A community group in Kerikeri is preparing to launch a project aimed at achieving carbon neutrality for the town.
The launch is at the St John Hall in Kerikeri Rd at 7pm on Thursday next week (November 22).
"We are being bombarded with increasingly dire warnings about the consequences of man-made climate change, but hear little on what we as individuals can do about that," spokesman Rolf Mueller-Glodde said.
"Following a 2017 public address on climate change in Kerikeri, by Professor James Renwick, we decided it was time to look at what Kerikeri could do to start mitigating our own contribution to the changing climate.
Our research uncovered a dearth of practical tools and lay information on carbon emissions and sequestration for the average New Zealander. It also highlighted a lack of leadership and a general apathy by most of us on what is seen as a problem that is unlikely to impact much in our lifetime.
"Unfortunately, what each of us do today directly impacts on the future that our children and grandchildren will inherit, and those children have already been born. Time is rapidly running out."
Carbon Neutral Kerikeri was a collaborative community initiative aimed at inspiring residents of the greater Kerikeri area to start measuring, and taking responsibility for reducing, their household carbon emissions, starting with an inventory of those emissions and the level of sequestration resulting from such things as trees growing on their properties.
The Kerikeri group had joined forces with a similar group on Waiheke Island (Carbon Neutral Waiheke) to form the Carbon Neutral NZ Trust, which had set about developing a carbon calculator and database that households could use to calculate and store their carbon data.
The Trust was also publishing practical advice and case studies on ways households could begin to reduce their nett carbon footprint.
"If we understand our carbon footprint we can start to change our behaviour," Mr Mueller-Glodde said.
"Those changes will not only have environmental benefits, but will also have a positive impact on household budgets and health through the more efficient use of energy and transport, better waste management and diet."
Both the calculator and advice were available at www.carbonneutraltrust.org.nz
The first set of data would become the household carbon baseline, and would contribute to an aggregate community baseline.
The data would be updated annually.
Mr Mueller-Glodde said the launch of Carbon Neutral Kerikeri would be the starting point for what was hoped would be the town becoming one of, if not the first, carbon-neutral communities in the country.
"We hope other communities will join us, as we strongly believe that action starts with each of us," he said.