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Eco-neighborhoods of Albert-Eden show the way

Published: 18 September 2018

There is a groundswell of activity in Albert-Eden and at the centre of it are committed locals propelling the community towards sustainable living by forming Eco-neighbourhoods.  

Eco-Neighbourhoods is an Albert-Eden Local Board initiative. The programme connects like-minded neighbours across local suburbs, so they can find fun ways to make a positive difference to the environment.

It’s an opportunity for people to learn different ways to live lightly by learning how to grow and buy local food, keep chickens, improve their home’s energy efficiency, set up pest control in their hood, minimise waste, harvest rainwater or compost.

“We aim to create a more sustainable future. These activities bring incremental progress that adds up,” says Peter Haynes, Chair, Albert-Eden Local Board. “By supporting actions such as this we’re helping people to live sustainably in a realistic way.”

Over the last year, 13 groups have set up initiatives in the Albert-Eden Local Board area.

The Owairaka Eco-neighborhood 

This Eco-Neighbourhood has a community chicken coop. The coop and the chickens travel to different houses twice a year so that families can share the experience of keeping chickens and collecting fresh eggs. There are 3 families on the waiting list for the travelling chicken coop already!.

“Through Eco-Neighbourhoods I have enjoyed learning about how to make jams and relishes. I am keen for a free community fruit shelf next so we can share excess food and stop waste,” says Brenda.

Eco Neighborhood owairaka
Building rat-traps in Owairaka

The Sandringham Playgroup Eco-neighborhood

This group successfully completed a waste/method bin zero waste project. Their community garden working bee has transformed backyard communal space into a vertical vegetable and fruit garden, apple tree orchard, worm farm, butterfly garden, and runner beans tepee.

“With Eco-Neighbourhoods’ support, our parent group has incorporated sustainability and a connection with nature into all aspects of children’s play and development. Through this exercise we have developed a shared sense of purpose and happiness,” says Ellie Harrison.

The Kingsland Eco-neighborhood

Kids activities and making Kingsland bee-friendly has kept this group busy. They have handed out a huge amount of  bee friendly seed packets to households to plant to provide bees with a healthy environment

“In Kingsland the Eco-Neighbourhood initiative has been a great way to bring neighbours together to make a positive impact on our area. Our focus is on becoming more bee-friendly and less rat-friendly!” says Rachel Fanshawe.

The Torea Eco-neighborhood

Working with HNZ and Eco-neighborhoods, this group built a community herb garden and a community butterfly and bee garden and created a vegetable garden project. Their workshop ‘How to use kitchen herbs’ had a robust turnout too and showed the community’s growing appetite for living lightly.

“Eco-Neighbourhoods has allowed me to get to know my neighbours through growing local shared kai and creating a community vegetable, fruit and herb garden which is great for insects, bees and us,” says Des Leota.

Take action around issues that affect the environment.

There is funding and facilitation support for 18 groups to do sustainable activities and workshops in their own neighbourhoods. For more information check out the website or email econeighbourhoods@gmail.com