting to come to fruition.
A New Zealand specific online household “carbon calculator / survey” is now in the trial stage. Those who decide to participate in the project will be able to calculate the carbon emissions from:
and calculate how much of that carbon is absorbed (sequestered) via the trees and shrubs on their property (fun for the kids). The survey would be an annual event so that we can measure our progress at both an individual and community level.
Households are likely to be surprised by their carbon-footprint and we expect that family members will be keen to find ways that they can start to reduce emissions and increase sequestering with potential cost savings.
An informative website will be created to help with this process by providing advice, tips and case studies which we hope will help each of us to develop more sustainable consumption habits and, in the process, even save money. We also intend to create similar resources for business and interactive tools that will engage school children.
The Ministry for the Environment currently only holds national data, so our initiative would provide the first community level data in the country. We hope that it will be a catalyst for other towns to follow.
Working with a like-minded group on Waiheke Island (similar size of land and population), The charitable trust, Carbon Neutral New Zealand Trust has been formed as a vehicle to get the project underway and hopefully encourage other communities to get involved. The Trust also hopes to offer an opportunity to pay “indulgence” to support sequestering projects.
If you are keen to participate in the project you can express your interest by sending an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org and we will keep you updated on the project and the launch date.