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Greater Wellington launches Be the Difference

Greater Wellington launches Be the Difference

This week the Greater Wellington Regional Council launches a long-term programme called Be the Difference, to involve all the residents of the region in protecting our environment by taking personal responsibility for their actions.

“Our new programme, called ‘Be the Difference’, asks every resident in the region to make small changes to their everyday life to protect our environment for generations to come,” said Margaret Shields, Chairperson of the Greater Wellington Regional Council.

Ms Shields said that Greater Wellington’s research showed that 71% of the region’s residents believed they could be doing more, now, to help the region’s environment.

“Our research has found is that people don’t know what to do to help the environment, and don’t think they have the time to do it. They also want someone to give them advice and explain what to do – so that’s what our new programme will provide.”

Be the Difference begins with the delivery of a signup brochure this weekend to every household in the region. Residents can also join online at www.bethedifference.gw.govt.nz.

“Residents who join the programme will receive information packs three times a year, giving advice and tips on how they can protect our environment and live a more sustainable lifestyle. It really is that simple.”

Ms Shields said the advice provided will be practical and straightforward.

“The advice we’ll be giving will be simple and easy to use. For example, when you wash your car on the street, the detergent goes into the stormwater drain, and into a river or the sea. You wouldn’t throw a bucket of soapy water into the harbour – but most people don’t realise that’s exactly what they’re doing. The answer is simple, use a carwash (the water is treated), wash your car on the grass (detergents soak into the ground) or if you can’t do that, don’t use detergent, use elbow grease.”

Ms Shields said that everyone in the region, literally, could ‘be the difference’ to keep our environment healthy.

“A sustainable region is everyone’s responsibility. The way we live now is just a product of habit – and we know that most people are willing to change those habits, if they know how. Be the Difference is an opportunity for every resident to make a contribution to keeping the Greater Wellington region a great place to live.”

“Be the Difference compliments the other programmes Greater Wellington runs to promote sustainability. These include implementing the Resource Management Act, school education programmes, pollution response, promoting public transport, regional parks and pest control.”

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