Environmental advocates in the Bay of Islands are urging residents to "raise their heads a little" and face the realities of climate change.
This follows a bleak report by Carbon Neutral NZ Trust showing a lack of locals taking up the challenge of calculating their carbon emissions in order to take action to reduce them.
Carbon Neutral Kerikeri was set up in 2018 with the aim of making Kerikeri New Zealand's first carbon-neutral town.
But the verdict after the first 12 months is not encouraging.
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A recent statement on its website said; "the most revealing statistic from our first 12 months of promotion of the idea of a carbon neutral Kerikeri is the number of households who have not shown any interest in calculating their carbon emissions.
"...we have a participation rate of around 1.8 percent. So, 98.2 percent of household do not know what their carbon emissions are."
Vision Kerikeri founder Rod Brown, who is on the Carbon Neutral Kerikeri committee, said he was "a bit surprised and disappointed" at the findings.
"Climate change has been getting a lot of mileage in the New Zealand and world press, as well as the fires in Australia... it's a bit of a surprise that with all the information available that people are not actually acting.
"To some, climate change may seem a long way away but the action of seeing what they're currently consuming is a good first step.
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"If people could raise their heads a little and fill in the calculator and find out what is carbon-causing in their own households, then they can act on it."
The Kerikeri branch was founded by Rolf Mueller-Glodde and Inge Bremer with the help of Vision Kerikeri, and there is also a committee in Waiheke.
They were set up to inspire residents to start measuring, and taking responsibility for, their household carbon emissions.
The online calculator allows people to find out their carbon emissions from various sources including energy and food consumption, waste disposal, transport and travel.
They can then calculate how much of that carbon is sequestered [absorbed] via the trees and shrubs on their property.
According to the Carbon Neutral Kerikeri Trust report published in December, response rates have been "below expectations".
Though 105 Kerikeri households representing 251 people have registered and set up a calculator, only 89 Kerikeri households have used it.
In the Bay of Islands-Whangaroa area 124 households representing 294 residents have participated, along with 25 households representing 75 residents from Kaikohe and Hokianga.
Bremer said though "it's starting to happen; we would be happier if the figures were larger."
She encourages residents to get on board.
"It's like asking people to step on scales to see how much they weigh. Most people don't like that at all. People feel the same way about the carbon calculator.
"People have to face what's happening, we really need to change our habits."
To become carbon neutral, the trust is aiming for an average of 2500 kg of CO2 emissions per household per year by 2030. Currently, most families emit around 6000kg.
But Bremer said she is encouraged by the new tool available to schools called Climate Change - prepare today, live well tomorrow, launched by the Ministry of Education on January 12.
The resource is available for New Zealand students in years 7-10 and includes eight lessons on understanding the difference between climate and weather, how climate change could affect New Zealand, and our current commitments to tackling the issue.
Education Minister Chris Hipkins said the resource will help students understand the effects of climate change at a local, national and global scale and to apply it to their everyday lives.
"Young people have shown us how important this topic is for them, and there's been a lot of interest in the development of this resource."