What have you been thinking about lately? Here are some of the local issues we have been talking about.

It is really nice that Horizons has been busy installing new bus shelters in our end of Castlecliff, plus a big timetable with maps on the bus shelters by Trafalgar Square.

Actions like these make our local bus service more user-friendly and help encourage their increased use. Bus trips to town and back cost less than the price of a cup of coffee. Only the electric bike beats that.

Shame the InterCity bus "station" issue drags on. Air travellers using a private travel provider have a really good "station", we think. WDC provides a warm building, toilets, cafe and comfortable seats while you wait.


In contrast, bus travellers, using a different private travel provider, are treated like second-class citizens, despite actually travelling on a smaller carbon footprint.

Castlecliff library is a great little addition to Rangiora St. Big thanks to all concerned, especially the friendly volunteers who text when requests are in hand, and greet us all with a cheerful smile. No need to travel elsewhere for library books. Although it's a shame it hasn't helped eliminate the digital divide yet.

Oh, and it's July, so remember to think before you pick up that item in or on plastic from the supermarket shelf. Also remember when wrapping your household's food to put it in reusable material.

We could certainly do better taking up the "Plastic Free Challenge". Hopefully our waste dumps in the future will cause fewer problems than the one that has eroded near Fox Glacier.

Meanwhile, efforts on recycling in New Zealand factories by Flight Plastic, Aotearoa International, OI NZ give good recycling outcomes through our own Whanganui Resource Recovery Centre.

Also Sustainable Coastlines with local help from Sustainable Whanganui, Enviro Educator Ron Fisher and Castlecliff Coast Care are gathering stats for New Zealand's efforts to give the UN specific data on how much and what kind of waste is actually on our beaches.

Accurate data are important for understanding waste and its effects.

Also remember Castlecliff Coast Care's Community Planting Day on Saturday, July 13. This may be a way to reduce your carbon footprint as well as meet other community-minded folks. Starting at 1pm, we will meet at the Duncan Pavilion. This will finish at 3pm with time to enjoy afternoon tea together.

Graham and Lyn Pearson
Graham and Lyn Pearson

Come dressed appropriately for the weather. Strong shoes and gardening gloves will be ideal, and a spade and old newspaper will be useful. There are about 150 plants — mainly ngaio, flax, cabbage trees and taupata — supplied by Wanganui District Council and Parnell Nursery to plant on the back dunes.

You will be adding to the over 11,000 voluntary hours that Idea Services and others have already contributed. Great work, Whanganui.

Climate disruption is obviously a topic we are all talking about.

When will our local councils, WDC and Horizons, declare a "climate emergency"? Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Environment Canterbury, Hawke's Bay, Hutt, Kapiti, Nelson, Porirua, Queenstown and Wellington councils all have. This would be a useful first step in the "just and equitable" transition to a low-carbon future for our community.

Graham and Lyn Pearson are Sustainable Whanganui trustees and active in Castlecliff Coast Care.