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What Will You Do When The Lights Go Out?


What Will You Do When The Lights Go Out?

18 MARCH 2013

Council is encouraging Kāpiti residents to get together with their neighbours during Earth Hour on Neighbours’ Day Aotearoa on Saturday 23 March.

Neighbours day aims to turn streets into neighbourhoods, while Earth Hour is an annual worldwide event encouraging lights to be turned off for an hour from 8.30pm to raise awareness of environmental challenges.

With Kāpiti Coast’s Greenest Neighbourhood competition about to start in June, Council Sustainable Communities Coordinator Stacey Gasson says this would be an ideal time to talk to neighbours about getting involved.

The Greenest Neighbourhood (previously ‘Greenest Street’) competition involves groups of neighbours competing over nine months to reduce their environmental impact and build a more resilient, friendlier community.

In its third year, previous participants have enjoyed getting to know their neighbours, developing a new-found sense of community, reducing their impact on the environment and learning new skills.

Spokesperson for the 2011 winning street, Te Roto Road in Ōtaki, Terena Harris, said “It has definitely been more about the journey than the competition itself, although having a common goal was the ideal catalyst to put some sustainable living concepts into action.

“It also gave us permission to break down some social barriers and before we knew it, we were welcoming one another into our kitchens (and tool sheds) and momentum gathered from there.

“In nine months we reduced our environmental footprint by one whole Earth and, in the process, learned to live together more as a community,” says Ms Harris.

Previous participants will have a stall and be speaking about the experience at the Sustainable Home Garden Show – also on 23/24 March.

People expressing an interest in the Greenest Neighbourhood competition will be sent an information pack and a $10 voucher from Kapiti Cakes and Bakery. Contact Stacey Gasson at staceyg@kapiticoast.govt.nz or on 04 296 4700.

Further information

Kāpiti Coast’s Greenest Neighbourhood is an initiative of Kāpiti Coast District Council and supported by WEMO. www.kapiticoast.govt.nz/Our-District/greenest-street

Sustainable Home & Garden Show, 23/24 March, Kapiti Primary School, Rimu Rd, Paraparaumu. www.kapiticoast.govt.nz/Our-District/Sustainable-Home-and-Garden-Show

Neighbours’ Day Aotearoa: This is about turning strangers into neighbours and streets into neighbourhoods. Download the resource pack for other neighbourhood activity ideas and suggestions for getting things started. www.neighboursday.org.nz

Earth Hour 2013: The official website including global stories, games, an activity book for kids and a virtual light switch to share with your friends on Facebook. http://earthhour.org


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