He waka eke noa: On the way to a better future together

The 2017 EnviroFest (2nd – 23rd of October) is a festival of awareness, connection and motivational initiatives to show how Palmerston North is fighting climate change and contributing towards achieving global sustainability goals. The EnviroFest captures the uniqueness of the global sustainability initiatives through its partnership with many institutions ranging from the arts, education, science and the environmental community.

This year EnviroFest will explore the two largest contributors to New Zealand’s gross emissions – energy and agriculture – and will acknowledge the significance of the Manawatu river to our community.

The programme is designed to help kids, youth and adults to learn more about our environment and how we can each make a difference. Every week there will be thought-provoking talks, hands-on workshops, and guided tours. During the school holidays, we planned activities for the whole families: workshops on cooking, gardening, engineering, science, arts and crafts, guided tours to the water dam and wastewater treatment plant and to the wind farm. In the evenings you will enjoy discussions about our oceans, lakes, and rivers, sustainable agriculture and energy efficiency. Please check our event page to see the details of all activities. New events will be added to the PNCET website and a Facebook page, as they are confirmed.
If you would like to volunteer at EnviroFest, helping to host and work at events, do get in touch; festivals of this size need a lot of community support!
Email: pncetprojectcoordinators@gmail.com


Reel Earth Young Filmmakers Awards 2017

Palmerston North: Winners of the Reel Earth Young Flimmaker Awards 2017

Hosted by Julia Panfylova, Project Coordinator at the Palmerston North City Environmental Trust (PNCET), the Awards kicked off at Youth Space Palmerston North with a high-energy performance from local dance troop “Evolve Performing Arts Centre”. This was followed by an afternoon of celebration to acknowledge the commitment, creativity and achievements of the talented local youth who successfully produced 10 high calibre environmental films.

Our young filmmakers showed off some stunning animation techniques and documentary styles that engaged their audiences in a wide a range of environmental topics - from climate change and electric vehicles, saving orangutan, plastic in oceans, recycling and reuse, to ecotourism ventures, environmental stewardship and how we can save New Zealand native wildlife.

Head of the Jury, Fiona Gordon, Board Member of the Palmerston North City Environmental Trust, said, “it is heartening to see these talented young filmmakers exemplify the skills, awareness and capacity to think and act globally and locally - so essential for this generation to successfully tackle the complex issues we face working towards a sustainable future”. She added, ”We are looking forward to seeing more young talent emerge in 2018!”

Each and every film entered into the Awards showed how film can entertain us but can also be a powerful medium to raise awareness and encourage individuals to take action.  We can all make a positive difference for our environment: one person, one action at a time.

TERTIARY top prize: Paul Kennedy, Wildbase NZ: A Documentary on Wildbase Hospital and Recovery

YOUTH top prize: Sarah Ridsdale, Dog Island Motu Piu

YOUTH second prize: Arlo  Mcmillan, Plastic – it’s got you covered!

JUNIOR top prize: Sam Ridsdale, Clever Trevor

JUNIOR second prize: Sean  Macdonald-Hill, Reduce, Reuse, subscribe.

JUNIOR second prize: Liam Adrian, Save orangutans.

All Young Filmmaker Award entries can be viewed on the Reel Earth YouTube channel. 


Nurturing a new generation of smart citizens: March Grant Giving Round

We are very happy to see all this youth and kids targeted applications for the Grant round in March 2017. The applications that have been approved this funding round are educating, engaging with, inspiring and encouraging young citizens to be open to taking responsibility for caring for the environment now and in the future.

Two projects have been granted the PNCET support for the second time. One of them is Hands-On Food project. It was granted $5,000 for developing further their herb garden. If you have not heard yet, Hands-On Food is an amazing project whose interests lies in organic and sustainable issues around food production and encouraging young people to cook and eat a plant based diet, which dramatically reduces carbon footprint. For several years, the leader of the group, Robert Hall, and his team ran cooking classes at Youth Space, now, when they have an access to a real commercial kitchen, they are not only teaching kids how to cook but also actively involve them with growing it in their herb garden. A truly amazing initiative!

