The Autumn Harvest Envirofest open day aims to sow the seeds of how we can make practical changes to live in harmony with nature.

The day organised by Sustainable Backyards Rotorua and Rotorua Youth Centre is packed with events.

"The day is being held to raise awareness about what people can do day to day to be more self-sufficient, to enhance, preserve and protect the environment," said Melanie Cameron, Sustainable Backyards community connector.

She said getting youth involved was crucial "because they are our future advocates for the environment and they need to have a connection with nature, otherwise we will have nothing left for future generations".


The day includes workshops such as a tree hunt, tent-making, story telling and gardening. Young people of all ages are encouraged to take part.

From 4pm there will be activities for all ages including a seed and produce swap from 4.30pm to 6pm, organic gardening seminar, worm farm and compost workshops, face painting, entertainment and stalls.

"Some people haven't been exposed to nature, gardening or outdoors. They are separated from it and they won't be able to promote it to their children when they are adults. So, it is important to get youth involved as young as possible," Ms Cameron said.

There will be a green screening, children's movie at 5pm and one for adults later.

The Rotorua Youth Centre takes the message of sustainability seriously and the practical solutions it has adopted includes creating its own vegetable garden from which food is produced.

The garden is used to teach young people how to grow and cook their own food.

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"We use the garden for our Junior Food Revolution Programme where three days a week, we teach them how to cook on a budget," said Veena Kameta, activity and event co-ordinator.

The centre aimed to be sustainable in all areas of its operation by minimising waste, recycling and running sustainable programmes and events.

"It's not just good for youth, it's good for everyone," Ms Kameta said.


* What: Autumn Harvest Envirofest

* Where: Rotorua Youth Centre

* When: Today 11.30am-9pm