Auckland Council

EcoNeighbourhoods

When neighbours come together, something starts to happen. Empowerment at its best.

Eco-Neighbourhoods aim to connect like-minded neighbours across local suburbs, who can find fun ways to make a real difference on climate change together, including activities and workshops. Eco Neighbourhoods are available in Albert-Eden, Puketāpapa and Hibiscus and Bays’ local board areas. The programme is being launched in Ōtara-Papatoetoe in early 2023.

Why get involved?

It is an opportunity for people to learn different ways to live lightly – you could learn how to grow and buy local food, keep shared chickens, improve your home’s energy efficiency, set up pest control in your hood, minimise waste, harvest rainwater or compost. Check out these action areas: eatgrowmoveenergyshop and talk.

Who supports Eco Neigbourhoods

The programme is funded by specific local boards and managed by local community facilitators. These local community facilitators support residents to adopt sustainable lifestyles within their homes and communities. Groups also have access to some funds to help make a difference in your neighbourhood.

 

How to set up or join a group

You can register your interest at any time, and someone will be in touch. For Albert Eden and Puketāpapa, register here, and for Hibiscus and Bays, register here. To form a group, there needs to be at least six people from different households in your neighbourhood. You can also register as an individual. There may be an existing group you can join or you can be put in touch with other people near you to set up your own group.

The next step is the exciting bit - you decide what you want to do to help our environment and then go for it! A community facilitator can assist groups to set up and get going and provide support, advice, ideas, and resources along the way. You can also keep in touch with each other through the EcoNeighbourhoods newsletter and Facebook page.

Every year funding is reviewed to ensure groups are supported on their sustainability journey. Groups need to do at least two activities a year and new groups can currently expect to receive $1,000 and existing groups $800 every year to fund their agreed activities. Funding is available for a set number of groups in each area.

The benefits of Eco-Neighbourhoods

Reducing emissions

In Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri: Auckland’s Climate Plan, the council commits to cutting emissions in half by 2030, and many local boards have adopted similar plans. We cannot do this alone and need the help of the wider community. Joining or forming an Eco-Neighbourhood group and taking action in one or more key areas will help reduce emissions and protect our climate. This can be through changing your transport footprint, growing your own food, setting up community share shelves or simply having a conversation about you and your neighbour's carbon footprint- hopefully inspiring you to reduce it. In 2022, 100% of participants surveyed in the Albert -Eden local board area stated that they had changed their lifestyle because of participating in the programme.

Building connections

Many of the action areas that an Eco-Neighbourhood group gets involved in are ideal for building connections, like growing and sharing local food, becoming more energy efficient, shifting travel modes and . Joining a neighbourhood group will help you meet your neighbours, work towards shared goals and support each other. Building stronger and long-lasting community and neighbourhood connections is an important element in building local resilience to climate-related stresses. The majority of participants in Eco Neighbourhoods report increased contact with neighbours as a result of joining the program.


Contact EcoNeighbourhoods Coordinator:

In Albert-Eden and Puketāpapa contact Heather Lyall for more information phone: 021 040 1817 or email: econeighbourhoods@gmail.com.

In Hibiscus and Bays contact Ben Sheeran by email: baysworkinprogress@gmail.com

Find out if you live in the Albert-Eden, Puketāpapa or Hibiscus or Bays local board area. If don’t live in one of these areas but you are interested in having EcoNeighbourhoods in your area, get in touch with your local board.

Boomerang Bags

Boomerang Bags

Boomerang Bags Dominion Road is a grassroots movement where people get together and make recycled fabric shopping bags. They are given to the community to use as an alternative to single use plastic bags. They run regular sewing bees at Gribblehirst Hub in Sandringham and have just made their 800th bag! They have also launched the ‘Take your own take away container’ campaign on Dominion Road, a very busy restaurant area in Auckland. This group is making a real difference in raising awareness and providing practical solutions for waste and single use plastic in their community.

Torea EcoNeighbourhood

Torea EcoNeighbourhood

This group is learning about organic vegetable growing so they can share produce with one another. They recently developed a communal shared herb garden and a butterfly-bee garden in their central green space, and have a compost workshop planned with The Compost Collective. They have planted community fruit trees and communal pots of vegetables so they can all benefit from growing food together. The group meet at the central green and have shared lunches too. ‘The best thing’ says the group’s co-ordinator Des ‘is getting to know your neighbours'.

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