Another initiative that PNCET supported for the second time is a joined project of Palmerston North Interfaith and Papaioea Pasifika Community Trust who received $2,325 to produce a video, called “Making Waves: Stories of Courage and Hope”. This film, which will be debuted at the 12th Environmental Film Festival “Reel Earth”, features six Massey Pasifika students who share their heart breaking stories about the consequences of climate change on their lives and families. We think it is important to show the community that climate change is real and millions of people are affected by it right now. We believe, this film will motivate the New Zealand community to become proactive and give the Pasifika community hope for a sustainable future.

We are very proud to support intentions of our kindergartens to educate little kids about sustainability and encourage them to play outdoors in all weather. Last year we provided funds to Roslyn and Linton kindergartens, and this time we've approved applications of Hokowhitu and Parkland kindergartens.

Hokowhitu Kindergarten has received $1,138 to purchase rainwear sets so kids have the opportunities to see changes to the environment during and after rainfall, in wet areas such as bush, river walks, working alongside local community gardens and park exploration. Parkland Kindergarten has received $970 to purchase and install two rain-water tanks to be able to teach children about where does water come from, its importance in our world and show them that water is a finite resource.

Active Minds Aotearoa (AMA) has been granted $3,000 to purchase two Science Kits “Breathe Easy”. AMA is a Palmerston North based charitable trust that is working on increasing the scientific literacy of the children in Manawatu through science programs and resources. The two new kits will be available through the hire service to primary and intermediate schools. Each kit provides four activities that help students explore and understand air pollution, for example, ‘pollution patrol’ where students compare the exhaust emissions of a variety of vehicles, ‘Smog Alert’ which involves students creating smog in a jar, and an extensive data crunching activity for the older children that uses locally sources air quality data collected over a five-year period.

We are so glad that our grants are used to raise environmental awareness of young generations. Once inspired to participate or act, they have the ability to share information, teach and encourage their families and friends to be aware of their impact on the environment, too.

herb garden photo North Street Primary Intermediate Students

Hands-On Food herb garden

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Riverdale Kindergartens planting at Waitoetoe park

A4 Promo Slide HOPE (1)

A poster of the movie by PN Interfaith and Papaioea Pasifika Community Trust


PNCET September funding round

This September PNCET received 6 funding applications, the total of $27,000 were requested. The Board considered the applications and decided to fund 4 projects that will provide stronger and more sustainable environmental outcomes for the city. The following projects were supported:

Nature discovery walks – Linton Kindergarten. The project is aimed to establish an outdoor education area in Wedde Wood for kids.

Urban Eels: our sustainable city Gordon Consulting.  The aim of the project is to create an outdoor area inside the city where the Palmerston North community can interact with freshwater wildlife. The organisation applied for funds to develop an implementation plan for the project.

Rangiwahia Day Trips – Rangiwahia Environmental Arts Centre Trust. Rangiwahia Day Trip is an adventure for people with low income and for those who does not have cars. The Trips are aimed to give hands-on experience with nature, including planting, weeding and exploring the native bush.

Christmas in Takaro – Legacy Centre. The organisation will purchase reusable bottles and distribute them at the event, this will reduce the amount of waste plastic bottles generated at this event every year.

The next round of funding opens  in March 2017. Updated application forms will be available on our website by the end of the year.


EnviroFest – a three week birthday celebration for PNCET!

Palmerston North City Environmental Trust turns 25 this year! 25 years is a big milestone for any non-governmental organisation, and so the trust are throwing the biggest birthday party possible – a three-week environmental festival highlighting all things sustainable happening in our city.  EnviroFest is a celebration of environmental groups and initiatives in the Manawatu, running from the 2-23 October this year.

As local environmentalists, we know how many fantastic sustainability activities are going on in our region, but sometimes it seems like the wider public may not know just how much happens. EnviroFest is happening because we want to rectify this. We hope the festival will entertain and education both people already switched on to an eco-lifestyle and those who are newer to these ideas. We been working on the programme for EnviroFest all year and it’s looking very exciting! Confirmed events include a birthday celebration event at the cafe Royale with a locavore cake, guided bush walks, film screenings, upcycling workshops, a Matariki-themed puppet show where all the puppets are made from recycled materials, organic cooking classes for young people and talks about reducing waste, climate change and the Manawatu River, plus much more to come!

