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North Is Kids Get Another Chance At Conservation

North Island Kids Get Another Chance At Conservation

North Island kids have been invited to join their southern counterparts again this year and play their part in conserving the environment, through the Meadow Fresh Seedling Swap promotion.

The Seedling Swap teaches kids the importance of recycling and conservation, by giving them the chance to swap any empty Meadow Fresh Milk carton or container for a free native seedling. This year's event, on the weekend of 7th and 8th August, will again coincide with Conservation Week.
This is the second year the Meadow Fresh Seedling Swap is running as a nationwide conservation campaign, after expanding to include North Island children for the first time last year. The programme, which grew from Meadow Fresh Milk's commitment to the environment, recycling and the community, began in the South Island in 1996. Since then, 120,000 native seedlings have been given away to children.
The seedlings are grown in Meadow Fresh Milk one-litre cardboard cartons. The Seedling Swap is open to all children aged 12 or under. They simply swap any empty Meadow Fresh Milk packaging (cardboard or plastic cartons) at any participating garden centre or nursery for a free native seedling.

Meadow Fresh Product Manager Jodie Timmins says the Seedling Swap allows kids to enhance their local environment in a lasting way.

"Meadow Fresh Milk is a great fuel for growing healthy kids, and they need the energy and vitality milk gives them because they have a big role to play in protecting and enhancing our environment," says Jodie Timmins.

As well as conserving the environment, the Seedling Swap helps local communities by supporting the three North Island nurseries that grow and nurture the seedlings - with the assistance of the community.

The North Island nurseries involved in the programme include the not-for-profit Community Business and Environment Centre in Kaitaia; CCS, through its community-based Manawatu Horticulture Training Programme; and Naturally Native NZ Plants in Tauranga, which provides native plants and technical expertise to many schools, community groups and supports several environmental initiatives around the country, such as the Tane Tree Trust.

"We also work with the Avalon Training Centre, a local provider of training and work-based programmes for people with disabilities. We employ them for a variety of tasks including making promotional items, packing fertilizer and they have worked with us on the Meadow Fresh Seedling Swap since 2003. As well as being a great commercial relationship, it's wonderful to be able to support the local community," says Naturally Native General Manager Derek Edwards.

The cardboard cartons collected during the swap by the participating garden centres and nurseries (list of which is attached) will be distributed back to the three nurseries in the North Island that are involved in the project, to grow the native seedlings for next year's swap. The plastic containers collected will be sent to local recycling initiatives in each community and recycled into goods such as plastic crates.

"Each year, millions of two-litre plastic milk cartons are sent to the local recycling initiatives around the country, showing the important part our milk-lovers play in recycling. The cardboard cartons are ideal for growing seedlings, as the light and water cartons get during their life as plant pots helps them break down quickly, and that means less rubbish in our landfills," says Jodie Timmins.

"The Seedling Swap is a great chance for families to participate in a unique effort to improve their local environment."
Below is a list of Garden Centres and Nurseries participating in the Seedling Swap.

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