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Noho Māmā, Live Lightly for Auckland’s low carbon future

Lucy Pierpoint

· Auckland Climathon

Within our beautiful city there are multiple actions and activities you can do to take action on climate change: from bike riding and interactive art installations, to restoration workshops and community gardens. Indeed, on any given weekend, Auckland Council and its partners support a myriad of region-wide opportunities and initiatives to help fight climate change.

As highlighted in the Council’s Chief Sustainability Office’s blog, climate change affects all of us, and we all have a responsibility to act. Auckland Council takes seriously its leadership role in tackling climate change: in addition to creating policy and planning opportunities that enable a low carbon transition, we are working to empower and collaborate with our communities to enable them to get involved in sustainable and low carbon actions.

As a starting point, Council has created a new online hub that acts as a portal to simplify the multitude of choices and actions that can help alleviate the effects of climate change. The portal provides a range of simple actions to help individuals make choices on how to Noho Māmā, Live Lightly through the way they use power, move, shop, grow, eat and talk about their sustainable choices .

Live Lightly is also a social badge that will soon be seen across the region, acknowledging the fact that people are already taking action – through recycling, composting, bike riding,takingthe bus or train, avoiding food waste, and by engaging in a range of social and educational programmes. As highlighted in Live Lightly research, the material actions individuals take to reduce carbon can improve health outcomes and save you money. For example, if your commute is 3 kilometres or under, walking to work once a week instead of driving can save around $850 annually in fuel and corresponding emissions. Council and local businesses increasingly encourage staff to hold meetings by Skype, or to occasionally work from home. These actions will reflect a savings of around $20/day (based on the average weekly costs of transport for New Zealanders of $158).

Through a variety of regional and local funds and grants, Auckland Council proactively supports projects that help restore the environment. We may provide seed funding for new ideas or support for existing ones. Bike repair schemes, curtain banks, maker hood hubs and re-useable nappies are just some of the projects that Council supports to help people save money, live better and healthier lives, and reduce their impact on the environment.

Our work is also aimed at kids. Through the Enviroschools and Sustainable Schools programmes, teachers and schools are supported to get their students involved in making a range of enviromentally-friendly choices about healthy water, recycling, and safe transport.

Going forward, Live Lightly will provide Aucklanders with the tools necessary to make positive choices in their everyday lives, changing their behaviour and benefitting from this change through health benefits and financial savings, as well as lowering their carbon footprint.

We applaud everyone taking part in this weekend’s Climathon Auckland and we welcome your feedback and ideas on what Auckland Council can do to help support our communities to make positive changes in the face of climate change.

Contact the team: hello@livelightly.nz

Lucy Pierpoint is Auckland Council's Low Carbon Specialist on the Low Carbon Living Team

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