We are working with so many wonderful community partners, including PN City Library, Te Manawa and Sports Manawatu, as well as many of the Environment Network Manawatu member groups.  We’ve been blown away by the support for the festival from groups big and small, lots of people have told us they’ve been wanting an event like this for Palmerston North.

New events will be added to the PNCET website and a Facebook page, as they are confirmed.

If you would like to volunteer at EnviroFest, helping to host and work at events, do get in touch; festivals of this size need a lot of community support!

Email: pncetprojectcoordinators@gmail.com

by Helen Lehndorf


Biofuels: reducing you carbon footprint

It is well known that carbon emissions are rising primarily due to burning of fossil fuels. The levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are the highest they have been for over 800,000 years. These record high levels of pollutants in our atmosphere is having disastrous effects on our natural environments.

In New Zealand transport accounts for 20% of our greenhouse gas emissions. Although many of us aware of this fact, it is very difficult to give up driving, especially in cities like Palmerston North where public transport is not well developed. So what can car lovers do to play their part in reducing the reliance on unsustainable fossil fuels?

The one simple thing that a regular driver can do to reduce his/her carbon footprint is to pick up passengers. The more people driving in the car the less their carbon footprints. Another option, which is less affordable, is buying a hybrid car. However, you have to pay attention to the source of electricity your car is using.  In addition, there is a third option – biofuels.

Biofuels are the next step in doing away with traditional fossil fuels. Biofuels are produced from the by-products of other industries, including dairy farming and breweries.  These by-products, usually ethanol, are blended with diesel or petrol to create an alternative fuel that is not only helping the environment but at no extra cost to you.

In 2007 Gull were the first to introduce biofuels to New Zealanders, giving us a more sustainable choice for fuel. Gull has already provided kiwis with over 24 million litres of biofuel which has reduced carbon emissions by 57, 000 tonnes. This is equivalent to taking over 12,000 cars off our roads.

Gull has a range of biofuels available that are compatible with most types of vehicles. On offer are two ethanol blended fuels – Gull Force 10 and Gull Force Pro which are produced locally using ethanol sourced from a non-food product of the dairy industry. For the diesel vehicle Gull provides Gull Diesel Max which uses a diesel blend produced from used cooking oil.

Gull Force 10 is a 98 Octane Premium fuel blended with 10% ethanol. Specifically designed for high-performance vehicles and motor racing Gull Force Pro is a 110 plus Octane fuel mixed with 98% ethanol. It is the preferred fuel for D1NZ and New Zealand Rally Championship. Gull Diesel Max is a low-sulphur diesel blend containing up to 5% biodiesel. These options are available in Palmerston North at Gull petrol stations.

Even if you cannot give up driving and switch to cycling, there are still options to reduce your carbon footprint: carpool, drive hybrids and use biofuels. And, if you want to find out more about living sustainable please attend one of the EnviroFest events in October.

Switch to Gull biofuels today to ensure a greener New Zealand tomorrow.

For more information about Gull’s biofuels visit http://gull.nz/biofuel/


PALMY BEYOND PETROL: our vision for the city, celebrated in a great day out

Transport is one of PNCET’s key areas of interest. Last November we held a one day festival ‘Palmy Beyond Petrol: a celebration of active transport’ at Te Manawa to raise awareness of cycling featuring different local cycling groups, businesses and enthusiasts. It was Palmerston North’s contribution to the Global Day of Action on Climate Change (Nov 29 2016), alongside a climate march around the square organised by Youth Action Group Manawatu. We showcased all things local cycling! During the day, we highlighted how active transport helps minimise climate change by decreasing personal carbon footprints.

The Green Bikes Trust came, with bike maintenance information. Electric Bikes Palmerston North showcased their great range of e-bikes, tuk-tuks and tandems. We had E-cars on display from Toyota and the Nissan Leaf.  A local vintage bike restorer, Brian Annear bought along his stunning old bikes, restored to look brand new. Our local Arts Recycling Centre offered a ‘yarnbomb your bike’ activity which was very popular - many bikes rode home looking very colourful.

