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Greytown to become first "Greentown"

Greytown to become first "Greentown"

The Wairarapa township of Greytown will become a "Greentown" for a month this year, starting on World Environment Day on 5 June and ending on 3 July – Greytown's traditional Arbor Day.

Greater Wellington Regional Council made a successful funding application to the Ministry for the Environment (MfE) for a campaign that will see all households and businesses in Greytown targeted with information and materials to help "kick the carbon habit" – the slogan for this year's World Environment Day.

World Environment Day is led each year by the United Nations, and hosted by an international city. This year the day will be hosted by Wellington, although the Ministry for the Environment is coordinating a range of events that will be held across the country to mark this event.

Greytown "invented" Arbor Day in New Zealand in 1890, and celebrates this on 3 July each year.

"This means that we have a month to engage with the Greytown community to promote environmental matters that should make a difference to improve this township's already good sustainability practices, and to act as a showcase for what an environmentally-committed community can do," Greater Wellington's environmental education manager Geoff Skene said.

"Greater Wellington has already identified a range of opportunities that we can go with over this month. We will be talking soon with Greytown community groups and agencies, as well as with potential sponsors, to make this a special month and also make changes to household, business and community sustainability practices that should endure long after this Greentown month is over.

"We're really excited about the Greentown concept and the opportunities it creates, not just for Greytown but also for other communities we may apply this model to in the future. With the MfE World Environment Day funding we believe we can make a positive and enduring difference to Greytown's environmental performance, and learn a lot in the process," Geoff Skene said.

Greater Wellington is creating a web page for events and other programmes that will form part of the Greentown month in Greytown. These will be added to www.gw.govt.nz/greentown.


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