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Funding helps local sustainability programmes

23 January 2008

Funding helps local sustainability programmes take next steps

Two community-based initiatives, the Sustainable Living Programme and the Sustainability Trust’s Ecokiwi scheme, have received $100,000 each to help people take their next steps to be more sustainable in their everyday lives.

The funding from the Ministry for the Environment will help both initiatives increase their exposure and expand their reach.

The Sustainable Living Programme is run by Marlborough District Council on behalf of 21 councils around New Zealand. It includes seminars and night classes on topics such as energy efficiency, waste reduction, water use, building and renovation, travel, and shopping wisely.

Marlborough District Council’s education officer Annie McDonald says interest in the programme has grown significantly, and the extra funding will make a difference to its development and the number of people it can reach.

The Sustainable Living Programme is successful because it provides opportunities for participants to take action in an informative and fun way, she says. “We have seen many people change the way they have done things for the benefit of the environment and their families”, said Annie McDonald.

The Sustainability Trust’s Ecokiwi scheme will train and support local community groups to engage members of their community in sustainable living. The scheme will tap into community organisations including Lions groups, Rotary, health clinics, marae, churches, community centres, childcare centres and schools to encourage as many people as possible to take small steps for a more sustainable lifestyle.

Sustainability Trust Executive Officer Hilary Campbell says “We believe that changing our behaviour to become more sustainable is within the reach of most New Zealanders, and that it can also bring about a number of other personal benefits. For example, finding ways to use the car less can also help improve health and save money”.

The scheme, which is currently being trialled in Wellington, Dunedin and Wanaka, links sustainable living with other benefits such as better health, lower living costs and having time for the important things in life.

Both the Ecokiwi scheme and the Sustainable Living Programme complement the Ministry’s new sustainability website, sustainability.govt.nz, and its Sustainability Challenge which invites New Zealanders to commit to their next steps to be more sustainable. The website has lots of information to help Kiwis select – and complete – their next steps.

For more information about Ministry for the Environment funding for sustainability programmes see www.mfe.govt.nz/withyou/funding.

ENDS


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