We had Daisy’s Bikes along with their tandems. Sports Manawatu set up a great cycling confidence course for children, and the PUni, the Palmerston North Unicycling Club, wowed us with their single-wheel skills and offered lessons. We also had lots great live music and organic vegan tofu burger and ice cream on sale from Wholegrain Organics. It was fantastic to gather so many local cycling enthusiasts together and to inspire people to get back on their bikes.

Right now, we are in the middle of organising our next event - EnviroFest! This will be a three week festival of environmental and sustainability events, from October 2-23. You can follow EnviroFest updates here https://www.facebook.com/events/1656127761318263/ Look forward to seeing you there!

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Building community resilience: PNCET April funding round

The Board received a number of excellent applications and we appreciate the time and energy applicants put to develop them and explain their ideas. The response was impressive with 6 applications for over $22,000 of funding, which is approximately three times the amount the Trust had available to distribute this round. The Board has considered the applications against the criteria set out and chosen projects that closely align with these and our broader goals.
Roslyn Kindergarten received $5,000 for the project Upgrade of outdoor kindergarten area. The Team at the Kindergarten wish to create an environmentally sustainable outdoor area where children and families can learn about sustainability practices like worm farming, growing food and harvesting rainwater. The money will be used to provide vegetable gardens, a selection of fruit trees and wet weather clothing for kids to enjoy the outdoor even in rainy weather. You can follow the project progress on their FaceBook page.
The Biodiversity Cluster, co-ordinated by Environment Network Manawatu received $3,500 for the project Capacity building programme for biodiversity and conservation. They are going to organize series of workshops for the biodiversity Cluster community groups, including workshops on working with volunteers and strengthening relationships with local Iwi. Please follow their updates on their website and on FaceBook.
Friends Of Waitoetoe Park  received $336 for the project Fruit and Nut trees for Parks and Reserves. The project is aimed to improve the community resilience of their neighbourhood by planting fruit and nut trees in the park. This will mean more local free food available to the Waitoetoe Park neighbourhood and further community building through the shared stewardship of the trees. Watch the project progress on their FaceBook page.

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The next large grant funding round will be in September, however, groups can apply for up to $250 at the trust’s monthly meetings. The application form is hereFor further enquiries contact: pncetprojectcoordinators@gmail.com


Carbon footprint: a simple overview

A persons’ contribution to climate change can be measured and expressed with numbers. There are a lot of tools and a lot of data available on the internet. Although most of these figures include a lot of uncertainty, they can help find ways to reduce your carbon footprint by shifting from one activity to another. In this article, we want to help you understand the carbon footprint concept, so you can do whatever you decide to do with more knowledge.

The carbon footprint is a simple concept, it represents a measure of the full climate change impact of something, e.g. a country, an activity, a particular meal or a thing. But the name of the concept is rather confusing because carbon footprint usually is expressed in CO2e (where ‘e’ stands for an equivalent), which means it represents not only CO2 but all greenhouse gases (GHG). Just imagine how confusing it would be to compare bananas and apples if we took into account various greenhouse gases (and their quantities) that are emitted during their production. In CO2e, all greenhouse gases are converted into CO2 and it allows to compare various things easily. That is why, you should always pay attention to the carbon footprint notation when you are looking for information. Consider this: the amount of CO2 emitted per capita in New Zealand in 2012 was ~7 tons, it is almost as much as in the UK, in contrast, the amount of CO2e is almost twice as high as in the UK (see graphs on the right).

How did this happen? Due to the high level of agricultural production in New Zealand (most of it for export) our emissions profile is quite different from other developed countries. In New Zealand, methane and nitrous oxide (largely from agriculture) comprise over half of total national emissions (~55 percent), while the remaining emissions consist largely of CO2 (~43 percent; further 2% consists of synthetic GHG).

In order to control emission levels, New Zealand, like other developed countries, has set emissions reduction targets. New Zealand has a long-term target to cut emissions to be 50 per cent below the 1990 greenhouse gas emissions levels by 2050. It means that emissions have to be reduced from 81 million tons (2013 emission rate) to 30 million tons during next 35 years (in 1990 per capita GHG emission was 66.7 Mt CO2e). Given that around 65 percent of New Zealand’s emissions comes from transport and agriculture, let’s consider here two main ways to reduce your carbon footprint.

Movement. How you move around the city, country, or even around the world influences your carbon footprint hugely. Different means of transport emit a different amount of GHG, but that is not all that counts. Consider this: your cycle footprint depends on what you eat to restore energy lost due to exercise stress; your bus and car trip footprint depends on how many people share them with you; your electric car trip footprint depends on what source of energy is used to produce electricity.

The most efficient way of traveling is cycling. Assuming that we burn around 50 calories per mile, cycling a mile powered by bananas will cost you 65g CO2e and this figure will be even less if you are powered by apples from your garden. In contrast, if your energy comes from cheeseburgers, the emissions per mile are about the same as two people driving an efficient car.

Although electric cars seem like an attractive alternative to petrol cars, their carbon footprint is not straightforward: driving an electric car in New Zealand is not the same as driving it in Australia (see the map at the top). In countries where the proportion of renewable energy consumption is high, the carbon footprint of an electric car will be low. Consider for example Norway, the percentage of renewable energy consumption is ~ 60% and, as a result, a carbon footprint of electric cars is one of the lowest in the world – 74 g CO2e per km (or 118g CO2e per mile).

FYI: More than 850 Electric Vehicles (EV) registered in NZ;
142 public charging locations in NZ, one in Palmerston North;
7 different EV models available:
Nissan Leaf, Outlander SUV, Holden Volt, Toyota Prius,
Audi A3 e-tron, Tesla Model S and BMW i3;
1138 Tonnes of CO2 emissions saved this year.

Food is another big component of our carbon footprint. Food from overseas has a higher carbon footprint than locally grown because it includes emissions from transportation. However, meat (especially beef and lamb) and dairy products have the biggest carbon footprint, even though they are grown in New Zealand. Just compare 18 kg CO2e per kg of local beef with 0.069 kg CO2e per kilogram of local apples. Beef is climate unfriendly food: methane is produced by cows’

vital activities, nitrous oxide is released when fertilizer is applied to grass, CO2 is caused by tractors and other machinery. When choosing your meal it is also important to consider the ratio of g CO2e to kcal (see the graph on the right). For example the amount of energy obtained from rice and wheat is fairly similar, however, on average, the carbon footprint of rice is twice as high as that of wheat.

A precise estimate of our carbon footprint can be very complicated, but more important is that each of us can drop most of it. It does not mean that you need to immediately sell your car and move to a village to grow your own veggie garden. Knowing what constitutes your carbon footprint and how it is estimated might help you to develop a strategy that will be suitable for you. For example, if you cannot cycle to work, share your car with your colleagues – the more people, the more fun the trip, and the lower your footprint. If you are a meat lover and life without it seems miserable to you, switch from beef to chicken, as chickens carbon footprint is more than three times less than beef. These actions are clearly not a simple decision, but we need to be creative, to ensure a sustainable and at the same time enjoyable life. It is possible!
Please, share your experience and tips on reducing your carbon footprint on our Facebook page.

Resources:


Climate Change Top Tips

The scale of the Climate Change problem can make you feel slightly helpless, so we’ve come up with our own tips to enable you to make a difference to your personal carbon footprint.

Here are top tips from Sustainability Trust:

Meat-free Monday

Sign up for “Meat-free Mondays” or become a ‘flexitarian’ – a flexible vegetarian – so you can still enjoy your mum’s chicken roast, while making a difference every other day of the week!

Get educated and energised

Learn about climate change. Bring in speakers to your school, workplace, church, community. Check out Sustainability Trust free online resources or pop into browse their library. Stay inspired – it ain’t over til it’s over!

Get active on your way to work

Walk or bike to work once a week. Or if that’s too far, try parking further away (save money on parking too!) and walk or bike for the last – Continue reading…